Happy Publication Day to Jennifer Killick

Wishing a very happy publication day to Jennifer Killick, whose 3rd mid-grade novel, Mo, Lottie and the Junkers is out today from Firefly Press.

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Mo Appleby's ordered life is turned upside down when he and his mum move in with his new stepdad and stepsisters, Lottie and Sadie. The home he left behind is just across the street, and there's something not quite right about the new occupant. Other strange new people keep popping into his life, too: a bonkers lollipop man and a boy called Jax, who seems to understand Mo better than anyone else, especially Lottie. Who are the weird new people in their town? Do they have any involvement in the disappearance of Mo's dad many years ago? And why does the ice cream taste so good? Lottie is determined to find out exactly what's going on, even if it makes Mo mad, and even if it leads them both into serious danger...

Pick up a copy of this unique, comic, sci-fi book today!

Jessica J. Lee Awarded RBC Taylor Prize

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We’re so excited to share that The Charles Taylor Foundation and RBC Wealth Management have announced that Jessica J. Lee is the sixth recipient of its annual Emerging Writer Award. The London, Ontario born writer, now living in Berlin, was chosen by Kate Harris, winner of the 2019 RBC Taylor Prize for her book Lands of Lost Borders: Out of Bounds on the Silk Road. The Prize consists of a $10,000 cash prize and mentorship by Ms. Harris. 
     RBC Taylor Prize Founder Noreen Taylor commented: “Jessica J. Lee is exactly the kind of writer we envision for the Emerging Author award. A multi-talented young person, Lee is about to break out on several fronts. She is a committed environmental historian who also just happens to be a talented writer and is also encouraging young diverse writers by editing and publishing the Willowherb Review. This award will assist Lee towards completing her multiple projects.” 
     Vijay Parmar, President of RBC PH&N Investment Counsel added: “On behalf of RBC Wealth Management, congratulations to Jessica J. Lee on being named this year’s RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award winner. We can’t wait to see what you do next. We’re incredibly proud to support this Award and the opportunity it offers our country’s rising authors to advance their literary careers.” 
     Kate Harris noted that Jessica J. Lee is an “uber-talented Canadian author, whose first book, Turning, I deeply admired for its gorgeous mix of memoir and nature/travel writing. It’s about the year she spent swimming a different lake every weekend as a way of moving through heartbreak and depression. I also love the fact that she’s founded a literary magazine, The Willowherb Review, to celebrate and bolster nature writing by emerging and established diverse writers. She’s definitely a nonfiction voice I want to hear more from.” 
     Lee enthused, “I’m completely surprised and honoured that Kate Harris selected me for the RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award. Since receiving the news, I’ve felt like a pool of jelly — it means a lot to me that I’ll be joining such a brilliant community of previous winners. The gift of time that an award like this brings is more than I can put into words: this will grant me time to really focus on finishing my next book and working on projects like The Willowherb Review. The opportunity to be in touch with a fellow writer, scholar, and nature-lover like Kate is extraordinary—I’m sure we’ll have quite a lot to talk about over the coming year. I’m so grateful to Kate and the award committee: thank you!” 
     Jessica J. Lee is a British-Canadian-Taiwanese author and environmental historian. She has a BA from University of Kings College, Halifax, an MA from University of London, and a PhD in Environmental History and Aesthetics from York University in Toronto. Her first book, Turning, was published in 2017. She has lived in Berlin since 2014, where she is Writer-in-Residence at the Leibniz Institute for Freshwater Ecology. 

Congratulations, Jessica!

Samantha Shannon's THE BONE SEASON Optioned for Television

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Samantha Shannon’s international bestseller The Bone Season will be adapted into a "major" TV series by producer Harriet Hammond of Lunar Park.

The first series will be comprised of eight episodes, with further series to follow. The deal for television rights was brokered by Kirsty McLachlan here at DGA.

The Bone Season is the first in a seven-book series which was snapped up in a six-figure deal and published in 2013. It imagines a dystopian future where clairvoyance is a crime, forcing 19-year-old dreamwalker Paige Mahoney into a double life, using her skills in the criminal underworld but all the while concealing her talents if she wants to survive. 

Lunar Park is the new venture from Hammond and Daz Spencer Lovesey of Bad Penny Productions, who have produced a number of films - most recently Michael Morpurgo’s Waiting for Anya (Egmont) starring Anjelica Huston. Lunar Park will focus on original high-quality drama aimed at the direct to television and streaming video on demand markets, Hammond said.

Shannon said: "TV has come such a long way in recent years and offers rich opportunities for a long series like this one — there’s so much room for character development and expansion on the source material. It’s also very exciting to be able to re-approach the novels as a screenwriter. Once a book is out in the world, it’s essentially set in stone, but adapting The Bone Season for TV will allow me to explore the world of Scion in even more depth and consider the story from new angles. I’m looking forward to the journey.”

Hammond said: “We feel privileged that Samantha has given us this opportunity, and are delighted that she will be working closely with us to adapt her novel. The rich quality of The Bone Season makes it perfectly suited for a series adaptation – we want plenty of time to really get to know Paige and her world.”

