Puffin has acquired The Secret of Haven Point and one other book from Lisette Auton, a 2018 graduate of Penguin's WriteNow programme.
Emma Jones, commissioning editor at Penguin Random House Children’s Books, acquired world rights to two books from Molly Ker Hawn at the Bent Agency.
Auton is a disabled activist, speaker, performer and creative practitioner. In her writing, she draws on her own experiences to create an authentic depiction of disability, through her cast of characters and landscapes, says the publisher.
Middle-grade novel The Secret of Haven Point will tell the story of Alpha Lux, who washed up on Haven Point beach as a baby. Now she lives as a Wreckling in a lighthouse on its remote coastline, with a whole host of other Wrecklings – children and adults who made a home at Haven Point after feeling they aren’t welcome in their own society. They are led by the Cap’n – an agoraphobic father-figure with a kitten in his beard, who knows how important it is that the Wrecklings stay hidden from the outside world.
The Secret of Haven Point will be published on 3rd February 2022 with a second, untitled book, publishing in 2023.
Jones commented: "Lisette is an incredible writer with an amazing imagination. No matter if it was the first or 15th time I read The Secret of Haven Point during her time on the WriteNow programme, it always made me laugh, made me cry, and left me heartbroken to leave the characters behind at the end. I am over the moon that we will be publishing it next year: readers will adore being immersed in this wild and beautiful story, infused with seafaring mythology inspired by Lisette’s own life on the north-east coast. I can’t wait for the world to be introduced to her astonishing literary talents."
Auton said: "Working with Emma as both mentor and editor, and with my agent Molly has been an incredible experience, as is their belief in the stories I want to tell. I’m fiercely proud of being both disabled and from the north-east. To have found a home with Puffin for my books with both of these things unashamedly front and centre is an absolute dream come true."