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MBA Literary Agents Autumn 2013 Rights Guide



Fiction Gemma Burgess Jean Fullerton Sue Gee Julian Green Debbie Johnson Clare Morrall Gareth Roberts May-Lan Tan Paul Wilson Cathy Woodman

4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Non-Fiction Alf Dole Richard Marsh Mark Wallington

14 15 16



Gemma Burgess BROOKLYN GIRLS Fantastically funny and fresh, Brooklyn Girls is the first novel in a brand new series about five twenty-something friends - Pia, Angie, Julia, Coco and Madeleine - sharing a brownstone in hip downtown Brooklyn, and discovering the ups, downs, ins and outs of adult life.

PIA The first book is Pia's story. She's sophisticated, spoilt, and stylish... and unemployed, unemployable, and broke. So what is a recent grad with an art history degree and an unfortunate history of Facebook topless photos to do? Start a food truck business, of course! Pia takes on the surprisingly cutthroat Brooklyn world of hybrid lettuce growers and starts SkinnyWheels - all while dealing with hipster beekeepers, onenight-stands, heartbreak, parental fury, wild parties, revenge, jail, loan sharks, playboys, karaoke, true love, and one adorable pink food truck. And that's without counting her roommates' problems, too...

ANGIE Broke. Brokenhearted. Bored. Angie James is lost. A regular poster girl for Generation Screwed, life aged 22 isn’t exactly what she expected. Shouldn’t she feel a little more together by now? In the Brooklyn townhouse she shares with her best friends, Angie knows she should be happy. Instead, she presses selfdestruct. Over and over again. Until the people she loves the most seem more distant than ever, and the bottom of a vodka bottle is easier to face than the future. It’s going to take a lot to find her way back . . . Who knew adulthood would be so damn grown-up? Gemma Burgess has captured the confusion, hilarity and excitement of the post-graduate years against a backdrop of the pressures and chaos of New York City life, with heartfelt empathy, fast humour and sharp honesty. Brooklyn Girls is your next favourite book series. Gemma’s first two novels, The Dating Detox and A Girl Like You were published by Avon. UK Publisher: Quercus, January 2014 US Publisher: St Martin’s Press, January 2014 Rights Sold: Germany – Blanvalet; Holland - Luitingh Sijthoff; Poland – Pascal; Spain – Plaza; Italy – Mondadori


For everyone who enjoyed CALL THE MIDWIFE …

Jean Fullerton CALL NURSE MILLIE ‘A delightful, well researched story that really does depict nursing and the living conditions in the East End at the end of the war’. Lesley Pearce It's 1945 and, as the troops begin to return home, the inhabitants of London attempt to put their lives back together. For 25-year-old Millie, a qualified nurse and mid-wife, the jubilation at the end of the war is short-lived as she tends to the needs of the East End community around her. But while Millie witnesses tragedy and brutality in her job, she also finds strength and kindness. And when misfortune befalls her own family, it is the enduring spirit of the community that shows Millie that even the toughest of circumstances can be overcome. Through Millie's eyes, we see the harsh realities and unexpected joys in the lives of the patients she treats, as well as the camaraderie that is forged with the fellow nurses she lives with. Filled with unforgettable characters and moving personal stories, CALL NURSE MILLIE vividly brings to life the colourful world of a post-war East London. UK Publisher: Orion, July 2013

ALL CHANGE FOR NURSE MILLIE Millie is settling into married life with her husband, MP Jim Smith, and is trying to balance her duties as a wife with her healthcare duties to the people of the East End. Swept up in the expectations that go hand-inhand with Jim’s blossoming political career, Millie begins to wonder how much longer she’ll be able to continue in the job she loves. Her patients need a nurse and midwife but who needs Millie more? And in the end, will the decision even be hers to make? When a familiar face from the past makes an appearance, and dark secrets from her home life come to light, it’s all change for Nurse Millie. But will she get the happy ending that she deserves? UK Publisher: Orion, February 2014 Christmas is approaching - but for Nurse Millie babies are still being born, and in the East End of London, new mothers still need all the care and support she, and her best friend Nurse Annie, can give. Vividly summing up all the friendship of a close-knit community - both for the midwives and for the families - CHRISTMAS WITH NURSE MILLIE powerfully brings to life post-War London - with a heartwarming festive twist. Novella for Christmas 2013 Jean Fullerton won the 2006 Harry Bowling Prize for her novel No Cure For Love. She was shortlisted for the RNA Awards in 2010 for A Glimpse of Happiness and again in 2012 for Hold on to Hope. She grew up in the East London, has worked as a nurse and now teaches nursing. 5

