Chloe Howarth

Heap Earth Upon It by Chloe Michelle Howarth acquired by VERVE Books


Heap Earth Upon It Chloe Michelle Howarth

We’re thrilled to share that VERVE Books has acquired the rights to Chloe Michelle Howarth’s sophomore novel, Heap Earth Upon It, a creeping psychological suspense which combines a vividly atmospheric and emotionally intense narrative with a stifling 1960s setting to offer a dark twist on sapphic obsession.

Editorial Director Jenna Gordon acquired UK and Commonwealth, excluding Canada, plus eBook and audio rights from Elizabeth Counsell at Northbank Talent Management. The UK audio edition will be published by W F Howes.

Heap Earth Upon It will delight readers of Julia Armfield’s Our Wives Under the Sea and Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca, as well as fans of the lesbian gothic genre. The novel maintains the rich Irish setting and poetic flair that readers loved in Sunburn and is underpinned by Chloe’s extraordinary gift for creating claustrophobic family relationships and tangled identities.

Howarth grew up in the West Cork countryside, which has served as an inspiration for her writing. Her debut novel, Sunburn, was published by VERVE Books in 2023 and was shortlisted for both the inaugural NERO debut fiction Award and The British Book Awards in the ‘Discover’ category. Sunburn also received glowing reviews across the press including the Daily Mail, Independent, Herald, Irish Examiner, SAGA, Heat, Diva, Scene Magazine and PinkNews, among others. It was selected as ‘One to Watch’ by the Evening Standard and The Bookseller and chosen as Sainsbury’s Magazine’s Book of the Month.

Chloe Howarth said: ‘Heap Earth Upon It is an exploration of unresolved emotions, and what can happen when we ignore what we feel. I’m excited to be working with VERVE for a second time. They are such an enthusiastic team, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for this book.’

Jenna Gordon commented: ‘I’m over the moon to have the opportunity to collaborate with Howarth again on her hotly anticipated second novel. With a story that twists some of the themes of her debut into something much different and darker, delving further into the past and exploring familial tension and romantic obsession, Heap Earth Upon It will satisfy fans looking for their next fix of her writing as well as attracting new readers.’

Heap Earth Upon It will be published in autumn 2025 as VERVE’s ‘super-lead’ title for the year.

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