Penny Chrimes launches middle-grade fiction debut with Orion

Lucy Nathan
Rights - Children Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Tiger Heart mixes 'animals, magic, adventure and emotion'


Lena McCauley, commissiong editor at Hachette Children's Group, has bought world rights in two middle-grade titles from Penny Chrimes. The first book in the deal, Tiger Heat, is Chrimes's fiction debut and will come from Orion Children's Books on 9 January 2020, with the second following in January 2021. The deal was finalised with Lisa Babalis at Curtis Brown.

Tiger Heart follows the tale of a young chimney sweep, a tiger, a "dangerously hypnotic" ruby, and a mystical land. It's described as a "roaring adventure" told in "bright, playful strokes" - a cross between The Girl of Ink and Stars and Pax.

McCauley said: "In Tiger Heart, Penny Chrimes has exquisitely mixed animals, magic, adventure and emotion to create an epic coming-of-age journey - I can't wait for readers to fall in love with fierce, clever Fly and her majestic, tender tiger."

Babalis said: "When Penny rather diffidently told me she had written a book about a chimney sweep who could speak to tigers I was intrigued. Then when I started to read, I was enchanted! I am absolutely thrilled that Hachette Children's recognised the magic of Tiger Heart with an editor who is such a perfect fit for the book in Lena McCauley. Penny is a graduate of Curtis Brown Creative and we are enormously proud of her!"

Chrimes, who has worked as a TV news journalist and who has published picture books with Frances Lincoln under the name of Penny McKinlay, said: "From the moment I started writing Tiger Heart I had all these images in my head of this glorious tiger, gleaming gold even in the darkest places that he and Fly end up. It felt like the tiger was pacing through the pages as I wrote it. I am delighted that Fly and her tiger have found such a good home with Hachette Children’s and I feel so lucky to have an amazing editor like Lena McCauley to work on the book."

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