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Deals - 11/16/2009 - Book Publishing Deal


Deals - 11/16/2009

Nov 16, 2009
by Rachel Deahl -- Publishers Weekly

Foundry Closes Three

Three deals this week coming out of Foundry Literary + Media. In the first, Asya Muchnick at Little, Brown laid down a six-figure pre-empt for world English rights to Dan O'Malley's debut, The Rook. Agent Mollie Glick, who sold the book, compared it to surreal literary thrillers like The Eyre Affair and The Raw Shark Texts; in the novel, a woman comes to in a London downpour surrounded by bodies donning white gloves. She finds a mysterious note in her pocket that reads simply and ominously: “The body you are wearing used to be mine.” O'Malley works in Australia for the Australian Transport Safety Bureau. Glick also closed on another debut, selling world English rights to screenwriter Kevin Fox's Right of Passage to Chuck Adams at Algonquin. Fox, whose film credits include the Kevin Spacey/Samuel L. Jackson starrer The Negotiator, follows a 21-year-old Irish-American slacker named Sean Corrigan who Glick likened to a modern-day Holden Caulfield. Corrigan becomes an unwitting detective after receiving the journal of a long-lost uncle, and one time NYPD cop, who fled to Ireland after being accused of murder.

In the third deal, Lisa Grubka sold U.S., Canadian, and open market rights to Reed Timmer's Eye of the Storm to Dutton executive editor Carrie Thornton. Timmer, the lead chaser on Discovery Channel's Storm Chasers, is a weather expert and Ph.D. candidate in meteorology. In the book, he explains his fascination with weather and details some of the most dangerous storms he's seen.

NAL Taps Ward for Three More 'Brotherhood' Bloodsuckers

New American Library publisher Kara Welsh has inked a three-book deal for world rights with J.R. Ward for more additions to the author's bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Agent Steve Axelrod brokered the deal, which calls for the first of the new books to drop in 2011. The series, about an underground brotherhood of vampire warriors, was launched in 2005 with the paperback original Dark Lover. There are currently seven titles in the series and the latest, Lover Avenged (April), was the first NAL released in hardcover; the eighth book is slated for May 2010.

FSG Takes Two

Paul Elie at Farrar, Straus & Giroux bought world English rights to Michael Paul Mason's sophomore book, The Human Assembly. Elie published Mason's debut, Head Cases, last year. In this book, also nonfiction, Mason explores the world of organ replacement and the practice of “hot-swapping” human parts. Per Elie, the book, which focuses on how we can have virtually any organ replaced, from our lungs to our face, “raises surreal and unsettling questions about who 'we' are and where our self identity actually resides.” Agent James Fitzgerald brokered the deal.

FSG's Courtney Hodell pre-empted world rights to Rachel DeWoskin's novel, Big Girl, Small. DeWoskin, who penned the 2005 memoir Foreign Babes in Beijing (Norton), writes about a teenage dwarf and singing sensation who's accepted to an elite dramatic arts high school where she's drawn into a local scandal. Jill Grinberg closed the deal, and FSG is planning a winter 2011 publication.

Summerall on Landry & Lombardi

Former NFL player and play-by-play guy Pat Summerall sold Giants: Vince Lombardi, Tom Landry and What They Taught Me About Life to Stephen Power at John Wiley. Power took North American rights to the book, which Summerall is writing with Michael Levin, and plans to publish in May 2011. Jill Marsal brokered the deal; in the book, Summerall will discuss his career on the field during the 1950s, when, playing both offense and defense for the Giants, he was coached by both Lombardi and Landry.

Whistle Blowing

Lisa Erbach Vance at Aaron Priest sold world English rights to Kathleen Sharp's Blood Feud: The Man Who Blew the Whistle on Big Pharma and the Deadliest Prescription Drug in History to Stephen Morrow at Dutton. Sharp, an investigative journalist, explores the Procrit case, in which two Johnson & Johnson sales reps claimed the company offered kickbacks to doctors and healthcare professionals for prescribing the pricey and in many cases lethal anemia drug. Morrow is calling the work a tale about “wide-reaching corporate greed,”and the players include Jan Schlichtmann, the crusading attorney who gained fame for suing W.R. Grace and Beatrice Co. for contaminating the water supply in Woburn, Mass. (The Grace/Beatrice case was chronicled in the bestseller-turned-movie A Civil Action.)

Taking a Bite Out of Crime

Anton Mueller at Bloomsbury USA took world English rights to David M. Kennedy's The Gathering. Kennedy, director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control, details the approach he's used in communities throughout the country to help lower drug- and gang-related violence. The book's title refers to Kennedy's approach of coordinating community meetings where cops and criminals (and the criminals' parents) are present. (In Boston, Kennedy's work earned the term “The Boston Miracle.) Agent Gail Ross brokered the deal.


Bestseller Elin Hilderbrand (Barefoot) has signed a new four-book deal with her current publisher, Little, Brown/Reagan Arthur. Michael Carlisle and David Forrer at Inkwell Management brokered the deal for world English rights, with the books planned to be released between 2011 and 2014.

Maria Modugno at HarperCollins took North American rights to Amy Krouse Rosenthal's new picture book, Plant a Kiss. Krouse Rosenthal—a Times bestseller and author of Cookies and Duck! Rabbit!—is working with award-winning illustrator Peter H. Reynolds. Amy Rennert brokered the deal on behalf of Krouse Rosenthal, and Holly McGhee at Pippin Properties represented Reynolds.