Mudlark wins eight-way auction for Garcia's book on missing people

Mudlark wins eight-way auction for Garcia's book on missing people

Mudlark has triumphed in an eight-way auction for journalist Francisco Garcia’s account of missing people and the search for his own father.

Jack Fogg, publishing director of the HarperCollins imprint, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Richard Pike at C&W. If You Were There will be published in spring 2021. 

Garcia’s father disappeared when his son was just four, returning a few months later. But a drinking habit and family tragedy led to him taking flight again, joining hundreds of thousands of people classed as "long-term missing".

The synopsis explains: "Twenty years on, Garcia is ready to seek the truth of his father’s past. If You Were There will chart his search for answers. Why did this happen and how could it be possible? Where might his father have gone? And is there any reason to hope for a happy reunion? During his search, Garcia will tell the stories of those he meets along the way; the police investigators and all those searching; the charity employees and volunteers; the once missing and those perilously at risk around us; the families, friends and all those left behind. If You Were There will be a moving and affecting story of one man’s search for his lost family, an urgent document of where we are now, and a powerful, timeless reminder of our responsibility to others."

Garcia is an investigative journalist who has written for VICE, the New Statesman, the Independent and others. He has spent the past 12 months reporting on the missing people crisis. His October 2019 VICE long form feature "The Man Who Deleted His Past Before He Was Found Dead" was published to wide acclaim and found a worldwide readership.

He said: "To have If You Were There published by HarperCollins and Mudlark, in the care of an editor as perceptive and brilliant as Jack Fogg, is extremely exciting. From childhood, I have been compelled by my father’s story and those of the wider missing, as well as the left behind and the myriad causes that might drive a person to disappear–or be taken–from view. It is both an honor and responsibility to be able to tell these stories and I can’t wait to devote my full time and attention to them."

Fogg added: "The whole team read and loved Francisco’s incredibly powerful and poignant proposal. Francisco’s closeness to the story, situating his personal experience within the wider issue of missing people, really brought home how losing a member of your family or close friend can devastate and totally alter one’s life. And it is his ability as a writer, and as a reporter, which will make this book required reading. His prose is poised, lucid, and deals its blows with the weight of facts and crucially, understanding. It’s a real credit to him and I can’t wait to work with him on what I know will be an exceptional book."