Self-published debut novel sold to UK small press Splice
Brisbane author Nicholas John Turner’s debut self-published novel Hang Him When He Is Not There has sold into the UK and Ireland to Birmingham-based small press Splice.
UK and Irish rights were negotiated by Martin Shaw, literary agent at Alex Adsett Publishing Services, and acquired by Splice commissioning editor Daniel Davis Wood, who said it was ‘a genuine privilege to bring this dazzling, daring novel to readers on this side of the world’.
Turner originally self-published the book in the Australian market in 2016, before approaching Shaw in late 2017 about a future writing project. ‘I replied that first off I really should look at his first book … and I was completely taken aback,’ said Shaw. ‘The intensity of reading experience that [Hang Him] affords is simply astonishing. I’m delighted that Splice has picked up on the praise and will bring the book to an international audience later in 2018.’
The novel garnered a positive review in the Weekend Australian from critic Shannon Burns in early January 2018, which Davis Wood said was evidence of the book’s appeal: ‘As a rule, self-published novels aren’t reviewed in places like the Weekend Australian. The fact that the rule was broken for this novel tells you something about how exceptional it is. And the fact that it received that acclaim two years after its first publication, because a handful of early readers in Australia kept insisting that it was one-of-a-kind, shows you that it has an unusual power to get under a reader’s skin and stay there,’ he said.
Davis Wood added, ‘Readers who have an ear to the ground already know that Australia is fertile territory for experimental literature at the moment, and writers like Jack Cox, Jen Craig and Jane Rawson have managed to build small but dedicated audiences over here. Nicholas John Turner belongs in their company, and I’m honoured to be able to offer Hang Him to a local community of readers who seek out challenging, unconventional books like this one—books that turn our preconceptions of literature inside-out and expand the limits of what the art form can do.’
The UK and Irish edition of Hang Him When He Is Not There will be a lightly revised version of the self-published text and will be released in the UK and Irish markets in October.