WHERE THE DARK STANDS STILL publishes in the UK

Happy publication day to A.B. Poranek! The highly anticipated WHERE THE DARK STANDS STILL publishes today in the UK.

A sweeping gothic fairytale romance for fans of Belladonna by Adalyn Grace and Gallant by V.E. Schwab.

Raised in a small village near the spirit-wood, Liska Radost knows that Magic is monstrous, and its practitioners, monsters.

After Liska unleashes her own powers with devastating consequences, she is caught by the demon warden of the wood – the Leszy – who offers her a bargain: one year of servitude in exchange for a wish.

Whisked away to his crumbling manor, Liska makes an unsettling discovery: she is not the first person to strike this bargain and all of her predecessors have mysteriously vanished. If Liska wants to survive the year and return home, she must unravel her host’s spool of secrets and face the ghosts of his past.

Those who enter the wood do not always return . . .

Praise for WHERE THE DARK STANDS STILL:

Where the Dark Stands Still is a triumph; a deeply romantic debut with spiralling, atmospheric prose that swept me up and away to the enchanted forests of Polish folklore. You’ll never want to leave this beautiful, magical world’. Sarah Underwood, NYT Bestselling Author of Lies We Sing to the Sea

‘Treading a tender line between unnerving and enchanting, Poranek’s writing is lyrical and atmospheric. With a beautiful grumpy/sunshine romance, Where The Dark Stands Still is a poignant and magical tale’ Bea Fitzgerald, bestselling author of Girl, Goddess, Queen

‘An enchanting spell of a read, woven through with petal-soft romance and roots-deep self-acceptance. The dark, gothic fairy tale of my dreams’ Kika Hatzopoulou, author of the Sunday Times Bestseller Threads that Bind


Jessie Elland's THE LADIE UPSTAIRS sold in pre-empt

Jade Chandler, publishing director at Baskerville, John Murray Press, has snapped up UK rights to Jessie Elland’s captivatingly dark debut The Ladie Upstairs, from Katie Greenstreet of Paper Literary.

The Ladie Upstairs introduces a bold and unflinching new voice in horror-adjacent fiction. The story follows scullery drudge Ann, who longs to become a lady’s maid. Ann can’t quite remember how or when she arrived at Ropner Hall. She loathes spending her days toiling in the dank kitchen, so when a chance meeting with Lady Charlotte leads to the opportunity to become her personal maid, Ann is convinced she has finally escaped her own version of
hell. But has she? As Ann’s experience above stairs takes a sinister twist, will it turn out that the terrors lurking there are worse than the devils she knows below?

Jade Chandler said, ‘I was bewitched by Jessie’s darkly visceral, ambitious and provocative novel from the first page. The Ladie Upstairs is wholly original; it’s set in an unspecified historical period that feels deeply grounded as well as slippery to pin down. I love how Jessie explores the patriarchal horrors overlaid on the female body through the eerie space that is Ropner Hall, where the paintings watch her from the walls, and nothing is as it first seems. Her plotting is compelling while also turning everything we expect from a big historical house novel on its head. I can’t wait to share her work with readers!’

Jessie Elland said, ‘I couldn’t be happier to be working with the team at Baskerville! I was so inspired by Jade’s passion for The Ladie Upstairs, and as soon as I learnt that Baskerville pride themselves on publishing ‘books that haunt the imagination’, I knew my book had
found its perfect home.’

Katie Greenstreet said, ‘I couldn’t be prouder to represent the wildly talented Jessie Elland. I was hooked from the first page of her initial submission, and uncovering the world of Ropner Hall through Ann’s eyes is a deliciously dark and twisted ride that I can’t wait for readers to embark upon. And The Ladie Upstairs is only the beginning of what I know will be a very special career!’

Baskerville will release The Ladie Upstairs in hardback in May 2025, supported by a suitably creepy and immersive marketing and publicity campaign.

