A FERMANAGH writer has signed a major two-book deal with one of the world’s biggest publishing houses.
HarperCollins announced last week it had acquired two novels from Ryan Love, who is from Enniskillen and has family connections across the county. Already the global publishing company is calling the Fermanagh man “a star in the making.”
‘Arthur and Teddy are Coming Out’ tells the tale of two unique ‘coming out’ experiences, and is described by HarperCollins as “a charming feel-good story about the bond between grandfather and grandson.”
At the heart of the story are 79-year-old Arthur Edwards, who spent a lifetime in the closet but is “finally ready to live the life he never felt he could,” and 21-year-old Teddy, who has friends who know he is gay but who is not quite ready to tell his family. The two have always been close, and “now have to rely on each other as they navigate their way through old heartbreak and new love while learning to accept who they are.”
Ryan, who currently lives in England, said his own family and experiences had been a positive source of inspiration for the story.
“Family has been a huge inspiration in writing Arthur and Teddy are Coming Out,” he said. “I was extremely lucky to come out to a loving and accepting family, something I never take for granted.
“Writing gave me the opportunity to weave two unique coming out experiences together for one tight-knit family, who find themselves needing each other more than ever.
“I never got to know either of my grandfathers, but in Arthur I created the grandparent I think we would all love to know we could turn to and confide in. I hope readers love sharing Arthur and Teddy’s adventure as much as I have writing it.”
Senior commissioning editor at HarperCollins, Cicely Aspinall, was full of praise for Ryan’s work.
“There’s a wonderfully warm, heart-on-sleeve quality to Ryan’s writing and his characters that drew me in so completely,” she said. “This is a hopeful, uplifting story that will melt even the coldest of hearts and make you laugh in the process.
“I know it will inspire people and show that it’s never late to be true to yourself. Ryan is a star of the genre in the making and I can’t wait for readers to meet Arthur and Teddy!”
Ryan said he was “over-the-moon to be working with Cicely and the incredible team” at HarperCollins, and said he was blown away by Cicely’s love of the characters and understanding of the story.”
Anne Perry, from KI Literary Agency which represents Ryan, said ‘Arthur and Teddy are Coming Out’ was “a warm hug of a novel with a brisk side of sass, a coming-of-age novel for the ages.”
“Ryan is a joy to work with and Arthur and Teddy are Coming Out is a delight,” she said. “I missed my train home the night it came in on submission, because I was too busy reading it to pay attention to the time.”
Arthur and Teddy are Coming Out will be released in hardback, ebook and audio in April 2023.
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