The Bone Season has been translated into 26 languages. Get hold of a copy here.

Praise for The Bone Season

“A new breed of women authors are claiming fantasy for their own. Leading the charge is Samantha Shannon” –  Harper's Bazaar

“A dark and exquisitely rendered fantasy unlike anything out there. The Bone Season is a must read” –  Kami Garcia, No. 1 New York Times bestselling co-author of the Beautiful Creatures series

“Samantha Shannon has a hugely inventive talent and an imagination with seven league boots. She's hit the ground running” –  Susan Hill

“A richly dramatic and unadulterated pleasure, filled with horrors, wonders and charm” –  Justina Robson, author of the Quantum Gravity series

“The book invokes both the political tyranny of George Orwell and the bucolic mythmaking of J.R.R. Tolkein” –  USA Today

The Bone Season is more like the novel that JK Rowling and William Gibson never teamed up to write” –  Wired

The Bone Season plots out a criminal underworld in a future where clairvoyancy exists; part fantasy, part dystopia, all intrigue. It's a world of impressive scope, accompanied by Tolkienesque appendices, glossaries, maps and all” –  Vogue

“A dazzlingly brainy, witty and bewitching tale of outrageous courage, heroic compassion, transcendent love and the quest for freedom ... the first in a thoughtful fantasy series by a brilliant young writer” –  Booklist

The Bone Season, set in 2059, stems from Shannon's interest in works such as The Handmaid's Tale and A Clockwork Orange, which have backdrops of repressive regimes, and in John Donne's poetry” –  Sunday Times

“Shannon writes so well that you stay interested, intrigued by the knife-edge motivation of character's with “six-seater lips” whose “high-collard dresses always made her think of the gallows”. And although many of the paths walked by The Bone Season will already have been well travelled by fantasy readers, Shannon shows real skill in combining them so easily into an original and enjoyable escapist fictional world. Like so much recent young adult fiction, I suspect this series will appeal to the fearless teenager dwelling within many adults. The ending certainly gripped me to the marrow” –  Daily Telegraph

“On the quite wonderful style and craft of words Samantha displays I really cannot heap enough praise – it is remarkably self-assured writing, most especially for a debut ... the most engrossing read I have had so far this year and frankly the most absorbing and compelling debut I've read since the superb Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. Hugely recommended” –  Forbidden Planet International Blog

“Shannon's world is meticulously detailed and has a strong internal logic ... Plenty of entertaining action ... The pace of The Bone Season seldom slacks off, and the strong and resourceful Paige is a memorable heroine. This is one buzz book that just might merit its hype” –  BookPage

The Bone Season is enough to transport even hardened sceptics of the fantasy genre into its imaginative realm” –  Anita Sethi, Metro

“Frightening and well-imagined ... fascinating ... The large talent on display here suggests just how good Shannon could get in the next six books of this promising series” –  Elizabeth Word Gutting, Washington Post

“Don't just suspend your disbelief – send it to the pictures and sink into this fabulous, epic fantasy thriller ... Lavish, ebullient, escapist ... Bring on the sequel” –  The Times

“Samantha Shannon's The Bone Season is my perfect cup of tea ... My inner teenager enjoyed every last word” –  Sarah Vine, Daily Mail Books of the Year

Happy Publication Day to Sabrina Cohen-Hatton

Today we’re wishing a very happy publication day to Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, whose debut work of non-fiction, The Heat of the Moment - Life and Death Decision Making from a Firefighter is out today from Transworld, PRH.

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In the face of urgency and uncertainty, would you respond analytically or trust your instincts? How would you decide who lives and who dies?

Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton has been a firefighter for eighteen years. She decides which of her colleagues rush into a burning building and how they confront the blaze. She makes the call to evacuate if she believes the options have been exhausted or that the situation has escalated beyond hope. This is her astonishing account of a profession defined by the most difficult decisions imaginable.

Taking us to the very heart of firefighting, Sabrina uses her award-winning research to reveal the skills that are essential to surviving – and even thriving – in such a fast-paced and emotionally-charged environment. And she immerses us in this extraordinary world; from scenes of devastation and crisis, through triumphs of bravery, to the quieter moments when she questions herself and the decisions made in the most unforgiving circumstances.

Here is the truth about how we respond in our most extreme moments.

Don’t miss Sabrina’s slot on Women’s Hour today (11th April) and make sure you get hold of a copy, here today!

Alex Pheby wins Republic of Consciousness Prize

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We’re so pleased to share that Alex Pheby is a joint winner of the Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses, with his novel, Lucia, published by Galley Beggar Press. The prize rewards presses with fewer than five employees, and their authors, for outstanding literary fiction. Alex won the prize alongside Will Eaves' Murmur, from CB Editions.

“Her case is cyclothymia, dating from the age of seven and a half. She is about thirty-three, speaks French fluently… Her character is gay, sweet and ironic, but she has bursts of anger over nothing when she is confined to a straitjacket.”

