In his first deal in his new spot at Crown, former Warner senior editor
Rick Horgan signed a book by motorcycle cult hero and bike designer "
Indian Larry." It's to be called
Grease Monkey, and will tell of Larry's highly unusual life as outlaw, jailbird, arts hanger-on and mental hospital inmate before achieving celebrity status in the motorcycle world. Horgan paid in the low six figures for world rights from
David Vigliano and
Elsa Petrini at the Vigliano agency.... The next book by John Barry, who wrote a recent bestseller on the worldwide influenza epidemic of 1919, is about an early American pioneer of church-state separation,
Roger Williams. He broke away from the rigid Puritanical doctrines of the 17th century to establish a government that stressed freedom of religion, 150 years before the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution.
Wendy Wolf and
Hilary Redmon at Viking bought world rights directly from the author.... The story of
Michael Straight, the only American member of the infamous British Cold War spy ring that starred Burgess, Maclean and Philby, has been extensively researched by Australian journalist
Roland Perry, and Da Capo's
Robert Pigeon has bought the resulting book, called
Last of the Cold War Spies. It was a world rights deal, made with agent
Andrew Lownie, for publication next spring.... A veteran former CIA agent who has already written a couple of nonfiction memoirs,
Robert Baer, is now switching to fiction in a beginning series about an agent involved in the events surrounding 9/11. Crown's
Kristin Kiser made a six-figure deal for world rights, plus first serial and audio, for two novels with agent
Rafe Sagalyn, and aims to publish the first of them in fall of next year.... These days an instant book on a new sensational crime story is signed almost before the deed is done. SMP's
Charles Spicer signed a book on the slaying of
Lori Hacking within days of the arrest of her husband, Mark, accused of her murder. The author will be true-crime writer
Steven Long, and the North American rights deal was made with
Jane Dystel at her own agency....
Mark Tavani at Ballantine signed for two more thrillers from
Charlie Huston, whose debut, Caught Stealing,was published earlier this year; the world rights deal was signed with
Simon Lipskar at Writers House.