Big book deal for comedian Caimh McDonnell | Comic supernatural thriller out next year

Big book deal for comedian Caimh McDonnell

Comic supernatural thriller out next year

Former comedian Caimh McDonnell has sold the book and screen rights to his latest novel – a comic supernatural thriller about a newspaper that reports on inexplicable happenings.

The Stranger Times has been picked up by Transworld after the stand-up mocked up a copy of the publication.

Acquiring editor Simon Taylor said: ‘We were completely won over by the print copy of The Stranger Times newspaper … eight pages of hilarious headlines, outrageous articles, genius classifieds and even a psychic crossword (no clues necessary, of course).

‘I think we’re all going to have a lot of fun introducing The Stranger Times and its dedicated staff of oddballs and misfits to the wider world.’ 

Transworld will release the book – which is intended as the first in a series – early next year, while the screen rights were won at auction by Wolf Hall and Little Women producers Playground Entertainment.

McDonnell – who writes under the name CK McDonnell – said: ‘As soon as my agent told me that Simon and Transworld were interested in The Stranger Times, I told him that I didn’t want to go anywhere else.  Thankfully, he neglected to mention that in negotiations. 

‘I’m thrilled to be working with them and on a project that celebrates my adopted home of Manchester in all of its oddball glory.’ 

Taylor is pitching the book as ‘if it had been written by the Fortean Times reading love-child of Ben Aaronovitch and Terry Pratchett whose favourite film is Men in Black and who binge-watched Stranger Things and American Gods before putting pen to paper.’

Rights have also been sold in Germany, in what’s been described as ‘a strong six-figure deal’, Spain and France.

Transworld picked up the rights from Ed Wilson at Johnson & Alcock, who said: ‘Caimh first mentioned The Stranger Times to me over a pint of Guinness, and I knew instantly he was onto a winner. He is one of the freshest, funniest writers on the planet, and this series is a celebration of his myriad talents.’

McDonnell – who has written for shows including the Sarah Millican TV Programme and Have I Got News For You – has previously released six novels independently, starting with  A Man With One of Those Faces in September 2016. His back catalogue is available on Amazon here.

Published: 28 Feb 2020

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