Ex Capitol Police Chief Sells ‘Courage’

Blackstone Publishing acquired North American rights to Steven Sund’s Courage Under Fire: Under Siege and Outnumbered 58 to 1 on January 6. Sund, the former Capitol Police chief, was represented by Shane Salerno at the Story Factory, who described the advance for the book as “near seven figures.” The title is set to be released Jan. 3, 2023, three days before the second anniversary of the Capitol riot, and is, per the publisher, like “Black Hawk Down at the U.S. Capitol.” Josh Stanton at Blackstone, who bought the book, added that Sund’s account contains details that "will alter some of the accepted facts about January 6” as well as “new insights about the cover-up that followed, including shocking new information that the American public needs to know.”

Allende’s ‘Wind’ Blows to Ballantine

For Ballantine, Jennifer Hershey took North American rights to Isabel Allende’s The Wind Knows My Name. The publisher said the novel, sold by Johanna Castillo at Writers House, is inspired by an actual case involving a daughter separated from her mother at the U.S. border and intertwines “past and present, tracing the ripple effects of war and immigration on one child in Europe in 1938 and another in the U.S. in 2019.” Ballantine added that Allende came across the story through an organization supported by the Isabel Allende Foundation. Allende is a perennial bestseller and has also received numerous awards, including the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters and PEN Center USA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The Wind Knows My Name is set for summer 2023.

Miller Goes Antiquing at Atria

Atria Books’ Natalie Hallak won C.L. Miller’s debut novel, The Antique Hunter’s Guide to Murder, at auction. Bought in a three-book, North American rights agreement with Simon & Schuster Canada, the novel is set to launch a series that follows a young woman who gets drawn back into the sometimes-dangerous world of antiques hunting after the mysterious death of her estranged mentor. Hannah Todd at the Madeleine Milburn Agency represented Miller, whose mother, Judith Miller, is an antiques expert and frequent guest on Antiques Roadshow and consulted on the book. Slated for spring 2024, The Antique Hunter’s Guide is, Atria added, “for fans of Agatha Christie, The Maid, and The Thursday Murder Club.

Gallery Games the Throne with Andersen

Christopher Andersen (The Day Diana Died) sold The King: The Life of Charles III to Aimee Bell at Gallery Books in a world English rights agreement. Andersen, who was represented by Ellen Levine from Trident Media Group, has been covering the royal family for nearly 50 years, and the book, set for November, is the first major biography of Charles since he ascended the throne. Gallery said Andersen has been working on the book for almost five years, and that it will be “a vivid and unsparing yet sympathetic portrait of one of the most complex and enigmatic figures of our time.” The King, Atria continued, draws on research and interviews with sources “including palace staffers, royal protection officers, courtiers, colleagues, and intimate friends of the royal family.”

Putnam Preempts Chen’s Debut

For Putnam, Tara Singh Carlson preempted North American rights to Karissa Chen’s debut novel, Homeseeking, from Michelle Brower at Trellis Literary Management. The author is editor-in-chief of Hyphen magazine, a nonprofit news and culture publication about Asian Americans. Homeseeking is, Putnam said, a sweeping tale about “two childhood sweethearts in Shanghai who are separated by war in 1947 as 16-year-olds and reunited by chance in their 70s at a 99 Ranch Market in Los Angeles.” Pitched “in the vein of Pachinko,” the novel had, at press time, sold in eight international deals.

Random House Signs Acker's 'Episode'

Camille Acker’s A Very Special Episode was acquired by Random House’s Jamia Wilson in a two-book world English rights agreement. Eleanor Jackson at Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary Agency represented Acker, author of the acclaimed 2018 novel Training School for Negro Girls. The new novel, the publisher said, follows “a young Black socialite” who, while about to realize her professional ambitions, “discovers a strange and secret housing facility that is tailored to a very specific vision of the past, the set of her favorite 1990s sitcom about a close-knit, middle-class Black family who never met a bootstrap they couldn’t grip.” The second book under contract, Mothership, is a story collection.

Gallery Re-ups V.C. Andrews Franchise

Gallery Books has signed a world rights agreement with A and E Studios to publish four more titles in the V.C. Andrews franchise. A and E acquired the franchise in 2021 and through this deal, negotiated by Alec Shane at Writers House, Rebecca Strobel will edit the titles and Andrew Neiderman will continue to write them. (Neiderman has been penning the Andrews titles for more than 35 years.) The first book under contract is set for 2023.

Khorram Gets Wined Up at Forever

At auction, Sam Brody at Forever bought YA author Adib Khorram’s adult debut, the Wine Pairing rom-com series. The three-book North American rights agreement was brokered by Molly O’Neill at Root Literary. The titles, Forever said, were pitched as “a modern, BIPOC- and queer-centered Sex in the City.” The publisher elaborated that the series follows “the fierce friendships—and many bottles of wine—that sustain three gay, Iranian American millennial men as they navigate misguided meet-cutes and steamy second-chance romances.” The books are set to publish in fall 2024, fall 2025, and fall 2026, respectively.