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Embla Books acquires ‘landmark’ women’s fiction debut from Ronali Collings

Embla Books, the digital-first commercial fiction imprint of Bonnier Books UK, has snapped up two books from Ronali Collings – a graduate of the inaugural Madeleine Milburn Mentorship Programme.

Publishing Director Jane Snelgrove acquired world English language rights for Love & Other Dramas from Hayley Steed, along with a second work.

Funny, insightful and highly relatable, Love & Other Dramas tells the story of three women each at a crossroads in their lives – dealing with the drama of life, love, family, friendship, and keeping people out of your business in a culture where Aunty knows best. As they look to reinvent themselves, Tania, her mother Helen, and best friend Priya each face shocks, old secrets and surprises.

Jane Snelgrove said: ‘With her wit, warmth, and brilliant insight into women, relationships and all the drama of life, Ronali is a Marian Keyes in the making. It is such a privilege to work with her on this marvellous and very personal story. Moving and hilarious in equal measure, Love & Other Dramas is not a book about race or culture, but it was refreshing to see characters which are often underrepresented in this genre, and to get a taste of the role their Sri Lankan heritage plays in their very British lives and identities. Ronali is an exciting new voice that I know readers are going to fall in love with as I did.’

Ronali Collings was born and bred in Middlesex and worked in finance for 16 years. After years as a stay-at-home mother, and decades of living vicariously through books, Ronali rediscovered her passion for writing and graduated with a MA in Creative Writing under the supervision of Bernardine Evaristo.

Ronali said: ‘I’m so excited to be published by Embla. The moment I met Jane I knew that she understood my novel and its themes, and her enthusiasm, knowledge and reputation made it clear that Embla is the perfect home for Love & Other Dramas. It’s so important for me to tell more diverse stories, giving older women more visibility, and acknowledging that we still laugh, love and don’t have life all worked out. I’m so incredibly grateful to have been Hayley’s inaugural mentee, and to have received her feedback and guidance in turning my initial fifteen thousand words into an entire novel. And thank you to the whole Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency, both agents and authors, for welcoming me into their family.’

Hayley Steed said: ‘I am so excited to see Ronali’s debut novel publish with Embla this summer – from the moment Ronali entered our inaugural agency mentorship, she was a ray of warmth, inspiration and writing talent. She could not deserve this more, and I’m so proud of her for writing the book she was always meant to write. Love & Other Dramas is such a feel-good read, fuelled by real, witty and relatable women navigating love, loss, identity and friendship, with a side of amazing Sri Lankan dishes that will make your mouth water.’

Love & Other Dramas will be published in ebook and audio in July 2022, with a second book to follow in 2023.