Before I Go to Sleep, has led to a major pre-empt in the States by HarperCollins. Claire Wachtel and Jonathan Burnham have paid a rumored $1 million for Sleep, along with another book by Watson, Nine Lives.
Close to a dozen publishers bid in the UK auction, where Selina Walker at Doubleday wound up acquiring UK/Commonwealth rights. Sales are also underway for the hot titles in various other countries; Michael Heyward at Text has Australian rights, and heated auctions are underway in Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece and Holland. French rights have gone to Sonatine Editions, Brazilian to Record, and Polish to Sonia Draga. The book's UK publication is set for spring 2011.
Watson was discovered by Clare Conville at a Faber Academy workshop. Born in the Midlands and now 39, he works in the diagnosis and treatment of the deaf, but went part-time in order to work on his novel. Nine Lives is a psychological mystery, exploring themes of identity, jealousy and desire.