[ PW Home ] [ Bestsellers ] [ Subscribe ] [ Search ]

Publishers Weekly News

Papa, Are You There?
Bridget Kinsella -- 8/25/97
William Elliott Hazelgrove calls his publishing career "a Cinderella story," and one can't blame him. In stores now is Bantam's mass market paperback edition of Tobacco Sticks, a Civil War-era saga that, when first published by Chicago's Pantonne Press in 1995, earned a PW starred review and sparked a bidding war for reprint rights among seven publishers. At this point, the author landed an agent, Warren Frazier of John Hawkins Associates, and before he knew it, Bantam also bought paperback rights to his first novel, Ripples (Pantonne, 1992), an ALA Editor's Choice winner and 10,000-copy seller likened to A Separate Peace set on Maryland shores -- as well as hard/soft rights to a third novel, Mica Highways, the story of a man who returns to his southern roots only to discover the facts behind his mother's murder.
All told, the deal was well into six figures, but here's the glass-slipper kicker: Hazelgrove has also had the good fortune to find some pretty inspirational writing space: the attic of Ernest Hemingway's birthplace in Oak Park, Ill. "For a writer, it's like writing in church," said Hazelgrove, who said he got the spot simply by asking the Hemingway Foundation's permission, readily granted after it reviewed his first two books.

In his auspicious new aerie, Hazelgrove is hatching his fourth novel, called -- what else? -- Hemingway's Attic, a fictional account of a contemporary writer working in the famous attic. Hazelgrove said he will draw on some surprising contents of an old steamer trunk found in the attic that apparently belonged to Papa's sister, Marcelline Hemingway.

But beyond that, Hazelgrove turned as terse as Papa's prose. Readers will just have to wait for the publication of the novel (Bantam has the option, but will publish Mica Highways next, in fall 1998) or can read more about the story on Hazelgrove's Web site, http://www.oprf.com/hemingway/attic/.
Back To News
Search | Bestsellers | News | Features | Children's Books | Bookselling
Interview | Industry Update | International | Classifieds | Authors On the Highway
About PW | Subscribe
Copyright 2000. Publishers Weekly. All rights reserved.