About the author:
Jessie Elland is a twenty-four-year-old actress from Teeside best known for her role as Chloe on the hit soap Emmerdale, but she is a true reader and writer at heart and also blogs about books on her Instagram @JessieElland. THE LADIE UPSTAIRS is her first novel and was inspired by a grand estate near her childhood home around which much superstition swirled.


Rae Giana Rashad's THE BLUEPRINT publishes in the US

A very happy publication day to Rae Giana Rashad! Her debut novel, THE BLUEPRINT publishes today in the US from HarperCollins. North American rights were sold in a significant pre-empt.

THE BLUEPRINT is a stunning novel in the vein of Octavia Butler and Margaret Atwood, which imagines an alternate United States.

Solenne Bonet lives in Texas where choice no longer exists. An algorithm determines a Black woman’s occupation, spouse, and residence. Solenne finds solace in penning the biography of Henriette, an ancestor who’d been an enslaved concubine to a wealthy planter in 1800s Louisiana. But history repeats itself when Solenne, lonely and naïve, finds herself entangled with Bastien Martin, a high-ranking government official. Solenne finds the psychological bond unbearable, so she considers alternatives. With Henriette as her guide, she must decide whether and how to leave behind all she knows.

Inspired by the lives of enslaved concubines to U.S. politicians and planters, The Blueprint unfolds over dual timelines to explore bodily autonomy, hypocrisy, and power imbalances through the lens of the nation’s most unprotected: a Black girl.

Praise for THE BLUEPRINT:

The Blueprint is an astounding work, an unflinching portrait of misogyny and racism in a speculative world terrifyingly close to our own. Rae Giana Rashad chronicles the generational ghosts of womanhood, and how we understand ourselves through the stories of those we come from, in a way I’ve never read before. A remarkable new talent, and a timeless literary voice.” Ashley Audrain, New York Times’ bestselling author of The Push

“Horrifying, captivating, and full of urgency.” Kirkus Reviews

“A consuming debut, a provocative and worthy mash-up of historical and speculative fiction.” Publishers Weekly


Jihyun Yun's AND THE RIVER DRAGS YOU DOWN sold at auction

We are delighted to announce that Oneworld’s Rock the Boat imprint has acquired the UK rights to AND THE RIVER DRAGS YOU DOWN, the YA debut from award-winning poet Jihyun Yun in a two-book deal at auction. AND THE RIVER DRAGS YOU DOWN was acquired by Rock the Boat’s Senior Commissioning Editor Katie Jennings from Catherine Cho at Paper Literary on behalf of Annie Hwang and Serene Hakim at Ayesha Pande Literary.

The book is a Gothic YA inspired by a ghost story from Korean folklore about two sisters – one who dies under mysterious circumstances, and the other who brings her back, with devastating consequences. Pitched as SHE IS A HAUNTING meets THE ASTONISHING COLOUR OF AFTER, by way of THE GIRL WHO FELL BENEATH THE SEA.

Katie Jennings said: “I’ve been searching far and wide for a voice-led, multilayered Gothic tale and I’m beyond thrilled to be publishing Jihyun Yun’s unsettling, gorgeously written and deeply moving YA debut on the Rock the Boat list. Jihyun Yun is a rare talent and her unique, poetic voice, coupled with a raw, honest approach to grief really got under my skin. This is the spookiest and saddest of books – in the best possible way. I can’t wait to bring it to the broadest readership here in the UK.”

Jihyun Yun is the author of the poetry collection SOME ARE ALWAYS HUNGRY (University of Nebraska Press, 2020). Her work has appeared in Best New Poets, AAWW
The Margins, Adroit Journal, NinthLetter, and elsewhere. A National Poetry Series finalist and Prairie Schooner Prize winner, Yun holds an MFA in poetry from New York University and has been a fellow at the Fulbright Research Program, Brooklyn Poets, Lighthouse Writers Workshop among others.

Rock the Boat will publish AND THE RIVER DRAGS YOU DOWN simultaneously with Knopf Books for Young Readers in the US in autumn 2025.

