HC Buys YA Novel About Black Love

Clockwise from top l.: Angie Thomas, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Dhonielle Clayton, Nicola Yoon, and Ashley Woodfolk.

After a 12-way auction, HarperCollins’s Quill Tree Books won North American rights to Blackout, a YA novel of interlinked stories by Dhonielle ClaytonTiffany D. JacksonNic StoneAngie ThomasAshley Woodfolk, and Nicola YoonMolly Ker Hawn at the Bent Agency, who represented Clayton, said the book features six “stories of Black love” and takes place over the course of a single day in New York City during a blackout and heat wave. She added that it was Clayton’s “brainchild.” Rosemary Brosnan acquired Blackout in a two-book deal. The novel was also acquired, for six figures, by Egmont in the U.K. Ker Hawn handled the sale on behalf of Natalie Lakosil at Bradford Literary Agency (who represents Jackson), Mollie Glick at CAA (who represents Stone), Brooks Sherman at Janklow & Nesbit (who represents Thomas), Beth Phelan at Gallt & Zacker (who represents Woodfolk), and Jodi Reamer at Writers House (who represents Yoon). Blackout is slated for summer 2021.



Ballantine Nabs New McMillan

For Ballantine, Hilary Rubin Teeman bought world rights to Terry McMillan’s Safety. McMillan’s 11th novel follows “the lives of patrons and staff at a beloved California diner after a catastrophic accident forces its temporary closing,” Ballantine said. Molly Friedrich at the Friedrich Agency brokered the deal, which also includes a currently untitled collection of stories, poetry, and other writings.

Collins’s Debut Goes to Mira

At Mira, April Osborn won North American rights at auction to the debut novel by Flora Collins, Nanny Dearest. Stephen Barbara at InkWell Management, who represented Collins, said Nanny Dearest is a work of suspense “about a woman who takes comfort in reconnecting with her childhood nanny after her father’s death, until she starts to uncover dark secrets the nanny has been holding for 20 years.” Switching between the present and the 1990s, the story is told from the alternating points of view of the woman and the nanny. Nanny Dearest is set for fall 2021. The deal also includes a second, currently untitled novel slated for 2022.

Albanese’s ‘Hester’ Needles SMP

Laurie Lico Albanese sold a novel inspired by an American literary classic to St. Martin’s Press for six figures. Sarah Cantin took world rights to Hester, which she said is set in Salem in the 1820s and “imagines the life of a Scottish needleworker whose intimate connection to Nathaniel Hawthorne inspires The Scarlet Letter.” The heroine’s ancestors, Cantin added, were accused of witchcraft. Heather Schroder at Compass Literary brokered the two-book agreement.

Richardson Re-ups at Sourcebooks

Sourcebooks’ Shana Drehs bought a novel by Kim Michele Richardson in a six-figure agreement. The publisher said the currently untitled book is both “a sequel and a standalone companion” to Richardson’s The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, set in Kentucky 12 years after that novel ends. The new title “explores the unbreakable bonds of sisterhood, strength, and courage.” Stacy Testa at Writers House represented Richardson.