So wrote James Joyce in 1940, in a letter about his only daughter, Lucia. It is one of the few surviving contemporary portraits of her troubled life. Most other references to her have been lost. An attempt has been made to erase her from the pages of history. 

We know she was the daughter of the famous writer. She was the lover of Samuel Beckett. She was a gifted dancer. From her late twenties she was treated for suspected schizophrenia – and repeatedly hospitalised. She spent the last thirty years of her life in an asylum.

And, after her death, her voice was silenced. Her letters were burned. Correspondence concerning her disappeared from the Joyce archive. Her story has been shrouded in mystery, the tomb door slammed behind her.

Alex Pheby’s extraordinary new novel takes us inside that darkness. In sharp, cutting shards of narrative, Lucia evokes the things that may have been done to Lucia Joyce. And while it presents these stories in vivid and heart-breaking detail, it also questions what it means to recreate a life. It is not an attempt to speak for Lucia. Rather, it is an act of empathy and contrition that constantly questions what it means to speak for other people.

Lucia is intellectually uncompromising. Lucia is emotionally devastating. Lucia is unlike anything anyone else has ever written.

ALEX PHEBY has masters degrees in critical theory and creative writing, and a doctorate in critical and creative writing from the UEA. He lives with his wife and two children in London, and teaches at the University of Greenwich. His second novel, Playthings, is also published by Galley Beggar Press and was shortlisted for the 2016 Wellcome Book Prize.

Happy Publication Day to James Runcie

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Wishing a very happy publication day to James Runcie, whose fantastic book The Road to Grantchester is available to buy today.

The captivating prequel to the treasured Grantchester series follows the life, loves and losses of a young Sidney Chambers in post-war London

It is 1938, and eighteen-year-old Sidney Chambers is dancing the quickstep with Amanda Kendall at her brother Robert's birthday party at the Caledonian Club. No one can believe, on this golden evening, that there could ever be another war. 

Returning to London seven years later, Sidney has gained a Military Cross, and lost his best friend on the battlefields of Italy. The carefree youth that he and his friends were promised has been blown apart, just like the rest of the world – and Sidney, carrying a terrible, secret guilt, must decide what to do with the rest of his life. But he has heard a call: constant, though quiet, and growing ever more persistent. To the incredulity of his family and the derision of his friends – the irrepressible actor Freddie, and the beautiful, spiky Amanda – Sidney must now negotiate his path to God: the course of which, much like true love, never runs smooth. 

The touching, engaging and surprising origin story of the Grantchester Mysteries's beloved Archdeacon, Sidney Chambers, The Road to Grantchester will delight new and old fans alike.

“A tremendous novel - shrewd, compelling and full of insight - James Runcie elevates the genre to impressive new heights” –  William Boyd,

“Written with such tenderness, and very moving – I loved it” –  Elizabeth Buchan

“Charming, clever and warm: perfect comfort food for the soul” –  Joanne Harris

“Unsparingly, generously truthful” –  Jim Crace,

“He is the simple chonicler of English post-ward life, using irony and understatement to lay bare the pathos of ordinary lives” –  Sunday Telegraph

“The clerical milieu is well rendered as an affectionate eye is cast over post-war England – a perfect accompaniment to a sunny afternoon, a hammock and a glass of Pimm's” –  Guardian

“Runcie is emerging as Grantchester's answer to Alexander McCall Smith. The book brings a dollop of Midsomer Murders to the Church of England, together with a literate charm of its own” –  Spectator

“An engaging summer read” –  Alexander McCall Smith, Observer

“It takes a first-class writer to put together a convincing storyline for such unlikely circumstances … We should welcome him to the ranks of classic detectives” –  Daily Mail

“Totally English, beautifully written, perfectly in period and wryly funny. More please!” –  Country Life

“The author writes with warmth and insight about the tricky questions facing individuals in a post-war, godless universe … Runcie works his magic using a sense of suspense that creates an atmosphere of delicious anticipation” –  Independent

“Runcie has honed his style of light, escapist, small-town crime stories to something approaching perfection” –  Herald

“No detective since Father Brown has been more engaging than Canon Sidney Chambers. Perfect company in bed” –  Salley Vickers

“Alexander McCall Smith's Mma Ramotswe is going to have to look to her laurels! Sidney Chambers's adventures are thoroughly captivating and engaging” –  Amanda Craig, author of Hearts and Minds

Bluebird lands Cambridge Code guide to the subconscious

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We’re thrilled to share that Bluebird has acquired a guide to tapping into the subconscious by psychotherapist Dr Emma Loveridge and Dr Curly Moloney.

Publisher Carole Tonkinson acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to The Cambridge Code: Unlocking your Subconscious Brain from David Godwin here at DGA. It will be published in March 2020.

The Cambridge Code is an online tool developed by Dr Loveridge and Dr Moloney, along with a team of researchers at Cambridge University. The synopsis states: “Founded on neuroscientific principles and clinically tested methodology, it represents a unique way of unlocking information about the subconscious mind, defining the underlying drivers and instincts that control our behaviour and make us who we are.”

