It takes a lot of effort to be a die-hard Belle and Sebastian fan, what with all the myriad side projects and new endeavours undertaken by band members past and present: soundtracks to imaginary musicals followed five years later by an actual musical, tour diaries, collaborations with beings of pure gravel, excellently titled solo albums, stage shows, not to mention the assorted LPs, EPs and singles that make up the band’s core discography. Now, add a couple more items to the pile for completists: founding member Stuart David is set to release two YA novels.
David – who left Belle and Sebastian nearly 15 years ago having played (bass, for the most part) on everything up to the band’s fourth album, 2000’s Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant, and continues to front Looper – has sold the rights to Jackdaw and the Randoms and a second, as yet untitled book featuring the same characters to Hot Key Books, with the former due for publication in November 2015.
The book will be David’s first for teens but his fifth overall, following two novels (1999’s Nalda Said and 2001’s The Peacock Manifesto), a novella (2011’s Peacock’s Tale) and a forthcoming memoir focusing on Belle and Sebastian’s formation (In the All Night Café, due for publication in April 2015). It tells the story of a 15 year old striving to design an app that keeps kids from getting in trouble for daydreaming, which seems about right from the man responsible for “A Century of Elvis”.
Hot Key editor Naomi Colthurst says of the acquisition: ‘Having always been a huge fan of Stuart’s musical work, I couldn’t wait to start reading Jackdaw, and as soon as I did I knew I had found something – and someone – truly special. Stuart’s prose is wry, charming and thoroughly hilarious, and I am delighted to have acquired what I am sure is one of Britain’s next great writers for teenagers.’