The rights to Dog Rose Dirt, the gripping novel from award-winning writer Jen Williams, have been snapped up by Gaumont UK.
“I am absolutely thrilled that Gaumont have picked up Dog Rose Dirt as a potential TV series. It’s always wonderful for a writer to talk to people who have enjoyed their book, but what an absolute treat it was to talk to the team at Gaumont and hear all their incredible ideas for an adaptation – and one that is so focussed on conveying the creepy atmosphere of the book and centring a strong, complicated female protagonist. As a big fan of crime thriller TV I am over the moon.” – Dog Rose Dirt author, Jen Williams
The UK arm of leading global production company Gaumont has secured the rights to the crime thriller to be developed into a drama series. Dog Rose Dirt, which was first published earlier this year to rave reviews, is a complex and dark psychological thriller told through the eyes of a young woman whose dead mother’s secret past comes to light through a series of letters to a serial killer.
With a background in fantasy novels, Williams’ first crime novel puts an interesting and original spin on a traditional thriller. The development will be led by executive producer Alison Jackson, who heads Gaumont’s growing UK subsidiary, based in London.
Described by The Times as a “masterclass in suspense”, Dog Rose Dirt follows ex-journalist Heather Evans as her mother’s inexplicable suicide leaves her with questions left unanswered – Why was she writing to a serial killer for over thirty years? And why did she take her own life just as similar murders to those he committed start to happen again? The only person alive who might have those answers is prisoner Michael Reave, the serial killer known as The Red Wolf. If Heather is to have any hope of finding the truth and stopping further bloodshed, she’ll have to confront a monster to unearth the truth.
The enthralling character-driven story with an intensely twisted narrative and fronted by a strong female lead attracted Gaumont UK to Dog Rose Dirt, aligning with their burgeoning slate of titles that encompass stories with grit, complex female protagonists and with a uniquely British twist.
Dog Rose Dirt was first published by HarperCollins in the UK (July 2021) and Crooked Lane in the US (June 2021) and has since been sold in a further four territories including Brazil, Germany, Spain, and Poland. The novel marks Jen Williams’ expansion into horror-tinged crime thrillers, after her previous credits saw her nominated for Best Newcomer in the British Fantasy Awards in 2015, with her second fantasy series, the Winnowing Flame Trilogy, including two winning novels for Best Fantasy Novel in their respective years; The Ninth Rain (2018) and The Bitter Twins (2019).
“The captivating and chilling narrative of Jen Williams’ Dog Rose Dirt will no doubt attract audiences in the UK and worldwide, and with incredibly intriguing characters, we’re really looking forward to bringing the novel to life on screen. Fresh perspectives are key to Gaumont UK’s mission, and we’re always looking to discover unique talent to work with creatively.” – Gaumont UK CEO and executive producer Alison Jackson