The book explains the workings of the code, its development and scientific basis, explaining how the 30-minute questionnaire is used to decipher the reader’s deepest thoughts and individual personality characteristics, providing insights on romantic relationships, careers, friendships and family.

Tonkinson said: “In the course of my career in publishing and my work on a Master’s Degree in psychology, I’ve come across lots of personality-based tests like Meyers-Briggs, but I was absolutely blown away by the depth of insight offered by The Cambridge Code. It highlighted absolutely core behaviours in all of us on the team. It is a game-changer and we are thrilled to be making this powerful work available to one and all: people who want to address career and personal goals, parents, teachers. Absolutely everyone can benefit from deeper self-knowledge and this is the most reliable and expedient delivery method I have ever seen.”

The writers added: “We are very excited that Carole and her Bluebird team are collaborating with us to enable The Cambridge Code to reach you - the parent, the colleague, the partner - with the first ever glimpse into your own subconscious world. We have thoroughly enjoyed introducing scientific rigour to the world of well-being and self-discovery.”

Sarah Ward set to be published by Trapeze

We’re really excited to share that Trapeze has acquired historical mystery The Quickening by Sarah Ward, writing under a pseudonym, in a two-book deal.

Commissioning editor Katie Brown bought world all languages from Kirsty McLachlan here at DGA. Written by crime writer Ward under the pen-name Rhiannon Ward, the first book will be published by Trapeze in hardback, e-book and audio in February 2020.

The novel’s protagonist is Louisa Drew, based on the celebrated Christina Broom, a pioneer of women’s press photography in the Edwardian era.

Its synopsis states: “Louisa Drew lost her husband in the First World War and her six-year-old twin sons in the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918. Newly re-married to a war-traumatised husband and seven months pregnant, Louisa is asked by her employer to travel to Clewer Hall in Sussex where she is to photograph the contents of the house for auction.

“She learns Clewer Hall was host to an infamous séance in 1896, and that the lady of the house has asked those who gathered almost thirty years ago to come together once more to recreate the evening. When a mysterious child appears on the grounds, she finds herself compelled to investigate and becomes embroiled in the strange happenings of the house. Gradually, she unravels the long-held secrets of the inhabitants and what really happened thirty years before… and discovers her own fate is entwined with Clewer Hall’s.”

Brown said: “Rhiannon is a tremendously talented writer, and when she told me about this incredible true story of a house with leather walls, an infamous séance, and an unsolved murder, I was hooked. What really drew me in however, is how she has weaved together two different periods – one known for the burgeoning interest in spiritualism, and the other for the suffragette movement – and delivered a historical novel that is keenly relevant today. I can’t wait to welcome readers to Clewer Hall, and unlock its secrets alongside our unforgettable heroine, Louisa.”

Ward said: “I’m delighted to be joining Trapeze with its reputation for dynamism and innovation in publishing. When I met Katie Brown I was bowled over by her energy and enthusiasm and I’m delighted that The Quickening has found the perfect home.”

Happy Publication day to Harriet Shawcross

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We’d like to wish a very happy publication day to Harriet Shawcross, whose debut non-fiction book, Unspeakable is out today from Canongate.

As a teenager, Harriet stopped speaking at school for almost a year, retreating into herself and communicating only when absolutely necessary. As an adult, she became fascinated by the limits of language and in Unspeakable she asks what makes us silent.

From the inexpressible trauma of trench warfare and the aftermath of natural disaster to the taboo of coming out, Shawcross explores how and why words fail us. From the mountains of Nepal to New York's theatre district she travels the world meeting people who constantly wrestle with language. She studies the work of George Oppen, a poet who couldn't write a line for twenty-five years, interviews Eve Ensler whose play The Vagina Monologues gave voice to the truths of female sexuality, and meets the founders of The Samaritans who have been listening silently to those in need since the 1950s.

A beguiling mix of memoir, history, literary criticism and investigative journalism, Unspeakable is a moving and unprecedented study of the power of silence.

Congratulations Harriet!

Preti Taneja's We That Are Young Optioned by Dina Dattani

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We’re really excited to share that French studio Gaumont (“Narcos”) is collaborating with Indian producer Dina Dattani (“The Ashram”) on a series adaptation of Preti Taneja’s debut novel We That Are Young.

A re-imagining of William Shakespeare’s King Lear set in contemporary India, the novel follows the tumultuous lives of the aging patriarch of a business empire, his three daughters and their vassals. The novel made it to several ‘book of the year’ lists and won the £10,000 Desmond Elliott prize for new fiction in 2018.

We That Are Young is a work of epic scope and depth, providing a deep insight into today’s India, and the clash of tradition with modernization, as well as nuanced sexual politics,” said Gene Stein, president of television for Gaumont U.S. “We intend to shoot this series on location in India with the highest degree of authenticity while creating an elevated dramatic storyline with true global appeal.”

