28 June 2018

Summer must-reads from former CBC students

Summer Reads
by Katie Smart Novels by CBC Alumni

A heatwave has hit UK this week – and as we swelter in the London heat, now feels like a good time for a round-up of the hot new summer reads from of our published students.

So here’s a selection of upcoming publications from Curtis Brown Creative students, which will make perfect beach reads and travel companions. There’s something for everybody here: from romantic comedies to thrillers, with a few highly anticipated debuts, and some eagerly awaited second novels. Happy reading!

Catherine Bennetto, Make Or Break (out in paperback 12 July)

Make Or Break, Catherine Bennetto

Catherine was a student on our first ever online novel-writing course in autumn 2013, and after the course she gained representation from CB’s Alice Lutyens. Her debut novel How Not to Fall in Love, Actually was published as an e-book and then in paperback by S&S, and took a fresh, laugh-out-loud look at contemporary romance. Her second novel, Make Or Break, comes out in paperback in July, and promises to be equally hilarious and heart-warming. It follows 29-year-old Londoner Jess who gets taken on a surprise trip by her long-term boyfriend to attend her best friend’s last-minute wedding in South Africa. Jess has high hopes, but things don’t quite go to plan …

Rae DelBianco, Rough Animals (out now in the US)

Rough Animals, Rae DelBianco

Rae came over from rural Pennsylvania for six months specifically to study on our London novel-writing course in 2015, quickly becoming a popular member of her cohort. After getting representation from our very own Jonny Geller, and Janklow & Nesbit in US, her debut was sold to indie publisher Two Rivers, and translation rights sold in France and Italy. She has since become an Instagram book influencer, clocking up an impressive 20,000 followers on the social media platform.  Her highly anticipated debut Rough Animals is a gripping tale that follows twins Wyatt and Lucy Smith after their father’s mysterious death on the family’s isolated ranch in Box Elder County, Utah. This rural thriller has already been compared to the likes of Cormac McCarthy.

James Hall, The Industry of Human Happiness (out now)

The Industry of Human Happiness, Jame Hall

James was a freelance journalist specialising in music, food, business and lifestyle before taking our fourth-ever London-based novel-writing course in 2012, taught by course regular Chris Wakling. His debut novel, The Industry of Human Happiness (Lightning Books), is an historical thriller, set in the murky backstage world of late-Victorian theatreland, and lovingly depicts the early years of recorded music in turn-of-the-century London. Perfect for thriller lovers, music enthusiasts and Victoriana fans alike.

Jane Harper, Force of Nature (out now)

Force of Nature, Jane Harper

The newly crowned ‘Queen of Crime’, Jane Harper is an author who now requires no introduction. Repped in the UK by CB agent Alice Lutyens, her debut, The Dry, has been garlanded with prizes, including Crime Fiction Book of the Year, and effusively praised by the likes of Val McDermid. Her stunning follow-up,  Force of Nature is new out in paperback this week.  Five women go out on a hike, but only four come back… A must-read.

Jo Jakeman, Sticks and Stones (out on 12 July)

Sticks and Stones, Jo Jakeman

Jo studied on our six-month online course in the spring of 2016, taught by CBC veteran Lisa O’Donnell. Her debut novel was snapped up at auction by Harvill Secker in a high-profile deal, and is out in hardback on 12 July. One of the most anticipated thriller debuts of the summer,  Stick and Stones is centered on three very different women all of whom had the misfortune of being romantically involved with the same abusive man. What will happen when these unlikely allies decide it’s time for revenge?

Laura Marshall, Three Little Lies (out now)

Three Little Lies, Laura Marshall

Laura took one of our three-month London-based course in 2015, after which she gained representation from CB agent Felicity Blunt, with her debut novel Friend Request sold at auction to Sphere (an imprint of Little, Brown) – and then around the world in many languages. Now, following its incredible success, we’re thrilled to get our hands on her second novel Three Little Lies: When Sasha disappears, only her friend Ellen knows the secret of the darkness that lurks in Sasha’s past and the events that happened on one night, ten years earlier …

Heidi Perks, Now You See Her (out now)

Now You See Her, Heidi Perks

Heidi took our online course back in 2013, and after impressively self-publishing her debut Beneath the Surface in 2016her second novel, Now You See Her, was bought by Century in a major deal. A gripping thriller, we follow Charlotte, who is looking after her best friend’s daughter the day she disappears. Now she must do the unimaginable: tell her best friend that her only child is missing. Chilling…

Fiona Perrin, The Story After Us (out in eBook 14 July)

The Story After Us, Fiona Perrin

Fiona was part of the same cohort of London writers as James Hall, alongside YA bestseller Lisa Williamson and The One author Maria RealfThe Story After Us comes out as an e-book from Head of Zeus imprint Aria in July. Fiona’s debut is a tale of modern romance following Ami who has two children, a terrifyingly large mortgage, and no idea who she is, or why she and her husband can’t even be in the same room anymore. For readers desperate to fill that Jojo-shaped hole in your lives, this might be the read for you.

Annabelle Thorpe, What Lies Within (out now)

What Lies Within, Annabelle Thorpe

An experienced travel and features journalist, Annabelle took our second ever London-based novel-writing course back in 2011. Annabelle’s impressive debut, The People We Were Before, was set against the dramatic background of the troubles of Yugoslavia in the 1980s. Her second novel, What Lies Within (Quercus) is a smart, stylish thriller exploring the dark side of expat life, marital breakdown and betrayal, set in Marrakesh.

If you’re interested in taking one of our selective entry novel-writing courses like these authors did, why not apply for a 6-month course that start this autumn: our London-based course taught by Simon Wroe or, our online course taught by Lisa O’Donnell (with one fully-funded scholarship place up for grabs).

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