What will be hot in the rights center at this year’s London confab? Donna Tartt returns after another decadelong pause; Stephen Hawking writes about history... his own; Alice McDermott gets ordinary; Delia Ephron opens up about her sister; and Phil Collen goes on the record about Def Leppard.
Baror International will be bringing Christopher Golden’s Tin Men (Random, spring 2014), a thriller described as “Avatar meets Robopocalypse” that’s already been optioned by Warner Bros. for seven figures. Young adult author Lauren DeStafano, whose previous trilogy, Chemical Garden, sold in 21 languages, returns with The Internment Chronicles (Simon & Schuster, Oct.) this year at London for Baror. The novel takes place on a floating island in the clouds called Internment, where there’s only one rule: don’t approach the edge. Terry Goodkind’s latest, The Third Kingdom (Tor, Aug.), the sequel to The Omen Machine (2011), has already sold in the U.K. to HarperCollins. Kingdom follows what happens next in Richard and Kahlan’s world now that the war has ended. Set to be published within a few weeks of Dan Brown’s Inferno (May), Dan Burstein and Arne de Keijzer’s Secrets of Inferno aims to attract readers looking for more info on Dante, Florence, philosophy, art, and other topics addressed in Brown’s novel. Burstein and de Keijzer’s Secrets of the Code, which tied in with The Da Vinci Code, spent six months on the New York Times bestseller list in 2004. Secrets of Inferno is about 30,000 words in length and has no U.S. publisher yet. On the nonfiction front, Baror will bring The App Generation: Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in Today’s Youth by Howard Gardner and Katie Davis (Yale University Press, Nov.). Gardner and Davis, in researching the book, have studied the role of technology in the lives of young people (or “digital natives”) since 2006. Gardner has received a MacArthur Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and is perhaps most famous for his book Frames of Mind.
Curtis Brown/Gelfman Schneider
On the fiction side for CB is Margaret Atwood’s latest, Maddaddam (Nan Talese, Aug.), which is the final book in the author’s speculative trilogy that began with Oryx and Crake. Another big author the agency will be touting is John le Carré, whose A Delicate Truth (Penguin, Apr.) was billed by CB as “a furiously paced story of moral dilemma.” On Gelfman Schneider’s list is bestseller Jeffrey Deaver’s The October List (Grand Central, Oct.), which begins with the scene of a mother who has just shot and killed a man in the aftermath of her daughter’s kidnapping; narratively, the novel then works backward from there. From Child 44 author Tom Rob Smith is The Farm (Grand Central, spring 2014), a contemporary thriller set in Sweden and focused on the kidnapping of a young girl. The big nonfiction title from the agencies is Carol Baxter’s The Peculiar Case of the Electric Constable (OneWorld, Sept.), about the first murderer—a British man named John Tawell—who was captured using the telegraph.
DeFiore & Company
Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York (St. Martin’s, Oct.) is among the big titles featured by the agency. Based on the wildly popular Web site of the same name, the photo book will “bring urban humanity, style, and humor to life.” Fans of the #1 New York Times bestseller Eat to Live will find plenty of recipes in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Eat to Live Cookbook (HarperOne, Aug.). Inspired by the true life of Russian inventor Leon Theremin, Sean Michaels’s Us Conductors (Knopf Random Canada, 2014) will also be presented by the agency. Michaels is the creator of the music blog “Said the Gramophone” and is the North American music correspondent for the Guardian; U.S. rights are currently being sold. Another biographical title to be featured is God’s Pilot by Robert Coram (St. Martin’s/Dunne, spring 2015), which follows the life of World War II pilot and author Robert Lee Scott. With Korean and Arabic rights already sold, Ty Tashiro’s The Science of Happily Ever After: Why We Choose the Wrong Partners and the Three Wishes that Matter in the Quest for Enduring Love (Harlequin Nonfiction, February 2014) also hopes to make a splash at the show. Tashiro, a relationship psychologist, reveals the three traits that really matter in the search for love.
The Dijkstra Literary Agency
One title the Dijkstra Agency is excited about is Amy Tan’s Valley of Amazement (Ecco, Nov.). And with good reason: her books, including The Joy Luck Club and The Kitchen God’s Wife, have been translated into over 30 languages. In Valley, Tan focuses on the life of an elite Chinese-American courtesan who travels between Shanghai and San Francisco in the early years of the 20th century. Author of Why the West Rules, Ian Morris’s next book is War! What Is It Good For (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, spring 2014), which will present the counterintuitive argument for “why and how war has, after all, been good for something.” Preempted in a six-figure, two-book deal is Dan Ward’s F.I.S.T.: Why Being Fast, and Inexpensive, Simple and Tiny Makes Innovation Better (Harper, spring 2014). Ward, an Afghan War veteran, was recently asked to teach his F.I.S.T. program at the White House. Another Harper title is Janie Chang’s Three Souls (spring 2014), a novel about Leiyin Song’s journey to enter the afterlife after her punishment for disobedience.
