‘Golem’ Sequel Fetches Seven Figures; Harkness Heads back To Viking

Sam Stoloff at the Frances Goldin Agency closed two notable deals last week. In a rumored seven-figure agreement, Stoloff sold North American rights in a two-book deal to Helene Wecker’s The Iron Season. The book is a sequel to Wecker’s 2013 bestseller The Golem and the Jinni. Terry Karten at HarperCollins, who also acquired and published Golem, bought the book. The novel is set during the World War I era and continues the story of Chava (the golem) and Aham (the jinni) who, Stoloff explained, “encounter other beings of their own kind, only to realize that their close ties to human beings have forever altered them.” The second book in the deal is currently untitled.

In the second deal, Stoloff sold world rights to Deborah Harkness’s fourth novel, The Serpent’s Mirror, to Carole DeSanti at Viking. The book will feature characters from the author’s bestselling All Souls trilogy (also published by Viking), including, Stoloff said, the Tudor-era “vampiric double agent” Matthew Clairmont and the present-day alchemy historian Diana Bishop. Serpent’s Mirror, which is set for a 2017 release, is intended to be the first in a new series.

Houck Makes Double at Delacorte

Colleen Houck (Tiger’s Curse series) closed a two-book mid-six-figure North American rights deal with Krista Vitola at Delacorte. Robert Gottlieb at Trident Media Group represented the author, selling the third book in her Reawakened series (which Delacorte currently publishes), along with a standalone YA novel. Trident described the Reawakened series as “an epic Egyptian quest full of romance, adventure, and mythology.”

Harlequin ‘Lifts’ Montague

Ann Leslie Tuttle at Harlequin took North American rights, for five figures, to a coloring book called What Lifts You by artist and Instagram sensation Kelsey Montague. The book, which Brianne Johnson at Writers House sold, marks Montague’s debut and is set for February 2016. Roughly a year ago, Montague began sharing some of her street art—much of it featuring drawn murals of large angel and butterfly wings—on social media with the hashtag #whatliftsyou. The images caught the eye of celebrities such as Taylor Swift and Vanessa Hudgens, who shared the shots, helping the hashtag (and images) go viral.

Haigh Takes the ‘Heat’ at Ecco

PEN/Hemingway winner Jennifer Haigh sold world rights to her first novel in five years, Heat and Light, to Daniel Halpern and Megan Lynch at Ecco. Haigh, who was represented by Dorian Karchmar at William Morris Endeavor, won the PEN/Hemingway Award for her debut novel, 2003’s Mrs. Kimble (Morrow). Heat and Light follows the fates of a Pennsylvania town sitting on a wealth of natural gas; Ecco elaborated, saying it explores “the fractured modern family and community, and the destruction of the American landscape in pursuit of energy.” Heat and Light is set for May 2016.

SMP Nabs Strawser Debut

Writer’s Digest editor-in-chief Jessica Strawser sold world rights to her first novel in a two-book deal with St. Martin’s Press associate editor Holly Ingraham. Agent Barbara Poelle at Irene Goodman Literary represented Strawser, accepting a preempt on the standalone works. The first book in the deal, Almost Missed You, is set for winter 2017; SMP said it’s about “connections that could have been missed, secrets that should have been kept, and spaces between what’s meant to be and what might have been.”

Avery Lands Motherlode Editor

K.J. Dell’Antonia, the lead editor of the New York Times’ popular parenting blog Motherlode, sold world English rights to a currently untitled book to Avery’s Lucia Watson. Laurie Abkemeier at DeFiore and Company handled the deal for Dell’Antonia, who is also the mother of four children. The book, Avery said, will rely on a combination of Dell’Antonia’s own experience, research, and expert advice, to “show parents how to put the happy back in their family by doing less and enjoying more.”


North Carolina State professor John Kessel closed a two-book North American-rights deal at auction with Saga Press’s Joe Monti, selling his novel, The Moon and the Other. Kessel is the director of the creative writing program at N.C. State, and the book, Monti said, explores “gender in culture and politics through the lens of a future society where humankind has progressed significantly in many ways, but remains the same in many others.” John Silbersack at Trident Media Group represented Kessel in the deal.