L.A. Yogi Gets Woke at SoundsTrue
In a six-figure, world rights deal at auction, yoga and meditation teacher Justin Michael Williams sold Stay Woke: A Meditation Guide for the Rest of Us to Sounds True. Jennifer Y. Brown bought the book from Gareth Esersky at the Carol Mann Agency. Esersky said Williams’s book is “targeted to a multiracial, millennial audience” and will offer guidance to “a new generation of meditators.”
Soloway’s Topple Adds First Books
TV writer/creator Jill Soloway’s recently announced imprint at Amazon, Topple Books, has acquired its first two titles. Topple, which focuses on titles by women of color and those who identify as gay, queer, bi, trans, and/or gender nonconforming, has taken world rights to Precious Brady-Davis’s I Have Always Been Me: A Memoir and Lucile Scott’s An American Coven(ant). Brady-Davis is an LGBTQ advocate and her book, Amazon said, will chronicle her “traumatic childhood of abandonment and neglect and her resilience as a biracial, Pentecostal, queer young person growing up in Omaha, Nebr.” Scott’s book, Amazon said, is a “queer-feminist pop history of how mystical traditions intersected with modern feminism in America.” Melissa Edwards at Stonesong represented Brady-Davis, and Jane Dystel at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret represented Scott. The books are both set for 2020, with Brady-Davis’s book to be edited by Hafizah Geter and Scott’s to be edited by Erin Calligan Mooney.
Fleischmann Takes Debut to Berkley
For Berkley, Jen Monroe took North American rights, at auction, to Raymond Fleischmann’s debut, How Quickly They Disappear. Monroe bought the literary mystery, along with a second title, from Michelle Brower at Aevitas Creative Management. How Quickly They Disappear, slated for early 2020, is set in the early 1940s, Berkley said, and follows a woman living in a remote Alaska town who is haunted by her twin sister who disappeared two decades earlier. When a World War I veteran shows up in town claiming her sister is still alive, the heroine “must determine how far she’ll go to uncover the truth.” Fleischmann, an MFA graduate of Ohio State University, has published work in, among other journals, the Iowa Review and the Los Angeles Review.
Blackstone Nabs Debut for Six Figures
Rick Bleiwiess at Blackstone Publishing shelled out six figures, in a three-book deal, for James Wade’s debut novel, All Things Left Wild. Mark Gottlieb at Trident Media Group handled the world rights agreement, describing the novel as exploring “elements of race, religion, and human nature through a panoply of difficult decisions and deadly encounters during the turn of the 20th century.” Wade won the 2016 Writers’ League of Texas manuscript contest and was a finalist of the 2016 Tethered by Letters short story contest.
For Kensington, Esi Sogah took world rights to a new trilogy by Rebekah Weatherspoon called the Cowboys of California. Agent Holly Root at Root Literary said the western romance series is “set on a black-owned luxury dude ranch,” and the first book, A Cowboy to Remember, is “a twist on ‘Sleeping Beauty’ featuring a celebrity chef stricken with amnesia reunited with her high school crush.” A Cowboy to Remember is set for winter 2020.
Abby Jimenez, a winner of the Food Network show Cupcake Wars, sold a debut novel to Grand Central Publishing. The world rights agreement for The Friend Zone was brokered, at auction, by Grand Central’s Leah Hultenschmidt and Red Sofa Literary’s Stacey Graham. GCP said the book “tackles the realities of infertility and loss with wit, heart, and a lot of sass.” Jimenez is a motivational speaker and the owner of Nadia Cakes Bakery, which has locations in Minnesota and California.
For more children’s and YA book deals, see our latest Rights Report.