Julia Shaw's MAKING EVIL sold to 10 territories

MAKING EVIL German Cover.jpg

We are thrilled to announce that Julia Shaw’s Making Evil: The Science Behind Humanity’s Dark Side has now been sold to 10 territories.

The book, already published in Germany by Hanser last September, entered the Spiegel Bestseller Chart and sold over 13,000 copies within only a few weeks. Canongate will publish in February at the same time as Abrams in the US.

Kirkus published an early review as follows:

‘Shaw’s intellectual scrutiny is bolstered by statistical data, experiments, and academic research studies from neuroscientists, who underscore the true scientific nature of wrongdoing and wickedness through the human experience. Capably written with a smooth mix of scientific insight and theoretical thought, the book will hopefully inspire empathy and understanding rather than hysteria and condemnation. A consistently fascinating journey into the darker sides of the human condition that will push on the boundaries of readers’ comfort zones.’

Making Evil is about the attraction of evil. What is it about evil that we find so compelling? From our obsession with serial killers to violence in pop culture, we seem inescapably drawn to the stories of monstrous acts and the aberrant people who commit them. But evil, Dr. Julia Shaw argues, is all relative, rooted in our unique cultures. What one may consider normal, like sex before marriage, eating meat, or being a banker, others find abhorrent. And if evil is only in the eye of the beholder, can it be said to exist at all? In Evil, Shaw uses case studies from academia, examples from and popular culture, and anecdotes from everyday life to break down complex information and concepts like the neuroscience of evil, the psychology of bloodlust, and workplace misbehavior. This is a wide-ranging exploration into a fascinating, darkly compelling subject.

Publishers so far are:  Canongate (UK) , Abrams (US), Doubleday (Canada), Beijing Wisdom & Culture (China), Carl Hanser (Germany), Prometheus (Holland),  Kodansha (Japan), Heyonamsa (Korea), Planeta (Spain) and Cite Publishing (Taiwan).

Happy Publication Day to Rachel Ward

Dead Stock cover.jpg

Wishing a very happy publication day to Rachel Ward. The second novel from the Ant and Bea series, Dead Stock, is out today from Sandstone Press.

‘I’m scared of anyone with a knife and a grudge’

New Year dawns and something is rotten in Kingsleigh. With a body on the bypass and pet cats going missing, supermarket sleuths Ant and Bea have a new case. But juggling problems at work and home takes its toll – and as they near the truth, more than one secret is going to come out.

Rachel Ward is a best-selling writer for young adults. Her first book, Numbers, was published in 2009 and shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. An avid reader of detective fiction, The Cost of Living is her first book for adults. Rachel lives in Bath with her husband, and has two grown-up children.

Get hold of Dead Stock today!

‘Bea and Ant are a delightful crime-solving duo and I’ll very happily join them again for another clean-up in a Costsave aisle.’ Crime Review

‘Another brilliant Ant and Bea adventure. This series gets better and better.’ Cass Green

‘Starring the most unlikely but endearing detective pairing since Morse and Lewis, Dead Stock is a charming, heartwarming page-turner. Agatha Christie meets Car Share and Coronation Street.’ Joanna Nadin

‘I love spending time with Bea and Ant! A simply delightful crime-cracking duo.’ Christi Daugherty

Hennie van Vuuren's APARTHEID, GUNS AND MONEY Out Now

Hennie van Vuuren’s Apartheid, Guns and Money, is available now from Hurst Publishers and we’d thoroughly recommend you take a look.

APARTHEID GUNS MONEY COV df.jpg

In its last decades, the apartheid regime was confronted with an existential threat. While internal resistance to the last whites-only government grew, mandatory international sanctions prohibited sales of strategic goods and arms to South Africa. To counter this, a global covert network of nearly fifty countries was built. In complete secrecy, allies in corporations, banks, governments and intelligence agencies across the world helped illegally supply guns and move cash in one of history’s biggest money laundering schemes. Whistleblowers were assassinated and ordinary people suffered.

Weaving together archival material, interviews and newly declassified documents, Apartheid Guns and Money exposes some of the darkest secrets of apartheid’s economic crimes, their murderous consequences, and those who profited: heads of state, arms dealers, aristocrats, bankers, spies, journalists and secret lobbyists. These revelations, and the difficult questions they pose, will both allow and force the new South Africa to confront its past.

Pick up a copy here.

