Publishing director Kirsty Dunseath bought UK and Commonwealth rights to two books by Shelley Harris from Jo Unwin at Conville & Walsh for an undisclosed sum. Weidenfeld & Nicolson plan to publish the first book, Jubilee, in 2012 to coincide with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Dunseath said: “Shelley is a real find. The voice in the novel is delightful, instantly engaging and full of warmth. Jubilee appeals to a certain nostalgia for the days when Abba vied with punk, when Jammie Dodgers were the biscuit of choice, and mothers across the country were busy icing buns red, white and blue… we will of course be asking booksellers to dig out their own memories and photographs.”
Set on the day of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, the book looks at “race, identity, community and childhood”, focusing around a picture of a street party with a small Asian boy staring intensely at the camera.
Article by Catherine Neilan from The Bookseller
“I sent my first draft to The Literary Consultancy for a critique and was really impressed with the insightful report I received. My reader pulled no punches; she thought the novel needed a complete restructuring – and she was right. When I’d done the work, TLC championed the book and was generous in sharing their expertise and market knowledge with me. In the end, I had offers from four agents, all of whom commented on how ‘polished’ the novel felt. This would simply not have been possible without TLC’s input; as I move forward towards publication, I am very grateful to TLC – they are brilliant.”
Shelley Harris, Jubilee, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (Orion)