Publishers in the UK, USA, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Spain, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Slovenia, Israel and Poland have acquired rights so far. A really wonderful team of editors has formed around the book, including Jocasta Hamilton at Hutchinson in the UK, Kate Medina at Random House USA, and Nita Pronovost at Doubleday Canada, all of whom I know will bring their own particular passion and vision to the process. It has been truly amazing and moving to see them all embrace the book.
This news is particularly close to my heart because I've invested so much in this book over the past two years, as many of you who read the blog will know. I made a leap of audience and genre, the kind of leap that as a writer you can only really make once in a career. Back in July 2013, I gave up my day job to work on the book full-time. And I wrote the entire thing without a contract, a gamble which sounds completely foolhardy when trying to explain it to anyone who does a normal job, and certainly seemed so at times even to me - if it wasn't for my agent Simon, who was reading every chapter as I finished it, and for the community of readers and writers around me, I'm not sure I would have managed to hold my nerve right to the end. The House at the Edge of Night is a book about small-town people, and the financial crisis, and family, and history. It's a book that I don't think has been written yet. I took a chance for the same reason that any writer past or present has stepped out into the dark: because I wanted the story to be told. So it means a great deal to me to know that I will now be able to share this story that I feel so passionately about with readers, on a much larger scale than I ever could have hoped when I began it.
In brief, The House at the Edge of Night follows 95 years in the history of the Esposito family, who own an ancient bar on the tiny island of Castellamare off the coast of Sicily. It's the story of how their lives are continually disrupted by the events of European history, from the eve of war in 1914, to 2009, when the aftershocks of financial crisis break over the island's shores. And it's the story of three generations of Esposito women fighting to hold together their family against the forces that threaten to divide it.
The book will be published in Spring 2016. Meanwhile I have been planning another novel which returns to the same themes of financial crisis and the small town in history, a subject about which I'm convinced that my generation of young European writers has more to say. So perhaps the best news of all is that Random House have offered me a two-book contract, which means I will now be able to write this one too.
More soon, but thank you as ever for your support. It really does mean everything.