Trapeze has acquired a "bitingly sharp" novel about modern dating and polyamorous relationships.
Commissioning editor Katie Brown, who signed the novel from author, journalist and screenwriter Erin Reinelt, said the stigma around polyamory was waning, citing statistics that 39% of people in the UK said they would like to try or have tried it. She said she had been "desperate" to publish the book, calling its author's ideas "so fresh and so truly reflective of what is happening in our modern society".
Based partly on Reinelt's own experiences, including dating a married polyamorous jazz musician, Strings Attached follows "straight-laced" Jean, who, after breaking up with her overgrown baby of a boyfriend, embarks on a sexual awakening at the age of 30. What ensues, according to the blurb, is "a world of sex parties, orgasmic retreats, mixed-polyamorous dating and open marriages… but when she falls for a married man, it turns out three really is a crowd."
Brown said: "This is the new normal when it comes to dating. When Erin told me about her own experiences and about this novel, I was desperate to publish it! She is a comic genius who doesn't pull on emotional punch, and her ideas are so fresh and so truly reflective of what is happening in our modern society that she felt like a natural fit for Trapeze. Think Wetlands meets Conversations with Friends for a super commercial market."
Reinelt said: "I am delighted to join Katie Brown and the brilliant Trapeze team in their list of conversation starting novels. The new normal of Millennial dating, as our generation experiments with the boundaries of freedom in sex and love, is rich with comedy and heart. Mining my own experiences for all their disaster and glory, this project has been incredible fun to write. Not least because of the passion and enthusiasm for Strings Attached from Trapeze."
World rights in all languages were signed in a one-book deal struck by Becky Thomas at Johnson and Alcock, with Strings Attached to be published by Trapeze in paperback and e-book in summer 2019.
Reinelt has previously worked at Alexander McQueen, Jonathan Saunders and Givenchy, which experiences informed her 2014 debut Low Expectations, written under the pen name Elizabeth Aaron and published by Quercus. She moved to Brooklyn in 2016, where she worked as a freelance editor and studied screenwriting at The Jacob Krueger Studio in NYC; her first script, Lara and the Dead Boy, about a mortician who steals the corpse of her favourite actor, has been shortlisted for Diverse Voices, Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY screenwriting competition and the Screencraft Screenwriting Fellowship.