Sarah Black Spy Series by Lucy Hooft to Burning Chair

World English Rights have gone to Burning Chair for the former assistant to Queen Rania and author long listed for The Caledonia Prize Lucy Hooft‘s THE KING’S PAWN and THE HEAD OF THE SNAKE, the first two books in the Sarah Black spy series, based on the author’s real-life experiences.

The series follows the career of a spy who begins as a naïve young graduate, enticed into a career with MI6 (or so she thinks) by a silver-tongued spook; struggling to understand her place in her mentor’s murky hierarchy.

The first novel sees Sarah sent to the Caucasus by Michael, the head of an off-the-books operational section of MI6. She is being used as an expendable and deniable agent, but through her natural pluck (and a hefty dose of luck) she survives and uncovers the real villain and a Russian plot to assassinate the Georgian and US Presidents.

In the second book, Sarah – still inexperienced but significantly tougher with the confidence of a lucky start behind her – strikes out on her own without Michael’s help to war-torn Sierra Leone to bring the villain of book 1 to justice.

Lucy studied languages and philosophy at Oxford and joined the Foreign Office straight out of university in search of adventure and new people and places. She quickly moved across to the Department for International Development (DFID), where she spent time in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, China and Sierra Leone. She left Sierra Leone to join her now husband in Jordan, taking the long way there across the Sahara, Europe, the Balkans, Turkey and Syria in a much-beloved Land Rover. In Jordan, she worked for Her Majesty Queen Rania while spending much time bumping around the phenomenal Jordanian desert.

After Jordan, she spent several years in a jungle camp in Gabon surrounded by elephants and humpback whales, which is where the Sarah Black books began. They took life, as a way to record all the best bits of people she had met and places she had been, with a plot to make them much more exciting. Lucy has always plausibly denied being a spy—but she wrote the books to show what that life might have been like.

She now lives at the end of the world in Lüderitz, Namibia, crafting stories and making films about the adventure of growing giant kelp.

THE KING’S PAWN will publish in 2022 followed by THE HEAD OF THE SNAKE in 2023.

Authorised Biography of WHITNEY STRAIGHT to The History Press

The History Press has secured World Rights to the first authorised biography of the racing driver, aviator, war hero, and industrialist Whitney Straight.

A gripping tale of speed, heroism, romance, determination, and tragedy: Whitney Straight was born into great wealth in New York, the eldest of three children – his sister would become an Oscar-winning actress and his brother the youngest of the Cambridge spies. He dropped out of Cambridge to become an outstanding racing driver and ran his own team against Hitler’s Silver Arrows. A qualified pilot at 17, he revolutionised aircraft design.

Whitney Straight

His extraordinary war saw him rise from Flying Officer to Air Commodore. He survived the disastrous invasion of Norway, a crash-landing in occupied France, and spent a year as a PoW. He turned down Churchill’s proposal of a career in politics to become CEO of BOAC, transforming it from a sales vehicle for outmoded aircraft into a national airline to be proud of. At Rolls-Royce, he railed against a company dominated by engineers who made poor businessmen, and after the national tragedy of the great company going bust, played a fundamental role in the splitting of the auto and aero businesses still seen today.

Paul Kenny has been granted unfettered access to Straight’s diaries and photograph albums and has scoured archives on both sides of the Atlantic, leaving no stone unturned in pursuit of the first full story of one of the twentieth century’s greatest mavericks.

The book will be published in September 2023. Audio Rights have been sold to Blackstone Audio USA.

LENIN: ONE AGAINST ALL by Roberto Echavarren to Academica Press

World English Language rights to Uruguayan poet, essayist, and translator and winner of the National Prize of the Ministry of Culture of Uruguay Roberto Echavarren‘s One Against All: Lenin, His Government and Legacy have gone to Academica Press.

One century later, we are now in a position in which we can achieve a certain balance in our views on what Lenin’s government meant for Russia and for the world. With chapters on the evolution of land tenancy in Russia, the collectivization of land under Stalin, and the suppression of sexual minorities under Soviet rule, this book adds breadth and scope to our understanding of Lenin’s government and legacy.

