Melissa Pimentel Promoted to Editorial Director

Paper Literary is pleased to announce that Melissa Pimentel has been promoted to Editorial Director at the agency. Pimentel joined the team in 2021 as an Editorial Consultant. In the past two years, she has worked closely with agents Catherine Cho and Katie Greenstreet on editorial work for their clients, facilitating multiple six-figure and seven-figure deals and hotly contested TV/film option auctions.

Pimentel brings with her nearly twenty years of experience. Before joining Paper, she worked as a Translation Rights Agent at the Curtis Brown Group for over a decade. She is a published author, having written three romantic comedies under her own name and two thrillers under the pseudonym, Jessica Barry. Her work has been translated widely and optioned for film and television.

Paper Literary was founded on a commitment to supporting authors through every stage of their career, particularly in discovery, with the majority of their authors being discovered via unsolicited submissions. As Editorial Director, Pimentel works closely with authors on idea generation, structural edits and line edits, and offers guidance to help their work achieve its fullest potential – from their debuts and beyond.

Melissa says, “As an Editorial Consultant, I have absolutely loved working with the Paper agents and their brilliant roster of authors and I look forward to collaborating with them more closely in this new capacity. The future looks so bright for Paper, and I’m very proud to be a part of such a vibrant, inspiring team helping to foster a new generation of talent.”

Catherine says, “Melissa has been an integral part of Paper and in helping the agency grow.  Having an in-house expert like Melissa is a sign of our commitment to our clients, and the time and investment we put into our authors even before they go on submission. Melissa has a brilliant editorial eye, she is incredibly supportive to our authors, and she brings a unique skillset with her author-agent-international rights perspective. I feel so lucky to have her as part of our team.”


Melissa Hogenboom's BREADWINNERS acquired by Canongate

We are delighted to announce that Melissa Hogenboom’s newest non-fiction project has been acquired by Canongate.

Canongate will publish Breadwinners: And other power imbalances that influence your life, an essential guide for all couples and professionals by award-winning science journalist Melissa Hogenboom.

Helena Gonda, Senior Commissioning Editor, acquired World rights from Catherine Cho at Paper Literary.

Pursuing and holding onto power is a key part of every single human interaction, and it affects every area of our lives. In Breadwinners, Melissa Hogenboom explores the various power dynamics impacting our relationships and gives readers the tools to learn to recognise and then shift these imbalances and expose how norms can be changed. Grounded in evidence-based research and offering insights into inequality, relationship satisfaction and the interplay of how power affects home and work life, Melissa invites us to rethink traditional roles and push for a fairer, more equal society.

Melissa Hogenboom said: ‘I’m delighted to be working with Helena and the wonderful team at Canongate, whose support and vision for the idea will give it the reach it deserves. I truly believe that a greater awareness around this topic will encourage lasting change that everyone can learn from and apply to their lives.’

Helena Gonda said: ‘What happens when one partner earns notably more than the other? And, crucially, how do you navigate that? It’s great to be working with Melissa as she takes us through takes us through the fascinating science behind power dynamics at play in our relationships. This is a book that help readers address issues around inequality and relationship satisfaction, status, money and work with renewed insight, and I’m so pleased to be publishing at Canongate.’

Melissa Hogenboom is an award-winning science journalist, author and commissioning executive at the BBC. In over a dozen years at the BBC she has written online news and features, produced and reported for television and radio. She is passionate about telling evidence-based stories for a general audience and has written numerous long-form science articles on a range of topics including human evolution, psychology and neuroscience. She reports and commissions exclusive and experimental content, from going troll hunting in Iceland, to searching for her cosmic twin in a parallel Universe, to tracing the footsteps of the world’s last Neanderthals.


NOTES ON INFINITY acquired in seven and six-figure deals

We are delighted to announce deals for Austin Taylor’s debut novel Notes on Infinity in the US and UK. Katie Greenstreet sold North American rights to Deb Futter at Celadon in a seven-figure deal, at auction. UK rights were sold to Lily Cooper at Penguin Michael Joseph in a six-figure deal, at auction. German rights were sold to Heyne Verlag at auction.

Notes on Infinity by 24-year-old Harvard graduate Austin Taylor is an ‘extraordinary’ love story set against the world of Silicon Valley start-up culture.

Notes on Infinity begins in a chemistry classroom in Harvard, sometime in the late 2010s. Zoe and Jack couldn’t be from more different backgrounds, but they are both young, clever, ambitious – and instantly and irrevocably drawn to each other. When together they make a heart-stopping scientific breakthrough, they find themselves catapulted to the world of start-ups, fame, and money beyond their wildest dreams. But with it comes a maelstrom of insatiable greed, jealousy and deceit, and soon it becomes clear that their dream – and their relationship – might come at a heartbreaking price.

