DEAL OF THE WEEK
McKinty Re-ups at LB for Seven Figures
In a seven-figure deal for world rights, Adrian McKinty sold his next two novels to Little, Brown. Bruce Nichols and Craig Young at LB negotiated the agreement with Shane Salerno at the Story Factory. McKinty’s 2019 bestseller The Chain (also published by LB) has become a global hit; Salerno noted that the thriller has sold in 43 countries to date. The new deal comes as McKinty is still under contract with LB for a second book—The Chain sold in a two-book agreement with the publisher. The two books under the new deal, both thrillers, are currently untitled. Salerno added that the first book is “about an ingenious plan that goes awry and the horrible consequences that result.”
FROM THE U.S.
Sheff’s Ono Bio to S&S
The bestselling author of Beautiful Boy, David Sheff, is writing a biography of Yoko Ono. The currently untitled book was acquired by Simon & Schuster’s Eamon Dolan in a world English rights agreement. The book, set for spring 2024, will, S&S said, draw “on extensive time spent with Ono and her confidantes.” Dolan added that the biography “cuts through the thick layers of racism and sexism that have for decades clouded our vision of Ono’s impact and achievements.” Amanda Urban at ICM represented Sheff.
Bloomsbury Lands on Shafak’s ‘Island’
For Bloomsbury, Anton Mueller bought North American rights to Elif Shafak’s The Island of Missing Trees. The Booker-shortlisted author, who was represented by Jonny Geller at Curtis Brown UK, follows the story of a couple whose love affair crossed borders and seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Bloomsbury, elaborating, said the book is “the story of a Greek and Turkish couple who fall in love beneath a fig tree on the ethnically divided island of Cyprus in the 1970s as they confront generational trauma and find hope in the miraculous interdependence of natural ecosystems.”
Ryan’s ‘Black Women’ Joins Amistad
Patrik Henry Bass at Amistad bought April Ryan’s Black Women Will Save the World in a six-figure, North American rights agreement. The book was sold by Peter McGuigan at Ultra Literary on behalf of Ryan’s representative, Tracie Wilkes Smith at CSE. Ryan is an author and journalist who has been a White House correspondent for over two decades. In the book, Bass said, Ryan delivers “an urgent message about leadership, empowerment, and resilience.” Elaborating, Amistad said the title melds “history, commentary, and interview” to examine “the unique qualities that Black women bring to the most important issues of our time.”
Andrews’s Ghostwriter Turns Biographer
Gallery Books, home of the V.C. Andrews franchise, acquired a biography of the author by her longtime ghostwriter, Andrew Neiderman. (Neiderman continues to write new titles under the V.C. Andrews line, which is now in its 41st year.) The Woman Behind the Attic was nabbed by Rebecca Strobel from Alec Shane at Writers House in a world rights agreement. The publisher said the book relies on Andrews’s letters and essays, as well as Neiderman’s interviews with her family to “provide answers to decades-long questions and debates about the origins and details of her most famous work, Flowers in the Attic.”
Morrow Performs Cornwell’s ‘Autopsy’
Patricia Cornwell’s next Kay Scarpetta novel, Autopsy, was acquired by William Morrow. David Highfill took world English rights to the book from Esther Newberg at ICM Partners, and HC plans to publish the book through all of its English-language outposts—which, beyond the U.S., includes Australia/New Zealand, Canada, and the U.K.—in fall 2021. The novel, Morrow said, sees its heroine return to her home in Alexandria, Va. It is after the pandemic, and Scarpetta, the publisher went on, “must hunt a cunning serial killer terrorizing her own city while politicians cover up the truth.”
Fay Sprinkles the ‘Saffron’ for Putnam
Love & Saffron by Kim Fay was preempted by Putnam’s Tara Singh Carlson. The world rights agreement was brokered by Kate Garrick at the Karpfinger Agency. The novel, which is set in the 1960s, is, Putnam said, about “food and friendship” and is “told in letters.” It follows, Putnam elaborated, two women “of different generations and geographies who connect through a fan letter and the simple gift of saffron, sparking a deep and soul-changing friendship.” The novel is slated for spring 2022.
Frumkin Takes ‘Confidence’ to S&S
With a preempt, Zachary Knoll at Simon & Schuster bought world rights to R.A. Frumkin’s Confidence in a two-book deal. Frumkin (who previously wrote as Rebekah Frumkin) was represented by Ross Harris at the Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency, with Harris calling the novel “a thrilling, brainy caper and a viciously funny takedown of the fallacy of the American dream.” In it, two con-artist friends, who are also occasional lovers, attempt, Harris went on, “to pull off a major, global scheme on the scale of Theranos or Herbalife.” The second book, Bugsy, is a story collection.
Langan Enjoys ‘Night Out’ at Atria
Loan Le at Atria Books nabbed world rights to Mom’s Night Out by Sarah Langan (Good Neighbors). Stacia Decker at Dunow, Carlson & Lerner sold the near-future–set novel, which, Decker said, unfolds “in the cloistered world of the one percent.” It follows a mother who, after a night out, discovers something that “threatens to dismantle the entire system and reveals the ways in which women are gaslit.”