Pan Macmillan has bought two novels from debut American author Kelsey Rae Dimberg.
The first in the two-book deal, called Girls in White Dresses, is a "suspenseful" thriller that draws the reader into an "intense, decadent, shadowy, political world", according to Pan Macmillan. It said the author's writing was "upmarket" and hit "that sweet spot where commercial meets literary", evocative of the likes of Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn.
UK and Commonwealth rights in Girls in White Dresses and a further untitled novel were acquired by editor Vicki Mellor from Peggy Boulos Smith at Writers House LLC in New York. The deal follows a two-day auction for US rights won by Kate Nintzel at William Morrow, secured through primary agent Dan Conaway. Translation rights are controlled by Writers House LLC.
Mellor said Rae Dimberg's debut was "a gem" the whole company was getting behind.
"Kelsey has a rare talent. Her writing style is sophisticated, upmarket and very accessible, hitting that sweet spot where commercial meets literary," she said. "We are always looking for stand-out thrillers and when I read Girls in White Dresses, I knew that I had found a gem. Kelsey’s ability to take you straight to the heart of the intense, decadent, shadowy, political world that her lead character Finn has to navigate is second to none. With its shadows of Gillian Flynn and Megan Abbott, this is a novel that the whole company is behind. We are so excited to be publishing this brilliant thriller from the US in 2019."
Rae Dimberg commented: “I’m excited to work with Vicki and the team at Pan Macmillan. Writing a first novel is such a solitary, uncertain pursuit, and to have my book so warmly embraced at home and abroad has been an absolute thrill.”
Pan Macmillan will publish simultaneously with William Morrow in the United States in early 2019 in hardback, trade paperback and e-book with the paperback following in early 2020.