Hot Key Books has acquired two standalone YA novels from Robert Muchamore, author of bestselling YA series Cherub.
The deal was negotiated by Jane Harris, executive director of children’s fiction, and Felicity Johnston, commissioning editor, with Clare Pearson at Eddison Pearson for world volume rights.
The first book, Killer T, is set in the very near future, asking "profound" questions about genetic engineering. "A novel for our times, Killer T is an unsentimental and powerful love story, spanning ten years", the publisher said.
The deal signals a new chapter for Muchamore, whose long-term publishing home has been Hachette Children’s Books. His Cherub series was first published by Hachette imprint Hodder in 2004. Since then Muchamore’s books have sold over 12.5m copies worldwide, have been translated into 24 languages, and have been number one bestsellers in eight countries including the UK, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand, according to the publisher. In the UK, the series has sold 2.4m copies in total, with the original, The Recruit, being the biggest seller at 266,747 copies sold, according to Nielsen Bookscan.
Muchamore said: “Killer T is my first stand-alone novel. I wanted to emulate the epic scale of classic YA books like Junk [by Melvin Burgess (Andersen Press)], The Hunger Games [by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)] and Noughts and Crosses [by Malorie Blackman (Corgi Children's)], with the drama that only a truly self-contained story can provide. I wanted it to be a believable fantasy like all my previous books, and to build the kind of immersive environment that makes 'Star Wars' and 'Game of Thrones' so engrossing for fans.”
Killer T will publish in hardback and e-book in September 2018, and in mass market paperback in July 2019. The release will be supported by a national marketing campaign and major PR drive. The second book will follow in September 2019.