Green’s ‘Half Bad’ Goes to PYRG
Sally Green’s Half Bad, the debut that Penguin U.K. dubbed “the book” of the Bologna Book Fair has been acquired by Penguin Young Readers Group in the U.S. Just before Bologna, Puffin U.K. preempted world rights to the book, which is the first in a supernatural trilogy, for six figures. The novel is set in a world where two factions of competing witches—the White and the Black—are unified on one thing: their fear of a young boy raised by White witches. Ken Wright, v-p and publisher of Viking Children’s Books, bought U.S. rights in a three-book deal from Zosia Knopp, at Penguin Children’s U.K. Half Bad is slated for 2014 in the States and, per Penguin U.K., rights to the series have also sold in Brazil, with multiple offers being weighed in Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Serbia. Film rights to the series, which are being handled by Sally Wilcox at CAA (working in conjunction with Green’s literary agent at Rogers, Coleridge and White, Claire Wilson), were sold to Fox with Karen Rosenfelt (Twilight) attached to produce.
NAL Re-ups ‘Dublin Street’ Scribe
NAL, which PW reported (in this column) acquired Samantha Young’s self-published romance bestseller On Dublin Street for seven figures during the 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair, has signed the author to a new two-book deal. Lauren E. Abramo at Dystel & Goderich sold world rights to Young’s self-published novella, Until Fountain Bridge, and a new novel, to Kerry Donovan at NAL. Down London Road, the follow-up to On Dublin Street, is coming out from NAL this summer, with a third book in the series being released in 2014; NAL also noted that rights to On Dublin Street have now sold in 22 countries.
Lee’s New Adult Goes to NAL
In a second deal at Penguin’s NAL imprint this week, Jesse Feldman bought world English rights to two books by Christina Lee, including the author’s new adult title, In the Spaces Between. Agent Sara Megibow, at Nelson Literary, represented the author and said six publishers made offers on the book before she accepted “an aggressive preempt” from Feldman. NAL will be releasing the book as All of You—it’s about a nursing student who meets a handsome guy at a party, makes out with him, then discovers he’s a virgin—in September 2013, with a second book, a tie-in, scheduled for early 2014. In an unusual twist, NAL plans to make the series an e-only one, exercising its print option only if it feels there is a market for the book in that format.
Andre Gets Six Figures From Mira
Bella Andre has inked a six-figure, print-only, six-book deal with Harlequin’s Mira imprint, selling world rights to Valerie Gray. Andre will be writing all the titles--each, Harlequin said, will be "wedding-themed"--under her pseudonym Lucy Kevin. (As Kevin, Andre has written, among others, the series Four Weddings and a Fiasco.) Steven Axelrod, who has an eponymous agency, represented Andre, and the first book in the deal is set for 2014.
Desrochers Goes New Adult
At William Morrow, Amanda Bergeron preempted world English rights, in a three-book deal, to Lisa Desrochers’s new adult novel A Little Too Far, and two companion titles. Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media brokered the sale for Desrochers, who wrote the paranormal teen romance trilogy Personal Demons (published by Tor Teen). In A Little Too Far, a 21-year-old woman who Townsend described as “in love with the wrong guy” opts for a year abroad in Rome, hoping to clear her head, only to have her romantic woes follow her to Europe.
Pubs Have Feeding Frenzy Over Lahey’s ‘Gift’
After a three-day auction featuring 10 bidders, Jessica Lahey’s The Gift of Failure was acquired by Gail Winston at Harper. Winston bought world English rights to the book, based on an article Lahey wrote for the Atlantic, from agent Laurie Abkemeier at DeFiore and Company. Lahey is a middle school teacher and her story, “Why Parents Need to Let Their Kids Fail,” drew impassioned reactions online, after it ran in late January. The book, Abkemeier said, will be “a manifesto and action plan about why parents must learn to refrain from stepping in any time children experience disappointments... so that they may grow up to be successful, resilient, and self-reliant adults.”
In last week’s column, an item about a deal to publish Michael Shaara’s backlist in digital incorrectly listed his son, Jeff Shaara, as the author of the works involved. Jeff Shaara, a historical novelist, oversees his father’s literary estate and brokered the deal, with Doug Grad, to get his father’s books—four novels and four short stories—released as e-books for the first time.