There is a new British-Nigerian author to watch. Juliet Mabey, publisher at UK house One World, has acquired UK and Commonwealth print, e-book and audio rights in Someday, Maybe by debut writer Onyi Nwabineli after winning a three-way auction.
The synopsis says: ‘Written with phenomenal assurance and poise, Someday, Maybe follows Eve, a young British-Igbo woman whose world changes forever when her husband kills himself. Eve is left reeling in the wake of his death: Quentin was the love of her life and they were happy. Weren’t they? Buckling under social pressure to ‘move on’, bombarded on all sides by well-meaning but tone-deaf advice, Eve takes refuge in memories of her relationship with Quentin. So begins a one-of-a-kind love story: wry, daringly honest, and propelled by the voice of an unforgettable protagonist.’
Mabey concluded the deal with Jennifer Choi at Harlequin US (part of HarperCollins), on behalf of Amy St Johnston at UK agency Aitken Alexander. It will publish in October 2022 as a superlead title under Oneworld’s new book-club imprint Magpie, with Harlequin to publish in North America in November.
Mabey said: “I was instantly taken by Onyi’s blend of sensitivity and laugh-out-loud humour, and am thrilled to be bringing Eve’s story to readers,” Mabey said. “I know Someday, Maybe will spark important conversations about bereavement, family and mental health, and am delighted to be working with Onyi, a writer who I know has a bright future ahead.”
Mabey said that One World’s Magpie imprint “will publish books you can’t wait to press into the hands of your friends. We’re looking for fiction that is warm, thoughtful and diverse, but above all unputdownable, and Onyi’s novel is all of these things and more”.
Nwabineli was born in Nigeria and has lived in Glasgow, the Isle of Man and Newcastle. An English and creative writing graduate, she is now based in London, where she works in technology management. She is the co-founder of Surviving Out Loud, a charity that provides support to survivors of sexual assault, and the founder of Black Pens, a writing retreat for Black women.