Dattani acquired the television rights to the book when it was published. “Preti Taneja’s King Lear story works remarkably well with a critical look at the balance of power in contemporary India through its three female protagonists in charge of a powerful dynasty in a patriarchal society,” said Dattani.

Formerly a U.K.-based lawyer, and also head of business and legal affairs at Fox in India, Dattani also has in development two more as-yet-untitled series, and two India-set independent features. She also holds feature adaptation rights to We That Are Young.

Happy Publication day to Samantha Shannon

We’d like to wish a very happy publication day to Samantha Shannon - her standalone, epic high fantasy novel, The Priory of the Orange Tree is out today in all good bookshops from Bloomsbury Books. The novel has already brought in some spectacular reviews.

'The new Game of ThronesStylist

'Puts Samantha Shannon in the same league as Robin Hobb and George R.R. Martin. Shannon is a master of dragons' Starburst


'Epic fantasy with added dragons. A blockbuster' Guardian, Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 

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An enthralling, epic fantasy about a world on the brink of war with dragons - and the women who must lead the fight to save it.

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 to be a dragonrider since she was a child, 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.

“A tour de force, and my new absolute favourite epic fantasy” –  Laini Taylor, author of Strange the Dreamer

“I have been waiting my whole life for this fantasy. It's the kind of book you never want to end. Utterly unique, wild, and rich. Sheer perfection” –  Lisa Lueddecke, author of A Storm of Ice and Stars

“The new Game of Thrones. Escapism at its finest – Shannon, we salute you” –  Stylist.co.uk

“Allow me to introduce your newest fantasy obsession … Remarkably fresh and frankly fearless … Works so well as an intricately realised and feminist fantasy that one might even be tempted to dub Samantha Shannon 'The female George R.R. Martin' … As with the best of fantasy, The Priory of the Orange Tree feels less like a book than it does an experience, a true sojourn into a rich and terrible new world” –  Hypable

The Priory of the Orange Tree is a brilliant, daring, and devastating jewel. Samantha Shannon has crafted an incredible world full of depth and danger, with characters I would follow to the ends of the earth. It was a privilege to read, and I'm in awe of her talent. I can't wait for the rest of the world to experience this book” –  Victoria Aveyard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Red Queen series

“An entirely fresh and addicting tale … A celebration of fantasy that melds modern ideology with classic tropes. More of these dragons, please” –  Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“A masterpiece of intricate world-building with the depth, complexity, heart and soul of a timelessly relevant classic. Brilliant, diverse, feminist, subversive, thought-provoking and masterfully told, The Priory of the Orange Tree is epic fantasy at its finest. The scope of the book is staggering, as is Shannon's deft command of language ... An absolute must-read” –  Karen Marie Moning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Highlander and Fever series

“Nothing short of extraordinary. An audacious, ambitious, sprawling epic, set across a world like no other, The Priory of the Orange Tree takes everything you think you know about high fantasy, rips it apart and remakes it ... Nothing short of game-changing ... An absolute masterclass in story telling, from one of the most exciting and innovative fantasy writers alive today. With it, Samantha Shannon has set the bar stratospherically high. This is the book of 2019” –  Melinda Salisbury, author of The Sin-Eater's Daughter

The Priory of the Orange Tree feels like a feminist successor to The Lord of the Rings- something I don't say lightly. Epic and awe-inspiring in its scope, its rich, diverse world captivated me. I loved each complex narrator, all wonderfully human heroes and anti-heroes, and adored sinking into the world Samantha Shannon has created with such heart and beauty. This deserves to be as big as Game of Thrones ... An expertly woven saga that feels very relevant for the contemporary world we live in” –  Laure Eve, author of The Graces

“An epic fantasy destined to be a classic. A world crafted with such intricacy and detail, I had to remind myself it was not a real place. The Priory of the Orange Tree is one of those rare novels that captures your imagination so completely you will read it over and over, until the cover cracks and the spine breaks” –  Kami Garcia, #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of Beautiful Creatures and author of Unbreakable

“Move over, Tolkien – you had a good run, but it's high time fantasy had a Queen” –  Holly Roberts, bookseller

“There is no doubt that Samantha is the real thing … A born storyteller” –  Observer

“Shannon's brilliance is that she is not afraid of change, both for her characters and her setting … A name to watch” –  Independent

“Samantha Shannon has a hugely inventive talent and an imagination with seven league boots” –  Susan Hill, author of The Woman in Black

“An astonishing achievement. The roots of Shannon's world lie in real history, but its branches stretch far into the imagination. Many authors can paint different names onto familiar concepts; Shannon goes further, building new religions and histories and conflicts, with all the rich detail necessary to bring them to life” –  Marie Brennan, author of The Memoirs of Lady Trent

The Priory of the Orange Tree is the Platonic Ideal of a fantasy novel. A rich and stirringtale of magic and queens, swords and dragons, assassins and sorcerers, it is thronged with women: strong women and queer women, gorgeous women and powerful women, brilliant women and dangerous women. Men, too, of course. This story of good and evil, struggle and triumph, love and loss and return is beautifully written: complex but clear, and utterly immersive. I loved this book” –  Nicola Griffith, author of Hild

“Shannon satisfyingly fills this massive standalone epic fantasy with court intrigue, travel through dangerous lands, fantastical religions, blood, love, and rhetoric” –  Publishers Weekly

Make sure you pick up a copy today.

