Dutton’s Morrow Spikes Yuletide Early
Eric Kaplan, co-executive producer of the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory, sold a book called Does Santa Exist? to Dutton executive editor Stephen Morrow. The book, which is subtitled A Careful Philosophical Investigation, is expanded from a recent talk Kaplan gave in Boston at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and was commissioned by Morrow. Simon Green at CAA brokered the world rights deal for Kaplan, who studied philosophy at both Columbia University and U.C. Berkeley; Dutton said the work will be “a hybrid of humor and philosophy.”
In a second Christmas-themed acquisition, Morrow bought a new book by the author of Soldier Dogs. Morrow took world rights to Maria Goodavage’s The Third Christmas: A Story of a Dog and His Soldier from agent Carol Mann at the Carol Mann Agency. Solider Dogs hit PW’s bestseller list in April 2012 and was, earlier this month, featured on 60 Minutes.

SMP Nabs Netzer’s Latest
After publishing Lydia Netzer’s acclaimed debut, Shine, Shine, Shine (July 2012), St. Martin’s Press has acquired her sophomore novel, How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky, and plans to publish it in 2014. Hilary Rubin Teeman bought world rights in the deal from Caryn Karmatz Rudy at DeFiore and Co. The book is about two romantically entangled astronomers who discover, as SMP explained, “they were raised from birth to be each other’s perfect match and to fall in love for their mothers’ own complicated purposes.” The novel, SMP elaborated, explores “the conflict of fate and determinism, science and faith.” Shine, Shine, Shine was named one of PW’s Best Books of 2012, as well as a New York Times Notable Book and a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist.

Intern Queen Gives Career Advice
Colleen Lawrie at HarperCollins preempted world rights to Lauren Berger’s career guide, Welcome to the Real World: Finding Your Place, Perfecting Your Work, and Turning Your First Job into Your Dream Career. Katie Kotchman at Don Congdon Associates represented Berger, who founded the company Internqueen.com, which calls itself “an online internship destination” offering students information on available internships, along with advice on interning. Kotchman notes that the book is “written for Gen Y by a member of Gen Y” and it “eschews a stale overview of corporate culture” in favor of “personal branding in the pursuit of their ultimate passion... and a paycheck.”

Scholastic Editor Sells Debut to HC
Donna Bray, at her HarperCollins imprint Balzer & Bray, preempted North American rights, in a two-book deal, to the YA novel Tease. Agent Holly Root at Waxman Leavell Literary represented debut author Amanda Maciel, who is an editor at Scholastic. Root described the book as “a provocative and unforgettable look at high school bullying.” The novel’s protagonist, facing criminal charges for bullying after a classmate commits suicide, turns “the familiar real-world media treatment of high school bullying upside down,” Root said. Tease is set for summer 2014, and the second book is planned to be another stand-alone novel.

Putnam Buys Blogger’s Debut
Author of the popular blog Mother.Write.(Repeat.) (www.motherwrite.blogspot.com), Krista Van Dolzer, sold her debut novel, The Regenerated Man, to Shauna Rossano at Putnam. Agent Kate Schafer Testerman at kt literary handled the North American rights deal, and the book is scheduled for winter 2015. The middle grade novel is set in postwar California and, Testerman said, has elements of science fiction, as it follows a young girl who becomes the sole defender of “a bio-engineered Japanese soldier.”