Kang, Clayton to Disney-Hyperion
Debut author-illustrator A.N. Kang sold The Very Fluffy Kitty Papillon, in a three-book deal, to Disney-Hyperion. Heather Alexander, a new agent at Pippin Properties (and former Dial Books for Young Readers editor), represented Kang, selling North American rights, for six figures, to Rotem Moscovich. The deal, which marks Alexander’s first as an agent, closed at auction. Alexander said the picture book is about “a sassy cat who is so fluffy, he floats.”
In a second deal at Disney-Hyperion, Dhonielle Clayton, cofounder of the book development company Cake Literary and coauthor of the forthcoming series Tiny Pretty Things (HarperCollins), sold her standalone debut, The Belles, to Emily Meehan. Meehan took world English rights at auction, in a two-book deal, from Victoria Marini at Gelfman Schneider. Marini said the YA fantasy follows a group of girls who can “manipulate beauty” and the “one belle who uncovers a hidden world of secrets, lies, and cruelty.”

Wood Takes on First Debut In a Decade
After 10 years without publishing a first-time novelist, Marian Wood, who has an eponymous imprint at G.P. Putnam’s Sons, acquired Lili Wright’s debut, Dancing with the Tiger. Molly Friedrich, at the Friedrich Agency, brokered the North American rights deal. Dancing with the Tiger, which is scheduled for 2016, is, according to Wood, “powerful, sophisticated, acidly witty, erotic—and often terrifying.” The Mexico-set thriller follows the tumult unleashed after a meth-addicted looter digs up the death mask of Montezuma. Putnam said the discovery “kicks off a terrifying struggle for possession” that brings together the novel’s heroine, a 30-year-old fact checker; an expatriate with an art collection locked in a chapel; and an expiring drug lord “who will stop at nothing to secure the death mask for himself.” Wright, who previously worked for Good Morning America, teaches creative writing and journalism at DePauw University in Indiana.

Bloomsbury Signs Laymon To Double
Kiese Laymon inked a two-book deal with Bloomsbury for a memoir and a novel. Agent P.J. Mark, at Janklow & Nesbit, represented Laymon, selling North American rights to the titles, at auction, to Kathy Belden. (Mark also sold U.K. rights to Helen Garnons-Williams at Bloomsbury UK.) The memoir, called 309: A Fat Black Weight Memoir and tentatively set for spring 2016, follows the author’s attempt to lose 100 pounds. Through the process, Bloomsbury explained, Laymon explores “the physical manifestations of violence, grief, trauma, and abuse on his own body and the collective body of the black community.” The novel, called And So On... and set for 2017, is about, per Bloomsbury, “the idea of privilege and the space it occupies in a Northeast university town.” Laymon was a finalist, in 2013, for the Believer Book Award, for his novel Long Division (Agate); he is a professor at Vassar College.

Thomas Dunne Nabs Welsh Epic
In a two-book deal, Thomas Dunne’s Pete Wolverton took world rights to Mark Noce’s debut, Between Two Fires, from Rena Rossner at the Jerusalem-based Deborah Harris Agency. The novel, which is the first in an epic historical series, is set in medieval Wales and, Rossner said, follows a “Braveheart-like princess” who is wed in an arranged marriage and becomes “caught between the love for her country and her love for a Robin Hood–like prince who is the leader of the free Welsh.” Noce is a technical writer originally from the Bay Area.