Philomel Re-Ups Kephart
National Book Award finalist Beth Kephart signed with Philomel’s Tamra Tuller in a two-book deal brokered by Amy Rennert at the Amy Rennert Agency. Both titles will be YA novels and will follow Kephart’s Small Damages, about a teenager who goes to Spain to deal with an unplanned pregnancy, which Philomel is publishing in July 2012. The books in the new deal are currently untitled, and the first work is about a teenage graffiti artist in Berlin during the 1980s. Kephart has written over a dozen books—her latest YA novel, You Are My Only, was published by Egmont in October.
McElderry Gets Graphic Debut
Karen Wojtyla at Simon & Schuster’s Margaret K. McElderry Books bought North American rights, at auction, to the debut work from graphic artist Emily Carroll, His Face All Red and Other Stories. The sale marks agent Jennifer Linnan’s first at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, and follows on two foreign auctions for the book, which recently sold to Faber & Faber in the U.K. and Stile Libro in Italy. Carroll is a Vancouver-based cartoonist, and the title story in the collection, which Carroll published online, caused a stir in the comics world when heavyweights like Neil Gaiman and Scott McCloud began recommending (and linking to) the Halloween-themed work. The collection, Linnan said, is a set of horror comics inspired by Grimm’s fairy tales.
Dial Children’s Pays Up for Norwegian Fantasy
In a major acquisition, Jennifer Hunt at Dial Books for Young Readers pre-empted world rights (excluding Norway), in a two-book deal, to The Twistrose Key, the debut middle-grade novel by Oslo-based former journalist Tone Almhjell. Eyebait Licensing & Management’s Jane Putch negotiated the deal for Almhjell. The book is about a girl trapped in a fantastical, snowy world full of, as Dial put it, “beloved children’s playthings.” Hunt said the novel recalls iconic children’s books like The Neverending Story and The Golden Compass, and added that it’s time for young readers to be wowed by a Scandinavian author. Hunt said: “The adult book world has had many opportunities to be enchanted by Scandinavian sensibilities, and it’s a thrill to offer young people this type of lyrical magic.”
Spiegel & Grau Entertains ‘Polish Girls’
Debut novelist Dagmara Dominczyk sold her coming-of-age work, The Lullaby of Polish Girls, to Julie Grau at Random House’s Spiegel & Grau. Paradigm agent Laura Nolan brokered the North American rights (excluding the U.K.) deal, and Paradigm’s Lucy Stille is handling film rights. Dominczyk is an actress—she recently appeared in Vera Farmiga’s directorial debut Higher Ground, and has had roles in a number of TV shows, including The Good Wife and Law & Order: SVU. The novel follows the relationship of three Polish girlfriends across the decades as they move from their native country to the U.S.
Glusman Buys Shadow
W.W. Norton’s (relatively) new editor-in-chief, John Glusman, bought North American rights to historian David Reynolds’s The Long Shadow: The Great War and the 20th Century. Irene Skolnick negotiated the sale, working on behalf of Peter Robinson at the London-based agency Rogers, Coleridge & White. Reynolds teaches at Cambridge, and the book, Glusman said, will detail “how the crucial years from 1914 to 1918 shaped not only the 1920s and 1930s, but the world as we know it.”
Kensington editor-in-chief John Scognamiglio signed three new books in Joanne Fluke’s bestselling Hannah Swensen mystery series. The first book in the deal, Banana Cream Pie Murder, is scheduled for March 2013. Fluke, whose 15th book in the series, Cinnamon Roll Murder, is coming out in March 2012, did not use an agent.