Dystel & Goderich Literary Management
One of the titles DGLM will be talking up is the memoir Now I See You (St. Martin’s, spring 2014) by Nicole C. Kear, who found out at age 19 that she had a degenerative disease that would likely leave her blind by the age of 30. From self-published bestseller R.K. Lilley is the erotic romance series Up In the Air, about a conservative flight attendant who meets a rich hotelier on the job. Another big novel for the agency is Deathdates (Hyperion, late 2014/early 2015), the YA debut from adult mystery author Victoria Laurie, about a 17-year-old girl with the ability to predict when people will die. The agency will also be pushing the latest from Maze Runner author James Dashner, The Eye of Minds (Delacorte, Oct.), which is the first book in his Mortality Doctrine series and, DGLM said, follows a gamer who “fights an unseen, dangerous enemy in the VirtNet.” In addition, the agency is featuring the first two books in Angie Stanton’s YA contemporary romance series about the love lives of members of a rock band the Jamison Collection is being repackaged by Harper for a fall release after becoming self-published hits.
Foundry Literary + Media
On the nonfiction front, Foundry has David Menasche’s The Priority List (Touchstone, Sept.), a memoir by a popular Florida high school English teacher with terminal brain cancer. Menasche goes on a cross-country trip to reunite with former students and find out if, and how, he impacted their lives. Then there’s the originally self-published bestselling diet book Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle (Crown, Jan. 2014), by Tom Venuto, which the agency said “reveals the secrets of the leanest people in the world.” In the music arena is Def Leppard lead guitarist Phil Collen’s Photographs (Atria, fall 2014), which the agency called a “surprisingly sensitive yet satisfyingly raucous” take on his time with the heavy metal band. Moving to fiction, Foundry will be talking up screenwriter/director/producer Shane Kuhn’s debut, The Intern’s Handbook (Simon & Schuster, spring/summer 2014), about a guy named John Lago who creates a “survival guide” for interns at Human Resources Inc. (a front for an assassin training program). The other big novel for the agency is Feuds (St. Martin’s) by Avery Hastings, the first book in a series described as something with “echoes of Romeo and Juliet and Gattaca.”
The Gernert Company
Alice McDermott is one of Gernert’s notables, with Someone (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Sept.), a novel the agency said follows “the sharp pains and unexpected joys lived by an ordinary woman.” Another fiction title on Gernet’s hot list is Babayaga (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Aug.) by Toby Barlow, a tale set in postwar Paris about “star-crossed love, bloodthirsty witches, and a police inspector turned into a flea.” The other big novel for the agency is Charlie Lovett’s The Bookman’s Tale (Viking, June), which follows an antiquarian bookseller and will, Gernert said, appeal to fans of Carlos Ruiz-Zafon and Lee Carrell. One of the two nonfiction books Gernert will be pushing hard is Harvard Business School professor Anita Elberse’s Blockbusters: Hit-making, Risk-taking and the Big Business of Entertainment (Holt, Sept.), in which she delves into how and why it’s necessary to take risks in order to succeed in the entertainment industry. Then Harvard lecturer John Macmillan has Beatles vs. Stones (Simon & Schuster, Oct.), a history of the relationship between the two towering British rock bands.
The Frances Goldin Literary Agency
Among the agency’s notable novels is playwright Monica Byrne’s debut The Girl in the Road (Crown), which the shingle called a “near-future tale of a young woman walking from India to Africa on a forbidden bridge across the sea.” From author Lan Cao is The Lotus and the Storm, the follow-up to her bestselling Monkey Bridge, which describes the relationship between a daughter and her father, a former South Vietnamese colonel, as they are “forced to confront their lingering personal demons.” The other novel the agency is particularly excited about is Mary Miller’s debut, King Jesus Returns (Norton, Feb. 2014), which follows a teenage girl on a road trip with her devout and dysfunctional family. On the nonfiction side is Canadian journalist Brice Grierson’s What Makes Olga Run? (Holt, no pub date yet), about the 93-year-old athlete Olga Kotelko —her sport is track and field—and how she manages to perform at such a high level at her advanced age. The other big nonfiction book for the outfit is University of Kentucky professor Susan Bordo’s The Creation of Anne Boleyn (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Apr.), which it called “an appreciation of the doomed queen, and a critical look at the myths and slanders that have grown up around her.”
