Penguin buys Hofmeyr YA debut

Penguin buys Hofmeyr YA debut

Puffin editorial director Ben Horslen has pre-empted world rights to an "exceptionally powerful" YA debut, which is claimed will rival the work of Patrick Ness and Moira Young.

Horslen acquired David Hofmeyr's coming of age tale Stone Rider, and a second book, in a deal with Stephanie Thwaites at Curtis Brown.

Stone Rider, set in the dustbowl town of Blackwater, is described as "a tale of betrayal and redemption, infused with the author's love of Westerns". However the rival tribes of teenagers don't ride horses, but instead semi-sentient mechanical "bykes".

Horslen said: "David's powerful, muscular writing gripped me from the first chapter. His evocation of the unforgiving landscape of Blackwater is so clear and visceral that I can almost feel the grit under my fingernails." Penguin Children's rights director Zosia Knopp said Stone Rider would be the publisher's YA "book of the fair" for Frankfurt.

Hofmeyr was born in South Africa but now lives between London and Paris. He works in advertising.

Penguin will publish Stone Rider in 2015.