“Francesca Best has acquired three gritty historical saga novels by a debut author as her first acquisition for Transworld.
She bought World English rights at auction to A Shilling for a Wife and two further novels by Emma Hornby from Judith Murdoch, for publication from autumn 2016.
Thirty-one-year-old mother of three Hornby lives on a tight-knit working-class estate in Bolton and has read sagas all her life. Before pursuing a career as a novelist, she had a variety of jobs, from care assistant for the elderly, to working in a Blackpool rock factory. She was inspired to write after researching her family history; like the characters in her books, many generations of her family eked out life amidst the squalor and poverty of Lancashire’s slums.
Best moved from Hodder & Stoughton to Transworld in August, to take up the position of Senior Commissioning Editor for fiction.
She said: ‘I’m delighted to have signed up a talented young author with a very promising career in saga ahead of her. A Shilling for a Wife is a wonderfully twisty, absorbing tale which crackles with authentic Lancashire voices. Transworld was home to the late Dame Catherine Cookson’s publishing and I believe that in Emma Hornby we could have found our new Cookson.’ “