Time Travel... for Teens
Kelly Sonnack at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency sold North American rights, in a pre-empt, to a debut YA novel called A Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan. Andrea Tompa at Candlewick acquired the book, which Sonnack called a “young adult version of The Time Traveler's Wife” and which has been drawing intense interest in Europe, with a five-way bidding war on the novel just closed in Germany. Set in the future, the book follows a princess who must deal with the unfortunate fallout—including a lost love—of her parents' decision to intermittently halt her adolescence by cryogenically freezing her; the plan is their misdirected attempt to ensure their jet-set lifestyle doesn't leave their daughter a latch-key kid.
Music, Lyrics, and Pictures, by Hamlisch
Steven Meltzer at Dutton Children's Books acquired world rights to a picture book by composer Marvin Hamlisch. Anna Olswanger of Liza Dawson Associates brokered the deal for Marvin Makes Music: City Symphony, a title marking the Broadway and Hollywood songmaster's first foray into children's books. About a little boy who loves to play the piano but hates to practice, the title will include an original recording by Hamlisch; Dutton is planning a fall 2012 publication, and film rights are being handled by Jody Hotchkiss of Hotchkiss and Associates.
Tricia Boczkowski, editorial director at Simon & Schuster's Gallery Books imprint, nabbed North American rights to a debut novel by Alma Katsu called The Taker. Katsu works in U.S. intelligence, but also has an M.A. in creative writing from Johns Hopkins. In the novel, set in the 19th century, a girl from northern Maine falls for and gets impregnated by a wealthy local out of her social league. When she flees to Boston to have the baby, she gets swept up by a group of immortal beings, and a tricky love triangle develops after the leader of the undying crew falls for her and gives her everlasting life. Peter Steinberg, who runs his own eponymous agency, brokered the deal, and rights to the book have sold in the U.K. with pre-empts following in Italy and Russia. Matt Snyder at CAA is handling film rights.
In another deal for a book that toys with life spans as we know them, Rosemary Stimola of Stimola Literary Studio landed six figures for three books by YA novelist Leah Clifford. Virginia Duncan, v-p and publisher of HarperCollins's Greenwillow Books imprint, pre-empted North American rights in the transaction, and the first book in the planned trilogy, A Touch Mortal, is slated for winter 2011. In Touch, the heroine, Eden, is a lost soul trapped in limbo between the living and dead, a being known as a Sider; her unique powers have put her at the crossroads of a showdown between the angels of Heaven and Hell.
Agent Ted Weinstein sold world rights to Kelly McGonigal's The Science of Willpower, in what he called a “crowded” two-day auction featuring seven houses. Rachel Holtzman at Avery acquired the book, which is based on the popular course McGonigal (who's a Ph.D.) teaches at Stanford and the blog (of the same name) she writes for Psychology Today. According to Weinstein, the work gets at the “new science of self-control” and explains how people can better control everything from their thoughts to their actions. Avery is planning a 2011 publication.
Jane Dystel of Dystel and Goderich sold world rights to Naked Wine to Da Capo executive editor Robert Pigeon. The book is slated for fall 2011 and, in it, author Alice Feiring (The Battle for Wine and Love) chronicles her experiences in the burgeoning world of natural wine, doing everything from tasting to grape stomping.