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 director. 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 director.

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 an in-house 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.

Sarah Underwood’s LIES WE SING TO THE SEA sold in ‘major’ pre-empt

We are delighted to announce Paper Literary’s first deal.

Sarah Underwood’s debut novel, Lies We Sing to the Sea was sold in a ‘major’ pre-empt to Stephanie Stein at HarperTeen. UK rights were sold in a six figure pre-empt to Lindsey Heaven and Sarah Levison at Farshore. Rights have been sold in Italy (Mondadori), France (Casterman), Spain (Anaya), Russia (Mann, Ivanov & Ferber), and Korea (Yibom).

Lies We Sing to the Sea is a sapphic, feminist reimagining of The Odyssey, in which a failed oracle and a vengeful immortal must break the curse on their kingdom by killing its prince.

Underwood said: “I am unbelievably thrilled to be working with Sarah, Lindsey, Stephanie and everyone at Farshore and HarperTeen. Their enthusiasm for Lies We Sing to the Sea blows me away, and to be published alongside so many fantastic authors is such a childhood dream come true. I’ve always loved that Greek mythology is so deeply rooted in oral storytelling. Myths are made to be pulled apart and put back together, and I wanted to continue this tradition by giving voice to Melantho—one of the Odyssey’s 12 slaughtered maids—and sharing the story I always felt she deserved. I’m so grateful to HarperCollins—and, of course, my brilliant agent Catherine Cho at Paper Literary—for giving me the opportunity to do so.”

Levison added: “The Fates were truly on our side the day that Lies We Sing to the Sea sailed into our inboxes. This stunning novel, inspired by The Odyssey, has it all—fantasy, passion, mystery, romance and drama—and is astonishingly accomplished for a young debut writer. Sarah Underwood has an incredible author career ahead of her as one of the biggest names in YA and crossover publishing, and we’re delighted that Electric Monkey can once again be part of this very special story.”

Stein commented: “Sarah’s sapphic, feminist riff on Greek mythology is a YA debut for the ages. She has taken a single forgotten thread from The Odyssey and spun it into a spectacular tapestry of myth, magic, romance and destiny. It absolutely swept me away in its current, and I defy anyone to read it without falling in love (or shedding a tear). I could not be more thrilled to be launching Sarah’s YA career at HarperTeen.”

Underwood recently graduated in computational bioengineering from Imperial College London and will be starting her Masters at the University of Cambridge this autumn.

Lies We Sing to the Sea will be published in Winter 2023.

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