issue #11 – 6th September 2021

Over the past few weeks at David Higham Associates, we have:

Struck the match…

And celebrated publication of Paula Hawkins’ latest thriller, A Slow Fire Burning. Reviews of A Slow Fire Burning have been excellent, with many commentators congratulating Paula on writing a novel that more than meets the challenge set by the record sales of 23 million copies of her debut thriller The Girl on the Train and the ensuing bestselling success of Into The Water. Read this interview in The Guardian with Emma Brockes where Paula talks fame, persistence and feeling an outsider and in which Emma writes of the book: A Slow Fire Burning is a treat: utterly readable, moving in parts and saturated with the kind of localised detail that made The Girl on the Train so compelling. It’s also delivered unsentimentally and with an eye on the cliches of the genre.” You can also listen to Paula’s excellent interview on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row.

‘Shocking, moving, full of heart . . . Laced with humour and packed with moments of sheer horror, A Slow Fire Burning shows a writer at the height of her powers.’ – Observer

‘Superbly told, its twists and turns reveal the slow fire burning inside each which might just destroy them. Utterly compelling’ – Daily Mail

A Slow Fire Burning was published simultaneously in North America, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Sweden, with Good Morning America marking  the US launch with a news story and a billboard to match. A Slow Fire Burning is also forthcoming in Germany with many other languages to follow.

We also enjoyed…

This delightful video of culinary queen Claudia Roden revealing what makes the recipes in MED, her upcoming cookbook published on the 2nd September, so inspired. You can read about the magic of Mediterranean cooking in her interview with The Sunday Times and listen to her in conversation with Emma Barnett on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.

‘Claudia Roden channels the sun and warm glow of the Mediterranean. To read Claudia is to sit at her table, with everything, simply, as it should be.’ – Yotam Ottolenghi

‘A palpable instant classic, infused with wisdom, generosity and achievable deliciousness. Every page feels like a blessing.’ – Nigella Lawson

‘Claudia Roden is the queen of all cookbook writers. Med is a beautiful book brimming with wisdom and exquisite good taste.‘ – Jay Rayner

Looked forward to

An online event celebrating Diana Wynne Jones ten years after her death. Taking place on 26th September at 8pm, speakers will include Neil Gaiman, Diana’s sons Colin and Micky Burrow, and children’s author Katherine Rundell, who has written about how Diana inspired her.  


Catherine Ryan Howard’s latest thriller 56 Days, which has stormed to the number 1 slot in Ireland following its publication.

Publication of They by Sarfraz Manzoor (Wildfire/Headline). As well as claiming the coveted Book of the Week slot for BBC Radio 4, Sarfraz’s book also had excellent coverage in the Sunday Times magazine, Guardian and elsewhere.

Publication of Family Business by Victoria Glendinning. Victoria’s fascinating history of the father-and-son partnership behind John Lewis is published by William Collins. So far we’ve seen terrific reviews in the Financial Times and Sunday Times.

Publication of Being a Human by Charles Foster with Profile Books. A radical work of nature writing and philosophical enquiry resituating us in our real human skins. Among its many endorsements, Jay Griffiths author of Wild called it; ‘a work of shaggy genius… one of the most important books I have ever read”. Gregory Norminton, author of The Devil’s Highway, said: ‘An exhilarating book that asks all the big questions about our past, present and future… That Foster has managed to produce this clarion call for “a vibrant scientific mysticism” whilst being funny and entertaining is little short of a marvel’.

Publication of The Nature Seed: How to Raise Adventurous and Nurturing Kids by Lucy Jones and Kenneth Greenway with Souvenir Press. Lucy is the author of Losing Eden and Kenneth runs the Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park. They met at a bat walk in 2016 and have now brought out this book together which helps us to connect with the natural world, find wonder wherever you[KB1]  are…be it awe in the cracks in the pavement or magic on a walk round the block. 

The publication of three books in one day for children’s author and illustrator Catherine Rayner! Mini and Hardly and the Big Adventure, What It’s Like to Be a Bird, and the paperback of Arlo were all released on 19th August. Huge congratulations Catherine!

Publication of Rachel Rooney’s Hey, Girl!, illustrated by Milo Hartnoll’s from Otter Barry Books. A poetry collection which explores relationships, deep feelings and coming of age.

Publication of Jenny Valentine’s Love From Joy, illustrated by Claire Lefevre. The second in her series for 7+ which follows Joy as she tries to bring a smile to the faces of those around her.

Paul Hoffman’s The White Devil (Michael Joseph) which was released on the 2nd September.

The audio publications of J. M. Coetzee’s Boyhood, Summertime and Youth on Audible.

Celebrated fantastic sales of Val McDermid’s 1979, which stormed into the Hardback Fiction charts at no2. In total, 1979 sold over 9000 copies across hardback and eBook in the first three days!


Robbie Morrison, as Edge of the Grave has been shortlisted for the 2021 McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year and has also been selected as Waterstones Scottish Book of the Month for September.

Alan Allport and Helen McCarthy for making the longlist for the Historical Writers’ Association Non-Fiction Crown, for their books Britain At Bay and Double Lives respectively.

Craig Russell for being shortlisted for the McIllvanney Prize for Scottish crime book of the year. The winner will be announced at the Bloody Scotland festival for crime writing on 17 September.

Children’s author and illustrator Martin Brown, best known for his captivating illustration of the Horrible Histories series, for his exhibition ‘The World of Martin Brown’ at the Museum of Somerset. Open from 24th July through to 31st October.

Jonathan Stroud as filming gets underway for the adaptation of his Lockwood & Co books at Ealing Studios. The series is being produced by new TV and Film company Complete Fiction, for streaming on Netflix.


DHA authors Val McDermid and Naomi Alderman are among the twelve writers chosen to pen the first new Miss Marple stories since Agatha Christie’s final mystery 45 years ago, to be published in a new collection by HarperCollins in September 2022.

The renewal of Liz Pichon’s The Brilliant World of Tom Gates for a second season on Sky! The new episodes will be available on SkyKids in early 2022.

A new five-part series of Jacqueline Wilson’s The Beaker Girls for the BBC, which will star Dani Harmer and broadcast on CBBC and BBC iPlayer later in the year.


Chris Galvin to the ranks of children’s authors. He is currently working on his debut middle grade, The Thing About Giants, which was shortlisted for the WriteMentor Children’s Novel Award this year. The world-building is luscious and wholly original, and the central message of connecting with others is perfectly timely – this will be a treat to watch out for!

Suzanne Ewart as a new client to the agency. Before writing her first novel, Suzanne taught English to secondary school children in Greater Manchester. In 2019 she won the eHarmony/Trapeze books Write Your Own Love Story competition and her debut novel, One Month of You, was published in 2021. She lives in Warrington with her husband and two children. Suzanne is represented by Maddalena Cavaciuti.

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


Published by wordsandpictures

The weekly newsletter from David Higham Associates

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