Clayton to Gallery
Micki Nuding, senior editor at Gallery Books, struck a three-book, world rights deal with bestseller Alice Clayton. The former indie author is best known for her Cocktail series; the first Cocktail book, Wallbanger, was originally self-published (and later acquired by Gallery). Through this deal, Clayton, who was represented by Christina Hogrebe at the Jane Rotrosen Agency, will launch a new series called Hudson Valley, set in the New York enclave. The first Hudson Valley book is scheduled for November 2015.
Graywolf Gets Maazel’s ‘Man’
At Graywolf Press, Fiona McCrae took world English rights to Fiona Maazel’s third novel, What Kind of a Man. Stacia Decker at Donald Maass Literary brokered the deal for Maazel, who was one of the National Book Award’s 5 Under 35 honorees, in 2008, for her debut novel, Last, Last Chance (FSG). In What Kind of Man, the protagonist, who has, as the publisher put it, "dubious superhuman abilities," is being blackmailed. As he tries to clear his name, Graywolf elaborated, his “search for the truth leads him to uncover secret research at a neurological institute his parents founded.”
Durst Delivers ‘Queens’ to Harper
In a three-book deal, Harper Voyager’s David Pomerico preempted world rights to Sarah Beth Durst’s fantasy trilogy, the Queens of Renthia. Durst, who was represented by Andrea Somberg at Harvey Klinger, said the series is set in a world “where everything in nature has a spirit—and where those spirits are bloodthirsty killers who seek the death of all humans.” Book one, The Queen of Blood, is set for a fall 2016 publication. Durst has written a number of fantasy novels for children and adults, including the YA title Chasing Power (Bloomsbury) and the adult title The Lost (Mira), both published in 2014.
Segura Goes to Polis
Alex Segura, Archie Comics’ executive director of publicity/marketing, struck a three-book, world rights deal with Polis Books. Jason Pinter, founder of Polis, brokered the sale with Dara Hyde at Hill Nadell Literary. The titles will be part of Segura’s crime series featuring private investigator Pete Fernandez, who is, according to Pinter, a “down-on-his-luck former newsman who turns to PI work after his life falls to pieces.” (Silent City, the first book in the series, was initially published by Codorus Press in 2013; Polis has since acquired print and digital rights to the title, and will reissue it in spring 2016.) In addition to his aforementioned position at Archie Comics, Segura edits the publisher’s Dark Circle imprint and has written a number of Archie issues.
Lawrence, Glusman Close Two at Norton
In the first of two deals at Norton this week, Starling Lawrence took world English rights, for six figures at auction, to Joe Beck’s memoir, Birds of a Feather. In the book, Beck, an attorney in Atlanta, examines a 1938 trial in which his father, a smalltown Alabama lawyer, represented a black man accused of raping a white woman. Agent Wendy Strothman, who has an eponymous shingle, represented Beck in the deal, and her agency said the trial at the heart of Beck’s book recalls the fictional trial in To Kill a Mockingbird. The agency added that the book reveals “both the cost of conscience for Beck’s father and the nuances and legacies that still shape our national conversation [about race].”
In the second deal, Norton’s editor-in-chief, John Glusman, took North American rights to Lisa Belkin’s There Is No Road. Belkin is a former New York Times reporter who now works for Yahoo News. In the book, she examines a tragedy that occurred in the summer of 1960 involving the author’s stepfather, who was a young doctor at the time. As Glusman elaborated, the book centers on an ex-con befriended by the stepfather and a policeman who was murdered by the ex-con. Barney Karpfinger represented Belkin in the deal, and the book is set for summer 2017.
Feiwel Spends ‘January’ with Roehrig
At Feiwel and Friends, Liz Szabla acquired North American rights to Caleb Roehrig’s debut YA mystery, January. Roehrig was represented by Rosemary Stimola at Stimola Literary Studio, and the thriller, which features LGBT themes, was, Stimola said, pitched as “13 Reasons Why meets Gone Girl.” In the novel, 15-year-old Flynn Doherty is struggling with his sexuality, and his relationship. Although Flynn loves his girlfriend, January, he also thinks that he might be gay. When January abruptly goes missing, Flynn finds out he wasn’t the only one keeping secrets; he begins to see, as Stimola explained, “a disturbing picture of a girl in danger.” January is set for a fall 2016 publication.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that the protagonist in Fiona Maazel’s novel What Kind of a Man has superhuman strength. The publisher clarified that the character has superhuman abilities—which may be real, or imagined—that are not strength-based.