A first novel published first as an audio book read by its author, which then received a huge boost from a column Stephen King wrote about it, was finally won for print publication after a seven-day auction by senior editor Ray Roberts at Viking Penguin. He paid into seven figures for world rights to The Memory of Running by TV actor and seasoned audio reader Ron McLarty, and a second novel, to agent Jeff Kleinman at Graybill & English. The book, about an overweight man who cycles across America to claim the body of his mentally disturbed sister, had been unsuccessfully circulated among publishers some time ago, and King was quick to point the finger in his Entertainment Weekly column for their lack of savvy. Penguin was no slouch in selling foreign rights, and at press time the package had been preempted in the U.K., Germany and the Netherlands, all for big money.