Levy Re-Ups with Two Dollar Radio
After successfully publishing Francis Levy's debut novel, Erotomania: A Romance, Eric Obenauf of indie press Two Dollar Radio, in Ohio, signed world rights to the author's next effort, Seven Days in Rio. The 2008 Erotomania was one of PW's Big Titles from Small Presses and was optioned by writer-director Greg Levins (Bittersweet) and producer Jason Tyrrell. In Seven Days, Levy, who the L.A. Times compared to Henry Miller and Charles Bukowski, follows Kenny Cantor, a CPA and "recreational sex-tourist," through Rio's underbelly. The book, which Obenauf said "merges sex, humor, and psychoanalysis," is scheduled for July 2011. Levy did the deal without an agent.
Romeo & Juliet, Updated
Agent Mollie Glick, of Foundry Literary + Media, closed a two-book, North American rights deal at auction with Anica Rissi at Simon Pulse, for debut novelist Rebecca Serle. The first book in the YA sale, Rosaline, is a contemporary take on Romeo & Juliet, with a twist. As Glick explained, the book "dares to ask the question: what if the greatest love story ever told was the wrong one?" Michelle Weiner at CAA optioned the film rights to the book to Fox 2000 with producer Shawn Levy attached, along with the writing team of Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber (who wrote the screenplay for 500 Days of Summer). Serle, who's written for literary journals like Slice and KP Press, contributes a column to the Huffington Post about children's literature.
Kaufman Gets 'Amp'-ed
Jason Kaufman, executive editor and v-p of Doubleday, bought world rights, in a high-six-figure deal, to Daniel H. Wilson's second adult novel, Amp. Agent Laurie Fox at Linda Chester closed the deal. Wilson wrote the forthcoming Robopocalypse, which Doubleday is publishing in June and which picked up a significant amount of press after it was announced that Steven Spielberg will be adapting the novel for Dreamworks in a planned 2011 feature. Amp is a techno-thriller that, as Fox explained, "explores and expands the definition of what it means to be human." Justin Manask is handling the film rights for the book.
Simmons Settles at Hyperion
Jill Schwartzman, in her first acquisition as senior editor at Hyperion, bought North American rights to Gail Simmons's memoir, Talking with My Mouth Full. Simmons, the special projects director at Food & Wine magazine and entered the limelight as a judge on the Bravo reality show Top Chef. Andy McNicol at William Morris Endeavor brokered the deal for Simmons, who, in the book, will delve into her journey through the professional culinary world and the various jobs she's had, including working in the kitchen of Le Cirque 2000 and as a research assistant to food writer Jeffrey Steingarten. Hyperion hopes to publish in early 2012.
Machinist Closes Six-Figure Debut
Alexandra Machinist, at the Linda Chester Agency, sold world English rights to Bridget Boland Foley's debut novel, Doula, to Kara Cesare at Gallery Books in a six-figure pre-empt. In the book Foley, a lawyer and birth coach, writes about a doula (aka midwife) who is forced to stand trial after being accused of causing the death of her best friend's baby. Machinist said the book was pitched as "Alice Hoffman meets Chris Bojalian's Midwives."
Ben Schafer at Da Capo bought North American rights to Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw's The Quantum Universe. Agent George Lucas at Inkwell Management brokered the deal for the writers of Why Does E=mc2?; the book, which Da Capo has scheduled for fall 2012, is, per the publisher, a "highly engaging and accessible" look at quantum mechanics.
Lee Boudreaux at Ecco, in a two-book deal, bought North American rights to a debut novel and short story collection by Lysley Tenorio. The collection, Monstress, like the novel, is set in a California Filipino-American community and, according to the house, explores the "suffocating ties of family... and the drive to create connections with others." Ira Silverberg at Sterling Lord brokered the deal.