ON the eve of London Book Fair, UK publisher HarperFiction has signed a major two-book deal with a debut thriller writer who lives in Meath.
The deal with the 28-year-old writer is worth a substantial six-figure sum in sterling.
Anne O'Donnell was born and raised in New York but currently lives in Enfield, Co Meath.
"It's the old story," she says. "I met a guy from Kildare in New York a few years ago.
"We got married and we've been living back here for the past three years. My own Irish ancestors have been in New York since the 1800s."
O'Donnell, who writes under the name Jax Miller, says that the book deal happened in a whirlwind of activity over the past week.
"I finished my novel on Tuesday, Simon Trewin of WME literary agents in London read it on Wednesday, signed me on Thursday and sent it to HarperFiction on Friday.
"The deal was finalised overnight on Monday and I hope I don't wake up tomorrow and find it was all a dream."
That is unlikely to happen because the publisher is now describing the book as a "heart-stopping thriller" which it signed up with "unprecedented speed" to stop anyone else getting their hands on it.
Titled 'Freedom's Child', the thriller is set in America and centres around a woman, Freedom, who has spent the past 18 years under witness protection after being exonerated for her husband's murder.
When the daughter she gave birth to in prison (and had to give up for adoption) goes missing, Freedom escapes her handlers to rescue her child.