Excitement is brewing for début author Bea Ingalls’ WE USED TO BE MAGIC and Alexander Slater’s CELESTE EXPRESS

21 May 2024

Hachette Children’s Group has snapped up two standalone Young Adult novels, WE USED TO BE MAGIC and YOUR FAVOURITE FAKE GIRLFRIEND, from TBP client Bea Ingalls. The books have been tagged as ‘ones to watch’ internationally after our brilliant TBP translation rights team secured German and Italian deals just before Bologna Book Fair!

The novel follows new model Audrey navigating the “dizzying bright lights” of the city; and Ezra, who has returned to town from studying with a broken nose and a broken heart. Bea said she was “beyond excited to be introducing these characters to the world… it’s been a dream come true, and I’m still waiting for it all to feel real”. HCG will publish WE USED TO BE MAGIC on Valentine’s Day 2025, withYOUR FAVOURITE FAKE GIRLFRIEND coming in February the following year. 

Meanwhile, Alexander Slater’s CELESTE EXPRESS has also been turning heads in the publishing world! Puffin signed CELESTE EXPRESS, an illustrated adventure fantasy series for readers aged 7 to 9 written by Alexander, who has over 3 million social media followers. Puffin came out on top after a multi-publisher auction in a four-book deal, and the book was a major highlight at this year’s Bologna Book Fair.

Book one, CELESTE EXPRESS: WAR OF WURMS (February 2025), introduces Princess Celeste Starwing, who has been sent to the kingdom of Galaxandra’s old post office to learn to be less spoiled. But Celeste has a nemesis, and not many people care about letters any more, because of the magical, amazing wurms – communication devices people can use without having to lift a finger.

Alexander said: “It’s an out-of-this-world joy to be working with Puffin on Celeste Express. I’ve been a reader of their books ever since I was a child, so for Celeste to join their catalogue of characters is a real dream come true. The team at Puffin have been absolute superstars showing nothing but enthusiasm, friendliness and providing invaluable support when crafting Celeste’s story. The little cosmic postmaster couldn’t be in safer hands.’