Sanford J. Greenburger Associates
As is to be expected, the latest from Dan Brown, Inferno (Doubleday, May), is on SJGA’s hot list. The new book features Brown’s hero, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon; this time around, Langdon is in Italy working on a mystery involving Dante’s eponymous text. Another big novel the agency will be pushing is Brad Thor’s Hidden Order (Atria/Emily Bestler, July), which is the latest in the bestselling Scot Harvath series. From Lamar Herrin is Fractures (St. Martin’s/Dunne, Nov.), which SJGA called an “emotional literary drama of a family struggling to hold it together.” Karen Sandler has Clean Burn (Exhibit A, Aug.), the first title in a new suspense series featuring the PI Janelle Watkins. From Sandra Marton comes the romance The Prince of Pleasure (self-published by the author in Nov. 2012), which is the first book in a new series called the Wilde Family Saga; SJGA noted that Marton has sold over 35 million copies in more than 20 languages. And Katie Sise has written The Boyfriend App (Balzer + Bray, May), a YA novel that the agency said is “for the iPhone generation” and features a “spunky, tech-savvy teenage girl inventor.”
ICM (handled by Curtis Brown)
One of ICM’s big novels in London will be the latest from Donna Tartt. The Goldfinch (Little, Brown, Oct.)—the author’s first book in over a decade—is, the agency said, a “haunted odyssey through present-day America.” From the author of The Summer Without Men, Siri Hustvedt, is The Blazing World (Simon & Schuster, 2014), described by ICM as “an intellectual detective story set in the art world.” The other big fiction here is Laura Kasischke’s Mind of Winter (HarperCollins, 2014), which plays out over the course of a single Christmas day, as tensions flair between a mother and her adopted teenage daughter, after they find themselves trapped in their home by a snow storm. On the nonfiction front, ICM will be talking up The Disaster Artist by Greg Sestero, writing with Tom Bissell (Simon & Schuster, Oct.), a memoir/account from a French-American actor who starred in the cult film The Room, which Entertainment Weekly called “the Citizen Kane of bad movies.” The agency’s other big nonfiction book is The Chaos Imperative by Ori Brafman (Crown, Aug.), about, ICM noted, “how organizations can drive growth and profits by allowing contained chaos.” Brafman is an organizational expert who cowrote, among other titles, Click.
On the fiction side, one of Inkwell’s big books is Courtney Cole’s If You Stay (Grand Central, spring), an originally self-published e-book bestseller that is the first installment in the Beautifully Broken series, about a bad boy who begins to mend his ways when he falls for a sweet girl. From Carole Radziwill is The Widow’s Guide to Sex & Dating (Holt, fall), which the agency described as a “deliciously smart comedy” about a widowed New Yorker looking to find a new relationship full of a passion she never knew. The other fiction title Inkwell will be pushing hard is bestseller David Vann’s 1978-set Goat Mountain (HarperCollins, Sept.), about an 11-year-old boy who joins his male family members on their annual deer hunt for the first time, only to watch the event unexpectedly take a tragic turn. Among the agency’s nonfiction offerings is U.S.C. neuroscience professor Antonio Damasio’s Once More with Feeling (Pantheon, 2014), which “aims to explain the development of cultures and civilizations from the perspective of the human brain.” And from lauded European journalist Janine di Giovanni, Seven Days in Syria (Norton, 2014) offers, the agency explained, a look at “the universal aspects of war” through the lens of the Syrian Civil War, which the author has been covering for the New York Times.
Janklow & Nesbit
Crazy Rich Asians (Doubleday, June) by Kevin Kwan is among J&N’s top titles in London; the debut novel is, the agency said, “outrageously funny” and follows “jet-setting, super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families” involved in “gossip, backbiting, and scheming.” From Jayne Anne Phillips is Quiet Dell (Scribner, Oct.), a novel based on a crime committed in 1931 in West Virginia. Then there’s the anthology edited by Ryan North, Matthew Bennardo, and David Malki, This Is How You Die (Grand Central, July), which is the follow-up to the trio’s hit Machine of Death. On the nonfiction front for J&N is Howard Blum’s Dark Invasion (Crown, Nov.), which follows NYPD Captain Tom Tunney, who, with a team of investigators, thwarted a major terror campaign perpetrated by German spies during WWI. The other nonfiction book the agency will be pushing hard is Sister Mother Husband Dog (Penguin/Blue Rider, Sept.) by Delia Ephron—a collection of essays and stories that J&N said is “anchored by a remembrance of losing her sister, Nora Ephron.”
