Introverts in Demand
Concluding an eight-bidder auction, Crown's Rachel Klayman has acquired North American rights to Susan Devenyi's Quiet: The Importance of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, via Richard Pine at Inkwell. Devenyi, a lawyer turned consultant, will explore the bias introverts experience in a culture geared mainly to extroverts, and how introverts are treated in the workplace, schools, the political arena and elsewhere. She will also examine what scientific and psychological literature tells us about introversion and shyness, and which personality traits we value as a society. This is Devenyi's first book; Klayman likens her work to that of Deborah Tannen and Peter Kramer. Pine has already sold U.K. rights to Viking; Crown has not set a pub date.
Joe Veltre at Artists Literary Group recently concluded an auction for Susan Warren's Backyard Giants: A Season of Heartbreak, Passion and Glory in the Quest to Grow the Biggest Pumpkin Ever; Bloomsbury's Colin Dickerman won North American rights and Little, Brown was the underbidder. The book, which derives from a piece Warren wrote for the Wall Street Journal, where she is deputy bureau chief, will examine the craze for giant vegetables, which have always been a staple of county fairs but have now spread to suburban backyards and countryside estates. Horticultural advances have enabled growers to break barriers to reach sizes previously incomprehensible, from a 124-pound cabbage to a 25-foot-tall sunflower plant, but the pumpkin is the star in this burgeoning hobby. Warren will chart a quirky group of amateur gardeners through the growing season, culminating with the season-ending competition, and look to explain how these men and women grow their pumpkins, as well as why. Pub date is fall 2007.
Dickerman also bought North American rights to three new books in 50 Jobs Worse Than Yours author Justin Racz's parody series. First up will be 50 Days Worse Than Yours in November, to be followed by 50 Dates and 50 Bosses. Betsy Lerner at Dunow Carlson Lerner made the sale.
Novels on War and Love
Counterpoint's Amy Scheibe has preempted North American rights to a first novel by Peter Melman titled Landsman from Lucy Childs at Aaron Priest in a six-figure deal. Set at the start of the Civil War, the novel tells the story of a young Jewish man, raised on the streets of New Orleans after losing his mother to yellow fever, who joins the Confederate army in order to escape a false murder charge. Melman currently teaches English at Hunter College High School; Counterpoint plans a June 2007 publication.
In her new position at Curtis Brown UK, Elizabeth Sheinkman has sold North American rights to a novel by Brock Clarke titled An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England to Algonquin's Chuck Adams. It tells the story of a young man who has been jailed for torching Emily Dickinson's house in Amherst, Mass., and is described as part detective story; part rumination on family, home and place; and part examination of why we read books. Clarke is the author of the novel The Ordinary White Boy as well as two story collections, and teaches at the University of Cincinnati.
And coauthor of the bestselling He's Just Not That into YouLiz Tuccillo has sold her first novel, How to Be Single, to Atria's Greer Hendricks in a world rights deal brokered by Andrea Barzvi at ICM. The novel describes how a group of friends deals with being single, as one of them leaves the U.S. to see how women around the world do it. Pub date is spring 2007.
After an auction involving five publishers, Ryan Fischer-Harbage at Simon Spotlight Entertainment has acquired Matthew Diffee's The Rejection Collection, a compendium of 30 New Yorker cartoonists' favorite work rejected by the magazine, in a two-book deal from agent David Kuhn. Diffee is a New Yorker cartoonist himself, and co-creator of the "Rejection Show," a monthly event in N.Y.C. that showcases writers' rejected material. Simon holds world English rights and plans to publish in fall 2006; the second book is yet to be decided.... Heidi Cortez, who holds the distinction of being Howard Stern's favorite Playboy cyber-celebrity, will publish Heidi's Bedtime Stories, a collection of 30 short erotic tales this fall; Fireside's Cherise Grant has acquired world rights in this un-agented deal. Cortez has just signed a contract with Sirius Satellite radio for her own show, Tissue Time with Heidi Cortez, which will air on both Howard 100 and Howard 101.... Springboard's Karen Murgolo has acquired North American rights to Sharon Osbourne's Extreme, the tell-all autobiography that has sold 900,000 copies in the U.K., from Time Warner UK. In the book, Osbourne discusses her chaotic childhood, her career as a rock manager, her family and her fight against colon cancer. Springboard will publish this fall.