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Hussain and Hot Key Books make a perfect match with two-book deal

Hot Key Books, an imprint of Bonnier Books UK, has acquired two contemporary Young Adult novels from Anika Hussain.

Emma Matthewson, executive publisher, acquired world rights in a two-book deal from Alice Sutherland-Hawes at ASH Literary.

The first title, This Is How You Fall in Love, is a hilarious and heartfelt romcom that centres on British-Bangladeshi characters Zara and Adnan, who are just friends until forced to fake date to cover up Adnan’s real relationship. But with fake dating comes fake hand-holding and fake kissing and real feelings… And when a new boy turns up in Zara’s life, things get more confusing than ever.

Anika Hussain was born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden, and currently lives and writes in Bath, Somerset. She is a graduate of the Bath Spa MA Writing for Young People. Not having seen herself in the books she read as a teenager, Anika writes YA novels with South Asian characters at the heart of the story. Aside from writing and working as an operations manager, Anika is involved with the Hawkins Project, founded by Dave Eggers, to elevate the voices of young people in the publishing industry. In her free time, Anika rewatches Love Island, listens to too many true-crime podcasts and sings pop-punk songs loudly around her apartment.

Anika commented: “I’m beyond ecstatic to work with Hot Key Books on my forthcoming novels. It’s an absolute dream to publish with them, and Emma and Ella’s enthusiasm for my writing is completely unmatched. I can’t wait to share my debut novel, This Is How You Fall in Love, with the world and shake things up with my take on the conventional romantic comedy along with Zara and Adnan as they try to navigate their families and friendships.”

Alice Sutherland-Hawes added: “I’m so thrilled we’ve found such a fantastic home for Anika’s YA. Emma and Ella have been so enthusiastic from the start, and I can’t wait for everyone to meet Anika’s wonderful characters.”

Emma Matthewson said: “I was smitten at the first sentence with This Is How You Fall in Love, a sparkling romantic comedy with depth. Anika writes with authenticity and a lightness of touch, a winning combination. I am immensely proud to be publishing Anika on the Hot Key list and am thrilled we have a two-book deal. It has been a joy to see Ella working with Anika on the edits and to see how the book has flourished from an already high level.”

Ella Whiddett, editor, said: “It has been such a delight to work with Anika on her sweet, funny, and romantic debut. It’s full of all the tropes readers love and has a gorgeous message at its heart: all types of love are worth celebrating. I can’t wait for the next book!”

This Is How You Fall in Love will publish in paperback, eBook and audio 9th February 2023 with Anika’s second title publishing in 2024.