Independent production company Two Rivers Media has acquired the film and TV rights to Tanya Byrne’s Afterlove (Hodder Children's Books), prior to its publication in July 2021.
The rights were bought by the Glasgow-based company from Emily Hayward-Whitlock at The Artists Partnership, on behalf of Claire Wilson, agent at RCW. The production team on "Afterlove" is led by Two Rivers Media’s head of drama Marcus Wilson, whose credits include “Luther”, “The Worst Witch”, “Doctor Who” and “Life on Mars".
Byrne’s fourth YA novel, Afterlove, is described by the publisher as “a gripping tale of first love with a supernatural twist”. It follows 16-year-old Ash Persaud, who falls head over heels in love with Poppy Morgan on a school trip. But their romance is cut tragically short when Ash is hit by a car on New Year’s Eve. Afterwards, Ash is trapped in the afterlife, where she is one of three fierce "girl-reapers" forced to collect the souls of the city’s dead to be taken to await their fate. But Ash can’t forget her first love and is determined to see her again, dead or alive.
Olivier Award-winning Emma Reeves will co-write the screen adaptation with Byrne. Reeves’ television credits include “The Worst Witch”, “The Story of Tracy Beaker” and “Belonging”. Her latest adaptation, “My Mum, Tracy Beaker” has broken records for launch viewing figures on CBBC, Hachette said.