Dan Halpern at Ecco pre-empted U.S. rights to I'm Your Man, Sylvie Simmons's biography of musician Leonard Cohen. Sarah Lazin at Sarah Lazin Books brokered the deal for the title, which follows Cohen from his time as a struggling poet through his rise to fame as a lyricist and songwriter. The book also touches on Cohen's recent time in a Buddhist monastery and his late flush with touring success. Ecco is planning a fall 2011 publication.
Grand Central has inked new Food Network personality Claire Robinson to a two-book deal. GC's Karen Murgolo beat out six other editors, at auction, for 5 Ingredient Fix (and a second, untitled, cookbook). Fix, which shares the name of Robinson's show, promises recipes that can be made with the titular number of ingredients. Robinson has also been tapped to host a forthcoming prime-time show on the channel. Suzanne Gluck at William Morris Endeavor brokered the deal.
Hyperion Gets Zeit-Geisty
With no fear of overexposure, apparently, Willie Geist has closed his second book deal in less than six months. The talk show personality—Geist cohosts Morning Joe and hosts MSNBC's Way Too Early with Willie Geist—sold a humor book called Loaded! to St. Martin's Press in August. Now Geist has signed with Hyperion for a currently untitled book of “satirical essays, sketches and ruminations” about various public figures. Hyperion publisher Ellen Archer and former editor-in-chief Will Balliett took world English rights from agent Tom Connor; Gretchen Young will edit. (Peter McGuigan at Foundry sold Loaded!) Hyperion is planning a fall 2010 publication.
From Russia, and Germany, With Love
Joseph Nassise, whose trilogy the Templar Chronicles has seen strong sales in both Germany and Russia—only the first book in the series is available in English, as a mass market from Pocket—has closed a deal for a new trilogy with Tor. Bob Diforio at D4EO Literary sold North American rights to the Jeremiah Hunt series to Jim Frenkel; the first book, Eyes to See, is slated to bow in hardcover in March 2011. In the books, Hunt gives up his eyesight to see the world as a ghost in a desperate attempt to find his missing daughter. Rights have alredy sold to Nassise's German publisher, Droemer Knaur.
Ditchdigger's Daughter to Doctor
Shannon Berning at Kaplan took North American rights, at auction, to the new memoir by the author of The Ditchdigger's Daughters, Yvonne Thornton. Something to Prove continues the story arc from Thornton's first book—about being the daughter of a poor black laborer in New Jersey set on seeing his six girls become doctors—and her professional triumphs as she goes on to become the first African-American woman to be board-certified in maternal-fetal medicine. The first memoir, originally published in 1995 by Birch Lane Press, went on to be a mainstay on the Times bestseller list and was adapted into a 2007 TV movie. Agent Linda Konner brokered the deal.
RH Nabs Sophomore Ford
In what agent Kristin Nelson called a “sizable deal,” she sold North American rights to Jamie Ford's sophomore novel, Whispers of a Thunder God, to his editor at Random House, Jane von Mehren. Ford's first book, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, hit the Times hardcover list and, according to Nelson, has more than 250,000 copies in print. Whispers, which RH is planning to release in January 2011, follows an 18-year-old Japanese student who is sent back to his native country following the bombing of Pearl Harbor.