Simon & Schuster UK will publish the debut novel of former fashion insider Sara-Ella Ozbek, pitched as “a filthier, more candid The Devil Wears Prada” and aimed at fans of “Fleabag”.
The publisher acquired world rights to The High Moments, which is aimed at fans of Emma Jane Unsworth, Caroline O’Donoghue and shows like "Girls". Commissioning editor Bethan Jones struck the deal with Holly Faulks at Greene & Heaton and publication is set for late May 2020.
“With books and TV shows like Animals, ‘Broad City’, ‘Girls’ and ‘Fleabag’, it’s clear that women want to see themselves reflected in the media they consume, at their most fallible, awful and sometimes idiotic best,” the publisher said. “This book is for anyone who wants to see real women on the page, characters who are human, who make mistakes, and who aren't necessarily apologetic about it, set against the fast-paced, sometimes questionable backdrop of the fashion industry.” It is described as “a filthier, more candid The Devil Wears Prada” by S&S UK.
Jones said: “I found this book so incredibly relatable – I wanted to give my younger self a hug after reading parts of it because I so clearly recognised what Scarlett, our protagonist, was experiencing. It’s hilarious and candid and a bit filthy but there’s darkness in there, too, something that the market continues to crave and that I believe many women will also recognise. It’s what made me fall in love with the book in the first place. Sara-Ella is a writer of incredible wit and talent, and it’s going to be a lot of fun introducing her, and Scarlett, to readers next year.”
Ozbek is a London-based author of South African and Turkish descent who, after briefly interning at Vogue magazine, got a job at a global model agency. After six years as an agent, she left to pursue a career in writing.
She said: “Even after years of working in the fashion industry, with its roller coaster of extreme highs and lows, I have never been as excited as I was when I received the offer from Simon & Schuster, a publishing house that I have long admired. I’m thrilled to be working with a team of such smart, dynamic women and am ever grateful to Bethan for being so immediately enthusiastic about Scarlett, foibles and all.”