Hodder Children’s Books has announced the acquisition of two books for the 10+ age group from adult number one bestseller Sheila O’Flanagan. Anne McNeil and Jon Appleton jointly acquired British Commonwealth ex Canada rights from Carole Blake. The first book, THE RUNNER, will be published in 2016 and is the first frontlist volume rights purchase for the Hodder Silver imprint, which thus far has been digital-only.
When Joe flees school bullies and finds himself in another world, he must team up with native Kaia to save her civilisation. Kaia is a Runner, one of three teenagers tasked with transporting the crystals that power the shield that keeps her country safe from their lifelong enemy tribe. Travelling into enemy territory, Joe has to come to terms with this new world, his feelings for Kaia, and that all may not be as it seems with the Runner’s task…
Anne McNeil said: “I was delighted when Marion Donaldson, Sheila’s publisher at Headline, passed The Runner to me to read, with a view to publishing it on the Hodder Children’s Books list. So many submissions from authors outside children’s books have come to us over the years, from writers who perhaps perceive a gap; or look for a trend. Sheila, on the other hand, has written a novel for children because she had the story inside her and clearly immersed herself in the telling of the tale. I love that. And I think that this book has real authenticity. Her enjoyment in the writing is self-evident.”
Jon Appleton said: “At Hodder Children’s Books, we’ve been curating Silver, our science fiction and fantasy list, for readers of all ages who love immersive, vividly created worlds. The Runner exemplifies all the qualities of Silver’s timeless, classic titles, and we’re delighted to make it our first brand-new acquisition and our focus title in 2016.”
Sheila O’Flanagan said: “I’m delighted to embark on a new creative journey with a group of people who are so passionate about children’s books.”
Carole Blake said: “Our relationship with Headline over the past 15 years has been very successful and satisfying, so it’s terrific to be able to keep this very different novel in the Hachette family.”
Sheila O’Flanagan’s adult novels are published in the UK by Headline, also part of the Hachette Group, and have sold in 17 languages. Her latest, IF YOU WERE ME, was published in July 2014.
Praise for Sheila O’Flanagan’s adult novels:
‘Sparkling and inspiring ... a must for the contemporary woman.’ – Ireland on Sunday
‘Magnificent, feel-good stuff ’ – The Bookseller
‘Sheila O’Flanagan writes with fluency as she explores territories of friendship, love and sweet revenge, and into it all, she tips a light comic touch.’ – Irish Independent