Tor Goes Deep with Wexler
In a three-book North American rights deal, Tor Teen’s Ali Fisher bought Django Wexler’s YA debut, a trilogy called Deepwalker. The publisher said the series, which Seth Fishman at the Gernert Company sold, is an epic fantasy about a teenage girl trained in “the art of combat magic” who is “blackmailed into stealing a legendary ghost ship.” The first book in the series, which is currently untitled, is slated for winter 2019.
B&N Discover Winner Sells Sophomore Novel
Abby Geni, who won the 2016 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers award for her debut novel The Lightkeepers, sold her second novel to Dan Smetanka at Counterpoint Press. Smetanka bought North American rights to Zoomania from Laura Langlie, who has an eponymous shingle. Describing Zoomania, Langlie said it’s “both a literary page-turner and an examination of the shifting relationship between human beings and the natural world.” The Lightkeepers, also published by Counterpoint, won a number of other literary awards and has been optioned by Legendary TV (Dexter).
Educational Media Brand Teams with Rodale Kids
Rhea Lyons at Rodale Books struck a world rights deal with the media and education group Story Pirates for two books, the first of which is called The Story Pirates Present: Stuck in the Stone Age. Rodale said that the books, which will be written by bestselling middle grade author Geoff Rodkey (The Tapper Twins), will be sci-fi thrillers designed “to help readers learn how to create their own stories.” Founded in 2004, Story Pirates is a group that aims to celebrate the stories young people create and share; in addition to performing in schools, the group produces a podcast and a SiriusXM radio show called Story Pirates Radio. Stuck in the Stone Age is based on an idea from a sixth grader in Tennessee—Story Pirates solicited plot ideas from kids—who, Rodale elaborated, “imagined a pair of modern-day scientists who are transported back to prehistoric times, where they have to use their wits to face down a myriad of B.C.-era hazards.” The book will be released by the Rodale Kids imprint. In the deal, Story Pirates was represented by Stephen Barbara at InkWell Management, while Rodkey was represented by Josh Getzler at Hannigan Salky Getzler.
Grammy-Winning Children’s Musician Sells First Picture Book
For her eponymous imprint at Penguin Young Readers Group, Nancy Paulsen took world rights to Señorita Mariposa by children’s musician Ben Gundersheimer. Under his recording name, Mister G, Gundersheimer has released a number of albums for children in Spanish and English; in 2015 he won a Latin Grammy for his album Los Animales. Señorita Mariposa, which Zoe Sandler at ICM Partners sold, is Gundersheimer’s debut picture book; Sandler said the title will “celebrate butterfly migration as witnessed by American and Mexican children.” The book is slated for 2018 and will be illustrated by Mexican artist Marcos Almada Rivero.
Mejia Brings Latest to Emily Bestler
Mindy Mejia (The Dragon Keeper) sold a currently untitled thriller to Emily Bestler, for her eponymous imprint at Simon & Schuster. The new book, which is set in Duluth, Minn., and the Boundary Waters (a wilderness area that stretches from northern Minnesota into Canada), is slated for summer 2018. This novel follows Mejia’s latest psychological thriller, Everything You Want Me to Be, which Bestler released under her imprint in January. Everything, the publisher said, has garnered strong media attention; among other things, it was named a best new mystery by the Wall Street Journal and one of 2017’s best fiction cooks by Bustle. Stephanie Cabot at the Gernert Company represented Mejia, selling U.S., Canadian, and open market rights to the book.
Da Capo Press’s Robert Pigeon took world rights to Brian Murphy’s 13 Adrift, about the lone survivor of a ship hit by an iceberg in 1853. Murphy (81 Days Below Zero) details how Thomas Nye, on a trip from Liverpool to Boston, managed to stay alive in a lifeboat for 10 days. (The title is derived from the fact that Nye’s lifeboat initially carried 13 people, including himself.) Da Capo said the book, which Russell Galen at Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary sold, tells a story “of survival and morality set in the era of Irish immigration”; it’s scheduled for fall 2018.