We are delighted to have represented this project in the UK, many congratulations to Jihyun!

 


D.L. Taylor's THE BEASTS WE BURY sold in six-figure pre-empt

We are delighted to announce that D.L. Taylor’s THE BEASTS WE BURY and THE BEASTS WE RAISE, a YA fantasy duology, has sold in a six-figure pre-empt. Brian Geffen at Holt acquired World English rights in a joint acquisition with Emma Jones at Macmillan UK.

THE BEASTS WE BURY follows Mancella, a king’s daughter who can summon an army of animals, but only by killing them first, and Silver, a charming thief who plans to manipulate her to pull off a once-in-a-lifetime heist.

THE BEASTS WE BURY will publish in Winter 2025.

Diana is a civil attorney who works at a non-profit providing legal services to low-income clients. She has three kids, two cats, and minimal sanity, but in the quiet hours before dawn she likes to write about magic, mischief, and moral quandaries.

Congratulations, Diana!

 


Amy Tordoff's ALL WE HAVE IS TIME sold in six-figure deals in US and UK

We are delighted to announce deals for Amy Tordoff’s All We Have Is Time. Loan Le at Atria acquired the North American rights in a six-figure pre-empt, in an exclusive submission, and Vikki Moynes at Viking acquired the UK rights at auction in a six-figure deal from Catherine Cho. There has also been a flurry of international interest with rights sold in Germany, Italy, Brazil and Romania.

Combining the historical journey through time of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue with the emotional heft of The Time Traveler’s Wife, All We Have Is Time is an impossible love story between an immortal woman and a time traveller.

Vikki Moynes says: ‘Amy has penned an utterly transportive, sweeping book club novel with an enchanting dash of fairytale feel, that explores those timeless themes of love, loss and second chances. I was spirited away, thronging with the crowd at the Globe, basking in the splendour of the original St Pauls and sipping high strength gin on the frozen Thames – all with the deliciously wild Bea and the impeccably charming Oliver. Heartbreaking and heartwarming, this is one of the most original and beguiling long distance love stories I’ve ever read.’

Amy Tordoff says: “I am thrilled to work with Vikki and the wonderful team at Viking, who blew me away with their enthusiasm and vision for All We Have is Time, a story that began with a question: “What if an immortal and a time traveler fell in love?” The answer is a story about what it means to live, what it means to love and, most of all, what it means to be human.

I am forever grateful to the talented team at Viking Penguin and to my US editor Loan Le and her team at Atria for taking a chance on my debut, and to my amazing agent Catherine, who believed in everything this story was (and everything it could be) since the beginning. I have no doubt Beatrix and Oliver are in the best of hands, and I can’t wait for readers around the world to meet them.”

Congratulations to Amy!

 


Lauryn Hamilton Murray's STORM WEAVER series acquired by Penguin in upper six-figure deal

We are delighted to announce that Lauryn Hamilton Murray’s Storm Weaver series has been acquired by Penguin in a highly competitive six-house auction. Carmen McCullough, Publisher, acquired World Rights from Catherine Cho in an upper six-figure deal for three books. The first title, Heir of Storms is scheduled for release in June 2025, rights have already been sold in six countries, including a significant US deal with Roaring Brook Press, and is set to take the world by storm.

Lauryn Hamilton Murray is a phenomenal new talent from Scotland, her cinematic debut is packed with all the features of a hit: a compelling cast of characters, stunning worldbuilding, an electrifying love triangle, high-stakes political intrigue, and a life-or-death competition.

Described as Twin Crowns meets Sarah J. Maas with a touch of The Hunger Games, Heir of Storms follows Blaze, a Rain Singer, as she vies against other Etheri, masters of elemental powers, to be the ruler of a kingdom where crowns are not inherited – they’re won.

When Blaze came into the world, she almost drowned it.

Blaze, a Rain Singer, is born into one of the most powerful fire-wielding families in the kingdom. Her birth summoned a devastating storm that resulted in the deaths of thousands, and she has spent her life as an outsider, reviled and feared.

