‘Thought-provoking and intelligent, Nuala Casey’s début is one to savour.’ Elizabeth Haynes, author of Into the Darkest Corner
Enormous congratulations to Nuala Casey on the publication of her début novel, SOHO, 4AM. Set over 24 hours, SOHO, 4AM is a psychological thriller about four ordinary people who walk a dangerous, twisted path in London’s greatest adult playground. Come the morning of the 7th July, as jubilation turns to horror, will they have fallen into Soho’s poisoned embrace whilst the nation’s eyes are turned elsewhere?
In the early Noughties, Nuala Casey moved into a tiny, cramped studio flat in Soho with her then boyfriend, and set about forging a career as a singer-songwriter. Yet despite being in her early twenties and living in the heart of London’s jazz and entertainment scene, Nuala became disillusioned with the celebrity-obsessed world of the music industry and found her inspiration, instead, in the colourful characters of Soho; the ordinary men and women who lived and worked amid the partying and excess. Soon, her scribbled song lyrics developed into detailed stories which chronicled the real, hidden world that existed in the shadows of the noise and neon. These stories would go on to form the basis of her début novel.
Quercus publish today on 4th July and have secured fantastic promotions with retailers including WHSmith Travel, Waterstones and Asda. Nuala is currently writing her second thriller under contract, THE LAST DAYS OF SUMMER, where she returns to the characters seven years on.
Flatiron building – home to publishers including Macmillan and Bloomsbury
I spent last week in New York on business seeing over 50 editors from 11 major US publishing companies. Each day tended to be ordered around two major publishers, with thirty minute back-to-back appointments at each. Day 1 consisted of Little, Brown and HarperCollins; day 2: Simon & Schuster and Random House; day 3: Penguin and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; day 4: Bloomsbury, Macmillan’s imprints (all in my favourite building in NY, the Flatiron) and Egmont; day 5: Hyperion and Scholastic.
It felt wonderful cementing relationships and meeting new editors to work with as there has been so much movement over the last two years. I am now busy following up my meetings and submitting new material by my clients to all the interested editors.
Further to the success of S.J. Watson’s BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP, psychological suspense is still working really well. Everyone I spoke to had read, or was reading, the cracking psychological suspense novel GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn. Even the children’s editors were discussing this book, reminding me of my last business trip in NY when the crime author Tana French was most talked about. St Martin’s Press will be publishing Sophie McKenzie’s gripping first adult psychological suspense, CLOSE MY EYES, this summer, and I was very lucky to get a proof copy. Most of the editors were looking for new psychological suspense – even on the Young Adult side they were looking for this genre, particularly stories told by an unreliable narrator.
The other trend that was most talked about was New Adult, defined by an editor as realistic stories involving college age characters (with lots of sex), appealing to adult readers. It looks like popular sitcoms like GIRLS are now translating into books.
It was a super trip, and I’m already looking forward to my return.