Debut two book deal for Pádraig Kenny

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TIN, the first book from Pádraig Kenny, and a second stand alone novel have been sold to Barry Cunningham, Publisher at Chicken House Books by Sophie Hicks.

A heartfelt tale of friendship, humanity and belonging, TIN is set in an alternative England of the 1930s and follows a boy and his mechanical friends as they discover the truth about his past. Christopher is 'Proper': a real boy with a real soul, orphaned in a fire. He works for an engineer, a maker of the eccentric, loyal, and totally individual mechanicals who are Christopher’s best friends. But after a devastating accident, a secret is revealed and Christopher’s world changes forever … What follows is a remarkable adventure, as Christopher discovers who he really is, and what it means to be human. 

Pinocchio meets The Wizard of Oz, TIN is a thought-provoking and timely novel with strong themes of friendship, war, and humanity.

Cunningham said: 'Pádraig Kenny has written a debut classic that will mean a great deal to readers everywhere. Tin is about heart and soul, friendship, and mechanical strength – it’s about the future of machines and the inheritance of human loyalty. It’s also funny, adventurous, and loving.'

Hicks said: 'I am delighted that Barry Cunningham and the team at Chicken House are going to be publishing Pádraig's spectacular novel, TIN. I read Pádraig's debut novel in one sitting and realised that the world he has created and the story he has told is destined to become an instant classic.'

TIN will be published in February 2018. The full Bookseller announcement can be read here.

Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin & Giovanni Rigano at Hay Festival Aarhus

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The inaugural International Children's Hay Festival will take place this October in Aarhus, Denmark. Aarhus is the European Capital of Culture for 2017 and the Hay Festival will be celebrating children's literature with a series of events and workshops with bestselling children's authors from around the world.

We are delighted to announce that Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin and Giovanni Rigano will be featured at the Hay Festival in Aarhus as they discuss their new graphic novel ILLEGAL. Their event takes place on 28th October.

I FOUND MY TRIBE at third week as #1 Irish Bestseller

I FOUND MY TRIBE by Ruth Fitzmaurice will be the #1 bestselling book in Ireland for the third consecutive week. Since being released on 6th July, I FOUND MY TRIBE has garnered rave reviews.

Marian Keyes reviewed the book saying: 'I FOUND MY TRIBE is inspiring, humbling and a picture of what love really looks like. An astonishingly beautiful book by an astonishingly beautiful person. It is beautiful, it is light, it is joyous.'

The Irish Times said the memoir 'is a powerful, emotional, poetic, funny, philosophical and courageous work of art.'

The Sunday Times wrote: 'One of the year's most arresting, humbling and acute memoirs. It is a catch-in-the-throat, life affirming work that you want to gulp down in one and recommend to all your friends. Fitzmaurice tells her story in sparkling prose that is as sinewy as her new sea-strengthened body, and as admirable and boundless as her spirit...This debut is set to become a global bestseller.'

Bluebird Books wins five way auction for THE KINDNESS METHOD

Carole Tonkinson, Publisher of Bluebird, an imprint of Pan Macmillan, has acquired world rights to a two book deal with Shahroo Izadi following a hotly contested five publisher auction with Sarah Williams of the Sophie Hicks Agency.   

Shahroo Izadi, a Behavioural Change Specialist in private practice, came to wide renown following a series of personal articles written by Marisa Bate in The Pool, whereby Bate completely reformed her drinking habits for the good with Izadi’s help. Izadi helps clients overcome self-destructive patterns, be it overeating or drinking too much, by helping them create solutions that are moderate and sustainable so clients can drink less alcohol or eat less junk without giving up drinking or their favourite foods entirely.  Inundated with enquiries after rave reviews from Bate and Bryony Gordon. Izadi found her waitlist extended for months.  This proved the inspiration for writing her first book The Kindness Method: Changing Habits for Good is a practical guide for changing harmful habits. The second book will build on the brand of The Kindness Method and target weight loss.

Built using methods tried and developed successfully over the years in the treatment of those with drug and alcohol addictions, the book will also draw on Izadi’s personal experiences transforming her own struggle with overeating:  an incredible personal journey which resulted in her losing eight stone. In The Kindness Method, Izadi presents her mapping method for managing a wide range of issues: weight loss, alcohol use, giving up smoking, procrastination, tidiness and social anxiety and many more. What’s unusual about her method is Izadi’s focus on using the strengths and achievements of as the vehicle for change.

Shahroo Izadi says: 'I couldn't be more delighted to be working with Carole and her amazing team. Bluebird truly embodies the spirit of my method and I can't wait to share this approach with as many people as possible.'


