Transworld has snapped up Holly McCulloch's debut novel, "an irresistible rom-com about a young woman who battles with feelings for her best friend after realising she is the last single girl in her friendship group".
Transworld acquired world rights in all languages to Just Friends from Rebecca Ritchie at A M Heath in a two-book deal. The e-book will be released in June 2020, and the paperback edition will hit the stores in February 2021.
Editor Molly Crawford said: "Just Friends is the perfect balance of honesty, humour and relatability. Holly's writing is an antidote to modern expectations of womanhood; it's funny and smart women's fiction at its best with an irresistible lightness of touch. Bea is the perfect everywoman and readers are bound to identify with her, whether they see themselves in her issues at work, her (mostly non-existent) love life or indeed her fried chicken obsession. I'm so excited to launch Holly's career as a writer—she's an undeniable talent who fits perfectly into an area of the market that has recently seen so much demand."
"The novel centres on Bea, a fantastically flawed and relatable protagonist, who is at that point in her life where she feels a bit left behind," reads the synopsis. "As her friends’ lives and priorities begin to shift, Bea is forced to re-evaluate her own and, as she does, she comes to realise that she might have made a mistake by placing her friend Peter so firmly in the friend zone."
Ritchie said: "From my very first reading of Just Friends, I knew that Holly McCulloch would be a fantastic (and hilarious) author to work with. I’m delighted she will be published by the dynamic, passionate team at Transworld, and I can’t wait to watch readers fall for her protagonist Bea and devour her brilliant writing."
McCulloch added: "This is such a dream come true. I really love the home my books have found –Transworld is such a great publisher of such wonderful titles, and I am honoured to be amongst them. I am so thankful to the whole amazing team at Transworld for making this experience an absolute blast. I can’t wait for people (beyond my Mum) to read Bea’s story. I hope they love her as much as I do."