Praise for Apartheid, Guns and Money

‘It’s not very often that a book really reshapes our perception of an issue, but Hennie van Vuuren’s Apartheid Guns and Money is one . . .the result of a decade of meticulous, painstaking work . . . [it] is a compelling and convincing narrative.’ — The Conversation

‘This book was long overdue. Hennie van Vuuren follows the money and the weapons and thereby shines light on the role of Western enablers in keeping the South African Apartheid-regime in power. Corrupt Western banks, arms companies and governments helped to bust sanctions, to buy arms and oil and thereby became the driver for the conflict. Van Vuuren makes sure that the shame of the past will haunt them.’ — Frederik Obermaier, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of The Panama Papers: Breaking the Story of How the Rich and Powerful Hide Their Money

‘Shines a glaring, necessary light into the darkest corners of the apartheid state – and its enablers — at a time when South Africa is once again wrestling with the slithering, infectious curse of state corruption.’ — Andrew Harding, BBC Africa Correspondent and author of The Mayor of Mogadishu

‘Probably the single most important book that has been written about South Africa for the last twenty years.’ — Professor Achille Mbembe, author of On the Postcolony

‘A labour of political passion, this admirably well researched book is a must-read. Its most important achievement is to show that illicit trade does not occur in some parallel realm detached from corporate boardrooms and governments; it is stitched into the fabric of everyday statecraft and the exercise of power.’ — Jonny Steinberg, Professor of African Studies, Oxford University

‘van Vuuren shows that the struggle against corruption is indeed a human rights struggle and that, as we know from South Africa’s own history, it can be won. But it must be fought for.’ — Jacob Dlamini, author of Askari

‘This important book seeks to uncover one of the key secrets of the last decades of the apartheid era. [It’s] a timely reminder that the founding values of our new Constitution are key to building a democracy.’ — Justice Kate O’Regan, former judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa

‘This is a crucial book at a vital time in our history. It is a must read!’ — Andrew Feinstein, former ANC MP, and author of The Shadow World

Happy Birthday to Visual Verse

visual_verse_logo.png

We wanted to wish a very happy birthday to Visual Verse, curated by DGA’s very own Preti Taneja.

Visual Verse is a collaboration. An anthology of art, poetry, short fiction and non-fiction.

Each month we supply a compelling image and invite writers – published or unpublished – to submit a piece in response.

To celebrate the occassion, VV are hosting a very special challenge! We’ll let the co-founders, Preti Taneja and Kristen Harrison of The Curved House, alongside their brilliant web designer, Pete Lewis, tell you all about it in their own words.

Today, we turn 5.

This publication launched in 2013 with modest plans. We hoped only to provide a space where writers and artists could collaborate freely. Thanks to the passion and enthusiasm of writers around the world, Visual Verse has far exceeded all expectations.

In 5 years we have published 60 Issues in 5 Volumes. We have received almost 8,000 submissions and published 5,500 pieces by 1716 individual writers. And, according to Google Analytics, we have been read by people in every part of the globe except the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard. What are those Norwegians doing?

None of this would have been possible without you – our writers and artists – who have made VV the beautiful, positive, diverse, boundary-pushing celebration of creative collaboration that it is.

So, today we have a very special challenge for you. Instead of publishing a new issue with one image and a selection of lead pieces, we are giving you – our amazing community – the chance to be one of our three November leads.

All submissions received before 12pm GMT on 2nd November will be longlisted for one of our lead spots. A shortlist of eight will be chosen and from these, our judging panel will select the top three.

Thank you to our judges: writer Bernardine Evaristo, publishers Sam Jordison and Eloise Millar, poet Andrew Motion and agent Philippa Sitters.

The image is the starting point, the text is up to you. Go forth.

Your faithful founders: Kristen Harrison, Pete Lewis and Preti Taneja.

Happy Publication Day to Nancy Campbell

THE LIBRARY OF ICE_cover.jpg

We’re so pleased to be wishing Nancy Campbell a happy publication day. Her debut work of non-fiction, Library of Ice: Readings From a Cold Climate is published by Simon & Schuster today.

A vivid and perceptive book combining memoir, scientific and cultural history with a bewitching account of landscape and place, which will appeal to readers of Robert Macfarlane, Roger Deakin and Olivia Laing. 

Long captivated by the solid yet impermanent nature of ice, by its stark, rugged beauty, acclaimed poet and writer Nancy Campbell sets out from the world’s northernmost museum – at Upernavik in Greenland – to explore it in all its facets. From the Bodleian Library archives to the traces left by the great polar expeditions, from remote Arctic settlements to the ice houses of Calcutta, she examines the impact of ice on our lives at a time when it is itself under threat from climate change.

