Katherine Slee’s uplifting novel, For Emily, has been snapped up by Orion.

Senior Commissioning Editor at Orion, Ben Willis acquired the novel, and will publish it in Spring 2020.

Italian rights were pre-empted within three hours of submission, and the Orion team have already received offers in both Germany and the USA.

The story follows Emily, an elective mute and recluse…

When the country’s favourite children’s author dies, her only granddaughter Emily discovers a coded dedication in her first book.

And then another in her second; and another – every one apparently written just for Emily, and each a clue that will lead her on a bigger quest in search of her grandmother’s much rumoured final manuscript.

An elective mute and recluse, if Emily ever hopes to find it she must take a leap into the unknown. All she needs is a little dedication . . .

Ben Willis said of the acquisition: “Charming, warm, uplifting, humane, and about love and loss through the generations, and finding your own way in the world, For Emilyis a brilliant debut novel from a future star in commercial reading group fiction. Fans of Lost For Words by Stephanie Butland and The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan will adore it.

A delighted Katherine said of the deal: “Is a book dedication ever anything more than just a name typed onto a page? Whenever I read them, I’m always curious to know who the people behind the names might be, which in turn led me to consider the idea of them being used as clues to something more. In For Emily, it is a treasure-trail designed for a loved one, in order to show them that life can be an adventure if only you’re willing to take the first step.”

Katherine Slee has a Masters in Modern History from Oxford University, is a member of MENSA and used to work as an investment banker. She is now a stay-at-home mother to two children, and wife to a workaholic husband.