Fontaine Takes ‘Freak’ to FSG
Jenna Johnson, in her first acquisition at Farrar, Straus and Giroux, took North American rights, at auction, to Tessa Fontaine’s debut memoir, Freak. The book, which Trident Media Group’s Ellen Levine sold, chronicles the author’s experience as a new performer in a traveling sideshow, where she did everything from swallow swords to play a character called the Electric Woman. The author melds tales about circus life, FSG said, with her discovery of “her mother’s catastrophic illness, and her search for the possibilities of life and hope after heartbreak.”
Lydon Probes Boston PD for Picador
In a six-figure preempt, Picador’s Elizabeth Bruce took world rights to a narrative history of the Boston Police Department’s first female officers, by Alexandra Lydon. The author grew up in Boston and is a writer, producer, and actress who’s appeared on a number of TV shows, including Prison Break and 24. Picador said the book, which is currently untitled, will tell an “explosive” tale about the women hired by the force in the 1970s, “on the eve of Boston’s busing crisis, when racial turmoil and political conflict divided the department and city.” Mackenzie Brady Watson at New Leaf Literary & Media brokered the deal.
Teen Comic Lands at Running Press
Fifteen-year-old comedian and writer Ruby Karp sold a book called Bratty to Julie Matysik at Running Press. Mark Gottlieb at Trident Media Group brokered the world rights deal for the work, which is subtitled We Are More than Just a Bunch of Dumb Teenagers Obsessed with Our Phones. Karp has written for Mashable, given a TEDx talk, and hosts a monthly comedy show at New York City’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. Gottlieb said Bratty will explain “what it’s like to be inside a teen’s mind” and “what all their angst is really about.”
Verdi Brings Latest to Scholastic
Aimee Friedman at Scholastic bought world rights to a currently untitled novel by Jessica Verdi (What You Left Behind). The book, which Kate McKean at the Howard Morhaim Agency sold, is set for 2018 and follows a girl’s discovery that her mother is transgender and actually her biological father. After the revelation, Scholastic explained, the daughter takes a journey “to find the family that couldn’t accept her mother as trans.”
Neill Takes Spin-Off to NAL
In a six-figure deal, Chloe Neill sold two books in a new series to Jessica Wade at NAL. The books will be spun off the author’s bestselling Chicagoland Vampires series, which NAL also publishes and is concluding in April 2017, when book 13 in the line, Blade Bound, is published. The new series is set in the same world as Chicagoland Vampires, and the first book follows what happens when a brutal murder threatens the peace between humans and supernatural creatures. Lucienne Diver at the Knight Agency, who represented Neill, said this event makes way for a new heroine willing “to fight for her life, her people, and the city she loves.”
LB Tries to “Fly” with Riley
Daniel Riley’s Fly Me was acquired in a world English rights deal by Josh Kendall at Little, Brown. The debut novel, which Kirby Kim at Janklow & Nesbit sold, is set in Southern California during the 1970s. Kim said it is imbued with the “early surf and skate culture” of that time and place, and focuses on the coming-of-age of a 22-year-old stewardess. He added that the book explores “family and flying, reading, writing, skyjacking, and drug smuggling.”
Santopolo Goes Adult at Putnam
Jill Santopolo sold her adult debut, The Light We Lost, to Tara Singh Carlson at Putnam in a world rights deal. Carlson preempted the novel from Miriam Altshuler at DeFiore and Company. The publisher said Light was pitched as One Day meets Me Before You. It follows a woman forced to revisit “the star-crossed fate of her first love, whom she met 13 years ago on Sept. 11, 2001, before she makes a life-altering choice.” Santopolo (the Sparkle Spa series) is the editorial director of Philomel Books and an adjunct professor in the New School’s M.F.A. program.
Rita Award–winner Julie Anne Long did a two-book world English rights deal with May Chen at Avon. The agreement, for two new titles in the author’s Hellcat Canyon series, was brokered by Steven Axelrod at the Axelrod Agency.
In a world English rights deal, Simon & Schuster’s Karyn Marcus nabbed a behind-the-scenes look at Sex and the City by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong (Seinfeldia). Laurie Abkemeier at DeFiore and Company, who represented Armstrong, said the currently untitled book will feature “stories about the writers and actors involved as well as [the show’s] powerful influence on culture, sex, feminism, women’s friendships, marriage, and more.”
Correction: An earlier version of this story said the book Seinfeldia is forthcoming; it was published in July.