We are delighted to share that the winner of the BPA First Novel Award 2018, Jules Lampshire, has signed a two-book deal with Orion Dash. Writing under the pen name Julia Stone, the debut psychological suspense novel provisionally titled The Therapy Game will be published this summer. It was acquired by Rhea Kurien, the Editorial Director at Orion Dash, shortly after moving to the newly launched commercial imprint.
After Jules won the Blue Pencil First Novel Award, she signed with 2018’s literary agent judge Madeleine Milburn, and worked on The Therapy Game with associate agent Olivia Maidment before going out on submission.
Speaking about her writing process and exciting journey, Jules said: ‘Having written several non-fiction publications I wanted to learn more about creative writing, so I applied for the Faber Academy Writing a Novel programme in 2017. During the six month course I produced a draft novel based on a script treatment I’d written some years before. It sparked some interest from agents with three manuscript requests, but sadly no one offered representation. So, in 2018 I started again on a new story, My Poor Deluded Girl, which I then summoned up the courage to enter into the Blue Pencil First Novel Award. On the day I heard it had been short-listed I was celebrating my birthday on holiday in Pompeii, so it was a double celebration! And my excitement reached fever pitch when Emma phoned me to say the novel had won – and Madeleine Milburn wanted to offer me representation. During lockdown last year I wrote and edited a third book, provisionally titled The Therapy Game, and was thrilled to receive the offer of a two-book deal from Orion Dash earlier this year, with a target publication date of this summer.’
Madeleine Milburn said: ‘I’ve been thrilled to represent Jules ever since I read her opening pitch for the Blue Pencil competition, when I knew right away that hers was a voice I was desperate to champion! I am over the moon that her writing has found such a brilliant home with Orion Dash.The Therapy Game is a terrifyingly real therapists’ tale that will have you tangled up in a spiderweb of deception from beginning to end. It is about the risk that comes with doubting your own instincts, and the danger of ignoring red flags in pursuit of love. I simply cannot wait for readers to get their hands on it!’
And Rhea Kurien added: ‘‘There’s something so compulsive when it comes to stories about obsessive love and forbidden attraction, and Jules’ writing pulled me in from the very first page. I read The Therapy Game in one breathless sitting. I’m delighted that Orion Dash will be publishing this fabulous psychological thriller this summer.’
Congratulations Jules, we couldn’t be more thrilled for you!