How North West writer Danielle Owen-Jones scooped book deal in 'pinch me' moment after lockdown inspiration
A North West writer has 'best day of life' after landing a two-book deal with a major publisher.
Danielle Owen-Jones’ debut novel will be published by Bookouture, a division of Hachette, next spring.
The publisher acquired the world all language and film and TV rights from literary agent and co-founder of The Liverpool Literary Agency, Clare Coombes.
Danielle said: “Signing my book deal has been my real-life ‘pinch me, am I dreaming?’ moment! I’d been sitting with this rough idea and a half-written manuscript for years, but lockdown last year was the push I needed to focus and finally finish it.
"Publishing is notorious for rejections, and I had my fair share while querying literary agents, but it was one of the happiest days of my life when I signed with my brilliant agent, Clare Coombes.
“Clare and I worked together on strengthening and shaping the book, she then pitched it to publishers, and one day, I got the call. It truly is a dream come true; I’ve always loved books, and I’ve dreamed of one day being a published author since I was a little girl. I’m thrilled to launch my writing career with such a dynamic publisher – Bookouture’s vision and passion for the book blew me away.”
Danielle’s debut will publish in the UK and the USA in April 2022 and is a riotous fish-out-of-water comedy, set in Liverpool, in which protagonist Arabella ‘goes from Prada to nada’ when her family’s soup empire goes bust.
Danielle previously worked as a senior journalist and public relations executive before launching her PR business in 2016 and is currently based in Kirkby Lonsdale, near Carnforth.
She added: “I grew up in Southport but moved to Kirkby Lonsdale six years ago. My husband and I love living and working in Cumbria. It’s a fabulous place to call home. I’m passionate about the north, and both of my romantic comedies have gorgeous northern settings.
"The city of Liverpool is at the heart and soul of my debut novel – you can’t beat Scouse wit and warmth, and it’s a place close to my heart as my family are all proud Scousers.”
Commissioning editor at Bookouture, Emily Gowers, said: “I asked the universe for something to fill the Schitt’s Creek-sized hole in my life, and Danielle delivered! This book had me doubled over with laughter, and left me wishing Bella was real so that we could be friends.
"The next best thing though is to introduce her – and Danielle’s writing – to the world, and I feel so lucky to be doing this!”
Literary agent, Clare Coombes, said: “From the first read, I knew this book was special. There was a lot of interest but I'm so happy we've found the perfect home for it at Bookouture.
"Danielle has such an amazing writing style and comic timing. Readers are going to love Arabella's journey of self-discovery (and the world of soup, which is such a hilarious and unique framing for this whole story.
"For our first women's fiction signing and book deal in this genre to be set in Liverpool (and the first rom-com we know of based in the Toxteth part of the city), is just incredible and we so proud of Danielle."