Curious Fox has acquired a number of novels for its 2014 list, exploring topics as diverse as time-travelling in medieval England, a transgender teenager, and the diary of a downtrodden, ferret-loving metalhead.
The new raft of acquisitions, led by Publisher Catherine Clarke, will build on Curious Fox’s successful launch year which saw retailer promotions with WHSmiths, Foyles and Amazon, and marketing partnerships with Westfield shopping centre, the Reading Agency, Bliss magazine and a national library tour.
Catherine Clarke comments “I’m so excited about our new acquisitions. We’ve had a hugely positive reaction to our launch list and, going in to our second year, we’ve honed our focus further to ensure we are publishing stand-out, unique and often quirky books for young people.
Our 2014 list offers something for everyone – I only have to look at the titles to see the range we are offering young readers: Half my Facebook Friends are Ferrets, The Serpent House, Alex As Well – what an offering!”
The 2014 books come from a mix of established and debut authors. The Serpent House is a historical fantasy novel that weaves between a Victorian manor and medieval leper hospital. A time-travelling 12-year-old girl must retrieve a book of medical cures belonging to a sinister doctor and guarded by fearsome serpents. Written by ex-BBC journalist Bea Davenport and publishing in June 2014, The Serpent House was shortlisted for the 2010 Times/Chicken House award and described by the judges as “very powerful”.
Alex As Well is a challenging YA novel about an intersex and transgender teenager desperately seeking her identity and place in the world. Written by established author Alyssa Brugman, the novel has already published in her native Australia to critical acclaim: “Brutally honest and at times sad, happy, funny, perceptive, human and compulsive. You will not forget this novel in a hurry” and “Brugman is to be congratulated on the tender care and leavening humour she has brought to an important and potentially confronting subject.” The deal was done with Curious Fox by agent Jane Finigan from Lutyens & Rubinstein. Alex As Well is set for UK publication in May 2014.
On the other end of the spectrum, J.A. Buckle’s Half My Facebook Friends are Ferrets is a hilarious diary novel following Josh, a wannabe metalhead, as he navigates the trials of teenage life and tries, with mixed results, to tick milestones off his list before his sixteenth birthday. Roars of laughter reverberated around Curious Fox’s Oxford office when this manuscript was received; Josh’s brutal honesty, crazy ambitions and his questionable language make this a stand-out novel for publication in January 2014.
Also coming from Curious Fox in 2014 are sequels to two successful launches this year: The Ruby Airship will build on the popularity of Sharon Gosling’s first steampunk adventure, The Diamond Thief. For older readers, Stewart Ross takes us back to the dark world of warring teenagers created in The Soterion Mission, with his sequel, The Revenge of the Zeds.