Putnam Lands Authorized Dracula Prequel

In a six-figure North American rights agreement, Dacre Stoker and author J.D. Barker sold a Dracula prequel to Putnam after a five-house auction. Dracul, which is the first Dracula prequel authorized by the Bram Stoker estate, also sold in a film deal to Paramount with director Andy Muschietti (Mama) attached. Agent Kristin Nelson, who has an eponymous shingle, handled both deals; for the film sale she worked with Angela Cheng Caplan, at Cheng Caplan Co., and attorney Wayne Alexander. Nelson said that Dracul is about a 21-year-old Bram Stoker meeting the demonic being—“whom he traps in an ancient tower, all the while scribbling the events that led him there”—who will go on to become the subject of his iconic 1897 novel. Mark Tavani at Putnam acquired Dracul, which has also sold in the U.K. (to Transworld) and in France (to Michel Lafon). Barker’s writing credits include the 2014 horror thriller Forsaken (Hampton Creek); Dacre Stoker is the great-grandnephew of Bram Stoker.

Farrell Takes Debut to Thomas & Mercer
For Thomas & Mercer, Megha Parekh took world rights to Matthew Farrell’s debut thriller, What Have You Done. Curtis Russell at P.S. Literary Agency represented Farrell, who’s published some short stories in the fantasy/horror magazine Heavy Metal. The novel, Russell said, is about two brothers working in the homicide unit of the Philadelphia police department. When they “dive deeper into the murder investigation of a woman they both know,” he explained, “they begin to suspect one another.” What Have You Done is set for a fall 2018 publication.

Watson to Bloomsbury in Five-Book Agreement
In a U.S. rights deal for five books, children’s author Renée Watson has re-upped with her current editor, Bloomsbury’s Sarah Shumway, selling a standalone middle grade novel, a standalone young adult novel, two books in a new middle grade series, and a YA novel cowritten with poet Ellen Hagan. Watson, whose books include Piecing Me Together (Feb.) and This Side of Home (2015), had her debut middle grade novel, What Momma Left Me, named an ABA New Voices Pick. The standalone middle grade novel in the deal, which is currently untitled, is set for January 2019; Bloomsbury said it’s about “a West Coast girl who visits Harlem to meet her father’s family for the first time.” The standalone YA novel is set for winter 2020, and the middle grade novels are slated for spring 2020 and spring 2021. The YA collaboration with Hagan (which will be Hagan’s YA debut), Write Like a Girl, is set for spring 2019. Bloomsbury said Girl is “a dual narrative about best friends, one black and one white, who are classmates at a progressive New York City high school” where they start a school blog that goes viral. Rosemary Stimola at the Stimola Literary Studio represented Watson in the deal, and Cindy Uh at the Thompson Literary Agency represented Hagan.

Donaldson’s YA Thriller to Razorbill
Let It Burn, a YA thriller by Jennifer Donaldson about two teens who fall into dangerous relationships, has been acquired at auction by Razorbill’s Ben Schrank. The novel follows Gabe and Elyse, who, the publisher said, “are drawn into irresistible romances that quickly turn obsessive and dangerous, forcing their paths to intertwine with deadly consequences.” Lanie Davis at Alloy Entertainment represented Donaldson, selling world English rights to two books in the deal. Let It Burn is set for a summer 2018 release.

Jack David at ECW Press bought world rights to Rich Donovan’s Unleash Different: My Path to Unlocking Disability as the World’s Largest Emerging Market. Donovan is CEO of the Return on Disability Group, which offers strategic advice to companies on recruiting people with disabilities. Leah Spiro at Riverside Creative Management, who represented Donovan, said the book “tells his inspiring life story about rising from a Canadian school for ‘crippled children’ to managing $6 billion for one of Wall Street’s leading firms.” My Path is slated for fall 2018.

Correction: In an earlier version of this article, the names of Leah Spiro and Lanie Davis were misspelled.