When Blaze and her twin brother, Flint, are selected to compete in the Choosing Rite, the trials which decide the future rulers of the kingdom, she’s suddenly thrust into the limelight – and into battle.

A handsome prince and a royal throne within her reach, Blaze is poised to take the crown and restore her honour.

Lauryn Hamilton Murray says: “I am beyond excited to be working with Carmen and the amazing team at Penguin Children’s, whose enthusiasm for this series has utterly blown me away. I wrote Heir of Storms during my final year of university, and I could never have imagined where it would lead me. To be given the opportunity to share this book with readers across the world whilst being published alongside a number of my literary heroes is a true privilege. I’m so grateful to the Penguin Random House Children’s team, to my brilliant US editors Kate and Emilia at Roaring Brook, and to my incredible agent Catherine, who believed in me and in this story from the very beginning.”

Carmen McCullough, Publisher, says: “This is such an exciting time for the fantasy market and all of the sub-genres within it. It’s incredibly important to us to have a fantasy offering for every reader and Heir of Storms really is best in class romantasy. Lauryn is an exceptional talent and I know there will be a huge global audience for her totally compelling series. I can’t wait for everyone to meet Blaze in 2025.”

Many congratulations to Lauryn, we are so excited for readers to discover Heir of Storms. 

 


Introducing Jenny Simpson

We are so excited to welcome Jenny Simpson to the team!

From Jenny: 

Greetings! I am beyond thrilled to be joining Paper Literary as a Literary Agent. 

As an American born in Budapest, I was raised in London, UK and went to boarding school and university in the United States. Given my background, I relied on books as vehicles to transport to my various homes away from home no matter where I was in the world.

After moving to New York in 2016, I began my career in publishing as an assistant in the publishing department at ICM Partners, one of the biggest talent and literary agencies in the world. I was promoted to agent in 2021, handling subsidiary rights with a specific focus in audiobooks and first serial. 

In my role, I negotiated and sold audio rights to leading audiobook publishers. As audio grew as a dominant format, so did podcasting. I worked as a liaison between the Publishing and Podcast departments at ICM (now CAA), handling original audio and podcast projects for our clients, with a specific focus in transitioning authors and journalists into the world of podcasting. I have always been fascinated by the many ways a story can reach so many different audiences in multiple forms. Audio, in particular, is an incredibly intimate form of storytelling, and it was an absolute joy to work with clients in connecting with their readers on a closer level. 

During my time at ICM and CAA, I also placed book excerpts to major publications, such as The New Yorker, The New York Times and The Atlantic, to generate excitement and awareness for our newest titles ahead of publication. I was incredibly fortunate to work with agents, publicists, and editors on exciting promotional campaigns in the lead up to major book publications by bestselling authors and award-winning journalists. 

At Paper, I will be building a subsidiary rights department as well as my own list. While I feel so lucky to have worked with the best of the best in the publishing business from my time at ICM and CAA, I am excited at the opportunity to discover talent and explore my own taste as an agent, and to use my expertise to build something new for the agency. 

I am on the hunt for commercial fiction and select nonfiction titles on health and wellness-related topics. I always lean towards stories about domestic family dramas, adult and female friendships, and contemporary romances with a modern edge. I am constantly thinking about the various paths life can take you, so any story that incorporates a time loop (think OONA OUT OR ORDER by Margarita Monitmore), spans one’s lifetime on a specific anniversary or season (ONE DAY by David Nicholls) or has that Sliding Doors-esque quality (THE VERSIONS OF US by Laura Barnett). 

I now reside in Belgium with my husband and dog, a Corgi named Olive! If you have a story that elaborates on the expat experience, particularly its impact on family life, marriages and friendships, please send my way! Similarly, I will always pick up a book set in a boarding school to take me back to my teenage self, a la Curtis Sittenfeld’s PREP and FOSTER DADE EXPLORES THE COSMOS by Nash Jenkins. 