Very many congratulations, Samantha, from all of us here at DGA.

Tom Ellen's adult book snapped up for HQ

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We’re delighted to reveal that HQ has acquired “an epically romantic love story” by YA author Tom Ellen which will be one of its lead title for London Book Fair next month.

Senior commissioning editor at the HarperCollins imprint Emily Kitchin bought world all language rights for the book and one other novel from Kirsty McLachlan here at DGA. All About Us will be a lead title for HQ at this year’s LBF, HQ said. It will be published as a lead title in paperback and e-book in autumn 2020.

Ellen has written various YA books previously with co-author Lucy Ivison including Lobsters, Never Evers and Freshers (all published by Chicken House) but this will be his first adult novel.

All About Us follows Ben, who at 34 is facing a life crisis. His marriage to Daphne is on the rocks, his career is circling the drain and he’s still grieving the unexpected death of his mum, HQ said.

“Ben’s on the verge of throwing it all away when the discovery of a box of keepsakes on Christmas Eve sends him on an unexpected journey," the synopsis reads. "Ben falls asleep and wakes up in December 2005, on the day that he and Daphne first met. As Ben travels through his Christmases past, present and future – each one connected to a keepsake – he is offered the chance to reflect on the decisions he’s taken and not taken throughout his life. But will Ben do things differently this time around? And if he does, what will his future look like?”

HQ described the book as an “epically romantic story which touches on life-affirming themes of grief, love, loneliness and self-acceptance – and shows us that sometimes, the love we’ve been looking for has been right in front of us all along”. It is an anyone who loved Josie Silver’s One Day (Penguin) or Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare (Quercus).

Ellen is also a journalist and has written for ShortList, Time Out, Vice, talkSPORT, ESPN and Viz.

Kitchin said: “I am so thrilled to have acquired this wonderful novel from Tom Ellen, whose writing I’ve admired for years. Everyone at HQ has fallen completely in love with All About Us, and we knew right away that we just had to acquire it. We’ve all been swept away by Ben and Daphne’s story, and we can’t wait to introduce them to readers. Tom is an incredibly talented author and we have big plans in store for him.”

Ellen said: ‘I'm so excited to be joining HQ's ranks – it really feels like the perfect home for All About Us. Working with Emily has been absolutely fantastic, and I can't wait for people to read Ben and Daphne's story.”

Congratulations Tom!

Canongate acquires new title from Tracey Thorn

We’re excited to share that Canongate has acquired a second book from singer and author Tracey Thorn, My Rock ‘n’ Roll Friend, about "rock ‘n’ roll love affairs" and female friendship.

Publishing director Francis Bickmore acquired world rights, including audio to the book from Kirsty McLachlan here at DGA. It will be published in hardback in April 2021 and follows Another Planet, which Canongate published earlier this month.

In My Rock ‘n’ Roll Friend, Thorn explores her relationship with Lindy Morrison, drummer with The Go-Betweens "and for a few formative years in the 1980s, Thorn's best friend," according to Canongate.

My Rock ‘n’ Roll Friend will be a tale of 1970s activism and agit-prop theatre, lesbian punk bands and police-state cities, rock ‘n’ roll love affairs, the quest for stardom, female friendship and feminism, sex and drugs, Australia and London,” Canongate said. “Crucially, it will look at how the stories of women in music are told and who tells them.”

Thorn is a singer-songwriter and writer, best known for her 17 years in bestselling duo Everything But The Girl. She is based in London and writes a column for the New Statesman and has previously published Bedsit Disco Queen and Naked at the Albert Hall (Virago).

She said: “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to write this story, and to be working again with Canongate who have been so incredibly supportive during the creation and completion of Another Planet.

Bickmore said: “On the back of Tracey Thorn’s current bestselling hardback, we are understandably excited to be announcing a new Thorn book for 2021. Her next book idea will explore the trajectories of two artists in motion. It promises to be a brilliant development on her already significant body of prose work, exploring ideas of place, music, art, history, culture and prejudice, through a personal lens.”

Happy Publication day to Tracey Thorn

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Wishing Tracey Thorn a very happy publication day. Her third non-fiction book, Another Planet is out now from Canongate.

In a 1970s commuter town, Tracey Thorn’s teenage life was forged from what failed to happen. Her diaries were packed with entries about not buying things, not going to the disco, the school coach not arriving.

Before she became an acclaimed musician and writer, Tracey Thorn was a typical teenager: bored and cynical, despairing of her aspirational parents. Her only comfort came from house parties, Meaningful Conversations and the female pop icons who hinted at a new kind of living.

Returning more than three decades later to Brookmans Park, scene of her childhood, Thorn takes us beyond the bus shelters and pub car parks, the utopian cul-de-sacs, the train to Potters Bar and the weekly discos, to the parents who wanted so much for their children, the children who wanted none of it. With endearing wit and great insight, Thorn reconsiders the Green Belt post-war dream so many artists have mocked, and yet so many artists have come from.

