Lucian K. Truscott IV has broken what he has said is a seven-figure, three-book deal with Dutton and has moved his next book, a sequel to his best-selling Dress Gray, in a mid-six-figure, hard/soft deal to Morrow. The reason? Both he and agent Alan Nevins told PW they were greatly displeased by how Dutton handled Heart of War, the first book of an original six-figure/one book contract that was published in June. Everyone was apparently happy enough while the book (which also had a $1 million movie rights deal with producer Stanley Jaffe attached) was in progress to sign up two more books, in a deal that then totaled seven figures and was negotiated with Phyllis Grann, just at the time of the Penguin Putnam merger. Truscott told PW that he became increasingly frustrated, first with the cover design (which didn't highlight the female angle of the book enough, he said) and then with what he saw as failure to significantly push the book's timely topic (a sex scandal surrounding a chief-of-staff candidate -- which actually happened around the time of the book's release.) Dutton refused to comment publicly on the book, which has gone back to press twice for a total printing of 38,000. "We are sad to see him go, but we want our authors to be happy," said Grann. Morrow publisher Paul Fedorko, who told PW he d sn't know the Dutton back story, "and d sn't want to," plans a summer 1998 publication for the Dress Gray sequel, to tie in with West Point's June Week festivities and with the 20th anniversary of the publication of Dress Gray. Fedorko is very excited about the book proposal's premise -- the Dress Gray whistleblower is now head of cadet training and a murder of a female cadet begins the action. He also said he would expect a first printing of at least 75,000 copies. Stay tuned.
Volume 243 Issue 34 08/25/1997