S&S secures 11-book haul of Kearsley novels

S&S secures 11-book haul of Kearsley novels

Simon & Schuster UK has bought two frontlist novels and nine backlist titles by Susanna Kearsley, including The Vanished Days, a love story set against the Jacobite revolution.

S&S will publish 2008's The Winter Sea in a new paperback edition in December 2021, and will then publish the first new novel, The Vanished Days, in hardback, e-book and audio in April 2022.

The Vanished Days is set in the autumn of 1707. The synopsis explains: "Old enemies from the Highlands to the Borders are finding common ground as they join to protest the new Union with England, the French are preparing to launch an invasion to carry the young exiled Jacobite king back to Scotland to reclaim his throne, and in Edinburgh the streets are filled with discontent and danger.

"Queen Anne’s commissioners, seeking to calm the situation, have begun settling the losses and wages owed to those Scots who took part in the disastrous Darien expedition eight years earlier. When Lily, the young widow of a Darien sailor, comes forward to collect her husband’s wages, her claim is challenged, and one of the men who’s assigned to examine her has only days to decide if she’s honest, or if his own feelings are making him blind to the truth, and if he’s being used as a pawn in an even more treacherous game."

The deal was struck between Clare Hey, publishing director at S&S, and Felicity Blunt at Curtis Brown. The second novel, The Lesser Stars, will follow in 2024, and S&S will republish the rest of the backlist over the next few years.

Hey said: "I have loved Susanna’s novels for years and have always felt she deserved a much bigger readership in the UK, to match the success she has seen across the world. And so I am delighted to be able to bring The Vanished Days and The Lesser Stars to UK readers, along with the brilliant novels across her backlist. Her novels will delight readers who have loved Diana Gabaldon and Barbara Erskine, and we’re so excited to be Susanna’s new publisher."

Kearsley's writing career began in 1993 when her then-unpublished novel Mariana won the Catherine Cookson Fiction Prize. Since then she has written 12 novels and won various awards, and has twice made the final of Romantic Novel of the Year awards. She was most recently published in the UK by Sourcebooks and has previously also been published by Allison & Busby.

She said: "Every writer in this business needs a champion, and from the moment I first met Clare Hey I’ve known hers were the perfect hands into which to pass my stories. I’m so honoured that Clare and her team have taken on not only my backlist, but the books to come, and I’m looking forward to many happy years at S&S!"

Blunt added: "Before I became an agent I was an ardent fan of Susanna Kearsley’s work. So this deal is incredibly special. Even more so because I know what Simon & Schuster have planned and what they have previously done with authors such as Santa Montefiore in bringing them to the largest audience possible."