C J Daugherty is to return to YA writing with a series of spy thrillers focused around the daughter of a British Prime Minister.
Rights to Number 10, and three further titles in the series, were sold into five languages before the Bologna Children’s Book Fair: German (Oetinger), French (Robert Laffont), Spanish (Ediciones Urano), Hebrew (Books in the Attic) and Serbian (Laguna). The deals were conducted by Madeleine Milburn and rights director Liane-Louise Smith of the Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency. The series is on simultaneous submission in the UK and US.
Number 10 kicks off with “bright, rebellious” 16-year-old Gray Langtry, who has a fractious relationship with her PM mother and is struggling under the media spotlight. One night, while Gray is exploring the ancient tunnels under 10 Downing Street, she stumbles on a shady Russian organisation bent on assassinating her mother and installing a puppet in her place. Gray plunges headlong into danger to save her mother and foil the plot.
Daugherty is best known for her YA romantic thriller Night School series, which has been translated into 22 languages and sold over a million units worldwide. For the past three years she has published an adult crime series, featuring intrepid reporter Harper McClain, with St Martin’s (US) and HarperCollins (UK).
The decision to write a spy series was based on current events, Daugherty said. She added: “We live in an age when Russian spies kill people on the streets of Salisbury using chemical weapons, so there is much to explore. The series also looks at celebrity culture and what it is like to be the teenage daughter of the Prime Minister and to find yourself unexpectedly famous. Is celebrity a gift? Or a trap?”