Puffin has acquired three books in a hilarious new middle grade series, Charlie Changes into a Chicken, by debut writer and literary agent Sam Copeland. Ben Horslen, Fiction Publisher, bought World Rights from Julia Churchill at A M Heath in a six-figure pre-empt.
Within hours of Puffin acquiring the series, Dutch rights were sold in a three-book pre-empt, and several other international publishers are already in discussions regarding translation rights.
Speaking of the deal, Sam said, "Sending a book out to agents I know – even anonymously – was an excruciatingly embarrassing and nerve-wracking experience. Fortunately, it has paid off in ways I couldn't even have dreamed of. To see such a wonderful, positive reaction from publishers and to then end up with Puffin as my publisher has me in a state of utter disbelief. To say I am happy both to be published by Puffin and not to have become a laughing stock of the publishing world is an understatement."
Ben Horslen added: "I couldn’t be more excited to be publishing Sam Copeland’s debut. Like others in the publishing world, I've known for many years that Sam is a funny guy, but I had no idea he was this funny. I laughed my way through his manuscript in one sitting and knew immediately that Puffin had to have it. Charlie McGuffin is destined for greatness, and Sam is going to be a huge new voice in children’s books."
Charlie McGuffin is an optimist, but things are conspiring against him. His brother is in hospital waiting for an operation, his parents are trying to hide how worried they are, and the school bully is upping the ante in Charlie’s direction.
The thing is, Charlie's never really been stressed before – not properly, sweatily, heartpumpingly stressed – and with everything going on at home plus all the normal worries at school, he's starting to panic. And this is bad, because Charlie's just learnt that when he gets properly, sweatily, heartpumpingly stressed, he turns in to an animal, all sorts of animals. A flea. A pigeon. A rhino. Who knows what's next?
The school play is only a couple of weeks away, and Charlie is starting to worry. What if he transforms in front of the whole school, while he’s on stage playing Sad Potato Number 1? Will everyone think he’s a freak? Will he get sent away for Science to deal with? Will his parents crack up with all the extra stress?
With the help of his three best friends, Charlie needs to find a way to deal with his extraordinary new talent. And fast.
Charlie Changes into a Chicken will publish in 2019 in a very fun, highly-illustrated package.