issue #2 * 9th April 2021

In the last week at David Higham Associates, we…

Celebrated

The publication of The Perseverance by Raymond Antrobus by Tin House in the US on 30 March. The UK edition was first published by Penned in the Margins in 2018. We are thrilled that it is now available in a beautiful, new US edition. Tune into the launch event here and read a review in Publishers Weekly here. Look out for Raymond’s next book All the Names Given which will be published in September by Picador.

The re-issue of twelve of Milly Johnson’s backlist audiobooks by Simon & Schuster on 1st April to the delight of her readers.

And the stunning paperback of Eve Chase’s second novel The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde following a phenomenal 100,000 sales in ebook for The Glass House. The eBook is currently part of the April Kindle Monthly Deal, priced at 99! Buy a copy here.

We also celebrated our weekly bestsellers:

Harriet Tyce’s The Lies You Told in at #7 and Val McDermid’s Still Life at #14 in paperback fiction.

Lucy Holland’s Sistersong in at #14 in hardback fiction, Peter May’s The Night Gate at #16 and Megan Nolan’s Acts of Desperation at #50 in hardback fiction.

We made deals for…

Arctic by Kristina Spohr to Basic Books UK and Basic Books US. Kristina is a professor in the International History department at LSE, and will look at the past, present and future of the Arctic region as a focus of geopolitical tension.

Obsolete by Sam Wetherell to Head of Zeus. Sam is a historian at the University of York and is writing about the managed decline of Liverpool, and other post-industrial cities.

And for Swimming Underground by John Pilger to Verso. This is Pilger’s first book for over a decade.

Announced…

The new slate of BBC drama series commissions, of which DHA clients make up a quarter. These new out-of-London drama series include Wolf, a six-part series filmed and set in Wales described as a crime-thriller/horror mash-up, based on Mo Hayder’s acclaimed Jack Caffery novels, and Better, a 6 x 60-minute series set in Leeds, written and show-run by Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley (Humans, Spooks) and produced by Sister Pictures (Chernobyl, Giri/Haji).

Aforementioned best-selling crime writer Mo Hayder is writing an epic new speculative thriller series, The Cirque Cycle, under the pen-name of Theo Clare. The first book in the series, The Book of Sand, will be published by Century, a Cornerstone imprint, in early 2022.

The launch of 1979, the first book in Val McDermid’s first new series in 20 years which will be published in August by Sphere. 1979 will introduce ambitious young reporter Allie Burns, “who knows she needs to be twice as good as the men she works with just to be allowed to hunt down stories.” Allie’s story will be told in five instalments, each set a decade apart, tracking the changing state of Scotland’s criminal, social and political landscape, as well as this unforgettable protagonist’s life.

Jessie Keane is moving to Hodder & Stoughton for her next two books, including the standalone historical thriller, Diamond, which will be published in February 2022. 

Congratulated

Naoise Dolan whose debut novel EXCITING TIMES has been longlisted for the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction and shortlisted for Fiction Debut of the Year at the 2021 British Book Awards.

Kathryn Scanlan who has won a 2021 Literature Award from The American Academy of Arts and Letters “honoring exceptional accomplishment in any genre”. This year’s award committee members were Amy Hempel (chair), Edwidge Danticat, Louise Glück, John Guare, Edward Hirsch, and Joy Williams.

Christopher Douglas who has won the coveted Tinniswood Award for the best original audio drama script at the BBC Audio Drama Awards which were hosted virtually on 26 March. Christopher’s radio play Tristram Shandy: In Development was was produced by Gary Brown for BBC Radio Drama North and broadcast on BBC Radio 4 last year. The judges said: “This hilarious play takes the ultimate shaggy dog story by the scruff of the neck and shakes some new and wonderful nonsense into it. Part satire, part homage and total re-boot, it wears its knowledge lightly as we romp through the ‘recording’ of Sterne’s novel in a series of brilliant, laugh-out-loud stories that are deliciously entertaining throughout. A terrific achievement.”

The members of The Detection Club and editor Martin Edwards for the shortlisting of Howdunit: A Masterclass in Crime Writing for the CrimeFest H.R.F. Keating Award for best biography or critical book related to crime fiction.

Kate Milner’s IT’S A NO-MONEY DAY and Catherine Rayner’s ARLO which are two of only eight shortlisted titles for the prestigious Greenaway Medal for Illustration. IT’S A NO-MONEY DAY sensitively depicts a child and parent who sometimes have to visit a foodbank to get by. ARLO follows a wakeful lion who just can’t seem to get to sleep!

Congratulations also to our very own Andrew Gordon who has been be invited to join the Advisory Committee of the Cundill History Prize!

Travelled to Greece…

The translation rights team has been busy traveling the world from their home offices, reconnecting with translation editors and sharing their passion for our authors. They have mastered strategies about when to start the kettle so it doesn’t interrupt back to back Zoom meetings and are enjoying seeing editors’ bookshelves in all their shapes and colours.

Imo took a trip to Greece a couple of weeks ago – sadly, she wasn’t actually in Athens drinking ouzo or eating copious amounts of tzatziki. Greece is experiencing an interesting time politically, culturally, and socially. The pandemic continues to wreak havoc, the #MeToo movement made a big impact in February and the country celebrated 200 years of independence in March. 

The pandemic saw a huge rise in online book sales, something unusual for the region. Physical bookshops play a focal part in the Greek market when it comes to how publishers, authors and readers interact as they promote new books and record trends. Editors have found it harder to get a sense of the market dynamics over the course of the last year.

Overall, there has been a noticeable rise in sales of self-help titles (titles that are about managing stress and anxiety have performed especially well) and readers have turned towards the classics. In terms of contemporary fiction (commercial, historical, and literary), publishers were on the lookout for strong female characters in a clear response to the #MeToo movement.

Welcomed…

Barbara McLean as a new client to the agency. Jessica Woollard is her agent. At a time when many people are considering alternatives to city life, McLean writes about her experience of the last back-to-the-land movement. Fifty years ago she set up a remote sheep farm with no knowledge or training, and in this memoir she describes how she learnt from scratch how to live close to the land. No gritty city streets, no crowds, no boss, her timetable moved with the sun and the seasons, helped by generous neighbours, a good library and a rock solid determination never to give up.

Courtney Pine, the saxophonist and founder of the Jazz Warriors, who is working on his autobiography, to DHA associate agency Elise Dillsworth Agency.

Enjoyed…

The FT review of Leone Ross’s forthcoming This One Sky Day which is described as, ‘Easily one of the most gorgeous and lavishly sprawling books of 2021…Ross’s descriptions are rich with inventiveness, colour, flavour.’

Debut thriller novelist Tina Baker’s interview on Lorraine last week. We were delighted to see Call Me Mummy race up the charts after it aired. By the end of the day it had reached the coveted #1 bestseller spot in the Kindle Store!

Staying up all night reading the terrifically chilling thriller Shadow of a Doubt by Michelle Davies, which is only 99p on the Kindle Store in April. Cass Green said it was ‘a veritable chill-fest, which entertained and spooked me in equal measure. I loved it.’ We think you will love it too.

We hope you enjoyed our latest news round-up. Happy reading, keep watching,

DHA

Published by wordsandpictures

The weekly newsletter from David Higham Associates

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