Von Ziegasar Goes 'Psycho'
Cindy Eagan, at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, bought North American rights to a reimagining of Gossip Girl by the series creator, Cecily von Ziegesar. Sara Shandler at Alloy Entertainment brokered the deal, and the book, Gossip Girl, Psycho Killer, will riff on the original title that launched the popular YA line about a group of wealthy Upper East Side teenagers who attend a posh Manhattan private school. The book, which will be a mashup in the style of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, is, as a rep at LBYR put it, "a serial killer version of the original Gossip Girl novel... or, put another way, ‘Gossip Girl: Slasher Edition.' " In Psycho Killer Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen—the two central characters of the series—become the "most fabulous, trendsetting serial killers" around. The title, which will be released under LBYR's Poppy imprint, is scheduled for October 2011.
Ballantine Heads to the Orient
Susanna Porter at Ballantine took North American rights, for six figures at auction, to Kim Fay's debut historical novel, In Yellow Babylon. The book is set in the Far East during the 1920s and, according to agent Alexandra Machinist at the Linda Chester Agency, who closed the deal, it blends elements of Raiders of the Lost Ark with The Piano Teacher. Justin Manask at Office for Literary Adaptation is handling the film rights.
Workman LMAO for ‘Parents Text'
In his first acquisition at Workman, Bruce Tracy bought North American rights at auction, for mid–six figures, to Sophia Fraioli and Lauren Kaelin's When Parents Text. Brian DeFiore, of DeFiore and Company, brokered the deal for the authors, who spun the book out of their popular Web site, which features the often unintentionally hilarious results of parents communicating with their kids via text. Whenparentstext.com has, per DeFiore, received millions of unique visitors since launching two months ago. The authors are both recent college graduates who have moved back in with their folks. Howie Sanders at UTA is handling the film rights.
Free Press Tests Its 'IQ'
Mollie Glick at Foundry Literary + Media sold North American rights to Tracy and Ross Alloway's The New IQ. Emily Loose at Free Press bought the title at auction, beating out five other bidders. The husband-and-wife team delivers a science book that, as Glick put it, "uses cutting edge research to shed new light on our everyday lives." In the work, which Glick compared to titles like Emotional Intelligence and The Female Brain, the authors present their research that working memory, not IQ, is the chief factor in deciding how successful a person can be. The authors' research has been written about widely, and the notable shift in their thinking on brain science, Glick said, is that working memory, unlike IQ, can be improved, and, in addition to affecting our professions, also factors into our personal happiness. Ultimately, Glick noted, the book "offers an engaging new way of understanding how our minds work."
Penguin Explores Army Gaming
Eamon Dolan, v-p and editor-in-chief at Penguin Press, took world rights to Corey Mead's Games of War. Agent E.J. McCarthy handled the deal. The nonfiction title examines the military's use of video games to both teach and recruit. McCarthy said the book is the first to explore this topic. Mead, who teaches English at Baruch College, has long been following what McCarthy called the Serious Games movement—which focuses on using games for purposes other than entertainment—and the "rise of the ‘military entertainment complex.' "