I don't know whether you remember, but a couple of years ago Hill, having set up Long Barn Books as a small publisher, held a competition to select the first work of fiction that she would publish. The competition attracted 3,741 entrants and the winner was Helen Slavin's The Extra Large Medium.
According to the Long Barn website:
A US publishing deal has been agreed.The book was published in May. Long Barn gave it a 2,000 print run, and secured a 3 for 2 deal with Waterstones, who took 1,600 copies. It was in the shops when the reviews came out - good reviews mainly, and more than usual because of the background. And Beryl Bainbridge had a shout on the cover:
An Australian/New Zealand publishing deal has been agreed.
And, advance orders are so good the novel is REPRINTING BEFORE PUBLICATION. !!
"The Extra Large Medium is very, very good... no unnecessary words or explanations, just good, and also witty. A highly original talent. Helen Slavin should be encouraged, I've no doubt about that."At yesterday's talk, Susan Hill said that the returns window had just about closed, and Waterstones had returned 1,400 copies.