Spooky season festivities have been in full swing this week, with our authors having plenty of fun, and fabulous announcements, in the countdown to the 31st!

The wonderful featured cover is The Ends of the Earth (Penguin Random House) by Abbie Greaves. It tells the moving story of Mary O’Connor, who has spent years waiting determinedly for her first love to return to her, after he disappeared without a trace. But when Mary gets an unexpected phone call which may hold the key to this mystery, she faces a host of fresh challenges and heartache.

Another beautiful cover revealed this week was Louise Gooding‘s non-fiction children’s book, Just Like Me (Studio Press), which will be released on the 4th March 2021. It’s a beautiful celebration of inspiring people from around the world, which illustrates how our uniqueness makes us special.

A very exciting development for the Agency this week has been the recent announcement that  C.J. Tudor‘s The Chalk Man (Penguin Random House / Michael Joseph) is coming to TV screens in a 6-part BBC adaptation of the novel. Released in 2018, The Chalk Man was C.J.’s debut, and is a terrifying murder mystery, told through the lens of a man who witnesses a corpse as a child, as a result of his schoolteacher’s twisted game. The book has an ever-growing list of awards and accolades – just this week, it was included in Dead Good Books’ roundup of the ‘best crime books of all time‘. C.J.’s loyal fanbase has been begging for an adaptation for years, and we’re delighted that their prayers have finally been answered.

Being a stellar scary fiction writer, C.J. has naturally been in her element this season, and subsequently has been popping up everywhere. Do let us know if you were lucky enough to receive one of her ‘Trick or Treat’ boxes, which she sent to 50 Waterstones and 50 indies across the UK, as well as book reviewers, containing some tasty sweets and exclusive proofs of her upcoming paranormal thriller, The Burning Girls (Penguin Random House / Michael Joseph)! The book is available now on Netgalley. C.J. even included the Agency in the fun, sending some spooky treats to our office:

She also graced the Red Hot Chilli Writers podcast to discuss her work, iconic cinema, and the seminal film, In The Heat of The Night. You may have also caught her reading an exclusive excerpt from The Burning Girls  for a virtual ‘Noir at the Bar’ event:

In more deal news, we were overjoyed to announce that bestselling digital author Tracy Bloom has won an incredible two-book deal with HarperCollins for her upcoming comedy,  The Wife Who Got a Life, following the hilarious life and times of a woman on the cusp of middle age, who’s desperate to shake things up. This sure-fire hit is available for pre-order now.

We’re so thrilled that the wait is finally over for Helen Scarlett‘s  The Deception of Harriet Fleet, published in eBook by Hachette / Quercus on Halloween. This dark and enigmatic 19th Century tale follows a governess who finds herself unearthing dangerous mysteries lurking beneath the surface of her dysfunctional new host family. This weekend is truly the perfect time to get lost in this incredible piece of spine-tingling fiction, so be sure to purchase the eBook today.

Our client, barrister and author Alexandra Wilson, has an incredible profile in the New York Times this week, titled ‘What a Barrister Looks Like’: A Young Black Woman Paves the Way‘. Being shadowed for a week by a journalist, she gave an intimate insight into some of the struggles she faces being young and Black in the UK Court system. It is certainly a must-read.

We are still buzzing with the news that the TV adaptation of  Debbie Johnson‘s flirty and festive romcom, Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Sweater, is premiering in the US on The Hallmark Channel next week. The made-for-TV film follows a single mother who finds herself bereft of Christmas plans, until a she meets a handsome stranger in need of a place to stay. American fans, be sure to mark your calendars for the 7th November, and let us know how much you love it.

Leah Hazard, author of the sensational Sunday Times bestselling memoir, Hard Pushed (Penguin Random House / Cornerstone) is joining our ever-growing list of authors venturing into the podcasting space. Her brand new podcast, What the Midwife Saidwill be a frank, in depth look at all things fertility, birth, parenting and family. It will feature a host of diverse guests and it launches today, so be sure to subscribe!