Sue Gee COMING HOME ‘A storyteller utterly at ease with her craft’ Times Literary Supplement A life-long passion for a country, for memories and for each other bind Will and his wife Flo Sutherland. They fell in love in Bombay late in WW2, and she is pregnant when they set sail to return to England in 1949. All Will wants is to care for his young family but he feels like a man out of place and time. Working on a remote dairy farm in Devon proves too much hard work and, later, a desk job in London is a long, tedious commute and leaves Flo lonely and isolated in their new suburban home. Their children, Beatrice and Freddie, provide the warm, beating heart of the family – their young lives full of the joy of animals, music and games and enchantment with their parents’ stories of India and the grandparents they never really knew. But as the children grow up, their parents’ world seems old fashioned and their memories of British colonial India mean nothing to a boy who longs for a friend to share his passion for photography, or to a teenage girl whose world is shaped by pop music. Praise for Coming Home: "Big questions, much asked at the moment, but seldom better considered than in this elegantly written, sympathetic, quietly sensational tale of a rivetingly unsensational family." Wendy Holden, the Daily Mail "Most importantly this powerful and convincing novel reveals the misunderstandings and lack of comprehension which are the cause of the quiet, painful drama of most ordinary lives". Vanessa Berridge, The Express "Gentle, evocative and totally involving". Fanny Blake, Woman & Home Orange long-listed, Good Housekeeping shortlisted, RNA winner, this is Sue Gee’s first novel since her bestselling Reading in Bed. Coming Home’s seemingly intimate theme of family life reflects the huge social and economic changes of mid 20th century England and the novel works on several different levels but is always, as with all Sue Gee’s work, profoundly humane and deeply felt. UK Publisher: Headline Review, August 2013 Rights Sold: Italy –Newton Compton Editore Option: France – Charleston, Leduc Editions

Julian Green 6

THE SPIDER SUN A fantasy novel for 9-12 year olds. Deep in the Earth sits the weird kingdom of Borgania, where door knockers speak, houses move aside for you and Drongos eat cobbles. There’s also the small matter that humans can regrow their bodies if their heads get cut off and tea drinking is illegal. When a Borganian citizen Toadflax stalks 12 year old Jacob from the our world, he ‘borrows’ his craft school book complete with doodles. Mistaking the doodles as plans to blow up Borgania, events set in motion that could devastate London. Jacob goes to get his book back and finds himself facing a far bigger challenge than lost homework.. Julian’s world is full of humour and engaging characters. It romps along at a fair pace, but is accessible and although you are immersed in the fantasy world, you are never lost. Julian practiced his craft on YouWriteOn where two of his works have reached bestseller status and won professional critiques from publishers. He is single and lives in Wiltshire. UK Publisher: Curious Fox (UK and Commonwealth), September 2014


Debbie Johnson DARK VISION (first in The Rising fantasy fiction series) Imagine a world where you can’t touch. Where even the slightest brush of someone else’s skin against yours brings horrifying visions of the future. Where you spend your whole life in hiding. Lily McCain doesn’t have to imagine – that’s been her reality since the death of her parents when she was just six years old. Now Lily’s life is plunged into chaos with the arrival of a mysterious stranger called Gabriel, who tells her a truth she’s always known: she’s just not normal. Her whole existence as a music writer living in Liverpool is blown away by his revelations, and Lily must face up to a new reality: a reality that’s even more frightening. A reality where she isn’t Lily McCain, girl reporter, but a Celtic Goddess who holds the fate of humanity in her hands. Debbie Johnson’s first novel, Pool of Life, blends the spectacular tales of Celtic myth and legend with modern-day life in one of the world’s most famous cities – Liverpool. She won the Harry Bowling Prize in 2010 and lives and works as a freelance journalist in Liverpool. UK Publisher: Del Rey, Random House, April 2014


