NAL Takes Moving 'Cash' and Used 'Wedding Dress'
Mark Chait at New American Library closed two deals with Erin C. Niumata at Folio Literary Management, acquiring a tie-in book to the trivia show Cash Cab and a book from blogger Kevin Cotter. In the first deal, Chait acquired North American rights to a tie-in title to the Discovery Channel show hosted by Ben Bailey, in which contestants enter a cab and win money by answering trivia questions; the book will be called Cash Cab and is tentatively scheduled for winter 2012. In the second deal, co-agented by Paige Wheeler, Chait bought world rights to 101 Uses for My Ex-Wife's Wedding Dress, which is based on Cotter's popular tongue-in-cheek blog, myexwifesweddingdress.com. In the blog, Cotter chronicles, with photos (and occasionally videos), everyday uses—ranging from dirt tarp to jump rope—for the wedding dress his wife, who walked out on him, left behind. Cotter's book is scheduled for late 2011.
Philomel Gets All 16th Century
Jill Santopolo, executive editor at Penguin's Philomel imprint, acquired North American rights in a six-figure acquisition, at auction, to a historical YA trilogy by debut author Fiona Paul called Dark Waters. Stephen Barbara of Foundry Literary + Media closed the deal for the development company Paper Lantern Lit, and Penguin is calling the series "a cross between Philippa Gregory and Edgar Allan Poe." Set in Venice during the Renaissance, the books follow a wealthy 15-year-old girl who stumbles on a murder and gets swept up in an underground world of, as the publisher put it, "bohemian artists, grave robbers, crooks, and a very dangerous killer." The first book in the series, Venom, is scheduled for fall 2012. Paul lives in the Midwest and has worked a number of jobs over the years, ranging from line cook to English teacher.
Guinn on Manson
Roger Labrie at Simon & Schuster took world rights to a new book about Charles Manson by investigative reporter Jeff Guinn. Jim Donovan of Jim Donovan Literary brokered the deal for Guinn, whose other books from S&S include Go Down Together: The True Untold Story of Bonnie & Clyde (Mar. 2009) and the forthcoming The Last Gunfight: The Real Story of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral—And How It Changed the American West (May 2011). In Manson: The Life and Times of an American Monster, Guinn offers a detailed character sketch of the infamous killer and, according to S&S, delivers the first examination of Manson's entire life.
Ketcham on Sex & Other Drugs
Jennie Ketcham, a reality TV personality and former porn star, sold a memoir called I Am Jennie to Kara Cesare at Gallery Books. Terra Chalberg at the Susan Golomb Literary Agency brokered the deal—the book was pre-empted—for Ketcham, who appeared in a number of porn productions in the past decade under the name Penny Flame and then, in 2009, let the cameras film her in the Pasadena Recovery Center for that season's VH1 reality show, Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew. In the book, which will feature a foreword by Dr. Drew, Ketcham charts her road to recovery after working in the porn business led to her battling addictions with sex, drugs, and alcohol.
Riverhead Explores Racial Reassignment
Denise Shannon, for her eponymous literary agency, sold North American rights to Jess Row's tentatively titled debut novel, The Immigrant. Megan Lynch at Riverhead acquired the book, which explores a scenario involving racial reassignment surgery. The book does not yet have a publication date, but Row is scheduled to deliver the manuscript in spring 2012. Row was a runner-up for the Pen/Hemingway Award for his short story collection, The Train to Lo Wu (Dial Press) and was also named one of Granta's Best American Novelists in 2007.