Elizabeth Kay‘s debut, Seven Lies (Little, Brown / Sphere), has been in included in the Publisher’s Weekly Best Books: 2020‘ round-up in the Mystery/Thriller category. It’s no surprise that this suspenseful dissection of the toxic deceit simmering beneath a lifelong friendship, has been selected; it truly is a must-read.

Our Director and agent extraordinaire, Madeleine Milburn, has spent her week in Canada (virtually, of course) for the Toronto International Festival of Authors. Madeleine was hand-picked as a Distinguished Guest of the prestigious International Visitors (IV) Programme, which gives international publishing professionals an immersive, week-long insight into the Canadian market. On Wednesday, she joined a panel titled “Pitching and Closing the Deal”, in which she gave her expert insights into pitching, closing and negotiation. Madeleine had this to say on the exciting proceedings:

As well as this, another one of our agents, Catherine Cho, has been announced as a judge for Spread The Word’s Life Writing Prize 2021. We know that Catherine will make a wonderful addition to the panel, given her reputation as an agent, as well having authored a stunning autobiographical book,  Inferno: A Memoir, released earlier this year. Speaking on the importance of life writing, she commented, “life writing is a window into someone else’s life – it uses storytelling to connect the personal to the universal, to share experience in a way that’s intimate and revealing.”

You can find Nuala Elwood in Dead Good Books this week, talking about her ‘favourite winter reads‘,  she discusses her love of The Nesting by C J Cooke. Might we also suggest curling up with her recent release, the chilling psychological thriller The House on the Lake (Penguin Random House / Viking).

Praise continues to pour in for Caroline Bishop‘s  The Other Daughter (Simon & Schuster), which will be released on the 18th February 2021 – this time from fellow author Caroline Scott. She deemed the book, following a young British woman’s journey to Switzerland in pursuit of her family history, a “compelling and moving story” which paints a “beautiful portrait of mother-daughter relationships.” The title is available for pre-order now.

The super-cute festive romcom, The Twelve Dates of Christmas (Pan Macmillan) by Jenny Bayliss, has been featured in Good Housekeeping ahead of its paperback release on the 12th November. We can’t wait for readers to get their hands on the book that’s been crowned a “feelgood read” with “humour, romance and gorgeous descriptions”.

You may be aware that crime thriller writer  Caroline Mitchell, best known for her ‘DI Amy Winter’ series, is a former detective herself. Befittingly, she has recently launched a True Crime YouTube series, and this week’s Halloween special unpacks the terrifying case of the ‘Candyman Killer’. Be sure to tune in – if you dare.

We want to wish a hearty congratulations to Damaris Young, whose Middle Grade debut,  The Swtiching Hour (Scholastic) has been shortlisted in the Awesome Books Awards! This lovely award is organised by Cranleigh Schools, and the winning title is based completely on votes from children.

And we were overjoyed to see Lorelei Savaryn‘s The Circus of Stolen Dreams  (Penguin Random House / Philomel) featured in Book Riot‘s round-up of the top 10 ‘Eerie Reads for Middle Graders‘, amongst phenomenal company.

Two of our superstar Middle Grade authors teamed up to chat all about their recent debuts –  Jenni JenningsMalice in Underland (Scholastic) and Phil HickesThe Haunting of Aveline Jones (Usborne) are both wonderful pieces of spooky fiction, which is why they were the perfect guests for a Twitter Q&A all about scary children’s books.

You may have additionally spotted Jenni in the Metro this week; Malice in Underland was included in a list of Halloween-themed books “for the young and fearless!” 

Jordan Kopy has also been delighting us online this week – in celebration of the recent release of her marvellous Middle Grade debut,  Theodora Hendrix and the Monstrous League of Monsters (Walker Books), she has been throwing a ‘Halloween Bash’ in the lead-up to the 31st! One of many highlights included Jordan decked out as a witch, green skin and all,  for an extra-special read-aloud of the book’s first chapter:

And in International Rights news, we are pleased to confirm the following exciting deals:

Czech rights to C.J. Tudor‘s The Burning Girls have gone to Euromedia.

German rights to Katherine May‘s Wintering have gone to Suhrkamp.