David Fickling Books has bought Fiona Shaw’s first YA novel, “an explosive thriller”.
World rights to Outwalkers were sold to DFB's acquiring manager, Bella Pearson, by Clare Alexander at Aitken Alexander Associates. Bronwen Bennie, rights director at DFB, brokered the US rights deal with Samantha Palazzi, publishing manager for Scholastic in the US. Outwalkers will be published in the UK in February 2018, and in the US in 2019.
Outwalkers is set in an alternative version of England “with a chillingly possible future reality” whereby the government is tracking people’s every move. The story follows a group of children “whose perilous journey” to evade monitoring means they must live on their wits to survive.
Simon Mason, m.d at DFB, said: “DFB is delighted to welcome a writer of Fiona Shaw’s brilliance to our list with a buttonholing adventure of high tension and drama set in a near-future England. Powerful and challenging, it will set your pulse racing with a picture of a country in crisis - and one boy’s attempt to break free.”
Shaw said: “Working with everybody at DFB, from David’s first email response to Outwalkers onwards, has been brilliant. I love its list, I’m very excited that my first YA novel will be joining it; and Bella is that best kind of editor: very positive, asking excellent questions, and leaving me, as the writer, to find the answer."
Shaw’s previous books include memoir Out Of Me (Viking), and adult novels The Sweetest Thing (Virago), The Picture She Took (Virago) and A Stone’s Throw (Serpent's Tail).
Production on film adaptation of her third novel, Tell It To The Bees (Tindal Street), has begun this summer. Backed by the BFI, it is directed by Primetime Emmy award-winning Annabel Jankel, and stars Holliday Grainger of “Strike” and Oscar-winner Anna Paquin, star of "The Piano". It is slated for release in 2018.