Sheffield’s Latest to Dey Street

In a North American rights deal, Rolling Stone contributor Rob Sheffield sold a currently untitled book to Dey Street’s Carrie Thornton, his longtime editor. Sheffield began his editorial relationship with Thornton almost 15 years ago, with 2004’s Love Is a Mix Tape; this book, his sixth with Thornton, is, Dey Street said, about the “important and untold significance of the female artist in popular music.” Employing his usual mix of memoir and criticism, Sheffield, the publisher went on, will celebrate the way women “have shaped music on stage and behind the scenes.” Matthew Elblonk at DeFiore and Company represented the author.

Flatiron Carries Lee’s ‘Water’
Shannon Lee, the daughter of Bruce Lee, sold a book titled Be Water, My Friend that describes how to find a path for self-improvement in the philosophies of her father. Flatiron Books’ Sarah Murphy preempted world English rights to the title from Albert Lee and Jane von Mehren at Aevitas Creative Management. Noting that Shannon Lee is the only living child of Bruce Lee, Flatiron said the book will be a guide to his “writings and teachings” that show “how these principles can inspire a life of personal growth and self-actualization.”

Berkley Re-ups Barton
Bestselling author Fiona Barton closed a three-book deal with her current publisher, Berkley, for a trio of standalone novels. Barton’s debut, The Widow, was released by Berkley in 2016; her third novel under a previous deal with the house, The Suspect, will go on sale in February 2019. The latest deal, which Madeleine Milburn at the Madeleine Milburn Agency brokered with Berkley's Danielle Perez, will cover three new titles that do not feature reporter Kate Waters, the heroine of Barton’s three previous novels. The Widow, Berkley noted, has been sold in 35 territories and Playground Entertainment (Howards End) has optioned TV rights to a miniseries featuring Waters.

Opium Book Preempted by Hachette
John Halpern, the medical director of the Boston Center for Addiction Treatment, sold world English rights to a book titled Opium to David Lamb at Hachette Books. Subtitled An Intimate History of the Flower That Changed the World, the book, the publisher said, is an examination of the current opioid crisis through a history of opium. Hachette explained that the title, which Johanna Maaghul at Waterside sold, will begin with “the epic story of how opium was first cultivated and refined” and work up to how it was “ushered into modern medicine by psychiatrists such as Freud, and used as a model for a wave of pharmaceuticals that laid the groundwork for today’s heroin epidemic.” Opium is set for spring 2019. Halpern, a psychiatrist, is writing the book with David Blistein (David’s Inferno).

Rowley’s ‘Where the Missing Go’ Heads to Kensington
Kensington’s John Scognamiglio bought two books by Emma Rowley from Orion rights director Jessica Purdue. The acquisition included rights in the U.S., its territories, and the Philippines, plus audio rights. The first title under the deal, Where the Missing Go, is slated for 2019; the second, Tell Me Everything, is set for 2020. Kensington compared Where the Missing Go to Harlan Coben’s Tell No One and said it’s about a mother who, while doing charity work for a helpline, “receives a desperate phone call from her own daughter, who went missing four years earlier.”

Da Capo Snares Seattle Band Member Memoir
Mark Lanegan sold his memoir, Sing Backwards and Weep, to Ben Schafer at Da Capo Press in a world rights agreement. Lanegan, who was represented by Byrd Leavell at United Talent Agency, was an occasional lead singer for such bands as Screaming Trees and Queens of the Stone Age; the book chronicles the years he spent in Seattle, from the late 1980s to the late 1990s, when he was with the Screaming Trees. Lanegan writes about, Da Capo said, his time as “a low-level crack dealer and a homeless heroin addict, during the music phenomenon that rocketed out of the Northwest and brought the bands of some of his closest friends to the forefront of popular music worldwide.” The book is set for a spring 2020 release.

For more children’s and YA book deals, see our latest Rights Report.

Correction: An earlier version of this article identified Mark Lanegan as the lead singer for the bands Screaming Trees and Queens of the Stone Age; he was, per the publisher, "an occasional lead singer" for these bands. Also, John Halpern is a psychiatrist, not a former psychiatrist. And Fiona Barton's The Widow has sold, to date, in 35 territories, not 23.