Lightning Books signs new Ray Robinson novel

Rights - Fiction Thursday, 08 November 2018

Long-time fan Scott Pack acquires The Mating Habits of Stags


Editor-at-large Scott Pack acquired world rights direct from the author, and Lightning will publish next autumn.

Robinson is the author of four previous novels. His debut, Electricity (Picador, 2006), was shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award. His third novel, Forgetting Zoë, was a winner of the inaugural Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize.

Pack said: "I supported and promoted Electricity when I was head of buying at Waterstones and it remains one of the best debuts I have ever read. Since then I have been a close follower of his career and more than a little jealous that other people were publishing him. When I first saw the Edith short movie [see below] I wanted to know more about the characters, and this book is everything I had hoped to read about them. It is Ray's best novel yet."

According to the acquisition statement: 'The Mating Habits of Stags is set in the Yorkshire Dales where former farmhand Jake, now a widower in his seventies, goes on the run after a committing a crime.

'As he travels the countryside trying to avoid capture, we learn of the events of his past: the wife he loved and lost, their child that he knows cannot be his, and the deep-seated need for revenge that manifests itself in a moment of violence. This novel reveals afresh the lyrical prose and mastery of character that distinguish Robinson’s fiction.

'An early version of the story was released in 2016 as a short film Edith, starring the Emmy-nominated Peter Mullan and Game of Thrones actress Michelle Fairley, and directed by Christian Cooke. The film continues to win awards and accolades around the world, including a BAFTA longlist for Best Short Film.' https://vimeo.com/162947801

Robinson said: "It’s a privilege to be with a publisher who has been cheering me on from the sidelines from the very start and who has made the loneliness of the writing life less lonely. If he had hair, I’d be looking forward to turning it grey over the coming months."

Lightning Books was founded last year as the fiction imprint of independent publisher Eye Books, founded by Dan Hiscocks. Lightning is distributed by NBNi and sales representation is headed up by Hugh Brune.

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