See below for the latest CaskieMushens' news - new signings, new deals, prizes, and bestsellers.
Sceptre wins debut Suicide Club after 'heated' auction
Sceptre editorial director Melissa Cox has acquired debut novel Suicide Club by Rachel Heng after a "heated" auction to be its "super-lead" title in 2018.
The book is set in a near-future New York where life expectancy is 300 years and immortality has become an obsession for "the genetically superior". It follows Lea, an organ trader, who has perfect genetic code, and Anja, a mysterious character who draws Lea into Suicide Club, an outlawed activist group fighting for people's right to live and die as they choose.
Cox acquired British Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Juliet Mushens at Caskie Mushens at auction. US rights were acquired by Libby Burton at Holt in a six-figure auction from Sasha Raskin at UTA on behalf of Juliet Mushens, and rights have also sold in Sweden and Portugal so far.
Cox said it balanced big questions with "hell-for-leather" pacing, while Mushens called it "timely" and "provocative" with a human story at its heart.
Heng was born in Singapore and, following her studies in Comparative Literature & Society at Columbia University, now lives and works in London as an investment manager. She will soon be pursing her MFA in Fiction and Screenwriting at the Michener Center For Writers, UT Austin, in August.
She said: “I wanted to write a book about our societal obsession with youth and eternal life, our relationships with our oozing, shedding, deteriorating bodies, our age-old fear of mortality. I'm absolutely thrilled that Suicide Club has found its home with Sceptre in the UK and Henry Holt in the US, both of whom have such a great history of publishing ambitious and thought-provoking literary fiction.”
The book will publish as hardback and e-book in August 2018. It will be published simultaneously in the US by Burton at Holt.
Sphere wins auction for 'haunting' crime debut in six-figure deal
Sphere has won an auction for debut thriller writer Vanessa Savage in a six-figure deal for two books. First in the deal, The Murder House, will publish in early 2019 as a "lead" title for the publisher.
Commissioning editor Lucy Dauman bought world English rights to Savage's debut The Murder House plus a second psychological thriller at auction from Juliet Mushens, co-founder of Caskie Mushens Ltd. The six-figure deal was done jointly with Millicent Bennett, executive editor at Grand Central Publishing in the US. German rights were sold at auction in a six-figure deal to Droemer, and there are offers in France and Spain. Czech and Polish rights have also been snapped up.
According to Sphere, The Murder House combines "haunting" atmosphere with "breathtaking tension" in its portrayal of a family in crisis. It follows Sarah and Patrick, who move with their two children to Patrick’s old family home on the Welsh coast after Sarah has a breakdown. To Patrick, the house is a symbol of his idyllic childhood and the perfect place for a fresh start. To everyone else, it’s known as "the Murder House" because of the family who were slaughtered there. Soon Sarah starts to feel that the ghosts of the past are changing the man she loves – and that the house is concealing secrets Patrick has been hiding his whole life.
Alward signs new series with S&S set in near-future
The Potion Diaries author Amy Alward has signed a new series with Simon & Schuster, set in a near-future society where mobile phones have been replaced by “smart pets”.
The as-yet-untitled new two-book series aims to shine a spotlight on STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), with only 14% of STEM workforce currently occupied by women.
The YA books will explore how technology has the power to “open up a whole world of magical possibility”. The first will be published in August 2018 followed by the second in August 2019 as paperback originals.
Lucy Rogers acquired UK & Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) from Juliet Mushens of CaskieMushens.
Quercus buys Huguenot silk weavers debut
Quercus has bought a historical novel about Huguenot master silk weavers in 18th century Spitalfields, by a former lawyer inspired by exhibits in London's Victoria and Albert Museum.
Jane Wood, publisher at Quercus, acquired the UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) to debut historical novel Blackberry and Wild Rose, by Sonia Velton, from Juliet Mushens at Caskie Mushens. Quercus will publish in hardback as a lead title in spring 2019.
North American rights were acquired by Blackstone from Jenny Bent at The Bent Agency on behalf of Juliet Mushens at Caskie Mushens, and German rights have been snapped up by Goldmann.
The novel is about a household of Huguenot master silk weavers living in 18th century Spitalfields. It focuses on the tumultuous relationship between Esther Thorel, the mistress of the household, and her lady’s maid, Sara Kemp, set against the backdrop of the silk weaving rebellions of the time.
Blackberry and Wild Rose is “loosely inspired” by 18th century silk designer Anna Maria Garthwaite and the title comes from the name of one of her designs, which she recorded in ledgers along with the name of the mercer she sold them to.
Velton is a former city lawyer, specialising in discrimination law. She wrote the novel whilst on a career break having her three children. She has been shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize and longlisted for the Myslexia Novel Competition.
Second Sunday Times Bestseller for Claire Douglas
LAST SEEN ALIVE by Claire Douglas has hit the Sunday Times bestseller list at no. 6, marking Douglas's second ST bestseller. Congratulations Claire!
Ali Land on Richard & Judy Book Club list
Costa winner Stef Penney and bestselling author Victoria Hislop join debuts from Ali Land and Ruth Hogan on the next Richard & Judy Book Club list with W H Smith.
The eight titles on the influential book club list for Autumn revealed today (10th August) include GOOD ME, BAD ME by Ali Land. GMBM was a bestseller in hardback and we are thrilled that it has been picked in paperback!