Pan Macmillan has acquired a memoir of coercive abuse by Helen Walmsley-Johnson, a Guardian commentator and author of The Invisible Woman (Icon Books).
Walmsley-Johnson will describe in her as-yet untitled memoir how easy it is to succumb to this form of domestic abuse, how to survive it and rebuild your life.
Macmillan acquired UK & Commonwealth rights from Juliet Pickering at Blake Friedmann, to publish in early 2018.
The project follows the story of fictional character Helen Titchener on Radio 4’s long-running drama "The Archers", which prompted Walmsley-Johnson to offer a frank piece about her own experiences as a victim of abuse in the New Statesman. She has since been active in the media as a commentator on coercive abuse.
Non-fiction editorial director at Pan Macmillan, Georgina Morley, said: "I am thrilled to be publishing Helen. We first met on Twitter, where her bracing tweetalong to the Archers omnibus has won her countless friends and fans. Now, she tells her own story – and the story of so many women who have suffered from abusive partners. Her book will find a wide readership and will, I have no doubt, help many women find the courage to tell their stories and to seek help."
Walmsley-Johnson said: "I hadn’t been able to give a name to my experiences until I read the Home Office list of typical behaviour in a coercive relationship; I read it because of Helen’s story in The Archers, and it rang a number of bells for me personally. I have to thank the women (and men) who got in touch after I wrote that first piece back in February, for starting me on the path to this book: I will endeavour to be as ‘bracing’ as my Twitter feed in seeing it through to completion under expert eye of George Morley and Pan Macmillan, and am delighted to be able to keep this important conversation going."