Puffin has acquired the first two solo titles from Chris Smith, co-author of the Kid Normal series and The Great Dream Robbery, which was published by the PRH imprint earlier this month.
Smith's first solo venture, Frankie Best Hates Quests, is a middle-grade epic adventure which will combine gaming and fantasy elements to create a "distinctive and fresh" story filled with "laugh-out-loud moments and sparky characters". It will be published in March 2022 in paperback, e-book and audio, with a second title to follow in March 2023.
Carmen McCullough, editorial director, acquired world rights in two books from Stephanie Thwaites at Curtis Brown. She said: "Chris has been delighting readers for years – with the Kid Normal series and The Great Dream Robbery and now we could not be more excited to publish his first solo-authored title. Chris is a writer of huge talent – blending humour and fantastic, imaginative world-building with characters you immediately become invested in. I’ve had enormous fun working on this story with Chris and I can’t wait for readers to meet the Fellowship of the Bacon Roll and join the accidental adventure of a lifetime."
Smith, whose previous titles were co-authored with radio presenter Greg James, commented: "Do you love incredible lands, fantastical creatures and dangerous quests? No? Well, neither does Frankie Best. I'd like to apologise to Frankie for inventing her, only to subject her to adventures, sword fights, captures and shipwreck in the kingdom of Parallelia. A place which, in case you were in any doubt, does not have a functioning phone signal. It’s every twelve year-old’s nightmare, basically. But whether you’re a hobbit-hater like Frankie or you’re more similar to her brother Joel — who checks every wardrobe for fauns — I hope there’s something here you’ll enjoy."