‘Wicked’ Author Sells New Novel
Gregory Maguire, author of the bestseller-turned-Broadway-hit Wicked, sold North American rights to a novel called Hiddensee to William Morrow. Cassie Jones bought the book, set for a fall 2017 release, from Moses Cardona at John Hawkins & Associates. The publisher said that Hiddensee, which is set in early-19th-century Germany, “twins an origin legend of the famous Nutcracker with the life of Drosselmeier, the toy maker who carves him.”

‘Esquire’ Ed Goes on Record for Ecco
The first female fiction editor at Esquire, Adrienne Miller, sold a memoir to Ecco titled What a Pretty Thing a Fire Is. Denise Oswald preempted world rights to the book from Joe Veltre at the Gersh Agency. The title, Ecco said, explores the author’s “coming of age in the literary world.” Miller, who worked at the magazine from the late 1990s through the mid-2000s, developed a relationship with frequent contributor David Foster Wallace, and the book delves into that as well.

Da Capo Takes Matisyahu’s ‘Crown’
In a North American rights deal, Ben Schafer at Da Capo Press acquired Matisyahu’s memoir, King Without a Crown. The book, being written with Paul Zollo, will chronicle the reggae singer and rapper’s path from a childhood in suburban Westchester County to his rise as a successful musician. (The title of the book refers to one of the artist’s most successful singles.) The work will also, Da Capo said, detail how Matisyahu “broke with Orthodox Judaism and finally found his spiritual and musical soul on a retreat in the backwoods of Oregon.” King Without a Crown, which is slated for fall 2017, was sold by Anthony Mattero at Foundry Literary + Media.

Barnett Sells New Series to Viking
Viking’s Ken Wright and Joanna Cardenas took world rights to an early reader series called Hi, Jack! written by Mac Barnett (the Terrible Two series) and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli (The Watermelon Seed). The agreement covers eight books and was brokered by Steven Malk at Writers House. The publisher plans to launch the series, which it said is about a “mischievous” monkey who “takes pleasure in bending the rules,” in spring 2018 with two titles. Viking added that the books will be written in “snappy, rhythmic text.”

Fine Lets Her Light Shine at Amazon
For Amazon’s Skyscape imprint, Courtney Miller preempted world English rights to Sarah Fine’s novel Beneath the Shine. The two-book deal was brokered by Kathleen Ortiz at New Leaf Literary & Media, who described the YA sci-fi work as “House of Cards meets Gattaca.” The novel follows a 17-year-old girl who, Ortiz said, unwittingly becomes the face of a political movement after a video she makes “calling for action against the 1%” goes viral. The video helps usher in “a new movement” following an election in 2068 but a terrorist attack then forces the heroine to “uncover the truth before she and those closest to her become the next victims.” The book is slated for April 2017.

Tim Bono, a psychology professor at Washington University in St. Louis, sold The Course of Happiness to Brittany Hamblin McInerney at Grand Central. McInerney preempted world rights (excluding the U.K. and British Columbia) to the book from Melissa Edwards at Stonesong. Describing the work, which is set for spring 2018, Edwards said that it is “a research-based guide for increasing happiness in overstressed young adults.”

Sourcebooks’ Anna Michels took world English rights to Denise Swanson’s Dead in the Water, the first book in a new cozy mystery series called Welcome Back to Scumble River. The new series is spun off from Swanson’s bestselling Scumble River line. Also included in the agreement, which Laura Blake Peterson at Curtis Brown brokered, is a second book in Welcome Back to Scumble River, as well as three currently untitled books in a new cozy series called Chef-to-Go.

Helen Klein Ross signed a world rights deal with her current publisher, Gallery Books. (Gallery released the author’s novel What Was Mine in April.) The new book, currently untitled, will, the publisher said, follow the resident of a country house in New England who “discovers and investigates a crime that took place at the property generations before, which involves his working-class Irish ancestress.” Kate Johnson at Wolf Literary Services broked the agreement with Gallery editor Natasha Simons, and the new book is slated for 2018.