Sonny Brewer has been a mentor and a source of inspiration for a generation of new Southern writers through his Over the Transom bookstore in Fairhope, Ala., and two anthologies he has edited for MacAdam/Cage. Now he has made a two-book, six-figure deal for work of his own devising. It was signed with Maureen O'Neal at Ballantine, for a novel called The Poet of Tolstoy Park and a second one, done with Coast agent Amy Rennert. The titled book is based on a local man called Henry Stuart, who defied a doctor's prognosis of death to build himself a new home and a new life in the community—and live another 20 years. O'Neal bought U.S. and translation rights, and Brewer himself held onto British.