Clare Morrall AFTER THE BOMBING An exciting new departure from the acclaimed literary novelist – her ambitious new novel is set in the 1940s and 60’s in south-west England. In May 1942 Exeter and other British cities were bombed, in retaliation for the bombing of German ports. These cities had been picked for their historic significance – from a Baedeker tourist guide. Among the many buildings which took direct hits in Exeter were a girls’ school and the city’s hospital. This exceptional novel sees 15-year-old Alma Braithwaite survive in the school’s air raid shelter, whilst her parents, both doctors and at work in the hospital, tragically die. Twenty years later Alma is still at the girls’school as the head of music, living in the house she and her brother grew up in. She learns that a new pupil is the daughter of a man she knew in the war – he was warden of the residency she lived in after the school was destroyed – and memories of that time come flooding back. She recalls her close friendship with brilliant pianist Jane Curly and the boys they were billeted with who introduced them to the latest jazz tunes, and partnered them for exuberant dances like the Lindy Hop. Alma’s life is about to be shaken again as she faces an entirely different sort of enemy attack – but who will be her allies this time? Praise for Clare Morrall: “Morall writes with poise and delicacy, and her subjects are delightfully offbeat” Lucy Atkins, The Sunday Times (The Roundabout Man) “A story of self-discovery, of difficult family relationships and redemptive friendships that slips between past and present and unfolds not so much a coming-of-age as a coming-tounderstanding…An enjoyable, engrossing read” Lisa Gee, The Independent (The Language of Others) Clare Morrall shot to fame when her first novel, Astonishing Splashes of Colour, published by Tindal Street Press, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2003. She has published four novels since then, one of which, The Man Who Disappeared, was selected for the 2010 TV Book Club's Summer Reads. UK Publisher: Sceptre, March 2014


Gareth Roberts WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BILLY PARKS? The Damned United meets A Matter of Life and Death This entertaining novel centres around Billy Parks, an ailing alcoholic 1970's football star whose life has descended to doing Question & Answer turns in seedy local London pubs and clubs to pay for his daily drinks bill. Billy is approached by a mysterious figure from his past who offers him the chance to put right October 17th, 1973 - arguably the most significant football date in the '70's. The night England could only draw 1-1 at Wembley with Poland - failing to qualify for the World Cup finals. He must present his case before a celestial tribunal of football immortals. Are these the visions of a tormented mind, or is he dying? A collapse and a spell in hospital leave Billy feeling that football heaven can wait as he attempts to get his life back on track, under pressure from his doctor and his close friend Maureen.Can Billy finally kick the bottle and re-connect with his estranged daughter? Gareth Roberts is an enormously gifted writer. His first novel, That Immortal Jukebox Sensation, was published by an independent publisher, went on to win the Amazon Clicks Award and was promoted as a Waterstones Book of the Month. Whatever Happened to Bill Parks? is a moving examination of a man's life, his triumphs and his failures. Dark and light, full of wit, passion, despair and joy. Gareth's heritage is clear enough to see – a modern day Nick Hornby perhaps - yet his wonderful premise makes this a truly original novel and it is certainly a lot of fun too. UK Publisher: HarperCollins / Friday Project, November 2013


May-Lan Tan THINGS TO MAKE AND BREAK A motorcycle courier finds a cache of nude photos in her boyfriend’s desk. The daughter of East German emigrants encounters her doppelganger, who has crossed another cultural divide. Twin brothers fall for the same girl. When a stripper receives an enigmatic proposal from a client, she accepts, ignorant of its terms. Shadows, doubles, and the ghosts of past and future lovers haunt these elegantly structured and often hallucinatory stories. The language is hypnotic, deadpan, intense; the sentences jewel hard and sublime. This marks the debut of a stylish, exuberant new voice in modern fiction. “May-Lan Tan? Okay let’s make that, make her, the topic, then: May-Lan Tan. So here is what I, my having just two seconds ago finished getting myself jazzed crazy by THINGS TO MAKE AND BREAK, am wagering when it comes to May-Lan Tan – to wit, that some smart gobbet of the populace will, five years hence, be found entering her name onto a list of those whose first-hand reports from the interior can be counted upon when, at the world-wide betting window, it’s time to risk what’s left of time. Nah, I’ve reconsidered – make it two and a half years.” Gordon Lish UK Publisher: CB Editions, February 2014


