Pessl’s YA Debut to Delacorte

Author of the bestsellers Special Topics in Calamity Physics and Night Film, Marisha Pessl has inked a deal with Delacorte Press for her first YA novel. Beverly Horowitz took U.S., Canadian, and open market rights to Neverworld Wake from Amanda Urban at ICM Partners. The book, according to the publisher, is “a psychological suspense novel with a sci-fi twist.” In it, a group of teens who all attended the same elite prep school reunite a year after graduation. After a night on the town, the teens “are faced with an impossible choice—only one of them can live and the decision must be unanimous.” Neverworld is slated for a summer 2018 release.

Raybourn Re-signs at Berkley for Six Figures

In a six-figure world rights deal, Danielle Perez at Berkley signed Deanna Raybourn to write two more novels in her Veronica Speedwell series. The Penguin Random House imprint has published two titles in the Victorian-era mystery series, about the titular lepidopterist (aka moth and butterfly expert) who does some amateur sleuthing with her colleague Stoker, and is releasing book three in the series, A Treacherous Curse, in January 2018. This agreement covers books four and five, with book four, A Dangerous Collaboration, set for spring 2019.

‘Daring Book’ Author Sells Memoir

Andrea J. Buchanan sold world rights to her memoir, The Beginning of Everything: The Year I Lost My Mind and Found Myself, to Jessica Case at Pegasus Books. In the memoir Buchanan, author of the bestseller The Daring Book for Girls (William Morrow, 2012), explores, Pegasus said, her own “real-life neurological mystery,” in which a coughing fit led to brain trauma. (The coughing, the publisher explained, caused a tear in the membrane covering Buchanan’s brain and spinal cord. That tear then led to a situation in which the author’s brain “began to sink to the bottom of her skull.”) Now healthy, Buchanan, a mother of two, explores “Where was I when I wasn’t there?” Buchanan was represented by Laura Gross, who has an eponymous shingle, and her memoir is slated for April 2018.

Jackson Unleashes His ‘Monsters’ with FSG

L.A. Times Book Prize finalist Jeff Jackson sold Destroy All Monsters to Jeremy Davies at FSG Originals (the paperback line at Farrar, Straus and Giroux). Jaida Temperly at New Leaf Literary & Media, who brokered the world rights deal, said the literary coming-of-age novel was pitched as “a dark valentine to rock ‘n’ roll.” Following a woman dealing with the fallout from “a sudden epidemic of gun violence in underground music clubs,” the novel also includes a novella, which, Temperly explained, functions like the “B side” of a record. Elaborating, Temperly said the novella is an alternate history of the novel, and will appear at the end of the book. While production specifics have not been finalized, readers will likely need to “flip the book” to read the novella, she said. Publication is set for fall 2018.

Lee Sells ‘Gentleman’s Guide’ Follow-up

Mackenzi Lee, author of the forthcoming YA novel The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, sold a follow-up title to HarperCollins’s Katherine Tegen Books imprint. Lee sold world English rights to A Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy to Claudia Gabel. Gentleman’s Guide, an Indie Next pick, will be published by Katherine Tegen at the end of this month. A Lady’s Guide, the publisher said, “follows the adventures of Felicity Montague as she joins the daughter of a notorious pirate queen on a quest to discover legendary sea monsters before the tyrannical English Navy captures and harnesses them.” Rebecca Podos at the Rees Literary Agency represented Lee, selling world English rights.


At Overlook Press, Chelsea Cutchens took world English rights to Jon Michael Varese’s debut, The Spirit Photographer. Agent Jacques de Spoelberch, who has an eponymous shingle and represented Varese, said the book is based on an actual photographer named William Mumler who worked in Boston and New York before, and after, the Civil War. De Spoelberch called the book “a sweeping story that travels from the well-mannered rooms of New England to the sultry bayous of Louisiana” and “shows us how undeniably the ghosts of the past remain with us.” The Spirit Photographer is scheduled for March 2018.