William Morris Endeavor
Among the agency’s big books in London are Panache Desai’s series of three untitled inspirational books that Spiegel & Grau is tentatively set to launch in spring 2014. Desai has been featured on Oprah’s OWN Network, and these books, which will be short (under 200 pages each) and published in quick succession, will mark his print debut. Another major nonfiction book for the agency is Pulitzer-winner Sheri Fink’s narrative work Five Days at Memorial (Crown, Sept.), which WME called a “fast-paced” recreation of a week at a hospital devastated by Hurricane Katrina. From David King is The Trial of Adolf Hitler, which was, at press time, under auction in the U.S. and the U.K. The book, which chronicles Hitler’s trial after his first attempt to take down the German government (known as the Beer Hall Putsch), is, WME said, “the first book-length account of this gripping true story.” Another nonfiction notable is Benjamin Moser’s (authorized) Susan Sontag biography, which FSG bought in the States, and for which Moser (an editor at Harper’s) had, WME noted, “unprecedented access” to the subject’s son, David Reiff. On the fiction front is Brian Hart’s The Bully of Order, which was, at press time, also on submission in the U.S. and U.K, and follows characters in a town in the Pacific Northwest at the turn of the 20th century.
Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency
The agency will feature the lead title from Dutton’s fall list, M.D. Waters’s debut Archetype (early 2014), which is being pitched as a cross between S.J. Watson’s Before I Go To Sleep and Piers Anthony’s Total Recall (with some nods at Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale for good measure). The novel takes place in a futuristic world where women are a rare commodity. The heroine is trapped between two men—her enemy and her husband—but she can’t remember which is which. The book’s sequel, Prototype, will be published by Dutton six months later, in summer 2014. On the nonfiction side is Why Disasters Matter by John Mutter (spring 2014), for which Palgrave Macmillan has secured world English rights. In the book, Mutter, a natural scientist and a social scientist, examines the most extreme disasters to have rocked our planet over the last decade, and provides an optimistic exploration of how we can prevent future disaster outcomes. On the children’s front, Julie Bourbeau’s The Tyrant’s Daughter (Random House BYR, spring 2014) follows 15-year-old Laila, whose life has been turned upside down during her family’s exile from an unspecified Arab country, after her father—the king—was murdered. The agency has Sourcebooks’ fall lead title in The Book of Someday by Dianne Dixon (Sept.), which tells the stories of three women connected by a mystery. Rights in the U.K. and Poland have been sold for C.W. Gortner’s Borgia’s Daughter (Ballantine, summer 2014), the story of Lucrezia Borgia, one of history’s most infamous women, rumored to be both her father’s and her brother’s lover.
Jane Rotrosen Agency
Stephanie Evanovich’s debut Big Girl Panties (Morrow, July) was picked by PW as one of the most anticipated books of spring (Jan. 28) and will be featured by the agency at the show. Another hot novel on the list is Touch & Go by Lisa Gardner (Dutton, Feb.), which is about an entire family that goes missing and Detective D.D. Warren’s search to find them; U.K. rights have been sold to Headline. Julie Garwood’s Hotshot (Dutton, Aug.), which has sold world English rights, is about a group of sisters running an oceanfront resort when, one day, they begin receiving threats. Garwood is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and her books have been published in 33 languages. Bestselling author Kristin Hannah’s latest, Fly Away (St. Martin’s, May), is set in the same world as Firefly Lane, and begins at the end of Kate Ryan’s life; U.K. rights have been sold to Macmillan. The agency is also excited about Tami Hoag’s The 9th Girl (Dutton, June), the latest from the bestselling author whose books have been published in 32 languages. This book is about the discovery of a grisly murder in the Midwest, perhaps the latest in a string of serial murders plaguing the area.