“A beautiful writer … Exceptional … Made me catch my breath … Her language is straightforward, chatty, easy-to-read. Musical. Though Thorn tells us sharp truths, we gobble them up because she delivers them in such a deceptively pretty, poignant way”
MIRANDA SAWYER
Financial Times

“When Thorn digs into her adolescence, the book sparks with wit and poignancy, helped by extracts from her teenage diaries that she smartly exploits for comedy and bathos”
The Times

“I adored this. Wise, tender, beautifully observed, deadly funny. A Green Belt memoir classic”
MAX PORTER

“Readers of Thorn’s two previous memoirs will recognise the tone of this book, with its beautifully clean style, careful self-questioning and pervasive likability”
Guardian

“What a wise and funny book. Nostalgic but unsentimental, Thorn beautifully captures the aspirations, ennui and angst of suburban teenage life. I loved it”
DAVID NICHOLLS

Happy Publication day, Julia Shaw

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We’re so excited to wish Julia Shaw a very happy publication day. Her second work of non-fiction is out now from Canongate.

Julia’s book explores how to understand the deviance that lies in ourselves and others – it’s an original and rigorous exploration of the darkest recesses of the human mind.

Are you evil?

Making Evil is a smart and highly readable exploration of why we think and do bad things.

Dr Julia Shaw shows us that the same dispositions that make us capable of heinous crimes may also work to our advantage. And, if evil is within all of us, should it be said to exist at all?

In Making Evil, Shaw uses a compelling mix of science, popular culture and real life examples to break down timely and important issues. How similar is your brain to a psychopath’s? How many people have murder fantasies? Can A.I. be evil? Do your sexual proclivities make you a bad person? Who becomes a terrorist?

This is a wide-ranging exploration into a fascinating, darkly compelling subject.

“Julia Shaw has crafted a brilliant panorama that elucidates humanity’s dark side in her masterpiece, Making Evil. This science-based foundation for studying the minds of sadists, mass murderers, freaks and creeps, as well the new role of tech in promoting evil is presented in a totally engaging fashion”
PHILIP ZIMBARDO, AUTHOR OF THE LUCIFER EFFECT

“Curious readers will be riveted by Shaw’s deliberate, rational discussions of such taboos as cyberbullying, homicide, pedophilia and the ways money and power corrupt the souls of formerly good men and women … 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”
Kirkus

“Shaw presents a stimulating and provocative challenge to the traditional meaning of evil. Stimulating and provocative”
Library Journal

“A sober-minded, academically rigorous examination of an oft-sensationalised subject”
Publishers Weekly

“Great read. Buy this book”
TIM LOVEJOY

Click here for a list of upcoming events.

Happy publication day, Julia!

Happy Publication day to Monisha Rajesh

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Wishing a very happy publication day to Monisha Rajesh, whose book, Around the World in 80 Trains is out today from Bloomsbury.

When Monisha announced plans to circumnavigate the globe in eighty train journeys, she was met with wide-eyed disbelief. But it wasn't long before she was carefully plotting a route that would cover 45,000 miles – almost twice the circumference of the earth – coasting along the world's most remarkable railways; from the cloud-skimming heights of Tibet's Qinghai railway to silk-sheeted splendour on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. 

Packing up her rucksack – and her fiancé, Jem – Monisha embarks on an unforgettable adventure that will take her from London's St Pancras station to the vast expanses of Russia and Mongolia, North Korea, Canada, Kazakhstan, and beyond. The ensuing journey is one of constant movement and mayhem, as the pair strike up friendships and swap stories with the hilarious, irksome and ultimately endearing travellers they meet on board, all while taking in some of the earth's most breathtaking views. 

From the author of Around India in 80 Trains comes another witty and irreverent look at the world and a celebration of the glory of train travel. Rajesh offers a wonderfully vivid account of life, history and culture in a book that will make you laugh out loud – and reflect on what it means to be a global citizen – as you whirl around the world in its pages.

“What makes the book is [Rajesh's] wit, astute observations and willingness to try everything ... She arrived at St Pancras, on time, tired and triumphant. Her riveting account of the odyssey leaves us feeling the same” –  The Times

“Monisha Rajesh has chosen one of the best ways of seeing the world. Never too fast, never too slow, her journey does what trains do best. Getting to the heart of things. Prepare for a very fine ride” –  Michael Palin,

This is travel-writing entirely at home in the 21st century, penned by a travel writer entirely comfortable in her own skin, and unashamedly enthused by the thrill of setting out to meet new people and to see new places” –  Asian Review of Books

Debut novel from Ashley Hickson-Lovence to be published by Own It!

© Taryn Everdeen

© Taryn Everdeen

We’re so excited to share that the debut novel from Ashley Hickson-Lovence, The 392 has been acquired by Crystal Mahey-Morgan at OWN IT!, in a deal negotiated with Philippa Sitters here at DGA.

