Pan Macmillan has signed a new six-book deal with Karen Swan, marking her first move into historical fiction and hardback.
The “significant” deal for world English language rights was negotiated by publisher Lucy Hale with Amanda Preston of LBA. Pan publishing director Gillian Green will be her primary editor.
Her first book in the new deal will be The Last Summer and will mark the launch of a brand new historical series called The Wild Isle. The series will be set in the 1930s, in and around the remote Scottish island of St Kilda. Pan Mac said: “Inspired by the real events and the voluntary evacuation of the island in the summer of 1930, Karen’s series will be lush, dramatic, and epic, and follow the lives of five young women from St Kilda as leave their home in search of better lives. The series will be a change of direction for Karen as part of Pan Macmillan’s ambitious plans to grow her sales further around the world.”
Pan Macmillan will publish The Last Summer in summer 2022 in hardback, with an early export trade paperback. As well as the new series, the deal includes three stand-alone contemporary novels set at Christmas, the first of which will be published in October 2022.
Hale said: “Having been Karen's publisher since her debut back in 2010, we are delighted and proud to be publishing The Last Summer as part of a new six book deal. This marks an exciting change of direction for Karen which combines her natural talents as a storyteller with a wild, evocative, historical setting. The result will be a series that is romantic and sweeping and will appeal to Karen’s existing readers as well as fans of Santa Montefiore and Victoria Hislop.”
Swan is the Sunday Times top three bestselling author of 20 books. She writes two novels each year, one for the summer period and one for the Christmas season.
She commented: “I’m so pleased to continue my long-standing relationship with Pan Macmillan, with my new editorial team, Gillian Green and Jayne Osborne. As my writing has developed over the years, I have had a growing urge to commit to the historical stories that have provided a backdrop to many of my books. When the time came to discuss next steps and evolving the brand, I was delighted that they not just supported but actively encouraged this new move. I am already well underway with writing The Wild Isle series and am loving the challenge of formulating plots and characters to carry over a span of five books. My loyal readers will find all the elements they already know and love in my stories, simply set in the dynamic and turbulent 1930s.”
Preston added: “Karen is an absolute joy, both on and off the page and I am thrilled by Macmillan’s ambition and plans for her new series as well as her stand-alone Christmas novels.”