Trident Media Group
Trident will be featuring two erotic contemporary romances centering on a young woman who meets an enigmatic martial arts master with knowledge of Japanese bondage. Called Unwound, the series is by Lorelei James and the books are set to be published by NAL in November 2013 and February 2014. (NAL has world English rights, and Trident will handle translation rights sales.) A book drawing comparisons to The Accidental Billionaires is filmmaker Blake Harris’s Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation (HarperCollins, spring 2014), a behind-the-scenes business thriller that the agency is also excited about; rights sold in Brazil. Three-time Edgar Award–winner T. Jefferson Parker’s Full Measure is also on Trident’s list. The novel is about 22-year-old Patrick Norris’s return to his hometown after a year of combat in Afghanistan. At home, Norris tries to return to a normal life, despite drought and a serial arsonist running rampant. Hesh Kestin’s The Lie (Scribner, spring 2014) is being called a minute-by-minute suspense novel, centering on a daring raid led by a human rights attorney in an attempt to rescue her son from terrorist in Beirut. Kestin is a reporter and the founder of two newspapers. Another of Trident’s featured titles is A Deadly Justice by Kathy Bennett, the next police procedural from the Amazon bestselling author. Recently widowed, Detective Maddie Devine of the LAPD must confront a crime she feels responsible for while risking her life as she hunts down a serial rapist and killer.
Among EV’s notable books is Eoin Colfer’s The Reluctant Assassin (Hyperion, Apr.), the first book in a new series called WARP (Witness Anonymous Relocation Program)—a program “used by the FBI to hide important witnesses in the past,” the agency said. There’s also the thriller The Kill List (Putnam, Sept.) by Frederick Forsyth, which follows a secretive ex-Marine given the assignment of taking out someone known as The Preacher, who is the latest person to top America’s list of most wanted terrorists. From Lea Carpenter is Eleven Days (Knopf, June), a novel the agency said “touches on some of the most profound questions we have about war in the modern age.” One of EV’s nonfiction offerings is Geordie Greig’s Breakfast With Lucian (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Oct.), a book about Lucian Freud by a man who was a member of an intimate group in Notting Hill that regularly shared morning meals with the artist over the course of a decade. The other big nonfiction book EV will be promoting is Ten Steps to Smarter Decisions in a Confusing World (HarperCollins, Sept.), by Noreena Hertz, an English economist whom the agency calls “one of the most influential and visionary thinkers on the international stage.”
Among the two notable nonfiction titles WH is shopping is Stephen Hawking’s My Brief History, a short (20,000 words) work adapted from the bestselling cosmologist’s lecture of the same name, in which he narrated the story of his life. The other big nonfiction book from the agency is Things I’ve Learned from Dying (Twelve, Jan. 2014) by David Dow, which expands on journals the NBCC finalist’s father-in-law kept while he was losing his battle with terminal cancer. Dow, a lawyer at a nonprofit legal aid that represents death row inmates, juxtaposes his family’s experience through this tragedy “with death faced by his clients’ families,” WH said. On the nonfiction side is Steve Berry’s The King’s Deception (Ballantine, June), which brings back the author’s recurring hero, Cotton Malone, in another historical mystery set during the Tudor era; WH noted there are over 15 million books by Berry in print. Another big novel for the agency is Tim Manley’s Alice in Tumblr-Land (Penguin, Sept.), which the outfit described as “an illustrated humor book for adults in the tradition of Goodnight iPad.” The agency is also excited about Elizabeth Gaffney’s When the World Was Young (Random, Feb. 2014), a novel set in Brooklyn Heights during WWII that the agency said is about “the secrets that divide and the love that keeps us together.”
The Wylie Agency
The shingle will be talking up Pulitzer-winner Michael Moss’s Salt Sugar Fat (Random, Feb.) in the rights center; already published (in the States), the book is about processed-food manufacturers and, as the agency put it, “the story of how they have used three essential ingredients to dominate much of the world’s diet.” Wylie is heavy on nonfiction this year, and another big title is Mark Mazzetti’s The Way of the Knife (Penguin Press, Apr.)—also a Pulitzer winner—about “the transformation of the CIA and America’s special operations forces into manhunting and killing machines.” From Leanne Shapton, Sheila Heti, and Heide Julavits is Women in Clothes (Penguin/Blue Rider, summer 2014), the first collaboration for the authors (who collectively write both fiction and nonfiction). The book is a “a series of conversations, interviews, essays, maps, exercises, photographs, and drawings that explore ideas about beauty, style, and how women decide to put themselves together.” Paris Review editor and New York Times Magazine contributor John Jeremiah Sullivan has The Prime Minister of Paradise (Random, Jan. 2014), about Christian Priber, an obscure figure from American history who arrived in South Carolina in the 1730s. Priber, a German, was persecuted in Europe for supposedly being an atheist, and, after living with the Cherokee tribe in the forest for years, he established a utopian commune called Paradise. The big fiction book for the agency is the new novel from National Book Award–winner Colum McCann, TransAtlantic (Random, June), which has already been sold in a number of countries.