Paul Wilson MOUSE AND THE COSSACKS A heartbreaking story of wartime betrayal is uncovered by a girl whose own secrets have stolen her speech. ‘The first thing you have to know about me is that I have no voice.’ Mouse de Bruin has been completely silent since a trauma at the age of eight. She communicates in notes and emails and is very observant. When she moves with her mother to a deserted farmhouse in the Pennines, she becomes intrigued by the traces of the previous inhabitant’s life there, William Caxton, a schoolteacher who served as an officer at the camp of the Russian White Army during World War 2. Who is the mysterious Anna he has addressed so many letters about his past to? Like a detective, Mouse researches his recent movements, his links with his neighbours and an Albanian refugee, and – most devastatingly – his secret wartime past. With the example of William’s extraordinary life, Mouse begins to conceive an escape from her own damaging past and to find a way to live in the present. Paul Wilson won the Portico Prize for Literature for Do White Whales Sing at the Edge of the World? His other novels include Noah Noah, Someone to Watch Over Me and last year’s The Visiting Angel which was also shortlisted for the Portico Prize. Someone to Watch Over Me was recently optioned for film by Projector Pictures. Praise for Mouse and the Cossacks: ‘Two lives, two ages, two secrets cleverly and touchingly braided together by a writer of true merit and humanity.’ Jim Crace "Betrayals and the truths behind them are at the heart of this powerful book." The Guardian "Paul Wilson’s moving and beautifully crafted novel is, in part, an exploration of the therapeutic power of language. At the beginning Mouse worries that she and her reticent mother are insubstantial as ghosts – “perhaps in the end, we’ll simply vanish into thin air” – but in recovering Crosby’s story via his correspondence she learns how words can give shape and meaning to a life." The Financial Times "A masterpiece in characterisation" The Herald UK Publisher: Tindal Street Press, Profile Books, June 2013


Cathy Woodman COUNTRY LOVING Successful accountant Stevie receives two surprises in one week: a proposal of marriage from her boyfriend Nick and a phone call begging her to return to the family farm in West country village, Talyton St George, to help out after her father has a stroke. But what she thought would be a long weekend in the country turns into a much longer trip, as she struggles to bring order to her father’s rundown farm. Finally, she decides to give up her job – and her fiancé – and take on the farm permanently. Returning to Talyton St George reminds Stevie how much she loves the country, and she enjoys the challenge of looking after the cows, especially as this brings her into close contact with local vet Leo. Until a life-changing complication throws all her plans into disarray, and destroys her growing romance with Leo… UK Publisher: Arrow, Random House, April 2013

SOMEONE TO LOVE Zara loves her job as a community midwife caring for mums-to-be and their babies, but her great regret is that she will never be able to have a child of her own. She is 30 years old and recently divorced, and is devastated when her ex husband’s new girlfriend gets pregnant. Zara has moved in with her grandmother who runs the newsagents in Talyton St George, to keep an eye on her because she is growing frail and forgetful. Out on her rounds Zara rescues an abandoned puppy and decides to adopt him. Big mistake! The puppy hasn’t a clue how to behave and Zara realises that although she is an expert in how to bring up a baby, she hasn’t any idea how to manage her delinquent dog. While out walking, the puppy embarrasses her when she meets local shepherd Lewis with his perfectly trained brace of collies. Lewis agrees to help Zara work with the puppy, but it soon becomes clear he has an ulterior motive. Can Zara risk another relationship so soon, is Lewis himself on the rebound from a recent break up – and what if he wants children… The course of true love never does run smooth – especially when there is a badly behaved puppy involved. Catherine Woodman won the Harry Bowling Prize in 2002 for her first novel, Under the Bonnet, which was snapped up by Headline. Her four contemporary romantic sagas, full of the comedy and drama of the ups and downs of family life, earned her many fans. Working as a vet was the ideal inspiration for her bestselling series for Arrow, which began with Trust Me I’m a Vet. She lives in Winchester with her young family and teaches student vets.

