Walker Books has acquired two titles in a six-figure deal from novelist and podcaster Caroline O’Donoghue, including the final instalment in her Gifts series and a brand new title.
Bought in a "high-speed" pre-empt before the Bologna Book Fair in 2019, rights to O'Donoghue's debut, All Our Hidden Gifts, sold in 10 languages within six weeks of acquisition. The sequel, The Gifts That Bind Us, is due to publish in February 2022, with the final instalment slated for spring 2023. Readers can expect a "gripping conclusion" to the supernatural drama, which follows a group of Irish teenagers with remarkable gifts and a spirit summoned from the tarot deck.
Commissioning editor Gráinne Clear acquired world rights for the concluding book in the Gifts series as well as Skipshock, from Bryony Woods at Diamond Kahn & Woods.
Skipshock follows Irish teenager Margo Madden as she sets out on a journey to her new boarding school, but finds herself on a track she wasn’t expecting. Instead of her train ending up in Twickenham, she’s travelling across time and dimensions. It is billed as a "brilliant exploration of teenagehood and the strange nature of time, delivered with O’Donoghue’s characteristic wit and authenticity".
Clear said: “After the publication of All Our Hidden Gifts in June of this year, we’ve been eagerly anticipating the third book in the series. As usual, Caroline has surprised us with her wit and originality in her outline for the finale, but we couldn’t have foreseen a brand new idea appearing so soon, so fully formed – and so utterly brilliant. We couldn’t be prouder to continue publishing this standout talent in YA fiction.”
O’Donoghue said: “It's such a thrill to be able to sign on with Walker for another two books – and hopefully many more after that. The first will finish out the Gifts series (at least for now) and the second is a standalone novel that has been a passion project for me for years. Everyone at Walker is such a pro at what they do and it's so satisfying to know that, wherever my YA career takes me, I'll be in safe hands.”
Woods added: “I’m absolutely thrilled that Walker will be publishing two more brilliant YA novels from Caroline O’Donoghue, whose voice is so richly and authentically teenage while infused with magic and strangeness and fun. The conclusion of the Gifts series is set to be stunning, and I couldn’t be more excited for what comes next.”