We’ve been patiently waiting to share this news, and are thrilled that we finally can! It is our absolute pleasure to confirm that the wondrously talented Natasha Hastings has scored a six-figure, three-book deal with HarperCollins Children’s Books for her debut novel, The Miraculous Sweetmakers: The Frost Fair.
Following a hotly contested auction, rights were acquired from Chloe Seager for a major US/UK co-publication by Michelle Misra, Editorial Director at HarperCollins Children’s Books, alongside Alice Jerman, Editor at HarperCollins US. The Miraculous Sweetmakers is set to be the next unmissable Middle Grade series, the first of which will publish simultaneously in both territories in glorious hardback, in October 2022. The book will enjoy a jam-packed marketing & PR campaign in the lead-up to publication.
Whimsical and wintry, we already see masses of readers falling under the spell of Natasha’s writing, as she transports you to 17th Century London, in a time where the Thames has turned to solid ice, and a troubled young girl is swept into a life-changing magical adventure…
It’s a cold winter during the Great Frost of 1683. Thomasina and Anne are the best of friends, one running her father’s sweet shop and the other the apprentice at the family apothecary – together they sell their goods on the frozen River Thames. When a family tragedy turns Thomasina’s world upside down, she is drawn to a mysterious conjuror and the enchanted frost fair, but soon the world of Father Winter threatens to claim everything she holds dear. Will they be able to solve the magical mysteries that surround them . . . ?
Michelle Misra, Editorial Director said: “We are very proud at HarperCollins Children’s Books to publish magical books that engage readers and take them to marvellous new worlds, from Narnia to Mary Poppins to our recent bestselling hardback debuts. The Miraculous Sweetmakers continues that wonderful tradition: it is a beautifully written mystery adventure story about friendship, resilience, and the power of familial love from a writer with born storytelling talent. I’m incredibly excited to see it join our stellar line-up – it is the one to watch for 2022.”
Alice Jerman, Editor, HarperCollins Children’s Books US added: “I fell in love with Natasha Hastings’s story. With classic fantasy elements that nod to beloved favorites, an incredibly imaginative magic system based on sorrow and memories, a delightfully brave main character, and a fantastic setting, The Miraculous Sweetmakers will be a great addition to our HarperCollins Children’s Books list.”
Chloe Seager commented: “Natasha is an astonishing new talent and I couldn’t be more thrilled that she has found the perfect publishing home with HarperCollins. Her breath taking debut will captivate readers from the opening scene right through to the final page.”
Natasha Hastings was selected to join the 2019/2020 Emerging Writers Programme at The London Library by a panel of judges and in 2018 enrolled in the three-month Curtis Brown Creative Writing course. Currently working full-time as a fundraiser, she started developing her debut, The Frost Fair, while studying History at Cambridge University where she focused on gender and mental illness. She became determined, while exploring these topics, to have the lives of working women, as well as their experiences of mental illness in this period, form the heartbeat of her novel.
Natasha is a fresh and formidable rising star in children’s literature, and we can’t wait to share more on her journey! Watch this space!