Good news for admirers of Donald Westlake is that his Warner editor, Colin Fox, has signed him to a new three-book deal, including one of his Dortmunder books (tentatively titled The Road to Ruin) and two stand-alones. Fox dealt directly with the author, buying U.S. and open market excluding U.K. Westlake's next, Money for Nothing, is out this spring.... The Literary Group has moved toward the CBA market by hiring Steve Laube, former editorial director at Bethany House, to acquire projects with a Christian character, fiction and nonfiction; he will remain in Phoenix and run the Group's West Coast office there.... Random's Ileene Smith bought a first book by McSweeney's writer Rachel Cohen called A Chance Meeting, in which she traces the impact on American culture of some noted encounters and friendships over the past century; she got hard/soft world rights from Eric Simonoff at Janklow & Nesbit.... Houghton's Eamon Dolan won an auction for a mid six figures for an account of a summer baseball series by St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and sportswriter Buzz Bissinger, called Three Game Series. David Gernert represented La Russa, Michael Carlisle Bissinger.... Book and movie rights were acquired by Miramax to a first novel called The Booty Nomad by Scott Mebus, a satirical romantic comedy about a TV producer; Jonathan Burnham and Steve Hutensky negotiated the two-book and movie-option deal with David Dunton and Harvey Klinger at the latter's agency, with Mebus signed for the screenplay.... Two Harper editors, David Hirshey and Mark Bryant, jointly acquired a book called True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa by journalist Michael Finkel, who tells the parallel stories of how he lost his New York Times contract, due to a dubious story, at the same time as a convicted murderer began to assume his identity. The North American rights buy was from Stuart Krichevsky.
Volume 250 Issue 9 03/03/2003