The Next J. K. Rowling?

A world-wide bidding war is going on for the rights to Australian writer Rebecca James debut novel.  The novel is entitled Beautiful Malice. It’s a psychological thriller for teenagers upward and has become a publishing phenomenom.

C&W, a leading literary agency, took Beautiful Malice to the Frankfurt Book Fair last week and was struggling to keep up with offers from publishers that had received the manuscript.

Dalya Alberge of The Wall Street Journal reported that C&W agents have yet to meet Ms. James, yet the novel is set to be translated into at least 30 languages.  C&W expects a series of similar “sexy, psychological thrillers” from the author.

Bantam USA was so determined to acquire the rights, it bid up to $600,000 for two books.  Ms. James second book is titled Cooper Bartholomew Is Dead.  Nothing more is known at this time about that book.

In Germany the rights were snapped up by Rowohlt Verlag for €252,000.  There were similarly high figures in other countries such as Italy, the Netherlands and Brazil. Beautiful Malice has gone to Faber & Faber in the U.K. and to Allen & Unwin in Australia for an undisclosed five figures. All the hype about the new Austrailian author prompted a Romanian publisher to make a blind offer — without reading the manuscript.

Dalya Alberge quoted Julia Heydon-Wells, publishing direct for Faber as saying, “It kept me riveted in a way that no book has done for years.”

The Booklover has already added this one to her “to-read” list!  Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts….

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