Emma Barnes, Managing Director at Snowbooks, has acquired UK rights in the first steampunk novel by David Barnett, GIDEON SMITH AND THE MECHANICAL GIRL, from the rights department at Tor Books in New York.
David Barnett is an author and award-winning journalist. He was born in Wigan in 1970 and has worked in regional newspapers since he was 19 years old. He is currently Assistant Editor (Content) at the Telegraph & Argus in Bradford, West Yorkshire, following a 24 year career in newspapers, predominantly as a writer/editorial manager for regional newspapers but which has also included work for publications as diverse as the Daily Star and the Guardian Online. He is the author of three published novels, HINTERLAND (2005) and ANGELGLASS (2007 – described by the Guardian as “stunning”), both published by Immanion Press, and popCULT! (2011), Pendragon Press. In 2009 Immanion Press brought out a collection comprising a novella and 13 short stories, THE JANUS HOUSE AND OTHER TWO-FACED TALES. He is married to Claire, also an award-winning journalist, and they have two children, Charlie and Alice. He commented:
‘I’ve always loved fantastical fiction, especially that which is grounded in some form of recognisable reality. I think that’s why the alternative Victorian setting appeals to me so much – it’s just far enough away to be shrouded in the mystery of life lived beyond living memory, yet close enough to reflect our world and the way we live life today. It’s perfect for adding a veneer of the fantastic to.
‘The Gideon Smith books were born out of a desire to write something which combined the rip-roaring adventure that Victorian writers did so well with the sensibilities of a modern novel. I think it was watching my two young children rapt in front of Raiders of the Lost Ark which made me want to try to create something that even approached inspiring such jaw-dropping attention… but at the same time questioned the concept of the “hero”, from the point of view of the heroes themselves and the public who worship them.
‘I’m delighted that Snowbooks are to publish Gideon Smith in the UK – they have a brilliant track record in this genre especially, and produce some really lovely books. They have some very exciting plans for Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl.’
Agent John Jarrold sold World English Language rights in this book and two sequels to Claire Eddy at Tor. The book is due for publication in September 2013, the same month as Tor will publish in the US.