'Irish Bridget Jones' series gets six-figure deal

'Irish Bridget Jones' series gets six-figure deal

Gill Books has struck a six-figure two-book deal with journalists Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen to continue their series about stereotypical Irish girl Aisling, hailed as Ireland's answer to Bridget Jones. 

The series follows the pair's debut Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling which originated from their Facebook page of the same name celebrating all "Aislings" from the country, who, in the authors' words, is "the kind of girl who would never go anywhere without a bag for life...If she lives in Dublin, she goes home every weekend without fail". The Facebook page now has 50,000 followers and counting while the book, published by Gill this August in Ireland, had to be reprinted it was so popular.

Conor Nagle, commissioning editor for Gill Books, acquired Irish rights to two further books in a six-figure deal negotiated by Sheila Crowley and Abbie Greaves of Curtis Brown in London.

According to Curtis Brown, UK rights for debut Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling and two further books will be going on submission to publishers in the New Year. A film deal for the novel is also currently being negotiated by Curtis Brown.

Nagle commented: "One piece of feedback we’ve had time and again is that Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling is like Ross O’Carroll Kelly for women with country roots. Hopefully Aisling is now set to emulate the success of Ross O’Carroll Kelly, who celebrated his 20-year anniversary this year. Its success lies in the fact that there’s a bit of Aisling in all of us, as well as in the authors’ skilful ability to capture a certain slice of Irish life with humour and a light touch. It brilliantly manages to deal with real issues and tug at the heart strings while also making you laugh out loud."

The second as-yet-untitled book is due to be published in autumn 2018. It will see Aisling spending more time "down home" and will feature characters Niamh From Across The Road (NFATR), Aisling’s unreliable best friend Majella and Mammy introduced in the first novel.