Slush-pile signings for PFD

Slush-pile signings for PFD

PFD has signed its first deals for a slush-pile find, Bait by Canadian writer J Kent Messum, with the debut thriller now out on submission in the UK.

Agent Annabel Merullo's assistant Laura Williams discovered the manuscript in the agency's slush pile, which the agency is billing as "'Lost' meets Trainspotting meets The Hunger Games". The plot follows a group of six strangers, all heroin-addicts from the Miami slums, who wake up on a remote island in the Florida Keys with no memory of their arrival.

Rachel Mills, head of PFD's foreign rights division, was already planning to travel to Toronto, where Messum lives, the week the agency read the manuscript, and so extended her trip to meet Messum and signed him to the agency. Mills then spent the week telling editors in Toronto and New York about the book, which has now been sold to Penguin USA (Plume) and Penguin Canada. Both publishers are planning to publish in autumn 2013 as a "major commercial lead"

Merullo submitted the manuscript to UK agencies yesterday, with the agency anticipating further deals at Frankfurt Book Fair next week.