Two Regal Preempts

Joseph Regal at Regal Literary has accepted a "significant six-figure" preempt for a literary thriller titled Fang Land by former 60 Minutes producer John Marks; Scott Moyersacquired North American rights for the Penguin Press. The novel, about a young female producer for a television show called The Hour who travels to Romania to interview an Eastern European crime lord, reworks elements of the vampire genre in exploring the meaning of horror in a post-9/11 world. Publication is expected in spring 2007.

And Michael Psaltis at the Culinary Cooperative, a division of Regal Literary, also accepted a six-figure preempt for Hometown Appetites: The Life, Legacy and Recipes of Clementine Paddlefordby Kelly Alexander and Cindy Adams; Gotham's Erin Moore acquired world rights. The biography aims to restore Paddleford's legacy as a pioneer food writer whose 1961 How America Eats helped create the first coherent definition of American cuisine. Alexander is an editor at Saveurand Adams is an archivist at Kansas State University, which controls Paddleford's papers.

On Being Catholic

Lawyer and human rights activist Kerry Kennedy has sold a proposal for a collection of interview portraits of prominent American Catholics tentatively titled On Being Catholic: Prominent Catholics Consider the Meaning of Their Faithto Rick Horgan at Crown via agent David Kuhn at Kuhn Projects. Kennedy will explore her interviewees' experiences with growing up Catholic and the role the church plays in their private and professional lives, at the same time examining her own and her family's relationships to Catholicism. The deal was for North American rights.

Likely to be a bit more controversial than Kennedy's work is a novel by Ki Longfellow titled The Secret Magdalene, preempted by Crown's Allison McCabe from agent Susan Lee Cohen at Riverside Literary Agency. The novel offers a revolutionary retelling of Mary Magdalene's life, reinterpreting the Bible from a first-person, female perspective. Publication date is spring 2007; McCabe acquired world English rights.

HarperCollins's Camel

Masha Hamilton, author of Staircase of a Thousand Steps and The Distance Between Us, has sold her third novel, The Camel Bookmobile, to Harper's Jonathan Burnham and Claire Wachtel via agent Marly Rusoff. Burnham and Wachtel acquired world English rights for low six figures. The novel tells the story of an idealistic American librarian who leaves Brooklyn to work in Africa for a relief organization that sends books on the backs of camels to remote villages, setting off a feud among a nomadic tribe the program aims to help. Hamilton lives in New York, where she writes for the Associated Press and teaches creative writing.

Deals in Translation

It was a good week for foreign authors represented by agent Thomas Colchie. First, Johanna Castillo at Atria acquired world English rights to the 2004 Planeta Prize—winning Valfierno by Argentinian novelist Martin Caparros; the deal was negotiated by Colchie on behalf of principal agent Mercedes Casanova. The novel is based upon true events concerning the 1911 theft of the Mona Lisa.

Colchie also sold world English rights to Mexican author Roberto Ransom's A Tale of Two Lions to Norton's Tom Mayer. The novel comprises three absurdist tales recounting the misadventures of two lions and features illustrations by the author's son and two other Mexican artists. Publication is slated for fall 2006.

The Briefing

Laurie Chittenden at Dutton preempted a suspense novel by Patry Francis titled The Liar's Diary from agent Alice Tasman at Jean Naggar; Chittenden bought world rights.... Basic's Lara Heimert has bought historian and curator Steven Jaffe's New York at War, which chronicles the military history of New York City, from Sam Stoloff at Frances Goldin in a world English deal.