The Library of Ice is a fascinating and beautifully rendered evocation of the interplay of people and their environment on a fragile planet, and of a writer’s quest to define the value of her work in a disappearing landscape.

Praise for Library of Ice:

‘A wonderful book: Nancy Campbell is a fine storyteller with a rare physical intelligence. The extraordinary brilliance of her eye confers the reader a total immersion in the rimy realms she explores. Glaciers, Arctic floe, verglas, frost and snow — I can think of no better or warmer guide to the icy ends of the Earth’ Dan Richards, author of Climbing Days

‘The Library of Ice instantly transported me elsewhere... This luminous book is both beautifully written and astute in its observations, turning the pages of time backwards and revealing, like the archive of the earth’s climate stored in layers of solidified water, the embedded meanings of the world’s icy realms. It is a book as urgently relevant as it is wondrous’ Julian Hoffman, author of The Heart of Small Things

‘An extraordinary work not only for the perspicacity and innate experience of the author who leads the reader carefully across intertwined icy tracks of crystallised geographics, melting myths and frozen exploration histories, but through her own tender diagnostics of what reading ice can show us in these times … Perilous in its scope, exacting in its observation, wild in intellect, The Library of Ice captures the reader’s attention almost as if caught in ice itself’ MacGillivray, author of The Nine of Diamonds: Sorroial Mordantless
 
‘This is travel writing to be treasured. A biography of ice, the element that has another life, with hard facts thawed and warmed by a poet's voice.  Campbell's writing is companionable, curious, deeply researched and with no bragging about the intrepidity that has taken her between winter-dark Greenland, Polar libraries, Scottish curling rinks, Alpine glaciers and Henry Thoreau's pond at Walden’ Jasper Winn, author of Paddle

Pick up a copy of Nancy’s wonderful book, here.

Hounslow Diaries set for broadcast on 5th November

We have a date for your calendars! Hounslow Diaries is set to be available to view on BBC3 from 5th November.

 ©  CPL Productions

© CPL Productions

Hounslow Diaries stars Ambreen Razia, Mandeep Dhillon and Robyn Cara, who play Shaheeda, Tash and Leonie - three loud, excitable, determined Muslim teenage girls living in West London.

Shaheeda’s made it her mission to get them a night out at a fancy West End club with a VIP bar. Only one problem - they have no cash and will definitely need plenty.

Luckily an opportunity falls into Shaheeda’s lap thanks to her sister’s never-ending wedding preparation. If Shaheeda can keep a lid on Tash’s kleptomania and Leonie’s nerves, they might just have the best night out ever.

The show is written by and stars DGA’s very own Ambreen Razia! We cannot wait to see it go live.

Happy Publication Day to Rachael Ball

Wishing a very happy publication day to Rachael Ball, whose second graphic novel, Wolf is out to buy today from SelfMadeHero.

WOLF cover - Rachael Ball.jpg

It is the long, hot summer of 1976. Hugo, the youngest child of three, is walking with his father in the woods. There, he comes face-to-face with a wolf—and from that moment on, his life will never be the same again. Soon after, a tragic accident leaves Hugo desolate and disoriented. The family, now grieving and incomplete, moves to a new home. Among Hugo’s new neighbors is the Wolf Man—a dangerous recluse, according to the boy next door.

Spellbound by the movie The Time Machine and desperate to return to the days before the accident, Hugo draws up plans to build a contraption that will turn back time. But only the Wolf Man has the parts Hugo needs to complete his machine, and that will mean entering his sinister neighbor’s house.

Beautifully illustrated in pencil, Wolf is a captivating and poignant graphic novel about confronting childhood grief and overcoming the loss of a loved one.

"An ethereal, subtle, haunting fable. Rachael Ball has created a time machine, a nostalgic step back to a bygone age, but which speaks to our present and future with eternal themes of love and loss"

— Kate Evans

Children in the Modern Age of War to be published by OUP

Dr Emma Butcher 192x181.png

We’re really pleased to share that historian Emma Butcher’s Children in the Modern Age of War is set to be published my Oxford University Press. The title is a "ground-breaking book chronicling the lost stories of children embroiled in war".

OUP trade publisher Luciana O’Flaherty acquired world English-language rights in the title from Kirsty McLachlan here at DGA.

Emma, who works in the University of Leicester’s history faculty, specialises in war and culture, and has written extensively on child soldiers.

Congratulations Emma!

