DEAL OF THE WEEK
Scribner Pours into More Whiskey and History from Clay Risen
Clay Risen, deputy op-ed editor at the New York Times, spends his own writing life focusing on equal parts whiskey (American Whiskey, Bourbon and Rye) and American history (The Bill of the Century). In a rumored six-figure, two-book deal, Scribner executive editor Kathy Belden acquired North American rights to Red Scare and The Whiskey Barons, covering both of Risen’s interests. In the former, Risen focuses on America’s concern with communism from the end of World War I through 1957. The latter, the publisher said, is a story about “the epic clash of personalities in the Gilded Age between two business titans who battled for control of the whiskey industry.” Heather Schroder at Compass Talent brokered the deal.
FROM THE U.S.
Johns Hopkins Signs New Book by Seema Yasmin
Just six weeks after she brokered a six-figure deal for science journalist Seema Yasmin’s Muslim Women Do Things, Lilly Ghahremani of Full Circle Literary sold Yasmin’s The Handbook for Science Journalism (spring 2021) to Robin Coleman at Johns Hopkins University Press. In the book, Yasmin combats misinformation and addresses the editorial mandate to report both sides of a debate when one is patently false, citing debates surrounding climate change and vaccines as two examples. The book arrives at a perilous time for journalists—in Reporters Without Borders’ most recent listing, the U.S. ranks as one of the top five most dangerous places to be a journalist (due in part to the shooting deaths of five employees of the Capital Gazette in Maryland last year).
‘Riverdale’ Star Takes Debut to Wednesday Books
Actress Asha Bromfield, who plays Melody Valentine on the CW show Riverdale, sold her debut YA novel to Wednesday Books. Sara Goodman bought North American rights to Hurricane Summer from Sabrina Giglio at William Morris Endeavor. Slated for spring 2021, the novel is set in Jamaica circa 2008, when Hurricane Gustav hit the island.
Gallery Grabs Next Three by Christina Lauren
Gallery senior editor Kate Dresser bought the 25th, 26th, and 27th books from Christina Lauren, a pseudonym of Lauren Billings and Christina Hobbs (The Unhoneymooners), whom the publisher calls a “rom-com powerhouse author duo.” The Honey Don’t List, the first of the trio brokered by Holly Root at Root Literary, is due in spring 2020.
● Producer David Haring has picked up film rights to Kat Martin’s Texas Trilogy. He will develop the first of the trio, Beyond Reason, for his Tin Res Entertainment company.
● The Bookseller announced that Alan Samson, publisher and chair of Weidenfeld & Nicolson, scooped up U.K. and Commonwealth rights to Julie Andrews’s new memoir, [em]Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years[/em]. Cowritten with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, Home Work, due out October 15, picks up where her previous book, Home, left off.
● Laura Lindstedt became an instant literary darling in her native Finland when her 2007 debut novel, Oneiron, was nominated for the Findlandia Prize, the country’s most prestigious literary honor. Her new novel, My Friend Natalia, published in Finland in March, is proving to be another hotter-than-July title. Elina Ahlbäck, who has an eponymous agency, reports that last week she closed deals for France, Italy, and Sweden and that Denmark, Spain, U.K., and U.S. deals are imminent.
● Atlantic Books was the winner of a seven-way bidding war for a prison diary by filmmaker Chris Atkins, who spent five years in southwest London’s HM Prison Wandsworth, The Bookseller reported. Editorial director Mike Harpley bought U.K. and Commonwealth rights from Gordon Wise at Curtis Brown.
For more children’s and YA book deals, see our latest Rights Report.