DEAL OF THE WEEK
May’s Debut Draws Seven Figures
In a seven-figure deal, Custom House’s Katherine Nintzel bought North American rights to Wahala by Nikki May in a two-book agreement. The publisher said the debut novel was acquired by Doubleday Books in the U.K. It was pitched “as Sex and the City meets My Sister the Serial Killer” and follows “three 30-something Anglo-Nigerian women in London whose lives are blown apart when a glamorous friend from their past reappears.” The author, who was born in England and raised in Nigeria, was represented by Catherine Cho at London’s Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency. May ran an ad agency in the U.K. before becoming a full-time writer.
FROM THE U.S.
Maines’s Memoir Goes to Dial
Transgender activist and actress Nicole Maines sold a currently untitled memoir to Dial Press. Caitlin McKenna took world rights to the book from Lauren MacLeod and Wendy Strothman at the Strothman Agency. Maines’s book, Dial said, aims “to correct some of the most insidious messaging absorbed by queer kids and all young women—from the idea that any one thing can (or should) ever really ‘fix’ you to wondering what’s wrong with you when things don’t always feel better—by providing an intimate look at her life and all the lessons she’s learned along the way.”
Morrow Buys Wedge’s ‘Slam’
Journalist and true crime author Dave Wedge sold a book about longtime ATF agent Ken Croke’s infiltration of an outlaw motorcycle gang to William Morrow. Matt Harper took North American rights to Slam: Taking Down the Notorious Pagan Motorcycle Club for six figures. Peter Steinberg at Foundry Literary + Media, who sold the book, said Croke spent two years infiltrating the Pagan Motorcycle Club (which was a rival of the Hells Angels), and that during this period he “led a heart-pounding, dangerous double life faking drug use, living with killers, even going to jail while remaining undercover.” Wedge, a former investigative reporter at the Boston Herald, is the author of Boston Strong: A City’s Triumph over Tragedy (which was adapted into the film Patriots Day).
Cervantes Closes Double at Auction
After a seven-house auction, Razorbill’s Julie Rosenberg bought world English rights to J.C. Cervantes’s YA novel Flirting with Fate in a two-book deal. Holly Root at Root Literary represented Cervantes. The second book is a currently untitled novel. Root said Flirting with Fate is an L.A.-set contemporary romance that “introduces three hilarious, tight-knit sisters; the ghost of their dearly departed grandmother; and a fifth-century saint charged with aiding them in setting their fate right.” The novel is set for 2021.
Newman Lands at Scribner
Former Oprah.com editor Leigh Newman sold two books to Kathy Belden at Scribner. The first, Nobody Gets Out Alive, is her debut short story collection and, Belden said, is set in Alaska. It features tales of “women living the kind of frontier life we associate with men.” The second book, The Survivalists, is Newman’s debut novel and follows a family who discover that a survivalist squatter has taken up residence near their remote cabin in Alaska. Nicole Aragi at Aragi Inc. represented Newman in the North American rights agreement.
Chopra Hits ‘Peak’ at Crown
Deepak Chopra sold Peak Living: The Hidden Path to Abundance to Diana Baroni at Crown for a rumored seven figures. The world rights agreement was brokered by Robert Gottlieb at Trident Media Group. Gottlieb said the book “offers a step-by-step solution to stripping away unnatural feelings of self-doubt and fear, so we can instead embrace our natural state of abundance and tap into real happiness and wealth.”