Trapeze Books has acquired journalist Ella Dove’s debut in a 48-hour pre-empt, a novel about learning to live life to the full as a survivor of trauma.
Set to be both Trapeze's lead title in 2019 and a lead title for the C+W rights team at Frankfurt Book Fair, Eades said Five Steps to Happy was "one of those special word-of-mouth books that will resonate with readers all around the world". While Eades secured UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) in a 48-hour pre-empt from Richard Pike at Curtis Brown, it was also pre-empted within 24 hours by Rowohlt in Germany and Editions Kero/Hachette in France.
The novel follows Heidi, a struggling actress whose life changes in an instant after a devastating accident, and her journey from despair to hope as she learns how to live her life to the full as a survivor of trauma.
Dove, who writes for Red, Prima and Good Housekeeping and in 2015 completed the Curtis Brown Creative three-month novel writing course, was inspired by her own experiences to write the novel. She herself became an amputee at the age of 25 in 2016 and is now an ambassador for the Limbless Association, Barts Health charity and The London Prosthetic Centre.
She said: "As I know all too well, a single moment has the power to change everything. Yet while the most awful and unimaginable situation is life changing, it can also become life affirming – if only we find the right way to cope. Light through the gloom, strength through challenge and positivity through pain is what Five Steps To Happy is all about. I hope my book will inspire, encourage, entertain and assure. Because even when the world feels bleaker than it ever has done, none of us have to be alone.
"I want to explore the idea that one unexpected moment can affect the rest of your life, sometimes even for the better. I’ve learnt the true value of resilience, humour and strength. A fall along one path has set me upon another. I can’t wait for my debut novel to make its way out into the world – and by starting conversations and raising awareness, maybe, just maybe, it can change a life or two."
Five Steps to Happy will be published by Trapeze in hardback, e-book, audio and trade paperback in August 2019 and mass market in January 2020.