Salt snaps up 'expansive' debut from Amanthi Harris

Beautiful Place cover.jpg

We’re so pleased to share that Salt will publish an "emotionally-charged" debut of anger, identity and independence by Amanthi Harris, a former solicitor who scooped the Gatehouse Press Fiction Prize for emerging writers in 2016.

Centred upon the Villa Hibiscus, a guesthouse in the beautiful southern coast of Sri Lanka, the "expansive and multi-layered debut", Beautiful Place, traces the life of Padma, her stepfather, Gerhardt, and the lives of the many guests coming to stay, each seeking a better life and independence, free of oppression and misrepresentation. 

Jennifer Hamilton-Emery, director of Salt, acquired world rights to Beautiful Place (excluding India) from Philippa Sitters here at DGA.

Harris was born in Sri Lanka and now lives in London.

Hamilton-Emery said: "This passionate story, perfectly captures the tropical beauty of Sri Lanka, using a deep sense of place to contrast with and inform an extraordinary range of lives, each seeking something new, something free, something true. I’m thrilled to be publishing this gorgeous novel, everyone will identify with Padma on her journey to become the woman she yearns to be."

Salt will publish in print and e-book in the summer of 2019.

Happy Publication Day to Sarah Ward

Wishing a very happy publication day to Sarah Ward. The fourth novel in her D.C. Childs mystery series, The Shrouded Path is available to buy today, published by Faber & Faber. 

The past won't stay buried forever.

November, 1957: Six teenage girls walk in the churning Derbyshire mists, the first chills of winter in the air. Their voices carrying across the fields, they follow the old train tracks into the dark tunnel of the Cutting. Only five appear on the other side.

October, 2014: a dying mother, feverishly fixated on a friend from her childhood, makes a plea: 'Find Valerie.' Mina's elderly mother had never discussed her childhood with her daughter before. So who was Valerie? Where does her obsession spring from?

DC Connie Childs, off balance after her last big case, is partnered up with new arrival to Bampton, Peter Dahl. Following up on what seems like a simple natural death, DC Childs' old instincts kick in, pointing her right back to one cold evening in 1957. As Connie starts to broaden her enquiries, the investigation begins to spiral increasingly close to home.

Get hold of a copy today! 

Eleanor Birne joins DGA as Literary Agent

We are delighted to announce that Eleanor Birne is joining the agency as literary agent on Monday 3rd September.

Eleanor Birne.jpg

She was previously Publishing Director at John Murray and before that was Editorial Director at Duckworth Publishers. She is a regular contributor to the London Review of Books and has spent the past two years working on a PhD on the history of Virago Press. She will be building a list of literary fiction and non-fiction authors at the agency and can be contacted at eleanor@davidgodwinassociates.co.uk

Eleanor says of the move "I have always admired the brilliant list of authors at DGA. I’m looking forward to extending the list of writers and to working with the rest of the DGA team."

David Godwin has said, "I've always been a great fan of Eleanor’s publishing and I’m thrilled to be working with her."

Welcome to DGA!

Lucy Inglis' MILK OF PARADISE is BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week

9781447285762milk of paradise_8_jpg_260_400.jpg

We're enjoying seeing Lucy Inglis' brilliant book in the prestigious BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week slot, this week. Published on 9th August by HarperCollins, Milk of Paradise sees acclaimed cultural historian Lucy Inglis take readers on an epic journey from ancient Mesopotamia to modern America and Afghanistan, from Sanskrit to pop, from poppy tears to smack, from morphine to today’s synthetic opiates. It is a tale of addiction, trade, crime, sex, war, literature, medicine and, above all, money. And, as this ambitious, wide-ranging and compelling account vividly shows, the history of opium is our history and it speaks to us of who we are.

‘The only thing that is good is poppies. They are gold.’

Poppy tears, opium, heroin, fentanyl: humankind has been in thrall to the ‘Milk of Paradise’ for millennia. The latex of papaver somniferum is a bringer of sleep, of pleasurable lethargy, of relief from pain – and hugely addictive. A commodity without rival, it is renewable, easy to extract, transport and refine, and subject to an insatiable global demand.

No other substance in the world is as simple to produce or as profitable. It is the basis of a gargantuan industry built upon a shady underworld, but ultimately it is a farm-gate material that lives many lives before it reaches the branded blister packet, the intravenous drip or the scorched and filthy spoon. Many of us will end our lives dependent on it.

