Headline scoops Allie Reynolds debut SHIVER for six figures in 10-publisher auction

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Headline has scooped the “beautifully original” debut from ex-snowboarder Allie Reynolds for six figures following a 10-publisher auction.

Fiction publishing director Jennifer Doyle acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in a two-book deal from Kate Burke of Blake Friedmann, in partnership with Hachette Australia. SHIVER will be published as a lead hardback in January 2021 simultaneously with Hachette Australia.

The high-concept thriller is set in the French Alps, focusing on five friends who meet for a reunion years after taking part in a snowboarding competition and the disappearance of the enigmatic Saskia. In a deserted lodge up a mountain, the secrets of their past are about to come to light.

Doyle said: “I was hooked from the pitch when I first heard about SHIVER. But it was as I was drawn into the novel by the intriguing and original voice of lead character Milla that I knew I had to publish it. Allie has created a compulsive and painfully tense thriller, with a perfectly paced plot, in which she gives the reader a captivating insight into another world. Here is a set of complex characters that are every bit as thrilling as the action on the ski slopes, and I couldn’t tear myself away until the novel came to its jaw-dropping close. I can’t wait to introduce SHIVER to readers everywhere.”

Reynolds is a former freestyle snowboarder, who spent five winters in France, Switzerland, Austria and Canada. In 2003, she swapped her snowboard for a surfboard and moved to the Gold Coast, Australia, where she has taught English as a foreign language for 15 years. Her short fiction has been published in women’s magazines in the UK, Australia, Sweden and South Africa.

She said: “SHIVER was inspired by the winters I spent training in the beautiful yet deadly world of the high mountains. I'm blown away by the amount of interest in my novel and thrilled to be published by Headline and around the world.”

The novel has already been pre-empted in the US by Penguin Putnam, HarperCollins in Germany, Calmann Levy in France, Piemme in Italy and Albatros in Poland. Auctions are still underway in several territories.

Burke said: “I signed Allie less than two days after reading her incredible debut and was delighted when, upon submission, editors had the same reaction I had – sheer excitement. This type of brilliantly original thriller doesn’t come along that often and I’m thrilled to be working with Allie and her publishers on bringing SHIVER to readers around the world.”  


Credit: Hannah Couzens

Credit: Hannah Couzens

Dani Atkins is returning to Head of Zeus after the publisher pre-empted her new novel in a two-book deal.

Head of Zeus published Atkin’s first two novels FRACTURED and THE STORY OF US  following a deal in 2013, before the author went on to write a trio of Simon & Schuster titles.

The first new book, A MILLION DREAMS, will be published in hardback, export trade paperback, e-book and audio in November, 2019. Publishing director Laura Palmer acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in a pre-empt from Kate Burke at Blake Friedmann.

A MILLION DREAMS tells the story of Beth, a young widow, who discovers that the embryo she and her husband froze before his death was implanted in the wrong woman. Her longed-for child, now a seven-year-old boy, is growing up without her.

Palmer said: “I just love Dani's gripping, emotional, uplifting stories. She writes books you want to curl up with, but they also make you think. I could not be more excited that Dani Atkins is coming back to Head of Zeus.”

Atkins added: “I’m delighted to be back at Head of Zeus, my first publishing home. Working with my editor Laura Palmer has always been a joy, and the enthusiasm from the whole team for this book has been incredibly exciting.”