Austin Taylor is a 2021 graduate of Harvard University, where she studied Chemistry and English. She grew up in central Maine, where she now lives and writes, and will return to Harvard in the autumn to begin her law degree.

Taylor said: “I could not be happier that I and Notes on Infinity have found our home at Penguin Michael Joseph, and at Celadon in the US. Notes on Infinity is a product of my fascination with the real people living inside the sweeping dramas that capture our collective attention and dominate our news cycles. Lily Cooper and Deb Futter are a dream team, and I cannot wait to work with them to bring this book – and hopefully many more – into the world.”

Cooper said: “I was blown away by Notes on Infinity. Both a dazzling tale of ambition and deceit set against the vertiginous backdrop of Silicon Valley start-up culture and a deeply moving love story that had tears streaming down my face by the final page. This is the kind of extraordinary debut that as an editor, you dream of landing in your inbox. Austin’s assured, emotive storytelling will appeal to fans of Gabrielle Zevin, Maggie Shipstead and Jennifer Egan, but this story is completely unique, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be launching what promises to be a glittering career at Penguin Michael Joseph.”

Greenstreet said: “Notes on Infinity is singular in both its scope and its execution. It is a novel about ambition and expectation, about the promise and seduction of the Next Big Thing. It’s about the pressure placed on brilliant-but-unformed minds to move fast and break things, regardless of the cost. But most of all, this is a love story between a boy and a girl who meet in a college classroom and together dream up an idea that’s big enough to change the world, asking readers to recall their own first loves, first passions, first tragedies. I couldn’t be prouder to be working with Austin Taylor on this and all that is to come in her career.”

Congratulations, Austin!


NOTES ON SURVIVING THE FIRE acquired in US and UK

We are delighted to announce deals in the US and UK for Christine Murphy’s debut novel, NOTES ON SURVIVING THE FIRE.

North American rights were acquired by Vanessa Haughton and Jennifer Barth at Knopf at auction, and Wildfire Books pre-empted UK & Commonwealth rights. NOTES ON SURVIVING THE FIRE is a bold and abrasive takedown of campus rape culture, and a critique of our capacity to tolerate such violence against women.

Editorial director Ella Gordon bought rights from Catherine Cho at Paper Literary. Wildfire and Knopf will publish simultaneously in spring 2025.

In Murphy’s novel we meet Sarah, a final-year PhD student in southern California, caught in a landscape of extreme wealth and raging wildfires – a far cry from her childhood spent hunting wild animals in the forests of Maine. These days she spends her time worrying about how she will be able to get a permanent academic position, and also doing ketamine and watching 80s movies with her best friend, Nathan.

Nathan was the only person to believe Sarah when she was assaulted by a fellow student. Sarah reported it to the university and to the police, but nothing happened. When Nathan is found dead of an alleged overdose, Sarah is convinced it is a murder; but, once again, the police don’t believe her.

As she digs into the case, she stumbles upon a disturbing pattern in the deaths of other young men on campus and begins to piece together a possible link between the victims.

Gordon said: ‘There are so many layers to Christine’s arresting debut. On the surface it’s a gripping literary page-turner about rape culture and revenge; but interwoven through that are deeper questions about attitudes to violence; in what circumstances – if any – one can justify killing; and there’s even some Buddhist philosophy in there for good measure. We can’t wait for readers to get their hands on this incendiary debut next year.’

Murphy said: ‘NOTES ON SURVIVING THE FIRE’ is my namesake- dark, rude, and wildly inappropriate. I am thrilled that Ella and the team at Wildfire love my enfant terrible as I do. I am grateful to them, and to my brilliant, ballsy agent, Catherine Cho of Paper Literary.

Cho said: “When I first finished reading Christine’s novel I felt I was clutching a heart in my fist – it is defiant, rage-filled, and darkly funny – it demands attention. Christine is a remarkable voice, and I am delighted she has found a wonderful home with Knopf and Wildfire.”

Christine Murphy has lived, worked and travelled in over 100 countries, including eleven months in a tent across the African continent and a year as a resident in a Buddhist nunnery in the Himalayas. She completed the world’s longest for-charity horse ride across Northern Mongolia, during which she broke her back (for the second time). A trained Buddhologist, Christine has a PhD in Religious Studies.

NOTES ON SURVIVING THE FIRE will be published in February 2025.


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


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.