Simon & Schuster has pre-empted debut author Alex Foulkes' Rules for Vampires middle-grade series.
Lucy Rogers, senior commissioning editor, and Ali Dougal, publishing director, bought world English rights in two books from Caroline Walsh at David Higham Associates.
Described as "sensational" and a "fangtastically funny and immersive commercial" series, the first book tells the story of young vampire and her family.
The synopsis explains: "Set in a dazzlingly imaginative world and starring a dysfunctional vampire family (who make the Addams Family look positively conventional), Rules for Vampires tells the story of 11-year-old vampire Leo, who is on a deadline to complete her first Hunt—the ultra-important and extremely grisly rite of passage for all young vampires. But things go decidedly wrong when she accidentally burns down the local orphanage and must battle to defeat the evil (and now undead) Orphan Master."
The first book will be released in 2021, with a second title to follow a year later.
Commenting on the acquisition, Rogers said: "Rules for Vampires has captured my black heart! Monstrously brilliant and populated by a cast of unforgettable (and very undead) characters, this is a book with ‘bite’ that will entrance middle-grade readers. We are over the moon to welcome Alex and her vampires to the list."
Dougal added: "I have a penchant for vampires and I’ve been looking for something in this area for 9+ readers, so when I first read Alex’s seriously funny and fresh take on the genre, I was blown away. The world and characters she’s created are so distinctive and child-friendly, and her storytelling prowess belies her debut status—this series has all the ingredients of a major hit."
Foulkes is a graduate of English Literature and Creative Writing, and works as a teaching assistant and school librarian. She said: "I still feel as though I am sleepwalking! I'm so very grateful and excited to share Leo's story with everyone. Thank you so much and if anyone needs me, I will be in my coffin!"