SMP Inks Antoinette, Coleman in Major Deal
Monique Paterson at St. Martin’s Press took North American rights, in a six-figure deal, to two new books by Ashley Antoinette, and another two books to be written by Antoinette and her husband, JaQuavis Coleman. Through the deal, which was closed at auction, Antoinette will pen two new titles in her bestselling Luxe series, and she and her husband—the pair write under the name Ashley & JaQuavis—will write two more entries in their Cartel series. Individually and together, Antoinette and Coleman have published over 40 novels. SMP plans to start publishing the titles covered under the deal in summer 2015. The couple was represented by agent Marc Gerald.
Dial Nabs Buzzed-About Middle-Grade Debut
Namrata Tripathi at Dial Books for Young Readers took North American rights, at auction, to Cassie Beasley’s Circus Mirandus, in a two-book deal. The Penguin children’s imprint said the novel, about a circus that alters the life of a young boy and his grandfather, is “Peter Pan meets Big Fish.” Tripathi beat out four other bidders for the book, which was sold by Elena Giovinazzo at Pippin Properties. The publisher said the novel follows a boy named Micah, who, when his grandfather becomes sick, goes in search of the magical circus, and a special performer, that he has only heard about in family stories. What Micah finds, the publisher said, is not what he expected. Beasley lives in Georgia and has an M.F.A. in children’s writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Circus Mirandus is set for a summer 2015 release.
Italian Hit About CIA Agent Goes to Nan Talese, Hollywood
Supernotes, a book that tells the true story of an Italian intelligence agent working for the CIA who escaped from a Cambodian prison, has been acquired by Nan Talese at Doubleday. In a separate deal, the book, which is already a bestseller in Italy, has been optioned for film. Supernotes is credited to Agent Kasper (the alias of the Italian operative) and Italian novelist Luigi Carletti, and is based on Kasper’s life. He was captured in 2008 in Cambodia while on a mission to investigate counterfeit money schemes in North Korea. Kasper was betrayed by both the American government and his own, and spent over a year in captivity in a concentration camp near Phnom Penh. Italian publisher Mondadori acquired the book, after verifying certain details about Kasper, from Vicki Satlow, an American agent based in Milan. In Italy, the book has received extensive press, and at this year’s London Book Fair, Canongate acquired U.K. rights. Alan Nevins at Renaissance Literary & Talent closed the U.S. rights deal for the book on Satlow’s behalf, selling to Talese. Doubleday will work on its translated edition of the book with Canongate, and both publishers will release the title in fall 2015. (Nevins noted that the genre of the book, in both the U.S. and the U.K., is still to be determined: it will either be released as a novel or a memoir.) In a separate deal, Nevins sold film rights, for over seven figures, to producer Alexandra Milchan (The Wolf of Wall Street), for her Emjag Productions. In addition to Italy, the U.S., and the U.K., the book has sold in Brazil, France, Portugal, and Turkey.
Minotaur Re-ups Hamilton
In a six-figure deal, done in coordination with Macmillan’s Minotaur and Thomas Dunne imprints, Peter Joseph took North American rights to four new books by Steve Hamilton. (Joseph is an editor at Thomas Dunne, but the books will be published by Minotaur.) Through the deal, Hamilton will pen two more titles in his Alex McKnight series, and two novels that will launch a new, currently untitled series. Hamilton has won an Edgar Award in two categories: Best First Novel and Best Novel; his award-winning McKnight series currently spans 10 books. Shane Salerno at Story Factory represented Hamilton.
Tantor Media’s Ron Formica acquired world English rights (across three formats: print, digital, and physical audio) to Michelle Bailat-Jones’s novel Fog Island Mountains. The book won the Center for Fiction’s Christopher Doheny Award, which is sponsored by Audible and recognizes fiction and nonfiction works that shine a spotlight on a serious illness. In Fog Island, a South African living in Japan must deal with a terminal cancer diagnosis. Bailat-Jones did not use an agent in the deal.