Spencer Tries Horror
Scott Spencer, twice nominated for the National Book Award, sold his horror debut, Breed, to John Schoenfelder at Little, Brown's new suspense imprint, Mulholland Books. Spencer will be writing the book, which follows a group of very desperate New York parents in an infertility support group, under the pseudonym Chase Novak. Lynn Nesbit, at Janklow & Nesbit, brokered the deal for Spencer, selling world rights. Breed is currently slated as Mulholland's lead title for fall 2012.

Delacorte Swims with Murderous Mermaids
Joelle Delbourgo Associates agent Jacqueline Flynn closed a two-book, six-figure, world English rights deal with Delacorte executive editor Françoise Bui, for YA author Anne G. Brown. The deal is for a new series about, as Flynn dubbed them, "murderous mermaids." The first book, Lies Beneath, follows protagonist Calder White, the sole boy in a clan of vengeful sea creatures, who with his sisters concoct a plan to murder the man they blame for their mother's death. When Calder falls for the bait—the supposed murderer's 17-year-old daughter—the plan goes awry. Lies Beneath is scheduled for summer 2012.

SMP Nabs Funnyman Hill
Allison Strobel at St. Martin's Press bought North American rights to an essay collection, Things Were Supposed to Be Different, by comedian and sometime rock guitarist Dave Hill. Hill—his diverse résumé includes appearances on HBO, contributing to NPR's This American Life, and playing guitar in Moby's heavy metal band Diamondsnake—chronicles various adventures in the book, from the first time he went to prison to, as SMP related, "losing his innocence to a Japanese toilet." Agent Kirby Kim, at William Morris Endeavor, represented Hill.

Balzer Cuts 'Through'
Mary Kole at Andrea Brown Literary closed, at auction, a six-figure, two-book deal for debut author Emily Hainsworth. Alessandra Balzer, for the Balzer + Bray imprint at HarperCollins, bought North American rights to the YA paranormal thriller Through to You, and a second, currently untitled, work. The book, which has already been sold in Italy and Germany, is about a grieving boyfriend who finds that his dead ex is still alive in an alternate reality. The rub is that in this alternate reality he is dead. Through to You is scheduled for fall 2012.

Dertings Goes to Harper, and S&S
Laura Rennert at Andrea Brown Literary closed two deals for Kimberly Dertings, selling two more titles in a current YA series to HarperCollins, and a YA fantasy novel to Simon & Schuster. In the first deal, Rennert sold world rights, for six figures, to two more books in Derting's series the Body Finder to Farrin Jacobs at Harper. The title that launched the series, The Body Finder, was published by Harper last March; the books turn on the premise that those who are killed (and kill) in a violent way are left with an imprint, and the protagonist, a teenage girl, can pick up on those imprints. Rights to the first two titles in the series have sold in 11 countries. In the second deal, Gretchen Hirsch at Simon & Schuster's Margaret McElderry imprint bought North American rights to The Pledge, the first book in a planned YA series. Rennert said the novel is "about a teen girl in a rigid, hierarchical society who has a secret ability to speak all languages and a hidden past."

Norton Tracks Wheelwright's 'Gene'
Jeff Wheelwright, a 2009 Guggenheim Fellow, sold his third book to Starling Lawrence at Norton. Lisa Queen, at Queen Literary, brokered the world rights deal for The Wandering Gene and the Indian Princess. The nonfiction work, which Queen called "a historical and scientific investigation," examines a Hispanic woman's battle with breast cancer, tracking her sickness to a gene mutation most often found in Jews. The book, which Queen said takes readers from "ancient Palestine to the Spanish Inquisition, to cutting-edge DNA research labs, and the Kingdom Hall of the Jehovah's Witnesses," is set for a January 2012 publication.