HC Children's Throws Down for Debut
In a major pre-empt, Tara Weikum, editorial director at HarperTeen, took North American rights to a trilogy by 23-year-old debut novelist Tahereh Mafi, the first book of which is titled Shatter Me. Jodi Reamer at Writers House brokered the three-book deal. The story follows Juliette, a girl who kills people with her touch. According to HC, the series blends "a crumbling dystopian world with a compelling heroine who has inexplicable powers." The U.S. acquisition follows a number of foreign sales, with rights bought in 13 countries including Brazil, China, France, Germany, and Russia; it's also rumored that the book has already been optioned in Hollywood. HarperTeen has scheduled Shatter Me for November 15, 2011.
Mulholland Nabs New Grossman
In a six-figure acquisition, John Schoenfelder at Mulholland Books bought world rights to two stand-alone novels by Austin Grossman, You and Crooked. Luke Janklow, of Janklow & Nesbit, closed the deal for Grossman, a video game designer, twin brother to novelist Lev Grossman, and author of 2007's Soon I Will Be Invincible (Pantheon). Mulholland calls You a "novel of games and the people who create them." Crooked reimagines Richard Nixon as a heroic savior who is forced to deal with a secret, supernatural threat.
SMP Looks at Duchess of Windsor
Charles Spicer at St. Martin's Press bought U.S. and Canadian rights to Anne Sebba's biography of the duchess of Windsor, aka Wallis Simpson. Clare Alexander at Aitken Alexander closed the deal for Sebba, a journalist, whose book marks the first in-depth examination of the royal by a woman. Simpson, a divorcée, caused King Edward to abdicate in 1936 when he gave up the British throne to marry her. SMP said the book will "attempt to understand the psychological makeup of one of the most glamorous and reviled women of the 20th century."
Penguin Gets Scary with Kiesbye
Markus Hoffman at Regal Literary, working on behalf of Berlin-based agent Michael Gaeb, sold world English rights to Stefan Kiesbye's new novel, Your House Is on Fire, Your Children Are All Gone. John Siciliano at Penguin acquired the supernatural horror title, about a haunted German village and the group of young residents who guard its dark secret; the agency said the book is in the vein of work by Shirley Jackson and Ray Bradbury.
Berkley Enjoys Midwestern 'Summer'
Jane Dystel, of Dystel & Goderich, closed a three-book deal for author Jacqueline Carey with Anne Sowards at Berkley/Ace. Dystel sold world English rights to Siren Summer and the two forthcoming books in this new trilogy, set in a Midwestern resort town where a murder forces the police to rely on a woman named Daisy Johanssen, who may or may not be the spawn of Satan, to act as a go-between with a group of eerie, possibly otherworldly, local denizens.
Lisa Brackmann (Rock Paper Tiger) sold world English rights to her currently untitled sophomore novel to Juliet Grames at Soho Press. Katherine Fausset at Curtis Brown handled the deal for Brackmann; the novel follows an American woman in Puerto Vallarta who gets caught in a dangerous web involving spies and cartels. The book is set for an early 2012 release.
Judith Gurewich at Other Press pre-empted world rights to Leslie Maitland's currently untitled family memoir of WWII. Ronald Goldfarb, of Goldfarb & Associates, brokered the deal for Maitland, a former New York Times reporter whose mother lost her fiancé in France during the war.