High School Confidential
When scouts got wind last June of Sara Shepard's Pretty Little Liars, the latest teen entry from Alloy Entertainment, they ignored it at their own peril. Alloy, after all, is the incubator behind the seven-million+-copy Gossip Girls and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, which Disney released as a film earlier this year. It didn't take long for producers to get their hands on the Pretty Little partial, but the tantalizing first 75 pages—about four 16-year-old girls haunted by messages they suddenly start receiving from a friend who vanished two years before—left readers hanging. Presumably the WB network knows the ending: Alloy just sealed the deal for television rights for a one-hour series on the WB, with Lizzy Weiss (Blue Crush) adapting. Last July, HarperCollins preempted the first four books in the planned YA series from William Morris's Jennifer Rudolph-Walsh for a very high six figures. —J.A.
It's in the Genes
With a pair of screenwriters for parents (mom Leora Barish wrote 1985's Desperately Seeking Susan, dad Henry Bean has the 1990 Richard Gere thriller Internal Affairs on his CV), it seems inevitable that author Paul Hond would follow. Little did he realize that he would be adapting his own work: the 34-year-old has just optioned his sophomore novel, Mothers and Sons (Random, 2005), to producers Craig Saavedra and Michael Shulman at Starry Night Entertainment in a six-figure deal. The story of (surprise!) an aspiring screenwriter whose life is interrupted by the reappearance of his jazz pianist mother, the novel was pitched as being similar in tone to last month's indie drama The Squid and the Whale. Hond is repped by Barbara Zitwer of the Barbara J. Zitwer Agency. —M.K.
Always a Bridesmaid...
Can anyone blame Jenny Lee if she has commitment issues? Hollywood wooed the writer in a whirlwind courtship for her first book, I Do. I Did. Now What?!(Workman, 2002), a funny and candid memoir of the blissfully naïve bride's first two years of marriage. UPN and Cosmic Entertainment (Kate Hudson's company) optioned the rights, hired a director and even gave Lee a cameo as a bridesmaid —only to get cold feet at the 11th hour over casting issues. With the book just out of option, CAA's Matt Snyder will try to walk Lee down the aisle a second time with her Skinny Bitching: A Thirty-Something Woman Mouths Off About AgeAngst, Pregnancy Pressure, and the Dieting Battles You'll Never Win (Delta, Oct.). (Rights were previously tied up with I Do.) In Bitching, Lee covers life and matrimony, from the siren call of suburbia to post-post-adolescent zit breakouts. Rob McQuilkin of Lippincott Massie McQuilkin reps Lee for lit. —J.A.
Locke-ing Up Lamora
Ever since the uber-success of New Line's Lord of the Rings trilogy, studios have been scrambling to claim their own epic fantasy series. Witness: Disney's adaptation of C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, in theaters December 9, and Fox 2000's grand-scale take on Christopher Paolini's Eragon, currently in production. Could Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora be next? Described as a more sophisticated Harry Potter—complete with adult themes and adult language—the title, by Orion in the U.K. and Bantam's Spectranext summer, will be out to the town this week. The story of a thief who operates in a Rivendell-like city, only darker, the proposed seven-title series seems ripe for the picking. Lynch is repped by The Firm's Alan Nevins. —M.K.