Pinborough Re-ups with Morrow

On the heels of the success of her debut adult thriller, Behind Her Eyes, Sarah Pinborough re-upped with her publisher, William Morrow. Pinborough signed a seven-figure, three-book North American rights agreement with David Highfill. (Her U.K. agreement, with HarperFiction, was for six figures.) The first book under the deal, which Grainne Fox at Fletcher and Co. negotiated, is called Cross Her Heart and is slated for 2018. Morrow said Heart is a “twisty thriller about a mother whose past comes back to threaten her in catastrophic ways.” Behind Her Eyes has, since its January release, sold over 100,000 copies in the U.S. and become a bestseller (in both hardcover and paperback) in the U.K. The thriller has also been optioned for television by U.K.-based Left Bank Pictures (The Crown).

Scribner Takes in Nuila’s ‘Unfortunates’

In a North American rights acquisition, Kathy Belden at Scribner bought Ricardo Nuila’s nonfiction book The Poor Unfortunates. A deep dive into a hospital in Houston called Ben Taub that caters to the indigent and undocumented, the book, Belden said, is reminiscent of narrative nonfiction titles like Sheri Fink’s Five Days at Memorial. Nuila, who is a doctor and a journalist, explores, Belden explained, “how American justice and medical systems often fail the poor, sick, and underserved in our country, how Ben Taub has managed to overcome the odds and provide excellent care for all its patients, and how facilities across the country might hope to do the same.” Anna Stein at ICM Partners represented Nuila.

Candlewick Gets Smooth with Burns

Kaylan Adair at Candlewick acquired world English rights to a book called Smooth that it described as Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret “for the male teen psyche.” The YA debut, by Matt Burns, is about a teenager with acne whose new dermatology medication, he hopes, will lead to an improvement in his social status. He’s trying to figure out, the publisher said, if the drugs are “also making him stressed out and lonely, or if that’s just a side effect of being 15.” Katelyn Detweiler at Jill Grinberg Literary Management represented Burns. The book is set for a 2020 publication.

Behar Buys Michaels’s ‘Keys’ for New Imprint

For her just-announced and not-yet-named new imprint at Little, Brown, Tracy Behar nabbed North American rights to Jillian Michaels’s The Six Keys: How the Ageless Unlock Hidden Genetic Potential to Defeat Disease, Get Leaner, and Grow Stronger Each Year. Michaels is a fitness guru and bestselling author who shot to fame as one of the trainers on the TV show The Biggest Loser. The book, LB said, will offer a “revolutionary” plan to “reverse the effects of aging and maintain optimal health for life.” Agent Heather Jackson, who has an eponymous shingle, sold the book, which is slated for December 2018.

Hyperion Buys YA Debut, ‘Gray’

Twenty-three-year-old Christine Lynn Herman sold her YA debut, The Devouring Gray, in a two-book North American rights deal. Hannah Allaman and Emily Meehan at Disney’s Hyperion imprint struck the agreement with Kelly Sonnack at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Sonnack said the novel, which sold along with a planned sequel, is “an atmospheric contemporary fantasy” that was pitched “as a cross between Stranger Things and The Raven Boys.” Gray follows four teens who, Sonnack said, have “the power to protect their town from a monster, if their families’ dark secrets don’t devour them first.”


Chip Fleischer at Steerforth Press took North American rights to Ike’s Mystery Man, a biography of Robert Cutler by Peter Shinkle. Agent Jacques de Spoelberch at J de S Associates, who represented Shinkle, said the book will be an “intimate” portrait of the country’s first national security advisor. As de Spoelberch explained, the book details how Cutler helped President Eisenhower through a tumultuous period during the Cold War. The book will also, the agent added, feature new information that Shinkler uncovered, showing that “Cutler harbored a deep personal secret.” The book is set for fall 2018.

For Nation Books, Katy O’Donnell bought world rights to Akiba Solomon and Kenrya Rankin’s tentatively titled How We Fight White Supremacy: A Field Guide to Black Resistance. The book will feature a range of works from essays to interviews to visual art; it will, the publisher said, “show readers what the fight for freedom and justice looks like—and how each of us can contribute.” Tanya McKinnon at McKinnon McIntyre represented the authors, who are both award-winning journalists.