Another fantastic week at MM Agency as we get to reveal not one, not two but four stunning new covers; announce some short and long-listings for awards and shine a spotlight on some of the amazing press our authors have been receiving.
Feast your eyes on this adorable cover for Matt Dun’s new novel Pug Actually. Set to be published in June by HQ, an imprint of HarperCollins, Pug Actually takes a unique and charming spin on the romance genre, as it follows a wise pug named Doug, who is determined to play cupid to fix his owner’s love life with his own four paws.
Publisher’s Weekly recently reviewed it as a “a quirky romance told by a lovable four-legged narrator. Alternately poignant and laugh-out-loud funny, Dunn’s cute narrative effortlessly conveys both Julie’s and Tom’s vulnerabilities and all-too-human foibles. Doug’s hilarious antics, astute observations, and dogged determination to get the pair together pull at the heartstrings on the way to a thoroughly satisfying happily ever after”.
Next up is Kathryn Foxfield’s chilling cover for her new YA thriller, It’s Behind You. This page-turning new title, to be published by Scholastic in July 2021, introduces us to five-contestants on a dark and dangerous game-show, where they run the risk of supernatural encounters, a meddlesome production crew and murder.
We’re also excited to debut this new cover for Caroline Finnerty’s The Last Days of Us and announce that Caroline has been chosen as Boldwood Books’s Author of the Day. Soon to be published by Boldwood in June 2021, The Last Days of Us tells the tear-jerking story of Sarah, a devoted wife and mother who is left reeling when her husband JP leaves her for another woman on Christmas Day. But when their young daughter Robyn is diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour, Sarah and JP are about to fight their biggest battle yet.
And to round off, take a look at this ominous cover for Rona Halsall’s The Liar’s Daughter. This upcoming psychological thriller, which is set to be published by Bookouture on April 26th, follows Eva, whose world turns upside down when she discovers that she has a long-lost sister who has just recently reappeared. While Eva hopes that her sister will tell her the truth about her family, what she is about to find is far darker than she could ever imagine.
We’re ecstatic to announce that Danielle Jawando’s debut YA novel And The Stars Were Burning Brightly, has been shortlisted for the inaugural Jhalak Children’s & Young Adult Prize, and is according to The Bookseller, “’the sole title from corporate publishers in this category, deemed “a stunning debut that will stay with you long after the end’”. In a new initiative, bookshops across the country will be supporting all the shortlisted titles, and in a collaboration with National Book Tokens, the Jhalak Prize will be giving away three sets of each shortlist.
— Madeleine Milburn Agency (@MMLitAgency) April 13, 2021
C.L Taylor and Ben Creed have also been longlisted for the Crime Writer’s Association Awards, with Taylor being nominated for the ‘Dagger in the Library’ award as an established crime writer that has long been popular with borrowers from libraries; and Creed for The Golden Dagger Award and The John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger, for thriller City of Ghosts. This atmospheric debut, set in the claustrophobic and paranoid city of Leningrad in the 1950s, sold more than 13.5k copies in the first two months of publication, and is the first of a brilliant trilogy.
Chuffed to bits to make the Dagger in the Library long-list. A huge thank you to all the librarians who voted for me. Shortlist revealed in May… pic.twitter.com/1UhtoxAsiT
— C.L. Taylor (@callytaylor) April 15, 2021
This weekend, The Book Fairies, an organisation that urges readers to share their favourite books by leaving them in public spaces, are going to be hiding 500 books by debut authors around the UK for discovery, and we are delighted to announce that two of our author debuts, The Accidental Diary of B.U.G by Jen Carney and The Push by Ashley Audrain, have both been included in the line-up. So be sure to keep your eyes peeled and see if you can spot one of our authors’ fantastic new books. Read more about it here.
In some exciting bestseller updates The Push has moved back up to No.1 on the Canadian Fiction list and is also currently at No.7 on the overall fiction list in Canada.
Katherine Faulkner’s debut novel Greenwich Park was published this week in hardback by Raven Books (Bloomsbury); in celebration of her publication day, Katherine was interviewed by Abigail Dean, author of Girl A, about her dark, gripping thriller about motherhood.
Katherine May was recently interviewed by Radio New Zealand, where she discussed her New York Times bestseller, Wintering (Rider, Penguin Random House). You can check out the full interview here.
