Ross Montgomery is joining the Walker Books list after the publisher landed two new fiction titles and a pair of picture books.
Senior commissioning editor Lizzie Sitton acquired world rights in all languages for the picture books while senior commissioning editor Annalie Grainger bagged world English language rights for the others. Both deals were signed with Claire Wilson at Rogers, Coleridge and White.
Sitton has also signed up Sarah Warburton to illustrate both picture books, acquired from Hilary Delamere at The Agency.
His first book with Walker will be The Midnight Guardians, set to be released in autumn 2020. Its synopsis explains: “When Col’s childhood imaginary friends come to life, he discovers a world where myths and legends are real. Accompanied by his Guardians – a ten-foot tiger, a badger in a waistcoat and a miniature knight – Col must travel to bombed London to save his sister. But there are darker forces at work, even worse than the Nazi bombings. Soon Col is pursued by the terrifying Midwinter King, who is determined to bring an eternal darkness down upon the world...”
Grainger said: “The Midnight Guardians is full of myth, legend, magic and imagination. It’s a real classic in the making. Ross is an incredibly talented and versatile writer, and we are so honoured to bring his fiction and picture books under one roof. This collaboration feels like the start of a tremendous new chapter in Ross’s writing career.”
Two picture books will follow with Ten Delicious Teachers scheduled for September 2021, and Penguin Huddle for September 2022.
Sitton explained: “It is an absolute thrill to welcome Ross Montgomery’s sparkling voice to the Walker picture books list - such a talented writer with endless possibilities and great energy. Ten Delicious Teachers gives back-to-school tremors a whole new wickedly entertaining and irreverent twist and Penguin Huddle is an enchanting adventure, full to the brim of imagination and heart. Each book will be brought magically to life by Sarah Warburton’s spirited and characterful illustrations.”
Montgomery, a former primary school teacher, has published nine fiction titles and two picture books. He has been shortlisted for the Costa Book Award and nominated for the Carnegie. His most recent books were The Finney Island Files series, released by Rising Stars.
He said: "I'm absolutely over the moon to be working with Walker Books. I've been a big fan of both their fiction and picture book output for years, and I have always seen the bear and candle symbol as a mark of quality. I've loved working with the team so far and can't wait to bring out these books with them!”