I heard some great news via the Twitterverse last night – the Mall Rats series by Lily Herne (the pseudonym for mother/daughter writing duo Sarah and Savannah Lotz) has been picked up by Corsair Books and will be published in the UK in 2013. Corsair editor Sarah Castleton bought UK and Commonwealth rights to Deadlands and Death of a Saint, both of which were initially published in South Africa by Penguin and Puffin. The news was announced on The Bookseller and The World SF Blog.
Mall Rats is a post-apocalyptic YA zombie series set a decade after the infection hit South Africa during the 2010 World Cup. It follows a group of kick-ass teen rebels who fight against both the zombies and the corrupt government that worships the undead in a twisted theology of resurrection. Deadlands is set in Cape Town, while Death of a Saint explores the rest of SA. The final book will be The Army of the Left. If you’re interested, I posted my review of Death of a Saint yesterday, and you can check out both my review of Deadlands (I didn’t love the first book, but don’t let that put you off) and the joint review I did with Lu.
I’m really happy for Sarah and Savannah, and it’s always exciting to hear about local genre fiction getting an international audience. I’m curious as to how the UK’s YA readers will react to the series. A glossary of SA slang will probably be in order, but I think readers will find the SA setting a fun and interesting break from the norm. Plus there’s loads of action and some great characters. Oh, and zombies. Lots of zombies.