Carole Tonkinson says: ‘I wanted to publish Shahroo’s book as soon as I read Marisa Bate’s pieces. Shahroo offers a truly fresh, friendly and incredibly efficient approach. I love her focus on and her judgement free approach. She’s the voice we need now and we see her as a major brand author we hope to develop across many titles in the years to come. She has the whole Bleubird team mapping already!’

Izadi started her career treating those with drug and alcohol addictions as a Criminal Justice Lead in the addiction treatment field. In addition to her current private practice,  Izadi is a also support group facilitator and therapist at Amy’s Place, the recovery house for women set up by The Amy Winehouse Foundation. She is also Senior Consultant for Emerging Horizons, and provides professional development training for the NHS and CGL.

It will be a lead title for Bluebird, publishing May 2018. The Bookseller announcement can be read here.

Blink acquires memoir of teen disability campaigner Lewis Hine

Blink, an imprint of King's Road Publishing, has signed the memoir of 16-year-old disability campaigner and social media phenomenon Lewis Hine. Natalie Jerome, licensing and brand director for King's Road Publishing, acquired worldwide rights from Sophie Hicks and Sarah Williams.

Sixteen year-old Lewis has become a global phenomenon. Diagnosed with a brain tumour when he was just 17 months old, Lewis wasn’t expected to survive. But he managed to prove everyone wrong, and is now not just surviving, but thriving. In one Facebook post on his 16th birthday, Lewis invited everyone to see how he faces the challenges in his life resulting from his ongoing illnesses, and it went viral.  Thirty million views later, with the world cheering him on, Lewis is spearheading a campaign, Friend Finder, to make sure no one ever faces childhood illness alone.

In his memoir, Lewis will reach out to all children who may feel isolated in their lives. After 13 brain surgeries and ongoing health problems, life for Lewis is a daily challenge. But he hopes to share honestly how he finds the strength to get through it, and lead a fun and fulfilling life against all the odds. Only a fraction of his story has been told so far - and from the sheer physical challenges to the almost unbelievable bullying he has endured, his story is an incredible one. His inspirational message will move, lift and astonish children and adults around the world, and he hopes to change everyone's view about the lives disabled and ill people can lead. 

Hine added: 'I am so excited about my book and working with the amazing people at Blink. I cannot wait for everyone to read my story, learn about my difficult journey and see how I got over 31 million people around the world to watch me show that it's okay to be different.'

Jerome said Kings Road 'couldn’t be prouder' to be publishing Lewis. 'His message is such an important one and his bravery and courage has moved us all. We’re looking forward to creating a book with him that he can be proud of and helps children around the world,' she said.

The spring 2018 launch will be supported by a full sales, PR and marketing campaign across traditional and social media. The Bookseller announcement can be read here.

Bloomsbury US wins auction for I FOUND MY TRIBE by Ruth Fitzmaurice

Liese Mayer at Bloomsbury US has acquired North American rights to I FOUND MY TRIBE by Ruth Fitzmaurice at auction.

Ruth's tribe are her lively children and her film-maker husband, Simon, who has Motor Neurone Diseaase and can only communicate with his eyes. Ruth's other tribe are the friends who gather at the cove in Greystones, Ireland and regularly throw themselves into the freezing cold water just for kicks.

As she tells the story of their marriage, via diagnosis to their current precarious situation, Ruth also charts her passion for sea swimming - culminating in a midnight swim under the full moon on her wedding anniversary.

Nadine O'Regan just described I FOUND MY TRIBE on RTE:  'It’s an emotionally resonant, beautifully written work, reminiscent of Joan Didion, which is well worth your time.'

Bloomsbury said the book, set for spring 2018, is 'for readers of H Is for Hawk and When Breath Becomes Air.' The deal announcement can be read here.

THE SIDEKICKS by Will Kostakis shortlisted for Ethel Turner Prize for Young People's Literature

Many congratulations to Will Kostakis who has been shortlisted for the Ethel Turner Prize for Young People's Literature for his novel THE SIDEKICKS.

The judges wrote this about Will's book:

'In this powerful novel three teenage boys, Ryan, Harley and Miles, must fill a void left by the one thing they had in common: their recently deceased best friend, Isaac. His death has exposed the frailty of the boys’ relationships and they discover that the same secrets that bound them to Isaac are now those that keep them apart.

The Sidekicks is presented as three short novellas — one from each boy’s perspective, covering the period immediately after Isaac’s death. This structure allows Kostakis to delve into the psyches of the protagonists to reveal that each is much more than the title that defines him: The Swimmer, The Rebel, The Nerd. While each novella might be read as a complete work, it is the cumulative effect of reading them in sequence that makes the novel such a powerful statement about teen identity and male friendship. Written in a style that is conversational, witty and poignant, The Sidekicks is a sharply authentic and deeply moving novel.'

