The Publishing Post
Latest Acquisitions & Adaptations
By Georgie Cutler, Eva Lee, Emma Leask, Molly Pearce and Niamh Parr
Gould’s Queer Survival Horror Bought by Wednesday Books
A new queer survival horror by Courtney Gould – pitched as a deadly combination of Yellowjackets and Girl, Interrupted – has been bought by Sarah Grill at Wednesday Books, with Claire Friedman and Jessica Mileo at InkWell Management handling the deal for North American rights. Gould’s What the Woods Took is a YA novel that follows a group of five teenagers stranded in a wilderness therapy program. It not only promises a healthy dose of rural horror, but also a number of paranormal twists and turns as the characters must navigate a forest full of monsters – and not to mention their complicated relationships with each other! The book does not yet have an official release date, but is expected to be published in the autumn of 2024.
Dead Ink Books Acquires Debut from Card
Ania Card’s first novel Sea Calls Me Home has been bought by independent Liverpool-based publisher Dead Ink Books. World English language rights were acquired by Commissioning Editor Harriet Hirshman, and the book is currently expected to be published in 2024. Sea Calls Me Home promises to be an emotional, raw story which touches upon important issues such as mental health and identity in a post-Brexit Britain. It’s pitched as It’s a Sin meets Normal People, meaning it’s guaranteed to be a heartbreaking, memorable read for all. The book will also feature issues surrounding immigration, as Card herself is an immigrant writer from Poland. Hirshman has praised the “sense of place” in the novel (The Bookseller), with the idea of belonging to a place being an important theme in this story. We’re excited to see another fantastic novel from Dead Ink Books.
From Book to Screen
What to Watch?
American-born Chinese Adaptation on Disney+
An upcoming action-comedy adaptation of American-born Chinese is in the works, based on the graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang. Disney+ is set to release eight episodes for this series and will show a mix of Chinese mythology, comedy, action and mysteries hinting at a fun-filled adaptation. The story will focus on Jin Wang, a teenager struggling with life and high school where he meets exchange student Wei Chen. Worlds start to collide as they are both met with strange forces and a battle between the Chinese mythological gods. You may recognise some names such as Oscar award winners Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan, best known for their roles in Everything Everywhere All at Once, alongside Ben Wang, Daniel Wu, Yeo Yann Yann and Chin Han and more recurring guests. The series will be out on 24 May and you can check out the official trailer released by Disney+.
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret Out Now
Judy Blum’s fantastic coming-of-age novel Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, published in 1970, has been adapted into a film of the same name starring Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates and Abby Ryder Fortson as protagonist Margaret Simpson. The story focuses on the life of teenager Margaret, as she moves from New York to New Jersey. Struggling to make friends, she grapples with the adolescent anxieties of bras, periods and crushes. Margaret leans on her mother and grandmother to help her find answers to the fundamental questions in life, such as religion, identity and happiness. The film will stay true to the contents of the book, while employing a twenty-first century lens that keeps the comedy and plot refreshing and modern. Directed by Kelly Fremon-Craig, most recognisable for her work on the 2016 comedy-drama The Edge of Seventeen, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret invokes a similar comforting and inspirational tone. The film was released in cinemas across the UK on the 28 April and is not one to miss!
In The Works
Apple TV+ releases Lessons in Chemistry teaser
Based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Bonnie Garmus, Lessons in Chemistry is being adapted for our screens by Apple Studios. Brie Larson leads the cast as Elizabeth Zott, a 1960s chemist who struggles to be heard in her all-male research group. After accepting the role as the host of a TV cooking show, she sets out to teach viewers the chemistry behind cooking. However, Zott’s show isn’t solely about the cooking. It’s also causing women to question the current state of society. Larson is accompanied by the likes of Lewis Pullman, Aja Naomi King, Stephanie Koenig, Patrick Walker and Thomas Mann. Apple TV+ is set to release Lessons in Chemistry in autumn 2023.