Blink Studios to Adapt Charlene Carr’s Upcoming Novel ‘Hold My Girl’ – Global Bulletin
By Jamie Lang
Blink Studios, the new content venture from Endeavor Content, has acquired the rights to Canadian author Charlene Carr’s next novel “Hold My Girl” and will adapt the book as a series. Blink Studios will serve as the studio for the production, the company’s first since launching in November of last year.
In the book, two women discover that more than a year ago their eggs were switched during IVF, meaning that one has been raising another woman’s child while the other suffered through a devastating stillborn pregnancy of a child that wasn’t hers. Semi-autobiographical, Carr, a Black woman, gave birth to a visibly white child after IVF and the residual fears that one day a mix-up would be discovered and she would learn her daughter wasn’t her biological child.
Blink Studios acquires the rights to Canadian author Charlene Carr’s upcoming novel ‘Hold My Girl’ for television series adaptation
By Greg David
From a media release:
In a competitive situation with multiple bidders, BLINK STUDIOS, the recently launched content venture backed by global film and TV studio Endeavor Content, has acquired the rights to “Hold My Girl”, the upcoming novel from emerging Canadian author Charlene Carr. BLINK STUDIOS will serve as the studio for the television adaption, which marks the company’s first project since launching in November 2021. Academy Award® and Emmy® nominated producer Michael London and Shannon Gaulding of Groundswell Productions (Snowfall, The Magicians) will executive produce the series together with Carolyn Newman and Virginia Rankin for BLINK STUDIOS.
“Hold My Girl” is a heart-wrenching, dual narrative women’s fiction novel about two women whose eggs are switched during IVF, only to be revealed over a year later when one of them has been raising the wrong daughter, and the other has been grieving a stillborn child that wasn’t hers. Centred around a moral question, the emotional story features themes of motherhood, racial identity, betrayal and ultimately hope and healing. The premise of the novel was very much inspired by Charlene’s own life – a Black woman who gave birth to a visibly white child via IVF – and stemmed from her own fears of a mix-up, that one day she too would receive a call to say her daughter wasn’t hers. “Hold My Girl” will be published by Welbeck Publishing in the UK and Harper Collins in Canada, set to release in 2023.
“We are committed to working with and discovering great Canadian voices which is why we are delighted to partner with an emerging and brilliant talent like Charlene to help bring her novel to television. Her exceptional storytelling is authentic and universal, while also embracing her Canadian roots,” commented Carolyn Newman, Executive Vice President, Global Scripted and Virginia Rankin, Executive Producer, BLINK STUDIOS. “We’re thrilled to team with Michael and Shannon, who are truly passionate about this material.”
“I am beyond thrilled to have Blink Studios and Groundswell Productions working on the screen adaptation of ‘Hold My Girl’,” commented Carr. “I was blown away by their enthusiasm, emotional connection to the story, and clear desire to keep as true to the book as possible. It is an honour to have such vastly experienced, skilled and passionate producers championing this story!”
“Charlene Carr has written the rare novel that is both a page-turning ride and a moving piece of literature that explores issues of motherhood and race in a hugely relevant way. We’re thrilled that Blink shared our passion for the material and moved so quickly and aggressively on our behalf,” Michael London, Founder/CEO Groundswell Productions.
Welbeck has snapped up a “heart-wrenching” novel from Charlene Carr in a two-book deal.
Rachel Hart, assistant editor, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights excluding Canada for Hold My Girl at auction from Hayley Steed at The Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency. It will be a lead 2023 hardback for Welbeck and is Hart’s first acquisition for the publisher.
The novel will also be published by HarperCollins Canada, which acquired the rights in a six-figure pre-empt, while TV rights were bought by Blink Studios in a competitive auction, to be executive produced by Carolyn Newman and Virginia Rankin for Blink together with producer Michael London and Shannon Gaulding of Groundswell Productions. The deal was brokered by Hannah Ladds at Madeleine Milburn Agency.
Hold My Girl is described as “a tense and emotional dual narrative novel about motherhood, racial identity, loss and betrayal”. Following an egg switch at a fertility clinic, one woman has been raising the wrong daughter, while the other has spent a year grieving a child that wasn’t hers. Centred around the custody trial for the remaining child, the premise was inspired by the author’s own fear that — as a Black woman who gave birth to a visibly white child via IVF — she would one day receive a call saying her daughter wasn’t hers.
Hart said: “Fans of Celeste Ng and Liane Moriarty will love Hold My Girl’s compelling and insightful observations of family dynamics and what it means to be a mother. I’m thrilled to be working with Charlene and Hayley on this brilliant book.”
Carr said: “Rachel’s enthusiasm for Hold My Girl and its huge moral question is thrilling. Her vision for the book aligns perfectly with my own, and as I learned more about Welbeck, its approach and strategy to publishing, my excitement grew. I couldn’t be happier to have Welbeck as the UK home for this story. To have an editor with Iris’ taste and reputation so interested in my work is a huge honour. I know she’s going to help make this and my next book the absolute best they can be. As if that weren’t enough, signing with HarperCollins Canada is an absolute dream come true.”
Steed added: “I read Hold My Girl in one breathless sitting and it completely swept me away. It’s a gripping escapist read which constantly pulls you back and forth, and Charlene explores difficult topics with deft compassion, nuance and warmth. It’s a novel that will drive book club discussion into the early hours and I’ve been delighted to see such an excited response across the globe with Iris and Rachel at the publishing helm. I can’t wait to see it brought to life on screen with Blink Studios too.”
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