Emma Thawley, Rights Director at Quercus, has sold French rights in the four-novel DEMI-MONDE series by UK novelist Rod Rees to Thibaud Eliroff at J’ai Lu, who have a dedicated marketing spend for the first in the series, as with their publication of Robin Hobb. The first volume will be published in the autumn of 2012, with the rest of the series following at roughly eight-month intervals.
World rights in Rod’s series were acquired pre-emptively by Quercus (who published the first volume in January 2011) from agent John Jarrold for a major advance in 2009. Rights have now been sold in eight territories, also including the US, Germany, Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Croatia and Italy.
THE DEMI-MONDE is set in a wonderfully imagined virtual world, the Demi-Monde of the title. Originally conceived by the US military as a training ground for their troops in the twenty-first century facing street fighting and enemies who use guerrilla tactics, rather than modern technology-based armies, the Demi-Monde was created by the world’s first quantum computer. Young singer Ella Thomas is sent there to rescue a VIP (she ticks all the boxes to blend into the world, which has a late-Victorian technology base) and discovers the world and its thirty million inhabitants, or ‘avatars’, are all too real. Especially those who run the world’s city-states, based on famous human monsters such as Reinhard Heydrich, Shaka Zulu, Empress Wu, Godfrey de Bouillon, Selim the Grim and Lavrentii Beria, with whom the world was seeded to make it more of a test, and that is only the beginning. There is already a fascinating website at www.thedemi-monde.com