Nicola Rayner publishes her first novel

Thanks to the Guild E-newsletter, a Guild member is celebrating the publication of her first novel!

Last year, Nicola Rayner (1990-1997, St Margaret's and Cambray) was forwarded a Guild news story by her eagle-eyed sister Lucy about the Cheltenham First Novel Competition run by Cheltenham Literature Festival, Borough Press and LBA Books literary agency.

Nicola’s last-minute entry to the competition won her a place as runner-up and the prize of representation by LBA Books.

The Girl Before You, was released as an eBook on 27th May and will be followed by paperback on 22nd August, published by Avon Books, a division of HarperCollins.

The novel has already been flagged by the Observer as one of their hot picks of 2019, with Alex Preston calling it “the new Girl on the Train”.

Rachel Faulkner-Willcocks, Senior Commissioning Editor at Avon, acquired World English Language rights from Danielle Zigner and Louise Lamont at LBA Books. 

Faulkner-Willcocks said: “In this sharp and unwavering exploration of female obsession, friendship, and male privilege, Nicola proves she’s an author to watch in the psychological thriller market. Resonating with the Me Too movement, The Girl Before You is a gripping narrative that is as addictive as it is timely.”

The Girl Before You follows the story of Alice Bell, who becomes obsessed with her husband’s exes, after she believes she sees one on the train – despite the girl going missing in their final year of university.

Danielle Zigner said: “Gripping, poignant and devastating, The Girl Before You had me entranced from the very first page. This is a beautifully written novel, which every woman I know will be able to relate to. I’m so excited for readers to share in Alice’s story.”

Nicola Rayner said: “I’m really happy and excited about the publication of The Girl Before You this summer – and incredibly grateful to the brilliant teams at Avon and LBA Books for this opportunity. I’ve lived with this story for a long time and I can’t wait to share it.”

Nicola now works as a freelance journalist, specialising in dance and travel. The Girl Before You is available on Amazon now:

Photo credit: Joseph Paxton