‘Lucy Inglis has done a wonderful job bringing together a wide range of sources to tell the history of the most exciting and dangerous plants in the world. Telling the story of opium tells us much about our faults and foibles as humans – our willingness to experiment; our ability to become addicts; our pursuit of money. This book tells us more than about opium; it tells us about ourselves.’ - Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk Roads

Gurmehar Kaur to be published by Penguin Random House India

Gurmehar photo.jpg

We're really pleased to share that Penguin Random House India will publish The Young and the Restless: Youth and Politics in India by Gurmehar Kaur, in April 2019.

The 2014 Lok Sabha election saw the involvement of India’s youth like never before. They were debating inside classrooms, sitting for dharnas on the street, having conversations in offices and on social media. The internet became the place for political outrage, humour, op-eds and blogs carried by youth-run pages and media houses. That was the election year that saw 150 million young voters and the highest number of first-time voters India had ever seen. As India ages, the average age of the population keeps getting younger.

In 2019, India will have the world’s largest youth population with 356 million people between the ages ten and twenty-four. But that is not the surprising and shocking revelation here. The surprise here is that while we will have the largest number of young people in a country, the average age of our parliamentarians is sixty-three. 

This book follows the journeys of nine youth leaders, their aspirations for the youth population, their aspirations for themselves, and most importantly their aspirations for the nation. It explores whether their politics only mimics the politics of their older party leaders or if they have the ideas and passions and motivations of the demographic they represent.

Gurmehar Kaur is the author of Small Acts of Freedom, a deeply personal family history published by Penguin Random House India in 2018. She is a social activist and an ambassador for Postcards for Peace, a non-profit charitable organization. Kaur cofounded Citizens for Public Leadership (CPL), an independent nonpartisan movement focused on advocating for progressive public policy in India. CPL is an apolitical non-profit with the sole objective of strengthening the capacity of Indian youth to take up leadership challenges in the public sphere. In 2017, Kaur was listed by TIME magazine as a ‘Next Generation Leader’, a global listing of ten young men and women making a difference in the world. She graduates from Lady Shri Ram College in 2019 and looks forward to a career in social reform, public policy and law.

‘I don’t know if I’m an activist in the truest sense. Maybe I am, and maybe I am not. The label was plastered on me at a very young age. But here is what I have always been: a storyteller. Stories have the power to change the world, and they have changed mine. In this book are stories that I believe the country of 650 million people under the age of twenty-five should know.’ – Gurmehar Kaur

‘If Small Acts of Freedom was personal, The Young and the Restless will be political. But the two can never be too far apart from each other, as is clear from Kaur’s personal politics. Her commitment to social progress is unquestionable. She is a gifted writer and speaker, has political awareness, and a rare clarity of thought. We are delighted to be publishing her second book next year.’ – Manasi Subramaniam, Senior Commissioning Editor, Penguin Random House India

‘Gurmehar Kaur is a rebel and a star. With The Young and the Restless, she voices an entire generation’s political anxiety – and makes it clear that she’s here to ask the tough questions and be a part of the change.’ – Meru Gokhale, Editor-in-Chief, Literary Publishing, Penguin Random House India.

Congratulations Gurmehar!

Samantha Shannon's epic fantasy attracts foreign sales

61NMRosE9iL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

We are thrilled to share that translation rights in The Priory of the Orange Tree, the most anticipated high fantasy title for 2019, by the internationally bestselling author Samantha Shannon, have sold to SQN in Poland, Host in the Czech Republic and after two strong pre-empts, will also be published by Penhaligon in Germany and Roca in Spain. The book continues to attract a great deal of foreign interest.

Bloomsbury will publish 26th February 2019, it will be their super-lead title. The Priory of the Orange Tree reveals an epic world on the brink of war with dragons, and the women who must lead the fight to save it.

Samantha Shannon is a Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author of THE BONE SEASON SERIES and one of the most exciting writers of her generation. THE BONE SEASON SERIES has sold over 500.000 copies globally and has been translated into 26 languages. Film and TV rights for THE BONE SEASON SERIES have been acquired by Imaginarium Studios. This is her first novel outside the series.

You can watch the book trailer HERE.  

A world divided.

A queendom without an heir.

An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction - but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel. Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

Omar Robert Hamilton wins Betty Trask Prize

City PB.jpg

We are thrilled to share that Omar Robert Hamilton has won the Betty Trask Prize for a first novel by a writer under 35 for his book, The City Always Wins, which was published by Faber & Faber last summer.

Hosted by Stephen Fry and with an introduction by the president of the Society of Authors, Philip Pullman, eight awards were presented to 31 writers. Among the winners were host of debut names along with recognised writers of fiction, non-fiction and poetry to share a prize fund of £98,000.

