Quercus has pre-empted The Flatshare, a début novel by Penguin Random House Children’s editor Beth O’Leary.
Editorial director Emily Yau bought UK and Commonwealth rights to the title, and a second novel, in a six-figure pre-empt from Tanera Simons at Darley Anderson. International rights have been sold in the Netherlands, and auctions are under way in Spain, Italy and Germany (where 11 publishers are involved).
A love story with a twist, The Flatshare follows two cash-strapped twentysomethings who agree to share a room: Leon, a night-shift worker, occupies the bed during the day, leaving Tiffy the run of the place the rest of the time. The book explores their blossoming relationship as they communicate through Post-it notes, and asks if you can fall in love with someone you’ve never met.
Quercus will publish the novel in 2019.
It is Bookseller Rising Star Yau’s first buy in her new role; she left Ebury’s fiction team in August. Yau said O’Leary was “a writer to watch”, adding: “Readers are crying out for genuine, heartwarming, relatable fiction, and this is it. I’m thrilled.”