David Levithan at Scholastic Press paid a sum the house described as “near seven figures” for world rights to four new books by 28-year-old Maggie Stiefvater. The deal, which Levithan struck with agent Laura Rennert of the Andrea Brown Agency, includes Forever, which will be the last book in the author's Shiver trilogy, as well as three forthcoming stand-alone YA fantasy novels. Stiefvater's current series, a paranormal love story that pulls a page from Romeo & Juliet with one twist being that the male object of affection is a werewolf, kicked off with August 2009's Shiver; that title has gone on to spend 28 weeks on the Times bestseller list. Scholastic is publishing Linger, the second title in the series, in July, and planning Forever for summer 2011. Scholastic has also drawn strong foreign attention to Shiver, having sold it in 32 languages to date, and Warner Brothers has optioned the film rights.
Out of Afghanistan
Sandra Dijkstra of Sandra Dijkstra Literary sold North American rights to a new comics travelogue by Ted Rall to Hill and Wang's Thomas LeBien. Rall, an award-winning cartoonist, is credited with writing one of the first pieces of serious graphic nonfiction about the initial Afghanistan invasion by the U.S., his 2002 travelogue, To Afghanistan and Back (NBM). In the new book, Afghan Notebook, which is scheduled for 2012, Rall chronicles his return to Afghanistan nearly 10 years after the journey he captured in To Afghanistan and Back. According to Dijkstra, Afghan Notebook is more than a follow-up to Rall's first book, providing a detailed analysis about what's happening in the war-torn country now, and how the place has (and has not) changed since the U.S. occupation began in 2001. The book, which includes photos, will, per Dijkstra, “be the book to capture and explain this war.”
SMP Goes on War Path & Takes an M.D.'s Advice
Marc Resnick at St. Martin's Press has signed author Dalton Fury to a new two-book deal, for a set of thrillers featuring a disgraced Delta Force soldier. Fury, himself a former Delta Force commander, wrote the 2009 nonfiction bestseller Kill Bin Laden for SMP's Griffin imprint—the book is Fury's firsthand account of being one of the 40 or so elite soldiers assigned to find Osama bin Laden after the September 11 attacks. The thrillers follow protagonist Adam Vance, who, in the first book, returns to Pakistan on a secret mission to rescue a soldier from his unit that he left behind. Agent Scott Miller at Trident brokered the deal, for North American rights, and SMP is planning the first book for 2011.
In a second deal at SMP, Nichole Argyres pre-empted world rights to Otis Webb Brawley's What I Know, What I Don't Know, and What I Believe: A Doctor's Education. Josh Getzler sold the book, in his first deal since moving from Writers House to Russell & Volkening. The book is the first for Brawley, an oncologist and the chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society; in it he offers his perspective on the state of medicine today, with specific attention paid to cancer treatment. According to Getzler, Brawley makes the case to all those involved in the health care system—hospitals, doctors, patients, and insurance companies—to start making decisions based on scientific research and results, as opposed to the latest fad treatment.
Larry Kirshbaum of LJK closed a two-book deal for Me & Emma author Elizabeth Flock with Caitlin Alexander at Random House Trade Paperbacks. Flock took world rights to the books—both stand-alone novels—at auction. In the first book, set in North Carolina, Carrie Parker and her mother, characters from Me & Emma (a paperback original published by Mira in 2006 which hit the Times list), reappear.
Kent Carroll at Europa Editions bought U.S. and Canadian rights to a collection of book reviews by Washington Post book critic Jonathan Yardley. The pieces are compiled from Yardley's Second Reading column, which was launched in 2003, and is an occasional piece in which he re-examines either notable or disregarded backlist titles. Yardley has reviewed books by a range of authors in the column—the gamut swings from William Faulkner to Nora Ephron—and the book, Carroll explained, will be a kind of greatest-hits-take on lesser known titles, delivering a “healthy reading list of less memorable, but no less masterful works.”
An item in last week's column citing the sale of Jill Abramson's The Puppy Diaries to Times Books incorrectly noted that the title grew out of a column that initially ran in the New York Times Magazine. The book evolved from a blog Abramson wrote for the Times' Web site.