Whoopi Goldberg has become the latest celeb to go the kids' book route, signing with Hyperion's Jump at the Sun imprint, in the person of Jackie Carter, for a series of books that will kick off in fall 2005; the deal was signed with Whoop Inc., her management company, and lawyer Bill Sobel.... Viking senior editor Ray Roberts won an auction for a book by mountaineer Greg Mortenson, who later became famous for building schools, mostly for girls, against considerable Islamic opposition in mountainous areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan; the book, called Three Cups of Tea, will be co-written with David Oliver Relin and was bought from agent Elizabeth Kaplan.... Putnam's David Highfill paid a hefty six figures for two thrillers by TV writer Scott Frost, including his debut, called Choose, about a female detective whose daughter is kidnapped by the murderer she is pursuing; the North American rights deal was signed with Elaine Koster.... An author whose first novel was published by Nan Talese at Doubleday has moved to Norton for a two-book deal. She is Nicole Krauss, author of Man Walks into a Room, and Norton's new executive editor, Jill Bialosky, preempted with a major six-figure offer to Bill Clegg at Burnes & Clegg; the first book, recently excerpted in the New Yorker, is called The History of Love... The world of contemporary body snatchers is described in the tentatively titled Resurrection Men by journalist Annie Cheney, which Broadway's Charles Conrad just bought for world English rights from David Halpern at the Robbins Office.... Random's Ileene Smith preempted an epic Southern novel that tracks a North Carolina family from the years before the Civil War to the Great Depression; it's Cataloochee and is by N.C. writer Wayne Caldwell; Smith made a two-book world English deal with Leigh Feldman at Darhansoff Verrill & Feldman, the agent for Cold Mountain.... A history of the slave ship as a creator of a new kind of human society was bought at auction by Viking Penguin's Wendy Wolf. The author is U. of Pittsburgh history professor Marcus Rediker and the agent was Sandy Dijkstra.... Eamon Dolan at Houghton Mifflin signed an untitled book about Sir Thomas More by admired English historian John Guy (Queen of Scots) that stresses the significant role played by his daughter, Margaret Roper, in his life and writings; Dolan got North American rights from Emma Parry at Fletcher & Parry.
Volume 251 Issue 9 03/01/2004