Usborne wins six-way auction for Bell's debut in 'significant' deal

Usborne wins six-way auction for Bell's debut in 'significant' deal

Usborne has acquired three books by debut author P G Bell in what has been described as the publisher's “most significant acquisition to date”.

Editorial director Rebecca Hill and fiction editor Becky Walker acquired the UK and Commonwealth rights in a series called “The Train to Impossible Places”. The first book, A Cursed Delivery, is about a girl called Suzy who finds an ill-tempered troll building a railway through her house. Moments later the Impossible Postal Express crashes through her house and takes Suzy aboard, and so the impossible adventure begins.

Usborne struck a deal for three books with Gemma Cooper at the Bent Agency, who has also sold the book to Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan) in the US, and publishers in the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Poland. She has accepted pre-empts from France, Italy and China.

Bell works part-time in the science library at The University of Cardiff.

A Cursed Delivery will be released on 4th October (h/b, £12.99) as a super-lead title simultaneously with the US, accompanied by a major marketing and publicity campaign. Books two and three will follow “in quick succession”.

Hill said: “With The Train to Impossible Places, P G Bell has written that incredibly special type of story - one which turns children into readers. Bursting at the mailbags with wild imagination, astonishing adventure, fabulous humour and characters that take you to the moon and back; Usborne are Impossibly delighted to be publishing this series and we can’t wait to welcome readers aboard for the journey of a lifetime.”

Bent added: “What struck me the most when reading The Train to Impossible Places for the first time was the confidence and surefootedness of the writing. When I learned I was reading a first draft that had only been finished a week before, I knew P.G. Bell was a special writer with a natural talent. Suzy Smith is the smart, science-loving heroine of my dreams and I’m thrilled Usborne have jumped on board to bring her adventures to readers.”