US rights have been pre-empted Scribner, and auctions for the novel have been concluded in Germany, Italy and China
Katie Brown, commissioning editor at Trapeze, was the winning bidder in an auction for Keeping Mum by James Gould-Bourn. A two-book deal was struck with Joanna Swainson at Hardman & Swainson (UK and Commonwealth excluding Canada). US rights were pre-empted by Kara Watson at Scribner, and auctions for the novel have been concluded in Germany, Italy and China.
It was also pre-empted in France and Serbia and rights sold in Japan with further deals expected during London Book Fair.
Keeping Mum will be published by Trapeze in hardback, ebook and audio in spring 2020. James Gould-Bourn (pictured) previously worked as a copywriter for Bored Panda and has also worked for various landmine-clearance NGOs in Africa and the Middle East. Keeping Mum is his first novel.
The story follows Danny, who has lost his wife, his job on a building site, and he is about to lose his home. 'Worst of all though, he's losing his son, Will, who hasn't spoken since his mum died 14 months earlier in a car crash. Danny doesn't know how to reach him.'
Keeping Mum is 'a sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, sometimes sad, always poignant and ultimately uplifting story of a father and son overcoming their grief in the most unlikely of circumstances.'
Brown said: "As soon as I read the first few pages of this gorgeous novel, I knew I had to publish it. James is a talented comic storyteller, who is equally gifted at writing scenes with emotional heft; Keeping Mum made more than one of my colleagues cry in public. I am delighted that James chose Trapeze as the home for his very special debut novel, and I cannot wait to bring it to as many readers as possible."
Gould-Bourn said: "I am so chuffed that Trapeze and Orion will be publishing Keeping Mum. I've been grinning like a muppet since I first spoke to Katie Brown, whose obvious passion and enthusiasm left me absolutely convinced that my novel would be in the very best of hands with her and her brilliant team."