Rae Rashad's THE BLUEPRINT sold in 'significant' six-figure pre-empt

Sarah Ried acquired North American rights in a one book deal from Catherine Cho at Paper Literary. THE BLUEPRINT is a speculative novel set in an alternate America where an uprising during the 1950s led to the re-enslavement of black women. It follows the story of Solenne, a young woman who becomes the concubine of a powerful white government official.

THE BLUEPRINT is a story about choosing one’s destiny, about sacrifice, about one woman’s journey to reclaim her power. Inspired by the life of Sally Hemings and the true accounts of enslaved Black girls who became concubines to powerful white men, this is a novel that reaches across genre, and – in the way that the most powerful speculative novels do – sheds light on the truths of our world.

Rae Rashad says: “Solenne’s journey to find emotional and physical freedom is both heartbreaking and empowering. As the author, there is freedom in being able to share such a deeply personal story with readers. Many thanks to my agent, Catherine Cho, and my editor, Sarah Ried at Harper. I will forever be grateful for their steadfast encouragement and belief that Solenne’s story deserves to be told with truth and honesty.”

'Major' six-figure deals for Tasha Coryell's debut IF I KILL YOU

Karen Ball's THE BEAUTY CASE sold in six-figure pre-empt to Viking

A former Bookseller Rising Star with her publishing consultancy Speckled Pen, The Beauty Case is Ball’s debut adult novel having written more than 25 children’s books.

Sarah Thomas's QUEEN K to be lead debut for Serpent's Tail

Brooke Robinson's THE INTERPRETER acquired in six figure pre-empt

We are delighted to announce that Harvill Secker has acquired the UK rights for debut author Brooke Robinson’s  “devastating” psychological thriller The Interpreter in a six figure pre-empt.

Katie Ellis-Brown, deputy publishing director for crime, thriller and crossover fiction, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Katie Greenstreet at Paper Literary in a two-book deal. The novel will publish as Vintage’s lead crime thriller debut for 2023.

US rights were pre-empted by Emily Griffin at HarperCollins and rights have been sold to Piemme at auction in Italy and to Droemer Knaur in Germany.

The novel follows a police interpreter and single mum who begins deliberately mistranslating statements to secure convictions, only for someone to discover what she’s doing and seek justice of their own.

Ellis-Brown said: “This is a book I’ve been waiting years to publish – it is full of emotional-depth, is exceptionally well-written and has a wholly satisfying plot with a twist that is genuinely brilliant – there is nothing like this in the genre right now.

“I can already hear readers saying ‘have you read the one about the interpreter?’ Brooke is a dream author and really has delivered a very special thriller. I feel privileged that she has chosen Harvill Secker as her partner to launch what is sure to be a huge writing career.”

Robinson, who hails from Australia and is also a playwright, said: “From the beginning it was clear to me that Katie and Harvill Secker were the perfect team for The Interpreter. Their vision and ambition for this book is truly exciting and I’m beyond thrilled to be working with them. Thanks go to my fabulous agent Katie for her energy and passion in making it all happen.”

Soon Wiley’s highly anticipated debut WHEN WE FELL APART publishes in the US

We are delighted that Soon Wiley’s highly anticipated debut novel, When We Fell Apart publishes in the US today from Dutton. Named one of the “Best New Books of 2022” from Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, When We Fell Apart is a moving and unforgettable read.

North American rights were acquired in a ‘major’ deal at auction by Lindsey Rose at Dutton and UK rights were acquired at auction by Bethan Jones at Simon & Schuster.

When We Fell Apart has received some incredible praise. Kirkus describes it as: “Fueled by deep feeling and a powerful sense of place, the book gains real emotional traction in capturing the despair of striving individuals pushed to the margins by conformist norms…A dark coming-of-age tale in the form of a mystery.”

In a starred review from Booklist: “Wiley’s tale is a knockout, its assured narrative ebbing and flowing with grace while painting a haunting and anguished portrait of youth in all its quiet desperation.”

It has received numerous early endorsements, including:

A marvelous debut novel, moving and suspenseful, a reminder that the greatest mysteries are those of being and belonging. Soon Wiley is a young writer to watch.”

—Jess Walter, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Ruins and The Cold Millions

“A lyrical exposition on what it’s like to be biracial, with one foot firmly planted in two distinct worlds, never completely fitting in, but capable of seeing what others do not. A lonely, heartbreaking, spellbinding story of love, self-discovery, and belonging.”

—Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

When We Fell Apart explores the tender and chaotic intersections of culture, community and the search for self. Rich with philosophical nuance, heart-stopping and exquisitely plotted, this is a novel to get lost in.”

—Patricia Engel, New York Times bestselling author of Infinite Country

Introducing Melissa Pimentel

We are very excited to welcome Melissa Pimentel, our new editorial consultant. Melissa brings so much knowledge and multi-faceted experience in publishing, we are excited to have her join the team.

From Melissa:

I’m really delighted to be joining Paper Literary as an editorial consultant.

I worked in publishing for over fifteen years, first in publishing houses in New York and London and then at Curtis Brown Literary Agency, where I spent most of my career. For ten years, I worked as a Translation Rights Agent, selling the rights to authors’ work across the globe and negotiating six-and-seven-figure deals. One of my favorite aspects of my role involved working closely with Primary Agents, offering editorial feedback that would help shape clients’ work for submission.