Praise for Cathy Woodman: ‘I absolutely loved this – it made me laugh and cry! Such a treat to read.’ Katie Fforde UK Publisher: Arrow, Random House, April 2014 Options: Germany – Blanvalet, Czech – Vikend, Norwary – Aller Forlag, USA - Hyperion 13


Alf Dole THE PEARLY PRINCE OF ST PANCRAS In the 1890s, his grandfather was a friend of Henry Croft, who was the original Pearly King, and became one of the first Pearlies himself. Alf grew up near Kings Cross in the 1930s, part of a loving family and close-knit community. Money was very short (Alf’s cot was a jaffa box from his grandfather’s shop and, later, he and his brother had to go to school in rotation as they only had one pair of boots between them) so some ducking and diving was called for. This was the case for many people at the time, of course, but Alf’s experiences of Pearly get-togethers added another dimension to his life. Along with many Londoners, Alf’s family used to go hopping in Kent in the Summer and that will also be covered in the book, as will as his evacuation to Wales, which took place after his home was hit by a bomb. Returning to London after the war, the teenage Alf helped the family out with various enterprises like illegally fishing in the Regents Canal before becoming driver’s mate on a horse and cart, and then a labourer. The end of the book covers him being sent off to do national service. Alf had a very varied career after this point, and eventually inherited the title Pearly King of St Pancras. He worked tirelessly for charity (Great Ormond St Hospital is the charity the St Pancras Pearlies have always supported) until he sadly died, aged 83, earlier this year. His grandson, Lee, has taken on his title, and Alf’s daughter, Diane, is continuing to uphold the Pearly traditions and will publicize the book. UK Publisher: Simon and Schuster, Summer 2014


Richard Marsh THERE’S SOMEONE IN THERE ‘There were no two ways around it. The man in the white coat wanted to kill me And the only person in the world who could stop him had vowed to me years ago never to try.’ The noises were fuzzy in the darkness. Like hearing a domestic dispute through an apartment wall. Loud but indistinct. As a street cop for twenty-five years, it was a scenario I’d experienced many times as I’d approached a stranger’s front door. But this was different. This time I wasn’t going anywhere. In fact I wasn’t moving at all. I was tired but if I wanted answers, I knew I needed to look for them. Everything will be explained when I open my eyes. So begins one of the most incredible true stories you will ever read. There’s Someone in There gives an unprecedented portrait of what it’s like to endure and come through LockedIn Syndrome. A remarkable true story of survival against the odds: Richard Marsh, who was struck down in 2009, embarks on a journey that is bewildering, terrifying, nearly unbearable. Today he is 95% recovered and ready to tell his story. UK Publisher: Piatkus/Little Brown, Spring 2014


Mark Wallington THE AUTO BIOGRAPHY OF BRITSH MOTORING from Golden Age to Gridlock BACK IN THE DAYS when petrol stations had pump attendants, AA patrolmen saluted, and your granny put on her Sunday best to go out in ‘the motorcar’, Mark Wallington saw the world from the back seat of his dad’s Ford Popular. Playground credibility was all about your collection of Dinky toys and the car your dad drove. Then the Ford Popular had to go. 2013, and Mark drives a Ford Focus. A grey one. It’s sensible, reliable, and eco-friendly. It’s probably going to outlast him. How did he get to this? From Donald Campbell to Jeremy Clarkson, from ‘Lovely Rita Meter Maid’ to ‘Road to Hell’, The Auto Biography charts the story of British motoring from the driving seat. Having grown up in the golden age of motoring in the 1950s, and now getting ready for his free bus pass in the age of gridlock, Mark Wallington takes us on a nostalgic journey through the cars he’s loved and owned to create this funny and evocative portrait of Britain on the road. STARRING: The Morris Oxford, The Morris 1000, The Leyland Terrier, The Triumph 6, The Peugeot Estate, The VW Camper Van, and three generations of Ford. Mark Wallington was born in Swanage in Dorset in 1953. He worked for a while as a gardener in London before becoming a scriptwriter and travel journalist. In 1982 he walked the South West coastal path and his subsequent book, 500-Mile Walkies, became a bestseller. In 1992 his novel The Missing Postman was published and he wrote the script for the awardwinning BBC television play starring James Bolam. The story of his trip around Britain with an Ukuele, The Uke of Wallington, was published last year by AA Publishing. He is much sought after as a film and television writer. He works from his home in the High Peak in Derbyshire and is married with two children. UK Publisher: AA Publishing, October 2013



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