DEAL OF THE WEEK
Williams Tells All at Knopf
Actor Billy Dee Williams sold a currently untitled memoir to Knopf. Victoria Wilson took U.S. and Canadian rights to the book from Dan Strone at Trident Media Group. Strone said the memoir is “a rich coming-of-age portrait” that touches on Williams’s landmark performances, including his breakthrough part in 1971’s Brian’s Song and his most well-known role, that of Lando Calrissian in the original Star Wars trilogy. In addition, Strone said, the memoir tackles “his marriages; his Hollywood; his complex friendships with James Baldwin, Laurence Olivier, Duke Ellington, Gershwin, Brando, Sidney Poitier, Berry Gordy, Diana Ross, and George Lucas; and much more.” The book is scheduled for 2022.
FROM THE U.S.
Viking Pays Up for George’s Latest Lynley
In a seven-figure deal, Viking’s Brian Tart bought Elizabeth George’s 21st Inspector Lynley mystery, tentatively titled Something to Hide. The North American rights agreement was brokered by Robert Gottlieb at Trident Media Group, who said the book follows Thomas Lynley’s investigation into the death of a police detective, which, Gottlieb explained, forces him to “sort through a tangle of lies and deceit in a case that turns out to have far-reaching cultural associations he had not anticipated.”
Power Proves ‘Gold’ for Del Rey
In a two-book deal, Rory Power sold her adult debut, In a Garden Burning Gold, to Del Rey at auction. Sarah Peed nabbed North American rights to the novel, which Del Rey said follows twins with special powers and “near immortality” who “will do anything to keep their family safe—even if it tears them apart.” Power, whose lauded YA debut, Wilder Girls, became a bestseller after its release last July, was represented by Kim Witherspoon and Jessica Mileo at Inkwell Management.
Feiwel Gets American Girls
For Feiwel & Friends, Kat Brzozowski bought world rights to a currently untitled book by Allison Horrocks and Mary Mahoney. Sold by Lauren MacLeod at the Strothman Agency, the book will build on the American Girls podcast that the authors host about the American Girl brand (best known for its line of dolls). Elaborating, the agent said the work will be “part travelogue, part memoir, part pop culture–soaked meditation on the history, politics, and impact of these early historical dolls, book series, and beloved ’90s catalogues.” American Girls is set for a winter 2023 release.
Bloomsbury Fans Mellors’s ‘Cleopatra’
British author Coco Mellors sold her debut novel, Cleopatra and Frankenstein, to Grace McNamee at Bloomsbury. The book follows a young British painter whose marriage to an American, the publisher said, sets off “chaos and heartbreak in their own lives and the lives of their friends and family.” Mellors, who has an MFA from New York University, was represented by Millie Hoskins at U.K.-based United Agents. The book is set for winter 2022.
Evans Flies at Howard
Country music star Sara Evans sold Born to Fly to Simon & Schuster’s Howard Books. Howard bought U.S., Canadian, and open market rights to the memoir from Margaret Riley King at William Morris Endeavor, and Trish Todd will edit. The publisher said that in the book, Evans will “open up and share stories not only about her career and what it is like living in the spotlight, but about what inspires her and how her faith keeps her strong.” The memoir is set for September.