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News > Alumnae News! > Hachette Children's pre-empts Siobhan McDermott's 'major' debut magical fantasy series

Hachette Children's pre-empts Siobhan McDermott's 'major' debut magical fantasy series

Children's Author Síobhan McDermott - Class of 2010
Siobhan McDermott c. Jordan Gibbons
Siobhan McDermott c. Jordan Gibbons

Hachette Children’s Group has pre-empted a debut middle-grade magical fantasy series inspired by Chinese legend by former publishing staffer Siobhan McDermott in a six-figure deal.

The Second Silhouette follows 12-year-old orphan Zhi Ging, an outsider in her village above the cloud sea. Her only hope of escape is to win the single invitation to train as a Silhouette: an apprentice to the immortals. Hachette will publish the first volume in early 2024 with books two and three to follow in 2025 and 2026.

Editorial director Rachel Wade and editor Nazima Abdillahi secured UK and Commonwealth plus translation rights from Gemma Cooper at the Bent Agency in a six-figure pre-empt.

Sarah Lambert, publishing director at Hachette Children’s Group commented: “Siobhan is an incredibly exciting new talent who has created an unforgettable heroine in a richly imagined, filmic world infused with Chinese legend that children will want to return to again and again. This will be a major middle-grade launch for us with huge global ambition to reach readers in all corners of the world.”

Group rights director Tracy Phillips added: “The Hachette Children’s rights team is hugely excited to be introducing Siobhan McDermott’s rich and evocative debut, The Second Silhouette to our international customers. To enquire about the rights, please visit the HCG stand at Bologna Book Fair in Hall 25, B57.”

McDermott was born in Hong Kong and grew up on stories filled with Chinese legends and Irish folklore. Now living in the UK, she worked in publishing for six years in various publicity roles at Egmont, Octopus and Penguin Ireland and is now the PR lead at BBC Maestro.

She said: “I’m thrilled The Second Silhouette has found its perfect home with Hachette Children’s Group. This series is hugely inspired by my own childhood in Hong Kong, where I was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by traditional legends and (equally fantastical) family stories. I can’t wait to share Zhi Ging’s world of age-shifting immortals, floating markets and jellyfish networks with readers.”

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