The stream of new archival material from Russia is dwindling. Overwhelmed by history’s damning evidence, apprehensive before the West and its scholars, and encouraged by Vladimir Putin’s autocratic nationalism, Russians are closing their archives.

One Against All: Lenin, His Government and Legacy, was originally written and published in Spanish. It will now be available in English translation.

Roberto taught at New York University from 1975 to 1995 in the Spanish and Portuguese, and Comparative Literature Departments. He is the director of La Flauta Mágica publishing company, specializing in critical bilingual editions of poetry and the rescue of major poetical works written in Spanish. Prize wins include the National Prize of the Ministry of Culture of Uruguay, essay; National Prize of the Ministry of Culture of Uruguay, poetry; Nancy Bacelo Foundation Poetry Prize; Cultural Center of Spain Theatre Prize. He was also awarded the 2021 Amado Alonso International Prize of Literary Criticism for his book El pensamiento chino (Chinese Thought) and will be published soon by Editorial Pre-Textos in Spain.

WHEN THE BRITISH MUSICAL RULED THE WORLD by Robert Sellers to Applause Books

World Rights to Robert Sellers’ new book have gone to Applause Books.

This book focuses on the big ‘7,’ mega productions of the 80s, British musicals that were larger than life, colourful and spectacular, shows that certainly paved the way for the ‘event’ musicals of recent years such as The Lion King and Wicked.

Evita ran for seven years in the West End and four years on Broadway and ushered in an era when for over a decade Britain dominated musical theatre all over the world with blockbusting productions that were international hits, notably Cats, Starlight Express, Les Misérables, Phantom of The Opera, Chess and Miss Saigon.

For the very first time, many of the artists will celebrate and tell this extraordinary period in British musical history, both behind and in front of the curtain. And many of the stories of backstage dramas, production nightmares, and financial woes have never been told before.

Contributors include Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice, Cameron Mackintosh, Michael Crawford, Elaine Paige, Wayne Sleep, David Essex, Michael Ball, Abba’s Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, Sarah Brightman, Barbara Dickson, Trevor Nunn & Patti LuPone.

Robert Sellers is the author of the best-selling ‘Hellraisers: The Life and Inebriated Times of Burton, Harris, O’Toole and Reed,’ and the authorised biographies of Peter O’Toole, Oliver Reed, Ernie Wise, and Kenny Everett. He has written histories of Ealing Studios and the George Harrison/Monty Python film company HandMade Films. He also ghost-wrote the autobiographies of Martin Edwards, ex-chairman of Manchester United, and Vic Armstrong, the world’s most prolific stuntman.

The book will publish late 2022.

Audio Rights for FOLEY: THE SPY WHO SAVED 10,000 JEWS to Blackstone

Blackstone Audio snapped up audio rights in an exclusive submission for Station X and Killer Elite author Michael Smith’s FOLEY: THE SPY WHO SAVED 10,000 JEWS, a story of courage and quiet heroism in the face of great evil – a reminder of the impact that one brave individual can have on the lives of many.

As the horror of Nazism tightened its grip on Germany, Jews found themselves trapped and desperate; for many, their only hope of salvation came in the form of a small, bespectacled British man: Frank Foley.

Working as a Berlin Passport Control Officer, Foley helped thousands of Jews to flee the country with visas and false passports, personally entering the camps to get Jews out, and sheltering those on the run from the Gestapo in his own apartment. Described by a Jewish leader as ‘the Pimpernel of the Jews’, Foley was an unsung hero of the Holocaust.

But why is this extraordinary man virtually unknown, even in Britain? The reason is simple: Foley was MI6 head of station in Berlin, bound to secrecy by the code of his profession.

Founded in 1987, Blackstone Audio is one of the largest independent audiobook publishers in the United States, offering over 30,000 audiobooks. The company is based in Ashland, Oregon with five in-house recording studios.