The "deliciously dark" debut of S&S Children’s UK publicity manager and newly crowned Bookseller Rising Star Eve Wersocki Morris will be published by the Hachette Children’s Group (HCG) as part of a two-book deal.
World rights to The Bird Singers were acquired from Louise Lamont at LBA by HCG executive publisher Anne McNeil before her retirement. The standalone fiction debut will be published in paperback and as an e-book in February 2022, priced at £7.99. A second standalone novel will follow in February 2023.
Announced days after Wersocki Morris was named a Bookseller Rising Star, The Bird Singers is billed as “fast-paced, thrilling, accessible and commercia"l” by HCG. It tells the story of Layah and her sister Izzie who are drawn into a world of myths their grandmother once told them, which may turn out to be true. “A deliciously dark debut, full of suspense, twists and turns, it’s sure to send shivers down readers’ spines,” the publisher said. “Drawing on Polish folklore and the legend of the Valkyrie, this superbly strong story from a talented new author is both scary and engrossing.”
Wersocki Morris was credited for “unparalleled” media coverage for children’s books over her career in her 2021 Rising Stars profile, joining S&S UK Children’s in 2018 after a stint at Midas PR. She volunteers with Coram Beanstalk Literacy Charity as a reading helper for children and has written for Stylist, the Times Literary Supplement and The Bookseller.
“I started submitting my stories to publishers when I was 15 so it’s no exaggeration to say that this is a lifelong ambition come true,” Wersocki Morris said. “The Bird Singers is a mystery adventure about two sisters in search of a truth which is stranger than their wildest dreams. It is also a story about bravery, loyalty and family; and I am so lucky to have found the perfect family for the book at Hodder.”
The north London-based author added: “It was such an honour to start the editing process with Anne and I am overjoyed to be working with my new editor, Jenna Mackintosh, and the incredibly talented team at HCG. I have no doubt that they will make The Bird Singers fly."
HCG senior publisher Ruth Alltimes said: “Acquired by the brilliant Anne McNeil ahead of her retirement, we are all incredibly excited to launch Eve’s debut at HCG. The Bird Singers is such a special book, filled with dark magic and wonder inspired by Polish fairytales. We can’t wait to introduce Eve’s beautifully lyrical writing to readers."