In addition to my work as an Agent, I’m also a published author, having written three novels under my own name and two under the pseudonym Jessica Barry.  After several years of juggling both careers, I left publishing to write full-time.

As if that wasn’t a big enough adjustment, my husband and I moved back to my native New England after fifteen years in London, and we now live in a drafty Victorian in Mid-Coast Maine with an overgrown yard filled with squirrels.

Writing full-time is a privilege, and I know how lucky I am, but a couple years into just me and my laptop, I found I missed the buzz that comes from collaborating with clever, creative people.

When I saw that Paper Literary was looking for a freelance reader and editor, I jumped at the chance.  I had the pleasure of working with both Catherine and Katie during my years at Curtis Brown and know that they are both whip-smart and genuinely nice people, so I’m thrilled that I’ll be working with them again in this new role.

Introducing Katie Greenstreet

We are so excited to welcome Katie (and Effie!)

From Katie:

Hello! I’m excited to introduce myself and tell you a bit more about the type of books I am hoping to champion in 2022 and beyond…

As someone who spent years desperate to crack into the publishing industry, I view my job as an agent as an immense privilege. I’m a keen traveller when the world is operating as normal, and I’m always looking to be transported somewhere new when I crack open a novel. I grew up in a conservative small town in the American South and books were my first window into the wider world, so the escapism and alternative worldviews that reading can provide are things I still value immensely.

Please query me with stories across any genre that have unusual and/or immersive settings as a focal point, or which bring previously unheard/suppressed perspectives to the table!

A huge focus of my list at Paper will be finding stories that uplift – after the past two years, we could all do with more books that make us smile and help restore our faith in humanity! The first major project I sold was a hilarious, heart-breaking novel about the power of dogs to bring out the best in people. My mischievous little cavapoo (Effie Doodle) is the light of my life, and I love novels that highlight how incredible animals are. Unlikely friendships are another soft spot of mine, and narratives tackling the theme of loneliness have really resonated with me lately.

That said, my tastes have a slightly twisted side as well, and I’ve always found myself drawn to stories steeped in darkness. While I don’t do gore or true horror, I do love suspense in all its forms, though even the most wicked protagonists must have some sort of redemptive quality to keep me interested. The Anna Delvey scandal kicked off an obsession in me with con artists and scammers – if you pitch me something as adjacent to The Talented Mr. Ripley, it will likely shoot straight to the top of my reading pile. I’m also a sucker for a revenge story, unreliable narrators, and any plot that might be described as ‘rich people behaving badly.’

My favourite non-client reads of 2021 were: The Maid by Nita Prose, Hostage by Clare Mackintosh, A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins, Magpie by Elizabeth Day, and The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz. You’ll notice a trend there – I love a good twist! It’s rare that a story leaves me truly shocked or surprised, and I’m dying to find something for my own list that has that gasping, what the heck, chuck-the-book-across-the-room moment…

I’m also a bit of a TV junkie and what I’m watching often informs what I want to be reading. The White LotusSuccessionSuperstore, BridgertonThe Marvellous Mrs. Maisel, and Ted Lasso are some recent favourites – if you’ve written a novel that would sit nicely alongside any of these, I would love to read it! I’m also addicted to reality television, and am looking for a book that speaks to that enduring phenomenon in a way that won’t feel immediately dated.

I wake up every day excited at what might tumble into my inbox, so please do send me your stories!

Katie Greenstreet Joins Paper Literary

We are excited to announce that Paper Literary has made its first hire. Katie Greenstreet from C&W has joined as an agent focusing on adult fiction and crime.

A former lawyer, Greenstreet began her publishing career at ICM Partners in New York as an assistant to Binky Urban. After moving to London, she has been at C&W Agency for five years, working alongside Sue Armstrong and Sophie Lambert. She has sold multiple projects across upmarket women’s fiction and crime, including Comedy Women in Print shortlisted The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman, Amazon bestseller The Safe Place by Anna Downes, and Ericka Waller’s Dog Days, which was snapped up by Doubleday in a six-figure pre-empt.

Katie Greenstreet says: ‘Catherine was one of the first people I met when I made the leap into publishing, and she’s remained a stalwart colleague, confidante, and friend across the many years since. I’ve had the opportunity to learn from some of the best agents in the business during my time at ICM and C&W, but I am delighted to be taking this next step in my career alongside someone as focused and forward-thinking as Catherine. I’ve welcomed some incredible new authors to my list over the past year, and Paper Literary is the perfect place from which to launch their careers. I’m excited to see their stories fly and to discover even more new talent in 2022.’

Sophie Lambert (Director, C&W) says: ‘Whilst we’re undeniably sad to lose Katie, we know how alluring the prospect of working with Catherine at Paper Literary is. As a long standing member of our team joining forces Catherine, who is also a much beloved author we represent, we know we will continue to stay in close touch. Katie’s eye for stand out commercial fiction is excellent, and I’m thrilled for her to be focusing wholly on building her own list. We wish Katie and Catherine great success.’

Catherine Cho says: “I’ve long admired Katie’s brilliant taste and dedication to her writers. We share a lot – we’re both Americans from the south, former lawyers who’ve crossed into publishing, and I know that we also share a vision for what we would like agenting to be. Katie is an exceptional talent, and I’m excited for this next stage for Paper.

Katie’s email is: katie@paperliterary.com