Susan Canavan at Houghton was the winner of an eight-house auction for The Art of Making Money: My Adventures in a Counterfeit Life by Art Williams Jr. with Jason Kersten; agent Scott Waxman sold North American rights. Based on a story by Kersten that first appeared in Rolling Stone, the book will chronicle the rise and fall of career counterfeiter Williams. Pub date is fall 2008.
Also at Houghton, Eamon Dolan beat six other bidders for Jon Gertner's The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Invention of the Modern World; Sarah Burnes at the Gernert Company sold North American rights after a three-day auction. Through the story of Bell Labs, Gertner, a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine, will detail the birth of modern technology and the process by which innovation arises. No pub date yet.
Robin Desser at Knopf topped four other houses for two books by debut author Nam Le; Eric Simonoff at Janklow & Nesbit sold North American rights. The Boat, a story collection, is tentatively scheduled for summer 2008, with a novel, currently in progress and titled South China Sea, to follow. Le, 28, was born in Vietnam and grew up in Australia, where he practiced law before coming to the U.S. to attend the Iowa Writers' Workshop.
At Pantheon, Edward Kastenmeier won an auction for Terry McDermott's 101 Theory Drive: A Scientist's Pursuit of the Memory Machine Inside the Brain from agent Paul Bresnick, who sold world rights. Los Angeles Times journalist McDermott will recount 18 months spent inside a working neuroscience lab, in which researchers uncovered the molecular underpinning of memory and found what may be a pharmaceutical enhancement. Pub date is late 2008.
Eight More Rules
Trish Todd bought North American rights to Bruce Cameron's 8 Simple Rules for Marrying My Daughter for Fireside, via Trident's Scott Miller. Cameron, whose first book, 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter (Workman) was subsequently developed into an ABC sitcom, will track the transition from grown daughter to bride-to-be; pub date is spring 2008.
Elsewhere at S&S, Jeremie Ruby-Strauss at Simon Spotlight bought a presently untitled memoir by Lisa Williams, the British psychic and star of Lifetime TV's Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead. Mel Berger at William Morris sold North American rights. In the book, Williams will describe her first encounters with spirits at age four as well as her current life as a medium, clairvoyant and mom. Publication is scheduled for spring 2008.
Erin Moore and Bill Shinker at Gotham preempted Andy Raskin's The Ramen King and I: Searching for God in a Cup of Noodles; agent Stuart Krichevsky sold North American rights. NPR commentator Raskin will describe his curious three-year quest to meet Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant noodle ramen, who died in January at the age of 96, and who, for reasons Raskin didn't entirely understand, had become a kind of mentor in absentia. An opinion piece in The New York Times noting Ando's death was its most e-mailed article for three days.
Jonathan Karp has preempted Sex & Sensibility: Ten Women Look at Sex, Love and the New Cultural Truths... in 150 Cartoons, conceived and edited by New Yorker contributor Liza Donnelly, for his Twelve imprint; agent David Kuhn sold world rights for six figures. This collection will feature original work by Roz Chast, Marisa Acocella Marchetto, Victoria Roberts and others, capturing the zeitgeist of sex and love as women experience it. No pub date yet.
Hot in YA
Jean Feiwel and Liz Szabla at Feiwel & Friends bought two novels by debut author Andrew Smith in an auction conducted by Laura Rennert at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, who sold world rights for six figures. The first book, Ghost Medicine, explores the friendship of three young men in ranch country; this will pub in fall 2008, to be followed by a second novel, Bird.
Lauren Myracle, known for her ttyl, ttfn and l8r,g8r instant message novels, has inked another deal with Susan Van Metre at Amulet Books (the YA imprint of Harry Abrams) via agent Barry Goldblatt, who sold North American rights. She will write a new series for preteens to launch in spring 2009, tentatively titled Luv Ya Bunches, about friends named after flowers. Also in the deal is a novel about a pregnant teen girl, tentatively titled A Bun in the Oven.
Former Days of Our Lives actress Deborah Lytton has sold a middle-grade novel titled Alice in Wanderland to Julie Strauss-Gabel at Dutton Children's via Stacey Glick at Dystel & Goderich, who sold world English rights. The novel centers on 14-year-old Alice, who is forced to grow up fast when her older sister dies of anorexia-related causes.
Ellen Archer and Pamela Dorman have acquired world rights to Julie Metz's Perfection: A Memoir of Widowhood, Betrayal and Renewal for Hyperion's Voice imprint via agent Elaine Markson. Metz, who thought she had the perfect life until her husband died suddenly from an aneurysm, soon learned that he wasn't the man she thought he was; coming to grips with his infidelities, she rediscovered her sense of humor, sexuality and joy. Based on a shorter version that already appeared in Glamour, Voice will publish in winter 2009.