Anna Liza and the Happy Practice shortlisted for CBI Book of the Year

Many congratulations to Eoin Colfer whose book for younger readers ANNA LIZA AND THE HAPPY PRACTICE has been shortlisted for Children's Books Ireland Book of the Year.

Founded in 1990, the CBI Book of the Year Awards are the leading children’s book awards in Ireland. They are a celebration of excellence in children’s literature and illustration and are open to books for all ages written in English or Irish by authors and illustrators born or resident in Ireland.

More about the CBI Book of the Year shortlist can be read here.

Benedict Jacka's BOUND in a starred review from Publisher's Weekly

The first review of the eighth book in the Alex Verus series, BOUND, is in and it has received a star from Publisher's Weekly.

The review of Benedict Jacka's latest book says: 'Sustaining interest inside a long story line like this depends on maintaining action, developing characters, and intelligently extrapolating magical possibilities. Jacka is doing a splendid job in all respects, and this volume builds up to a jaw-dropping cliff-hanger climax.'

 

Congratulations, Benedict! BOUND is out in the US on April 4th and the UK on April 6th.

Signe Johansen signs two book deal with Bluebird Books

Signe Johansen will have two books published by Bluebird Books in 2018 in a deal just announced.

Solo: The Joy of Cooking for One, a cookbook of 100 recipes celebrating self-reliance, self-sufficiency and the simple pleasures of cooking a solo meal will be published in February 2018.

Following in October of the same year will be a cocktail recipe book full of tips and tricks for the perfect tipple.

The Bookseller announcement can be read here.

HOW TO HYGGE one of Amazon's Best Books of the Month

HOW TO HYGGE by Signe Johansen has been published in North America to great reviews.

Publishers Weekly featured the book this week saying: 'Johansen’s tone is an embodiment of the philosophy: she encourages readers to appreciate the small moments, taking baby steps and savoring the ride rather than racing to the finish line. Readers interested in simplifying their homes and lives are sure to find plenty of practical recipes and suggestions here that they can implement immediately.'

HOW TO HYGGE has also been named one of Amazon's Best Books of the Month for January!

MORE OF ME by Kathryn Evans wins Edinburgh Book Festival First Book Award

Huge congratulations are in order to Kathryn Evans whose debut novel MORE OF ME has been awarded the Edinburgh International Book Festival First Book Award. This is the first time in the history of the award that it has been given to a YA book.

MORE OF ME, published by Usborne, is the extraordinary story of sixteen year old Teva whose life seems normal: school, friends, boyfriend. But at home she hides an impossible secret. Eleven other Tevas. Because once a year, Teva separates into two, leaving a younger version of herself stuck at the same age, in the same house... watching the new Teva live the life that she'd been living. But as her seventeenth birthday rolls around, Teva is determined not to let it happen again. She's going to fight for her future. Even if that means fighting herself.

Janet Smyth, Director of the Children’s and Education Programme at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, said, “I read Kathryn's novel, MORE OF ME, in manuscript form last autumn and I was immediately gripped by her characters and impressed by the subtle and skilful storytelling. She is a hugely deserving winner and a very exciting new voice in YA fiction and I can't wait to see what she writes next."

Kathryn Evans said, “I am stunned to have won this award – when I saw the calibre of the other authors I thought I didn’t have a hope. So often children’s fiction is seen as the poor cousin to adult books – yet in it, we tackle some of the hardest subjects in the most innovative of ways. I am so proud to hold the banner up for YA fiction.

“I had such an amazing time at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, this award is the most delicious icing on an already fabulous cake. Thank you to the Festival team for inviting me, to Usborne for publishing me, and to Sophie Hicks, my amazing agent, for sticking with me all this time. But most of all, a huge thank you to everyone who voted for More of Me – especially the teenagers, let no one tell you you’re apathetic because I know that you are full of passion. Readers, you stars, thank you for voting and making this happen. I owe you all the cake, you are wonderful.”

The Bookseller announcement of this wonderful news can be read here.

Anne Cassidy, Kathryn Evans & Emerald Fennell nominated for Carnegie Medal

SHA is delighted to have four books nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017. The Carnegie Medal is awarded annually by CILIP for an outstanding book for children and young people and is arguably one of the most prestigious awards for children's literature.

Anne Cassidy has been nominated for two titles, MOTH GIRLS and THICKER THAN WATER. Kathryn Evans has been nominated for her debut novel MORE OF ME and Emerald Fennell for her book MONSTERS, which was hailed by The New Stateman as 'Roald Dahl meets Muriel Spark.'

Massive congratulations to Anne, Kathryn and Emerald!

