Scribner Buys Inmate’s Debut

Kathy Belden preempted North American rights to Curtis Dawkins’s story collection, Which Way Out. Belden, a Scribner editor, is planning to publish the title in summer 2017. Dawkins is currently serving a life sentence in prison for murder; he earned an M.F.A. in fiction from Western Michigan University before his incarceration. Describing the collection, which is about prison life, Belden said that Dawkins “reveals a world known to few, a male realm, where the universality of the experience is measured by the characters’ mistakes.” Sandra Dijkstra at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency represented Dawkins.

Harrison Takes Her ‘Widow’ to Counterpoint

In a North American rights deal, Dan Smetanka at Counterpoint bought Jamie Harrison’s novel The Widow Nash. In it, Harrison (the Jules Clement Mystery Series) explores “fathers and daughters, passions both violent and tender, and the true meaning of independence,” said agent Dara Hyde at the Hill Nadel agency, who sold the book. Set in 1904, the novel follows a woman called back to her Seattle home after her father returns from a mining expedition. When her father suddenly dies, the heroine, Hyde said, must “escape from her father’s messy business and re-create herself as a young widow.” The book is set to be Counterpoint’s lead fiction title for summer 2017.

Thomas & Mercer Re-ups Eisler

Bestseller Barry Eisler closed a world English and German rights deal, for two new books, with Grace Doyle at Thomas & Mercer. The first novel, Livia Lone, follows a sex-crimes detective in Seattle with a secret agenda. Having been illegally trafficked to the U.S. from Thailand as a child, she is now on the hunt for the men who kidnapped and raped her and her sister. Laura Rennert at Andrea Brown Literary Agency, who represented Eisler, said the heroine works both sides of the law as she hides the fact that “she isn’t just investigating sex crimes—she’s avenging them.” Livia Lone is set for October. The second book in the deal is planned to be a sequel.

Gallery Books Neiderman for Eight More V.C. Andrews Titles

Andrew Neiderman (The Devil’s Advocate), who has been continuing V.C. Andrews’s books since the author’s death in 1986, closed a world rights deal at Gallery for four new standalone Andrews novels and four e-book novellas. Writers House agent Al Zuckerman brokered the agreement with editor Adam Wilson. Zuckerman said that in House of Secrets, the first novel in the deal, a young, struggling British singer in New York agrees, in a moment of desperation, to become a surrogate for a wealthy couple living in a “dark mansion.” Zuckerman added that the book is “told in vintage V.C. Andrews style through the eyes of the main character’s daughter.” House of Secrets is scheduled for 2018.

S&S Ponies Up for Conclusion to All the Boys Series

In a mid-six-figure acquisition, Simon & Schuster’s Zareen Jaffery took North American rights to Jenny Han’s Always and Forever, Lara Jean, the final book in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, the author’s bestselling trilogy. Emily van Beek at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management represented Han and said the novel follows high school senior Lara Jean as she’s sidetracked from planning her father’s wedding by a major life decision. Elaborating, van Beek said the teen must figure out what to do “when your heart and your head are saying two different things.” According to van Beek, the series has sold over half a million copies, to date, in North America.

Chang Rides Her ‘Dragon’ to William Morrow

Jennifer Brehl at William Morrow bought world English rights (excluding Canada) to Janie Chang’s novel Dragon Springs Road. Chang is Canadian, and Dragon Springs, which has already been acquired by HarperCollins Canada, marks her sophomore effort. Three Souls (William Morrow, 2014), Chang’s debut, was a finalist for Canada’s 2014 BC Book Prize. Brehl, who acquired Dragon Springs from Jill Marr at the Dijkstra Agency, said the novel, which is set in 20th-century China, “incorporates a thought-provoking supernatural element” that “sets it apart from other historical fiction.”


For Bloomsbury, Lea Beresford bought world English rights, at auction, to Briallen Hopper’s essay collection, Hard to Love. The publisher said the book, which Rob McQuilkin at Lippincott Massie McQuilkin sold, explores “women and friendship in a world made for couples.”

Plum Street Publishers’ Liz Russell took word rights to James Babb’s middle grade novel Devil’s Den. The book is the third in the author’s Brody Martin series; Babb self-published the first two titles in the series. The book follows a 14-year-old boy searching for his family in post–Civil War America. Russell said the quest takes the young hero “into the Indian Territory west of Fort Smith during the tenure of federal judge Isaac C. Parker, known to history as ‘The Hanging Judge.’ ” Babb did not use an agent in the deal.