SMP ‘Owns’ Two Navy Seals
U.S. Navy SEAL officers Jocko Willink and Leif Babin have sold a business book, called Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALS Lead and Win, to Marc Resnik at St. Martin’s Press. Resnick took world rights to the title from Jennifer Keene at Octagon, and the book is slated for October 2015. The pair takes the principles behind the SEAL program, detailing how cadets are trained and prepared for leadership on the battlefield, and argues that, as SMP put it, they are “directly applicable to success in any business.” Willink and Babin served together in Iraq and have both won the Silver Star Medal, one of the highest combat honors; both also speak about leadership to the media, serving as commentators on, among other outlets, Fox News and the Wall Street Journal.
In a second deal coming out of St. Martin’s, this one from its Thomas Dunne imprint, Laurie Chittenden took world English rights to two more novels by Michelle Gabe. Barbara Poelle at the Irene Goodman Agency represented the author, who wrote the bestseller A Paris Apartment, which Thomas Dunne published in April. The first book in the deal, A Woman in Paris, is about three women from three different generations who are, the publisher said, mysteriously brought together by a book; it is scheduled for spring 2016.

Teen Zine Writer to Dutton Children’s
Stephanie Kuehnert, a staff writer at Rookie magazine, an online teen publication, sold a memoir to Julie Strauss-Gabel at Dutton Children’s Books. The book, which Dutton said will be “zine-style,” will chronicle the author’s transformation, during her teen years, “from geek to grunge to goth to grrrl.” Through prose, as well as things like lists and zine pages, Kuehnert will also tackle darker material, discussing her struggles with self-injury and a relationship that spiraled into emotional abuse. Adrienne Rosado at Nancy Yost Literary represented Kuehnert, who has also written the YA novels I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone and Ballads of Suburbia. Strauss-Gabel said the memoir is “pull-no-punches raw” and delivers an “original and candid story of resilience.” Tavi Gevinson, founder of Rookie Magazine, will provide an introduction to the book.

NAL Inks Ward to New Series
Bestselling author J.R. Ward has signed a three-book, world rights deal with New American Library to do a contemporary series. Called the Bourbon Kings, the series will, as NAL explained, “follow the intertwined fortunes of several ultrawealthy Kentucky families who have made their fortunes from bourbon.” The first Bourbon Kings book is set for late 2015. The deal was brokered by NAL’s Kara Welsh and Steven Axelrod at the Axelrod Agency. Ward, the pen name for Jessica Bird, writes paranormal romance (and romances under her given name); as J.R. Ward, her series include the Black Dagger Brotherhood and the Fallen Angels. Lucy Stille at Agency for the Performing Arts is handling film/television rights for the series.

HMH Goes to Literary ‘War’
Molly Guptill Manning sold When Books Went to War to Bruce Nichols at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, who preempted North American rights to the nonfiction title. The book explores the time during WWII when, as the Nazis began burning books, the U.S.—working with publishers and librarians—began supplying its soldiers with books to take into battle. Agent E.J. McCarthy, representing Manning, said these books, known as Armed Services Editions, were considered by many GIs “their most important piece of equipment” because the works “lifted their spirits while far from home.” When Books Went to War is scheduled for publication in December.