Speer Sets Up 'City' at Razorbill
Music video director Scott Speer sold world English rights to a YA series, the first title of which is called Immortal City. Razorbill senior editor Laura Arnold closed the three-book deal with William Morris Endeavor agent Claudia Ballard. The books, which the publisher said blend "glamour, romance, and Hollywood noir," are set in a world where angels have achieved celebrity status. Immortal City is scheduled for spring 2012, and a Hollywood deal has already been brokered; production company Fake Empire (founded by the creators of The O.C. and Gossip Girl) is currently working with Speer on developing a TV series based on the books.
Marr & Armstrong Team for 'Blackwell'
Megan Tingley at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers has inked two bold-faced names in the YA world—Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely) and Kelley Armstrong (The Summoning)—to co-write a new middle-grade trilogy called the Blackwell Pages. Merrilee Heifetz at Writers House sold North American rights in a three-book deal, working on behalf of Armstrong's agent, Sarah Heller at the Helen Heller Agency. The series, about three 12-year-olds descended from Norse gods who have to stop the impending apocalypse, marks both authors' first stab at middle-grade fiction. Book one, Loki's Wolves, is scheduled for spring 2013. Kate Sullivan is editing the series.
S&S Enters 'The Room'
Fans of the film Entertainment Weekly dubbed "the Citizen Kane of bad movies," The Room, will now get a behind-the-scenes look at this cult turkey. Greg Sestero, who co-starred in the film, and Tom Bissell, who wrote about the film for Harper's, sold Locked Inside "The Room" to Trish Todd and Molly Lindley at Simon & Schuster. Jim Rutman at Sterling Lord brokered the North American rights deal. The book, S&S said, will delve into the various mysteries behind the making of the film, especially the enigmatic director at the center of the project, Tommy Wiseau. Sestero added that the story behind The Room is one of "sadness and ultimate artistic heroism" that is "just as surreal, baffling, and entertaining as the film itself." The book is scheduled for January 2013.
Bloomsbury Lands Grim Dust Bowl Tale
Antonella Iannarino at the David Black Agency sold world English rights to Chuck Greaves's Hard Twisted, a work of historical fiction about a dust bowl kidnapping and ensuing murder spree. The book follows a 13-year-old Oklahoma girl taken by her father's murderer on a killing spree stretching through the American Southwest; it is based on actual events that culminated in a 1935 trial. Anton Mueller acquired the book for Bloomsbury. Greaves, who won the 2010 SouthWest Writers Storyteller of the Year Award with what was then an unpublished manuscript, has done roughly 15 years of research on the arcane case. Hard Twisted is scheduled for fall 2012.
Checking Out Office Space with Two Dollar Radio
Eric Obenauf at Two Dollar Radio bought world rights to Anne-Marie Kinney's debut novel, Radio Iris, from Judy Heiblum at Sterling Lord. Kinney won first place in USC's Edward Moses Creative Writing Competition and has written for literary magazines like Black Clock and the Indiana Review. The novel is about a secretary who, while working for a man she knows little about, discovers someone residing in the adjoining office and vows to unravel the mystery of this new stranger. Obenauf said the work "deals with this setting in an entirely artful and existential way, delivering a moving and eerily appropriate allegory of our modern recession."
Carole Stuart at Barricade Books bought, and is fast-tracking, a biography of Dennis Hopper subtitled The Wild Ride of a Hollywood Rebel. The book, by film historian Peter Winkler, is scheduled for August. Bob Diforio sold world rights in the deal and a sale has already closed in the U.K.
Another "housewife" is getting her moment in print. Kelly Killoren Bensimon, a former model and current player on Bravo's Real Housewives of New York City, sold a fitness and lifestyle book to St. Martin's Press tentatively called I Want to Make You Hot! (Bensimon is joining a number of other housewives from the Bravo reality TV franchise who have sold books, with varying success, including, LuAnn de Lesseps and Bethenny Frankel.) Elizabeth Beier took North American rights from Andrea Barzvi at ICM. The book, scheduled for 2012, will include recipes and tips on healthy living.