Bonnier Books UK have announced the acquisition of Snowflake, alongside one other title, in a two-book deal with 27-year-old debut Irish author Louise Nealon. An exquisite coming-of-age story, Snowflake will be the lead literary debut from imprint Manilla Press in 2021.
Margaret Stead, publisher for Manilla Press and Zaffre, acquired UK and Commonwealth (excluding Canada) rights for Snowflake in a six-figure pre-empt. Film and TV rights have already been snapped up by Element Pictures, the team responsible for current BBC hit Normal People. Both were sold by Marianne Gunn O’Connor from MGOC Creative.
Eighteen-year-old Debbie lives on a dairy farm in Kildare with her mother and her uncle Billy – who lives in a caravan in the garden. Debbie’s mum Maeve’s grip on reality is increasingly tenuous, and she spends her days recording her dreams, which are more real than her daylight hours. This world is Debbie’s normal, but she is about to step into life as a student at university in Dublin. Debbie finds life increasingly difficult to navigate between the world of home, and her new life, coming to see that sometimes even the maddest of families are our real places of safety. Snowflake is a startling, honest, laugh and cry novel about growing up and leaving home.
Author, Louise Nealon, said: ‘In early March, I got a phone call from my agent, Marianne Gunn O’Connor, who read out an email from Margaret Stead of Bonnier Books UK. That phone call changed my life. It is a dream come true to be represented by an agent and a publisher who believe wholeheartedly in the story that I am trying to tell. I am so grateful that the team at Manilla Press have the same grá for these characters as I do. I am looking forward to post-lockdown celebrations, but for now, I am dancing around my childhood bedroom in a Harry Potter dressing gown.’
Margaret Stead, publisher, commented: ‘Snowflake is a brilliant novel, with huge heart and a raw, honest, hilariously funny and real look at coming of age, mental health, at the meaning of home. Louise Nealon is a huge talent and we are so pleased and proud – and excited – to be publishing her at Manilla Press next year.’
Agent, Marianne Gunn O’Connor, said: ‘I fell in love with Snowflake from the first chapters Louise shared with me. I knew I had to find a very special home for it. Margaret Stead and Kate Parkin of Bonnier Books UK acted like lightning and pre-empted in a six-figure offer, for their new literary imprint Manilla Press. There was no doubting their passion and vision which they matched with a robust offer and a killer proposal, outlining their vision and what they could do for Snowflake.’