HMH Goes “Deep” with Davies
In a North American rights acquisition, Lauren Wein at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt bought Kate Davies’s debut, In at the Deep End. The novel, which HMH called a “frank, funny, and racy romantic odyssey,” has already sold in the U.K. and Germany; it follows a Londoner who, after a stretch of celibacy, realizes, HMH said, “she may have simply been looking for love—and just as importantly, satisfaction—in all the wrong places.” Sally Wofford-Girand at Union Literary represented the British author on behalf of Judith Murray at Greene and Heaton.
TV Scribe Takes NF Book to Simon & Schuster
Chad Sanders, writer and cocreator of the forthcoming BET scripted dramedy The Archer Connection, sold a book titled Black Magic to Emily Graff at Simon & Schuster. Sanders was represented by Eve Attermann at William Morris Endeavor. The Archer Connection follows the travails of a young black tech whiz named Archer Grant. The nonfiction book, which S&S said explores “black genius and excellence,” is based on interviews Sanders conducted with more than 50 black leaders, from artists to entrepreneurs. Elaborating, the publisher said the book will examine “the lessons learned from blackness that can be wielded to advance in an unjust world.” Graff took North American rights in the agreement.
McMeel Nabs Another Instagram Poet
Christopher Poindexter sold a poetry collection called Old Soul Love to Patty Rice at Andrews McMeel. Poindexter has more than 340,000 followers on Instagram and struck the deal with the publisher that arguably started the craze for so-called Instagram poets. (In 2015, Andrews McMeel released Milk and Honey by popular Instagrammer Rupi Kaur; that book has sold millions of copies to date, and a 2017 follow-up has been a big bestseller.) J.L. Stermer at New Leaf Literary & Media sold world rights to the book, calling it a collection of Poindexter’s “most popular Instagram pieces,” which all “explore the many shapes and forms of love.” Old Soul Love is set for fall.
HarperTeen Buys Thriller from French
Gillian French, an Edgar Award finalist for the 2017 novel Grit, re-upped with HarperTeen for a new thriller titled The Missing Season. Rosemary Brosnan took North American rights to the novel from Alice Tasman at the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. The thriller, according to Tasman, is set in the author’s home state of Maine, in a fictional town called Pender. It’s there, Tasman continued, that an unfortunate Halloween tradition has developed: a child goes missing on the holiday every year. “Though the town’s adults are quick to offer excuses,” Tasman said, “the Pender kids know what’s behind it: a horrific monster they call the Mumbler.” The book is set for May 2019.
For her eponymous imprint at Penguin, Kathy Dawson took world rights to two middle grade novels by Gail Shepherd. Bob Diforio at D4EO Literary represented the author and said the first book in the deal, The True History of Lyndie B. Hawkins, is a “coming-of-age story set in Tennessee about Lyndon Baines Hawkins, daughter of a veteran, whose love of history, especially family history, puts her in direct opposition to her fusspot grandmother.”
Kensington’s John Scognamiglio nabbed world rights to two hardcover mysteries by Peter Colt. The first book in the deal, a debut called The Off-Islander, is set in Boston circa 1982 and centers on a Vietnam veteran and PI named Andy Roark. Kensington said Roark is “a new sort of detective in a cinematic setting that is moody and provocative.” Colt is a police officer who lives in New England.
Bloomsbury’s Ben Hyman bought world English rights to Tom Standage’s A Brief History of Motion. Standage (A History of the World in 6 Glasses), a deputy editor at the Economist, was represented by Katinka Matson at Brockman. The book, Bloomsbury said, is “the civilization-spanning story of how each new dominant mode of transportation restructures the world around it, with a focus on the transformative adoption of the automobile and its lessons for the future.”
For his Make Me a World imprint at Knopf Books for Young Readers, Christopher Myers took world rights to Gravity by Sarah Deming. The YA novel, the publisher said, is about “an Olympics-caliber female boxer who comes of age physically and emotionally in a neighborhood gym.” Gravity, set for fall 2019, was sold by Alyssa Eisner Henkin at Trident Media Group.
For more children’s and YA book deals, see our latest Rights Report.