A Kirkby Lonsdale author is delighted to have signed a two-book deal with a major publisher.
Danielle Owen-Jones’ debut novel will be published by Bookouture, a division of Hachette, next spring. The publisher acquired the world all language and film and TV rights from literary agent and co-founder of The Liverpool Literary Agency, Clare Coombes.
She came up with the initial idea to write her first book about nine years ago.
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Danielle explained: “I’d watched a documentary about ‘dumpster diving’ (saving goods from supermarket bins), and it was during the period when Made in Chelsea had started and was huge.
“Inspired by both, I outlined a rough riches to rags concept and started writing the manuscript, but gradually, life got in the way.
“The half-written manuscript was confined to my drawer and reappeared every year with the optimism of my New Year resolutions lists.
“Every year I’d say I was going to finish it, but it wasn’t until lockdown that I finally had the time and the focus to do it. I’m currently writing my second book to a deadline next year and it ‘ ll be out next summer. “
Danielle said it’s been like a real-life dream having her books published.
She continued: “Signing my book deal has been my real-life ‘pinch me, am I dreaming?’ I’d been sitting with this rough idea and a half-written manuscript for years, but lockdown last year was the push I needed to focus and finally finish it.
“Publishing is notorious for rejections, and I had my fair share while querying literary agents, but it was one of the happiest days of my life when I signed with my brilliant agent, Clare Coombes.
“Clare and I worked together on strengthening and shaping the book, she then pitched it to publishers, and one day, I got the call. It truly is a dream come true; I’ve always loved books, and I’ve dreamed of one day being a published author since I was a little girl. I’m thrilled to launch my writing career with such a dynamic publisher – Bookouture’s vision and passion for the book blew me away. ”
Danielle’s debut will publish in the UK and the USA in April 2022 and is a riotous fish-out-of-water comedy, set in Liverpool, in which protagonist Arabella ‘goes from Prada to nada’ when her family’s soup empire goes bust. Danielle previously worked as a senior journalist and public relations executive before launching her PR business in 2016 and is currently based in Kirkby Lonsdale.
When talking about writing the books she explained: “Funnily enough, I wrote half of my first book while recovering from a lockdown Zoom party injury.
“It was my friend’s virtual birthday party, and as a task, we all had to race to grab a vegetable from the kitchen. I was a bit overly competitive and did it a little too enthusiastically… I fell up the stairs and cracked a rib in the process.
“I struggled to move much for the best part of a month. So, while I was confined to bed, I thought, now’s the time to finally finish that manuscript and take the first step in pursuing my lifelong dream of being a published author.
“I’m strangely grateful for my clumsiness and competitiveness now that my rib has healed, and I have a book deal.”
When talking about what inspired the book, Danielle said she’s naturally drawn to transformative life stories.
She added: “Especially when somebody experiences the opposite of what they’re used to, so the riche to rags and ‘fish out of water’ elements of the book stem from that. Women’s fiction can have a hard time sometimes, but I adore it and I especially love it when the genre surprises you.
“Marian Keyes is the perfect example of this. Her books are often labeled ‘chick lit’ but she tackles weighty themes, and she does it in a way that means the story stays with you long after you’ve put the book down. hope there’s an element of that in my debut – it’s a romcom so naturally it’s light-hearted escapism, but there are important issues, such as homelessness, poverty and sustainability, woven within it. “
Danielle started her career as a journalist before moving into public relations.
She said: “I started my career as a journalist with Reach (back when it was Trinity Mirror), working on the Southport Visit and the other regional titles in Merseyside, including occasional shifts at the Liverpool Echo. I became a senior reporter before I was 21 and was also made editor of several columns.
“After a few years, I left journalism and took on public relations roles, working for agencies in Liverpool and Manchester. Then when my husband and I moved up to Cumbria, I decided to go freelance and launched my own PR and copywriting business, Bloomin ‘Creative. Through Bloomin’ Creative, I help small businesses with their PR and creative content.
“I do this alongside writing my books, but the two go hand-in-hand very well and I’m lucky to work with some fantastic long-standing clients.”
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