The ceremony, which took place on Thursday (19th July) at the Royal Institute of British Architects, saw over 400 guests from across the publishing industry come together as the winners of the Betty Trask, McKitterick, Tom-Gallon Trust and Somerset Maugham awards were revealed in addition to the Cholmondeley Awards for outstanding contribution to poetry, the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography, five Travelling Scholarships and the Eric Gregory Award for a collection of poems by poets under 30.

Omar was awarded £10,000 for "a furious, frenetic novel that captures a pivotal moment in history. It conjures the whispers and screams, from the Cairo streets and the homes of a city unravelling, as its residents battle through their grief", according to the judges.

Congratulations, Omar! Don't forget to pick up a copy of his incredible book here, today.

Happy Publication Day Rebecca Ley

Wishing a very happy publication day to Rebecca Ley, whose gorgeous debut novel, Sweet Fruit, Sour Land is out in the world today from Sandstone Press!

Cover RL.jpg

When a wealthy client visits Mathilde’s dressmaking shop, she finds herself drawn into the only surviving circle of luxury left in a barren London. Attending parties offers a welcome escape from life governed by ration cards and a strictly enforced child policy. Here she meets enigmatic government minister, George, and piano-playing Jaminder, with whom an intense friendship blossoms. As their relationship grows stronger, George’s grip on Mathilde tightens, as she tries to discover where the illicit food is coming from, where women disappear to, and what price she must pay to avoid bringing a child into a cruel, ever-changing world.

Pick up a copy of the book here.

Many congratulations, Rebecca!

Lisette Verhagen Returns to DGA

website pic 2 (002).jpg

We are delighted to announce that Lisette Verhagen will be returning to DGA from Susanna Lea Associates having accepted the post of Head of Foreign Rights (including the US) and Agent with the brief to develop her own list of clients and to work alongside David Godwin in the handling of his clients.

She will continue to handle translation and US rights for Galley Beggar Press. During her time at SLA, Lisette managed all of DGA’s foreign rights and sold Arundhati Roy’s latest novel The Ministry of Utmost Happiness in 47 territories. 

DGA will continue to work alongside SLA on selected titles in the US. Lisette will start on 2nd August and can be contacted at lisette@davidgodwinassociates.co.uk. Welcome back, Lisette!

Macmillan Children's wins six-way auction for series by Leonard and Sedgman

Sam and Maya.jpg

We're very happy to share the news that Macmillan Children’s Books has won a six-way auction for a series by M G Leonard, author of the Beetle Boy trilogy (Chicken House), and digital producer Sam Sedgman.

The series, provisionally entitled Adventures on Trains, will follow the journeys of eleven-year-old Harrison Beck and his uncle Nathaniel Bradshaw, a travel writer. The pair go on a different adventure in each book and become embroiled in a story about a jewel thief in the first title, The Highland Falcon.

Venetia Gosling, publisher of Macmillan’s Children’s Books’ 6+ list, acquired world rights to four titles from Kirsty McLachlan here at DGA. The books will be edited by Lucy Pearse and published in March and September in 2020 and 2021.

Macmillan will also publish the series in Australia, South Africa, India and the US.

“This is such a clever and commercial idea and I can't think of two more perfect people to write and promote it,” said Gosling. “We are so excited to work with Maya and Sam to build this into the leading fiction series it totally deserves to be.”

Leonard and Sedgman met whilst working at the National Theatre and have worked on various digital projects for the cultural sector.

“My oldest son loved Thomas the Tank Engine – and all trains – when he was little. His vocabulary was rich with railway terms, but when he was ready to read by himself I couldn’t find stories that would utilise this passion for trains to begin a love of reading,” said Leonard. “I wanted to create those stories for him and other children who love locomotives, but I didn’t know the first thing about trains. One evening I told my colleague and writer friend, Sam Sedgman, about the idea, because I knew he was a fan of railway maps and the London Underground. He became excited about the story possibilities and we spent the evening spit-balling the idea. I suggested we write Adventures on Trains together, as I knew I could never write it on my own, and he, rather wonderfully, agreed.”

Leonard is also writing another children’s book for Chicken House, due for publication in 2019, and is adapting her Beetle Boy series for TV.

Sedgman is a digital project manager for the National Theatre, where he also hosts and co-produces their podcast.

Congratulations Sam and Maya!

Keep up to date with their news here - @MGLnrd & @SamuelSedgman