We are unbelievably excited to announce that James Gould-Bourn’s hilarious and heartfelt debut Keeping Mum has been optioned by Lime Pictures for a live action series, in a deal brokered by Marc Simonsson at SoloSon Media. Keeping Mum was acquired by Orion at auction, and is set to be published in June 2020. Rights have also been sold in 12 territories to date, including Germany, Italy and France.

Danny Malooley’s life is falling apart: he’s a single parent with an eleven-year-old son, Will, who hasn’t spoken since the death of his mother in a car crash fourteen months ago. He’s being pursued by a landlord who is threatening to set his henchmen on him if he doesn’t pay his arrears and, to make matters worse, he’s lost his job on a building site.

After seeing street performers in his local park apparently raking it in, he spends his last fiver on a costume that’s obviously been vomited on more than once and becomes a dancing panda… until something unexpected happens that makes the humiliation of his terrible rhythm all worth it.

When Danny spot his son being bullied in the park one day and goes to his rescue, Will talks to him for the first time since his mother’s death, unaware that the panda is in fact his father. Nervous of revealing his true identity in case Will stops talking to him, Danny befriends his son in the panda disguise. But Danny can’t keep up the ruse forever. Can Danny dance his way out of debt and finally reconnect with his son?

James Gould was born and raised in Stockport, Manchester. He graduated from the Faber academy’s six-month Write A Novel course in 2014, under the guidance of Richard Skinner. James recently quit his job as a copywriter to focus full-time on writing. Previously, he worked for various landmine-clearance NGOs in Africa and the Middle East.