Winters Goes ‘Underground’ at Mulholland

Ben Winters, author of the bestselling Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters and the Last Policeman trilogy (both Quirk), sold a new novel, called Underground Airlines, to Josh Kendall at Mulholland Books. Kendall, who will be editing with Wes Miller, preempted North American rights from Joelle Delbourgo, who has an eponymous agency. Underground is an “epic contemporary detective story,” according to the publisher, set in alternate world in which the Civil War never happened and slavery still exists in the American South. The novel follows an undercover agent trying to capture an escaped slave. Winters, who has written titles for adults and children, won both the Edgar and the Philip K. Dick Award for books in the Last Policeman series.

Blake Takes New Fantasy Series to HarperTeen

HarperTeen’s Alexandra Cooper bought North American rights at auction, for six figures, to two books in a new fantasy series by Kendare Blake. The first book in the series, Three Dark Crowns, is about triplet sisters and is set on a remote, magical island. Adriann Ranta, at Wolf Literary Services, represented the author and said that in the novel, the siblings, separated at birth, follow divergent paths. One sister, who is in line for the throne, Ranta explained, must use “her magic for a dark purpose: assassinating her other two sisters before they kill her first.” Blake’s previous three books were published by Tor Teen, and her 2011 title, Anna Dressed in Blood, was named one of NPR’s top five YA novels of the year.

Mountain Girl Climbs to Thomas Dunne

Sixties personality Carolyn Garcia sold a currently untitled memoir to Melanie Fried at St. Martin’s Thomas Dunne Books. Sterling Lord, at Sterling Lord Literistic, brokered the world rights deal for Garcia, who is the ex-wife of deceased Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia. Carolyn Garcia rose to fame as a counterculture figure after befriending Neal Cassady and Ken Kesey (whom she became romantically entangled with). She was supposedly nicknamed Mountain Girl by one of Kesey’s cohorts. The book, the publisher said, will detail her relationship with Jerry Garcia and her “involvement with the Grateful Dead.”

Shankman, Sullivan Create Teen Nick & Nora

Adam Shankman, who has directed such films as 2007’s Hairspray and appears as a judge on the TV show So You Think You Can Dance?, sold his debut YA novel to Reka Simonsen at Atheneum. The book, Lulu, will be cowritten with middle-grade author Laura L. Sullivan. Jason Anthony, at Lippincott Massie McQuilkin, handled the six-figure deal, selling the title along with a planned sequel. Lulu, which is slated for summer 2016, is inspired by the crime-solving duo of Nick and Nora—protagonists of the Thin Man films and the Dashiell Hammett novel upon which they are based. In Shankman and Sullivan’s reimagining, set in Hollywood’s Golden Age, Lulu is a once-poor teen from New York City who, after a lucky break, finds herself working in Los Angeles as a successful starlet. Her partner and love interest, Freddie van der Waals, winds up out West after leaving his wealthy family, disgusted by the revelation that his father became rich through deceptive measures. In the first book, Lulu and Freddie meet and, after Lulu is hit with a bogus murder charge, team up to clear her name, while, as Atheneum noted, “they reluctantly fall in love.”

Miranda Goes Adult for S&S

YA author Megan Miranda (Fracture) sold her adult debut, Disappear, to Sarah Knight at Simon & Schuster for six figures. Sarah Davies, at Greenhouse Literary, represented the author, in her first adult deal at the agency; Knight took world rights to two books in the agreement. Disappear, Knight explained, is told in reverse and covers a period of two weeks. The story, Knight said, “unravels the mystery of two missing girls who vanished 10 years apart, and whose cases are linked by the same group of friends in a rural North Carolina town.” Miranda is an MIT graduate and former science teacher.

HC Nabs New Series from Kang & Weyant

Anna Kang and Christopher Weyant sold two books, in a planned picture book series, to Margaret Anastas at HarperCollins. Holly McGhee at Pippin Properties handled the six-figure North American rights deal. The first book, Psst! I Have a Secret, is set for summer 2016. Anastas won the series at auction, beating four other bidders. Psst! follows a frog named Monty who harbors a dark truth: he’s afraid to swim.