Orenda Books' Johana Gustawsson wins Balai D'Or and a TV deal

News - International Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Gustawsson's Roy & Castells series has been sold to Banijay Studios, France

Karen Sullivan, publisher of Orenda Books, and French publisher Bragelonne, have announced that television rights for Johana Gustawsson's Roy & Castells series have been sold to Banijay Studios France and award-winning French actress Alexandra Lamy. Lamy will adapt it for the screen and play the main character, Emily Roy.

The series is a co-production between Sweden, the UK and France, with four to six episodes per book. The first will be based on Gustawsson's thriller Block 46, and the second on its sequel, Keeper, both translated into English by Maxim Jakubowski and published by Orenda. The next in the series, Blood Song, published in the UK in Autumn 2019, will make up the third series.

It has also just been announced that Keeper has won the prestigious Balai D'Or Award in France, for Best Crime Novel, voted by readers. This is the first time that an author has won this award for two years running, with Block 46 scooping the 'Next Big Talent' prize in 2017.

Sullivan said: "We are elated that Johana's dark, chilling and exquisitely written Roy & Castells series will soon be on our screens... and in English. Johana is a hugely talented author, and her evocative, intelligent thrillers sweep from London to Sweden and back into the past, as Canadian profiler Emily Roy and French true-crime writer Alexis Castells go on the hunt for serial killers. Rights have been sold in 15 countries to date, and the series has sold over 60,000 copies in France, with much more to come. We are also immensely proud that Johana has won the Balai D'Or award for both Block 46 and Keeper."

Gustawsson (pictured) said: "Everything happened as if in a dream... receiving Alexandra Lamy's message, pinching myself several times, meeting her for a drink in London, and a few days later receiving the message that Alexander wanted to adapt both Block 46, Keeper and the third in the series (yet unpublished), Blood Song for TV, with Banijay soon coming on board. It's an incredible destiny for Roy & Castells, success that I attribute to my amazing French editor, Lilas Seewald, Bragelonne's great team, and my English publisher, the fantastic Karen Sullivan (Orenda Books), who gave my books international recognition."

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