May 31, 2022
‘major new YA star’s sensational debut thriller’ A Game Of Life Or Death acquired by Scholastic UK in auction
Scholastic UK is thrilled to announce a three book deal with Emmy-nominated producer Triona Campbell. Described as Ready Player One meets Black Mirror, her debut YA novel, A Game of Life or Death is a contemporary thriller with a high stake speculative twist, and will be released in February 2023.
Lauren Fortune, Fiction Publisher, bought World Rights at auction for two YA books from Marianne Gunn O’Connor at Marianne Gunn O’Connor Literary, Film & TV Agency.
Irish writer and producer Triona Campbell is a three-time Emmy-nominated producer of transmedia, film and TV projects. She is the creator of Ireland’s first TV series on videogames Gamer Mode (RTÉ) and a producer on the ground-breaking and iconic UK teen drama Sofia’s Diary (Channel 5 / Sony Pictures Television).
When sixteen-year-old Asha Kennedy discovers her older sister Maya’s dead body in their home, her world falls apart. Desperate for answers and to stay out of the hands of the social services she grew up in, Asha turns to her hacker friends for help. Her search leads her to Zu Tech, the hit games studio where Maya was a lead coder. As Asha unravels the riddle of her death, she realises that the only way to uncover the truth is from the inside. Asha ghosts her old life and infiltrates a Zu Tech esport tournament as they launch 'SHACKLE', the revolutionary Virtual Reality video game Maya was working on – and which hides a monstrous secret…
Triona Campbell says: “I’m ridiculously excited to be working with Lauren and the team at Scholastic. I couldn’t ask for a better home for my books. A Game of Life or Death is a story that has real relevance for the world we live in. Readers can expect a thriller about power, survival, love and also hope. I can’t wait till February 2023 when we get to share this with them.”
Lauren Fortune, Fiction Publisher at Scholastic UK, says: “Part murder mystery, part pulse-pounding thriller, with breath-taking scenes set in a Virtual Reality world as fiendish as the Arena in The Hunger Games, this is a truly sensational read. Asha is Lisbeth Salander for a new generation: an expert hacker who is brave, resilient and super smart – and her story is exhilarating and moving in equal measure. Triona is a major new YA star and we couldn’t be more excited to be publishing her.”
Agent Marianne Gunn O’Connor says: ‘Triona Campbell is a brilliant talent. As an award-winning TV producer of young-adult programmes, she intrinsically knows how to navigate the world of young people with insight and skill. A Game of Life or Death plays into our concerns about the breathtaking pace of the development of AI. There was such love in the publishing world for A Game of Life or Death, but ultimately Lauren Fortune and Scholastic took that to a whole other level. They blew us away with their vision and passion for the series and for Triona as a writer. I look forward to seeing them shepherd this exceptional, visionary series into the world.’
A Game of Life of Death by Triona Campbell will be published in February 2023.