We were absolutely delighted to see Nikki May’s upcoming debut novel Wahala, being recently featured in the Bookseller Black edition in the Black Authors Preview of exciting upcoming titles. Wahala tells the story of three thirty-something Anglo-Nigerian female friends living in London. Ronke, desperate to settle down, is in love with Kayode, though her friends think he’s yet another Nigerian dodgy boyfriend; Boo has a gorgeous husband and daughter, but feels unfulfilled and unsure where she belongs; Simi has a successful career lifestyle, though she is crippled by imposter syndrome, and her husband thinks they’re trying for a baby. She’s not. When the charismatic Isobel arrives in their lives, tension mounts until a hidden trauma reveals itself in a tragic act.
Speaking of features, if you’re in the mood to enjoy some of Abbie Greaves’s writing in the run-up to her upcoming novel, her new short story Hello April has recently appeared in My Weekly magazine, with the tag line ‘Would memories of bullying ruin successful April’s school reunion, or could she see past it all now?” Abbie’s new novel Anywhere for You was recently published in the US by HarperCollins on April 6th and the UK edition titled, The Ends of the Earth, is set to be published by Arrow (Penguin Random House) on April 29th.
Emma Stonex’s The Lamplighters (Viking, Penguin Random House) was recently reviewed in the New York Journal of Books , by Beth Kanell, author of The Long Shadow. She comments, ‘’With such dark and treacherous secrets, the men of The Lamplighters echo the force of the seas around them. The deepest mystery that Stonex then offers is: What use is the love each of them has known if it can’t finally rescue them?’’
The glowing reviews for our authors continue, with Sara Nisha Adams’s heart-wringing new novel, The Reading List recently receiving praise from Louise Hare, author of BBC TWO TV book club pick, This Lovely City. She commented that “The Reading List absolutely captures the magic of reading and of libraries. I felt a part of Mukesh and Aleisha’s book club, revisiting some of my favourite novels alongside these new friends.”
Will Shindler’s The Killing Choice was chosen as Pick of the Week in The Sun last week, with a review commenting “this slick, tense thriller about families, loyalty, guilt and revenge is top-notch – and no doubt heading to TV screens soon.”
We are also thrilled to announce that Henry Fry’s brilliantly funny debut novel, First Time For Everything has been acquired by Orion Fiction UK (Hachette) in a competitive three-way auction, as well as by Ballantine (Penguin Random House US) and Doubleday Canada. And to top it all off it has been snapped up by Moonriver TV for a series. First Time for Everything is an unflinchingly honest, poignant drama comedy about Danny Scudd, a shy, twenty-something gay man who’s made it through life by not really interacting with his sexuality. So for the first time in his life he sets out in search of his most authentic self (with the help of his colourful flatmates and inscrutable therapist).
You can check out the details here.
That's me, the skin shriveller. https://t.co/OIRz8IOzdk
— Henry Fry (@HenryCFry) April 14, 2021
Caroline Bishop’s emotional upcoming book The Other Daughter, published in February by Simon & Schuster, is also making a splash in sales, having sold 10k copies since its debut just two months ago. Set across a stunning Swiss backdrop, The Other Daughter follows a young woman in search of the truth about her birth, and another desperately trying to succeed in a man’s world.
C.L. Taylor‘s newest thriller, Her Last Holiday was recently picked by Apple for their Spring’s Biggest Books promo. Soon to be published by HarperCollins later this month, Her Last Holiday follows Fran, as she enrolls onto a questionable “wellness retreat” in the hope of finding her missing sister, who disappeared at the exact same retreat.
We are proud to announce that the MM Mentorship Programme will be returning for 2021; now offering places for eight aspiring authors around the world, with at least half the spaces reserved for writers underrepresented on the nation’s bookshelves. This includes, but is not limited to, writers from an ethnic minority background, LGBTQ+ writers, writers who are disabled or neurodiverse, and those from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
📢 ATTENTION! 📢
Are you an aspiring author? We are thrilled to announce that the 2021 Madeleine Milburn Mentorship Programme is now open! Entries close on 1st July 2021. Find out more: https://t.co/keDr9eEk3a#MMAgency #MMmentorship pic.twitter.com/2aZEK28RP7
— Madeleine Milburn Agency (@MMLitAgency) April 15, 2021
We’re also extremely excited to welcome the newest member of the International Rights team, Valentina Paulmichl , who joined us this week. Having been a Senior Rights Executive at Bonnier Books UK for a number if years, Valentina is passionate about finding a home for her authors’ books across the world and seeing them become global bestsellers. She is a hugely welcome addition to the international team, and the wider MM Agency!