Katsu Develops a ‘Hunger’ For Putnam
Sally Kim, in her first acquisition as editorial director at G.P. Putnam’s Sons, preempted world rights to The Hunger by Alma Katsu. A former intelligence analyst for the CIA and Department of Defense, Katsu created the speculative thriller with book packager Paper Lantern. Putnam said the book dramatizes a bizarre tragedy from American history, adding a “Walking Dead–style twist.” The publisher added that the book was pitched as “a riff on the historical tale of the Donner Party.” Inkwell Management agents Richard Pine and Stephen Barbara brokered the sale, the former representing Katsu, and the latter representing Paper Lantern.
Counterpoint Goes ‘French’ with Ollestad
In a world rights deal, Dan Smetanka at Counterpoint bought French Girl with Mother, Norman Ollestad’s literary thriller. Rob Weisbach, who has an eponymous shingle, represented Ollestad. Smetanka called the novel a “tale of erotic intrigue” that “marries the spirit of James Salter and Patricia Highsmith with the velocity of The Art Forger.” It follows a young artist who goes to Europe searching for inspiration. After he watches a couple break up on a Paris street, he meets the woman in the former duo and accepts an invitation to sketch her at her country estate. The visit, Smetanka explained, opens up “a path to sexual treachery, family secrets, betrayal, and ultimately, crime.” Ollestad’s previous book, the memoir Crazy for the Storm (Ecco, 2009), was a New York Times bestseller, an Amazon Best Book of the Year, and an IndieNext selection.
Kingsnorth Signs With Graywolf
Paul Kingsnorth, who was longlisted for the 2015 Booker Prize for his crowdfunded debut novel, The Wake, has inked a two-book deal with Graywolf Press. Ethan Nosowsky took North American rights to the books from Jessica Woollard at U.K.-based agency David Higham and Associates. The first book in the deal, Beast, will continue the Buccmaster Trilogy Kingsnorth launched with The Wake, which was set in 1066 and written in a version of Old English. Beast is about an ancestor—or, as Graywolf put it, possibly “an avatar”—of the character from The Wake; the book follows him in the present day, the publisher continued, “during an episode of mental and spiritual breakdown deep in the moors of Western England.” The second book is an essay collection called Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist that features new and previously published pieces about, Graywolf said, the author’s belief that “global warming is a fait accompli.”
HMH Plays with the Mad Genius of ‘Food & Wine’
In a six-figure deal, Justin Schwartz at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt bought world rights to Justin Chapple’s Just Cook It! Chapple, who was represented by Stacey Glick at Dystel & Goderich, is the senior test-kitchen editor at Food & Wine and hosts an online video series and column for the magazine called “Mad Genius Tips.” The book will feature more than 125 recipes and, as Glick explained, “reinvents” them “while paying close attention to teaching simple, no-fuss lessons for impressive, everyday cooking.” Just Cook It! is slated for spring 2018.
Miller Takes ‘Wrecks’ to HarperTeen
Meredith Miller sold North American rights to her debut YA novel, Little Wrecks, to Emilia Rhodes at HarperTeen. Rhodes preempted the book from Allison Hellegers at Rights People, working on behalf of Danielle Zigner at U.K.-based LBA Books. Calling the book reminiscent of The Virgin Suicides, Hellegers said it follows three teenage girls on Long Island circa 1979 and stands as “a haunting story of female friendship and desire.” HarperTeen is planning to publish the book in summer 2017.
Rowman & Littlefield’s Suzanne Staszak took world rights to Maria Poloncheck’s In Good Faith: Raising Kids After Losing Religion. The author’s agent Jennifer Unter, who has an eponymous shingle, said the former evangelical Christian details in the book how she “forged a new path” for her children as “freethinkers.” The book is set for April 2017.
Sandro Ferri, publisher at Europa Editions, acquired world English rights to The Carousel of Desire by bestselling Belgian author Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt. The deal was brokered by Lucinda Karter at the French Publishers Agency on behalf of publisher Albin Michel. Set for release in September 2016, Carousel will be the first full-length novel of Schmitt’s published in the U.S.