Set entirely on a London bus travelling from Hoxton to Highbury and taking place over just 36 minutes, the events of The 392 unfold through a cast of charismatic characters coming from very different worlds, but tied together through a shared suspicion as the threat of terrorism looms. On the 392 are all the familiar faces you might expect to see on any bus ride through inner-city London in the grips of gentrification: delinquent schoolkids, the high-flyers, the weird, the wonderful and the homeless. The 392 is primarily about uncovering the passengers’ hidden stories; agendas and ambitions. Switching between the different perspectives - told using first person – powerfully places the reader in the shoes of each character as they observe and make their way to work, school or court. The 392 is a journey through gentrified London and the experiences and feelings that gentrification creates along the way, but ultimately, it’s the story of people, places and perceptions. The roads are real; the locations mentioned are actual local landmarks and the position of bus stops are based on the real route giving the world of the fictional The 392 a brilliantly authentic feel.

27-year-old Ashley Hickson-Lovence is a former secondary school English teacher who grew up on a Hackney council estate and now lives in Norwich while he completes a Creative and Critical Writing PhD at the University of East Anglia. Hickson is also a poet, football referee and a keen marathon runner.

Philippa Sitters at DGA says, “Writing like Ashley’s doesn’t come around very often; an arresting, contemporary voice that shows no end of versatility. The range and empathy he shows writing as such an eclectic crowd of passengers is remarkable. OWN IT! are the perfect match for this innovative novel.” 

Crystal Mahey-Morgan says, ‘Ashley is a rare and exciting voice with a dept skill for observation, a natural flair with words and the ability to create authentic worlds and characters. As well as an exciting new literary fiction author, Ashley offers an important contribution to the literary landscape and is the kind of unique talent that will delight readers, and that the industry is so keen to find. We’re hugely excited that Ashley joins our growing list of debut British authors and to be publishing The 392’.

OWN IT! will publish The 392 in April 2019

Happy Publication day to Charlotte Runcie

Wishing a very happy publication day to Charlotte Runcie, whose debut non-fiction title, Salt on Your Tongue - Women and the Sea, is published today by Canongate.

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Charlotte has always felt pulled to the sea, lured by its soothing, calming qualities but also enlivened and inspired by its salty wildness. When she loses her beloved grandmother, and becomes pregnant with her first child, she feels its pull even more intensely.

In Salt On Your Tongue Charlotte explores what the sea means to us, and particularly what it has meant to women through the ages. This book is a walk on the beach with Turner, with Shakespeare, with the Romantic Poets and shanty-singers. It’s an ode to our oceans – to the sailors who brave their treacherous waters, to the women who lost their loved ones to the waves, to the creatures that dwell in their depths, to beach combers, swimmers, seabirds and mermaids.

In mesmerising prose, Charlotte Runcie shows how the sea has inspired, fascinated and terrified us, and how she herself fell in love with the deep blue. Navigating through ancient Greek myths, poetry, shipwrecks and Scottish folktales, Salt On Your Tongue is about how the wild untameable waves can help us understand what it means to be human.

Charlotte Runcie is the Daily Telegraph’s radio columnist and arts writer. For several years she lived and worked in Edinburgh, where she ran a folk music choir, and she now lives in the Scottish Borders. She has a secret past as a poet, having been a Foyle Young Poet of the Year with a pamphlet published by tall-lighthouse.

“A very beautiful book about myth and motherhood – a memoir that intertwines effortlessly and poetically with tales of the sea. Salt On Your Tongue has a rare magic to it”
Sophie Mackintosh, Booker-longlisted author of THE WATER CURE

“A wise and wonderful book, charting intensely personal moments against the constant yet ever-changing sea. A story of birth, loss, memory and motherhood, spliced with vivid observations of the natural world and collected myth, lore and legend, Charlotte Runcie’s voice is by turns practical and poetic, objective and beguiling. An utterly immersive read”
Jess Kidd, author of HIMSELF AND THE HOARDER

Get hold of a copy today!

Paul Kildea's CHOPIN'S PIANO optioned by Sovereign Films

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Sovereign Films have optioned film rights in Paul Kildea’s Chopin’s Piano: A Journey Through Romanticism (Allen Lane, Penguin 2018). The film will feature music from the Grammy award-winning, Daniil Trifonoc, who has been hailed as “the most astounding young pianist of our age.” Performing the work of Frederic Chopin on many of the same piano’s used during his 1848 concert tour of Britain.

Speaking to the Guardian, producer, Donald Rosenfeld said, “Other Chopin films have played his music on contemporary pianos, which sound different. Like all my movies, we’re trying to recreate history and bring you back in time.” Rosenfeld is the producer behind Emma Thompson’s Howard’s End and said that Chopin’s Piano “had inspired a “dream project” about a musical genius, more than 30 years after Miloš Forman’s Amadeus, a film about the rivalry between Mozart and Salieri that won eight Oscars.”

Paul Kildea’s brilliant book is available in all good book shops and here to buy now.