Viking Re-ups Philbrick
Bestselling and National Book Award–winning author Nathaniel Philbrick (Mayflower) signed a new two-book deal with his current publisher, Viking. In the agreement, associate publisher and editorial director of nonfiction Wendy Wolf took North American rights to Saratoga (planned for 2016) and Yorktown (planned for 2018) from agent Stuart Krichevsky. Viking said that these books, along with Philbrick’s latest, Bunker Hill (April), will form a trilogy about the Revolutionary War. Saratoga will “recount how a country born of rebellion was nearly overwhelmed by the same mistrust of authority with which it had begun.” Yorktown will focus on fighting in Virginia and the Carolinas working up to a finale about “the naval battle that makes possible the defeat of the British army at Yorktown in the fall of 1781.” The screen adaptation of Philbrick’s In the Heart of the Sea is currently in production at Warner Bros., with Ron Howard directing and Chris Hemsworth starring. Also, Mayflower is in series development at F/X.
Bloomsbury Nabs Vet’s Debut
At Bloomsbury, Kathy Belden bought world English rights to Iraq war veteran Michael Pitre’s debut novel, Fives and Twenty-Fives, at auction, for six figures, from Rob McQuilkin at Lippincott Massie McQuilkin. (Arabella Stein at Abner Stein handled the Bloomsbury U.K. side of the deal.) The novel follows three men in the same Marine platoon: a lieutenant and reluctant leader; a corpsman finding his calling as a medic; and an Iraqi interpreter who, the publisher said, has “a love of hip-hop and Huck Finn.”
Putnam Re-ups Williams
Christine Pepe at G.P. Putnam’s Sons took world English rights to two novels by the imprint’s current bestselling author, Beatriz Williams (Overseas), from agent Alexandra Machinist at Janklow & Nesbit. The first novel (currently untitled) in the deal, scheduled for May 2014, shuttles between New York City in the 1960s and Berlin at the start of World War I.
Feiwel Re-ups Meyer
For Macmillan’s Feiwel and Friends imprint, Jean Feiwel and Liz Szabla took world English rights to two new YA novels by bestseller Marissa Meyer (the Lunar Chronicles series) from agent Jill Grinberg at Jill Grinberg Literary. The first book in the deal, Heartless, set for fall 2016, will be a prequel to Alice in Wonderland and, per the publisher, will deliver the “untold story” of the Queen of Hearts. The second book is set for fall 2016.
William Morrow Tackles Carmack
Cora Carmack (Losing It) closed a three-book deal with Harper. Amanda Bergeron took North American rights from agent Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary and Media. The books, Townsend said, were pitched as “a college Friday Night Lights.” The first novel in the deal, All Lined Up, set for spring 2014, is about a 19-year-old girl whose father, a successful Texas high school football coach, accepts a coaching job at her university.
Ecco Buys Literary Sleuth’s Book
Following a September 18 New York Times story about the discovery of the heretofore unknown author of a novel thought to be the first written by an African-American woman, Ecco has acquired a book by the professor credited with the discovery. The Times story, by Julie Bosman, reveals that Gregg Hecimovich, who chairs the English department at South Carolina’s Winthrop University, has uncovered the fact that The Bondwoman’s Narrative (which became a bestseller in 2002) was written by a woman named Hannah Bond. (The book is credited to Hannah Crafts.) Now, Hilary Redmon has preempted North American rights to a proposal from Hecimovich called The Life and Times of Hannah Crafts. Agent Paul Lucas at Janklow & Nesbit represented Hecimovich.
At Norton, Tom Mayer took North American rights to Colin Asher’s Never a Lovely So Real: The Life and Work of Nelson Algren. The book is a biography of Algren, a largely forgotten author who won the first National Book Award in 1949. Asher’s book is an expansion on his January 2013 essay (which shares the same title as the book) for The Believer. Agent Ria Julien at Frances Goldin Literary represented Asher.
Arcade Publishing’s consulting editor Jeannette Seaver preempted North American rights to Chinese bestseller Liu Zhenyun’s I Did Not Kill My Husband (set for fall 2014) and I Am Liu Yuejin (set for fall 2015) from Sandra Dijkstra at Sandra Dijkstra Literary. The books will be translated by the team of Howard Glodblatt and Sylivia Li-chun Lin.