Picador has acquired a debut novel by actor and singer-songerwriter Val Emmich.
The books tells of an "unlikely friendship between a grief-stricken man who can't remember and a 10-year-old girl who can't forget".
Following what was described as "a hotly-contested auction", Francesca Main, editorial director at Picador, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to The Highs And Lows of Never Forgetting from Lorella Belli at the Lorella Belli Literary Agency on behalf of Jeff Kleinman at Folio.
US rights have been sold to Judy Clain at Little, Brown and translation rights have sold in multiple territories.
The book's protagonists are Gavin Winters, mourning the loss of his boyfriend Sydney, and Joan, the daughter of a close friend who is able to recall every day of her life in perfect detail. The story focuses on Joan helping Gavin to reconnect with his memories while Gavin helps her to write a song for a local competition.
Francesca Main said: "I fell head over heels for The Highs and Lows of Never Forgetting. It’s charming, beautifully observed, poignant and funny – a novel about love, friendship, memory and daring to do the things that scare us. I’m thrilled to welcome Val Emmich to Picador and can’t wait to launch his irresistible first novel."
New-Jersey based actor Emmich has had roles on TV series "30 Rock", "Ugly Betty" and "Vinyl", among others, and is also an award-winning recording artist who has released multiple albums. The Highs and Lows of Never Forgetting is his first novel.
Picador will publish The Highs and Lows of Never Forgetting as a hardback in spring 2017.