My nonfiction taste leans towards topics on self-improvement and self-discovery. I love approachable books with digestible scientific research that help improve everyday life for all. In other words, I always want to learn, but never want to feel too intimidated by the material. In a similar vein, I enjoy reading first-hand accounts from individuals navigating wellness obstacles on a path towards self-improvement, for example GROUP by Christie Tate. 

Finally, I am forever grateful to the team at Paper Literary for giving me the chance to join their amazing agency. Thank you, and I am so excited to read your work!

 


Jenny Simpson Joins Paper Literary

We are delighted to welcome Jenny Simpson. Previously at CAA, Jenny will be joining Paper Literary as a subsidiary rights and literary agent.

Simpson began her publishing career at ICM Partners in New York in the subsidiary rights department. She was promoted to agent in 2021, handling all domestic subsidiary rights on behalf of the department, with a focus on audiobook and first serial rights. She has negotiated and sold rights at significant six-figure levels on behalf of prize-winning and bestselling authors and journalists.

During her time at ICM (now CAA), Simpson worked across the Publishing and Podcasting departments, servicing clients in their ventures into the original audio and podcast marketplaces.

At Paper Literary, Simpson will build a subsidiary rights department as well as a list of her own as a literary agent. She will build a list in commercial fiction, particularly contemporary romance, domestic family drama and books focused on friendship and coming-of-age stories. She is also interested in non-fiction on health and wellness.

A graduate of Duke University, Simpson grew up in London and attended the Columbia Publishing Course at Oxford.

Catherine Cho says: “I am very excited to welcome Jenny to the team. She brings world-leading experience in subsidiary rights, especially in the audio and podcast space, which I know will be an incredible asset to our authors. I’m also delighted that she continues our British / American hybrid theme as an American from London who has spent most of her working life in New York.”

Jenny Simpson says: “I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the wonderful team at Paper Literary. I was instantly drawn to how Catherine, Katie and Melissa created such a mission-oriented literary agency, championing writers and the power of their work to build sustainable careers. Advocating for writers and the interests in their work are the responsibilities of an agent that I treasure the most, and it is inspiring to see those qualities embedded in the agency’s ethos. I am incredibly privileged to have worked for some of the best agents in the business during my time at ICM and CAA and am excited to build out the subsidiary rights department and my own list.”

 


Brooke Robinson's THE INTERPRETER publishes in the UK

We are delighted that Brooke Robinson’s debut, THE INTERPRETER, publishes today in the UK! Katie Greenstreet sold UKBC rights in a six-figure pre-empt to Harvill Secker and North American rights in a pre-empt to Harper. Rights have also sold in Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, and Russia.

Early reviews have touted the book’s innovative premise and page-turning plot. HEAT called it ‘fresh, exciting, original,’ while PRIMA found it ‘compelling and ingenious.’

It’s also had some brilliant blurbs:

“An ingenious premise, cleverly executed, THE INTERPRETER is multi-layered and intriguing, gripping from beginning to end.” Sabine Durrant, author of LIE WITH ME and SUN DAMAGE

“Clever, atmospheric and utterly absorbing” Alice Clark-Platts, author of THE COVE

“Brilliantly crafted and deliciously dark, THE INTERPRETER forces us to question how
far is too far when it comes to serving justice and protecting our loved ones, and whether the best of intentions can excuse cataclysmic outcomes. A propulsive and heartfelt page-turner.” Erica Katz, author of THE BOY’S CLUB and FAKE

THE INTERPRETER follows single mother Revelle Lee, a court interpreter who spends her days translating for victims, witnesses and the accused across London. Only she knows what they’re saying. Only she knows the truth.

When Revelle believes a grave injustice is about to occur, and a guilty man is going to be found innocent, she has the power to twist an alibi to get the verdict she wants. She’s
willing to risk it all to do what’s right.

But when someone discovers she lied, Revelle finds the cost might be too high… and she could lose everything, including her son…

THE INTERPRETER will publish in the US on September 19th.