Sceptre acquires WILD SIGNS AND STAR PATHS by Tristan Gooley

In the week that Natural Navigator Tristan Gooley’s HOW TO READ WATER becomes a New York Times bestseller, Sceptre has acquired UK & Commonwealth rights (ex-Canada) to Gooley's new book WILD SIGNS AND STAR PATHS: In Search of Our Lost Sense. In his new book, Gooley will show how our ‘sixth sense’ works outdoors, through the practiced ability to make connections and then draw conclusions from all the evidence presented to our senses, without slow methodical thinking.

As Tristan Gooley says: ‘Anyone unfamiliar with this type of thinking may fail to spot a ‘missing’ step and be forced to view this ability as something mysterious, unfathomable. But once the missing step is highlighted, all becomes clear. We have allowed ourselves to become so distanced from this way of experiencing our environment that it may initially seem hard to believe that it is possible. I intend to show how everyone can develop this ability and hence enjoy the outdoors in a new and exciting way.’

Acquiring editor Rupert Lancaster comments: ‘The success of Tristan’s books and the huge audiences drawn to his talks show what an original and inspiring writer he is. We’re very proud to be his publisher and delighted to be part of his on-going quest to make the world of nature and the outdoors more accessible to more people’.

Sceptre will publish WILD SIGNS AND STAR PATHS: In Search of Our Lost Sense in 2018. The Bookbrunch announcement can be read here.

Element Pictures acquires film rights to I FOUND MY TRIBE

Film rights for I FOUND MY TRIBE by Ruth Fitzmaurice has been acquired by Element Pictures. The deal was brokered by Emily Hayward-Whitlock at The Artists Partnership on behalf of Sarah Williams at the Sophie Hicks Agency.

Emma Norton at Element Pictures said: 'Ruth's writing has the power to stop you in your tracks and make you look at the world differently. From the moment we read her article in the Irish Times we were totally captivated by her voice and perspective on her life. We feel a deep responsibility towards adapting I FOUND MY TRIBE for screen and can't wait to start working with Ruth on it.'

I FOUND MY TRIBE was pre-empted by Clara Farmer, Publishing Director of Chatto & WIndus, within 24 hours of receiving the proposal and the book has also been pre-empted in Italy (Mondadori) and France (Bragelonne). It is a memoir about Ruth's husband who has Motor Neurone Disease, their five children and is an exploration of the magic of suffering, the healing power of the natural world and the brightness of life. I FOUND MY TRIBE will be published in June 2017.

Element Pictures is one of Ireland’s leading film production and distribution companies. Some recent projects are Lenny Abrahamson’s Room, as well as most of that director’s other projects; and The Lobster, which won the Jury prize in Cannes.

The Irish Times has written about this exciting news here.

Signe Johansen's HOW TO HYGGE in the Sunday Times

Signe Johansen's forthcoming book HOW TO HYGGE has been serialised in the Sunday Times food magazine The Dish over the weekend.

In a wonderful six page spread, Signe introduces the concept of hygge as more than just 'cake, candles and lovely soft furnishings' and explains how hygge is something you have to earn - and how to accomplish this! With five delicious recipes included, this is a not-to-miss sneak peak of the spectacular book that hits shelves on October 20th.

Headline's Wildfire pre-empts CLOSE TO ME by Amanda Reynolds

CLOSE TO ME, the debut novel by Amanda Reynolds, has been acquired by Headline's new imprint Wildfire. Kate Stephenson acquired World English Language rights to this gripping debut in a pre-emptive offer to Sarah Williams at Sophie Hicks Agency.

The novel opens with protagonist Jo Harding falling down the stairs in her home. When she wakes up in hospital, she has no memory of the night she fell – if she fell – and no memory of the events of the previous year. All she knows is that she barely recognises herself, her husband is not telling her the truth, and her family is on the brink of collapse.

Stephenson said ‘Sarah sent this to me on my first day at Headline, and I devoured it in one sitting. I was utterly compelled by Jo’s story. Her partial amnesia works brilliantly both in making her an unreliable narrator, but also in making her incredibly vulnerable. The idea that other people – even strangers – know more about you than you know yourself is disconcerting to say the least. That they might then exploit your weakness by manipulating and controlling the information is spine-tinglingly chilling. CLOSE TO ME is a compulsively page-turning read, and Amanda is a shining new talent.’

CLOSE TO ME will be the first fiction title released by Wildfire and will be published in April 2017.

HOW TO READ WATER by Tristan Gooley hits New York Times Bestseller List

After only two weeks on American bookshelves, HOW TO READ WATER by Tristan Gooley has hit the New York Times Bestseller List.

The book is already a Sunday Times 'Must Read' book as they said 'This inspired guide to water in all its forms will make a big splash. . . . Gooley has done his subject proud—this is seriously fascinating stuff.'

It's wonderful to see HOW TO READ WATER's huge success on both sides of the Atlantic. Congratulations, Tristan!