T. Greenwood’s RUST AND STARDUST, when an 11-year old is kidnapped in 1948 by a convicted felon, so begins a 21-month journey exploring both the crime and criminal as well as the effect upon the girl, her family left behind, and her community; the spark upon which Vladimir Nabakov based LOLITA, a literary thriller and kaleidoscopic family portrait, to Hope Dellon at St. Martin’s, in a two-book deal, for publication in Spring 2018, by Victoria Sanders at Victoria Sanders & Associates (World).
Gail Campbell Woolley with Nick Chiles’s SOAR, pitched in the spirit of WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR and John Gunther’s DEATH BE NOT PROUD, the inspiring posthumous memoir of an irrepressible woman who lived an extraordinary life and her half-century battle with the blood disease, sickle cell anemia, to Doug Seibold at Agate, for publication in Fall 2017, by Victoria Sanders at Victoria Sanders & Associates (world).
K. J. Howe is an avid traveler, has raced camels in Jordan, and dove with the great white sharks in South Africa. She’s the executive director of Thrillerfest, the annual conference of the International Thriller Writers Organization. The Freedom Broker is her debut published novel.
The Alex Awards are given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18. The winning titles are selected from the previous year’s publishing. The Alex Awards were first given annually beginning in 1998 and became an official ALA award in 2002.
“The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko,” by Scott Stambach, published by St. Martin’s Press (9781250081865). He has no arms or legs. She has blood that is betraying her. They are the smartest people in the children’s hospital and the only ones who understand, and they take “star-crossed lovers” to a whole new level.
Grand Central’s Maddie Caldwell has acquired North American rights to former O Magazine digital producer Barbara Bourland’s Pine City, the author’s second novel. Victoria Sanders of Victoria Sanders & Associates, who brokered the deal, called it an “uncommon acquisition” given that Bourland’s first novel, I’ll Eat When I’m Dead, has not yet been published. (That book is due from Grand Central in spring 2017.) According to Sanders, Pine City is set in an “abandoned summer resort in the Hudson Valley” and centers on a young painter who “finds herself falling ever deeper into the inner circle of an enigmatic group of older artists.” Pine City is set for a spring 2019 release.
Sanders also brokered a deal with Grand Central’s Lindsey Rose for North American rights to seven books by suspense author Sara Blaedel. One book, The Undertaker’s Daughter, the first in the Undertaker series is, according to Sanders, about a “woman who receives an unexpected inheritance—which turns out to be much more than she bargained for—from a father she hasn’t heard from in three decades, forcing her to leave her native Denmark and relocate to Racine, Wisconsin.” The publisher also acquired six backlist titles in Blaedel’s series centering on Louise Rick, a police investigator.
Carolina De Robertis, ed.‘s RADICAL HOPE: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times, a collection of epistolary essays by a range of award-winning contemporary writers, pitched as love letters in the tradition of Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time and Coates’s Between the World and Me: Letters to ancestors; to our own communities; to a targeted community; to people of color; to immigrants; to activists; to a child; to the future; Letters into which we can pour not only our grief or fear or pain, but also the hope and love that will keep us all alive, sustaining us through the coming times, keeping us burning brightly, or at least getting out of bed each morning to keep doing what we can to nurture a better world to come, including the writing of Elmaz Abinader, Faith Adiele, asha bandele, Jeff Chang, Aya de León, Carolina De Robertis, Junot Díaz, Boris Fishman, Paraz Foroutan, Karen Joy Fowler, Cristina García, Francisco Goldman, the founders of Black Lives Matter (Patrisse Cullers, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi), Jewelle Gomez, Reyna Grande, Mohja Kahf, Hari Kunzru, Yiyun Li, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Achy Obejas, Peter Orner, Meredith Russo, Jane Smiley, and Luis Alberto Urrea, to Carole Baron at Knopf, in an exclusive submission, by Victoria Sanders at Victoria Sanders & Associates.
Carolina De Robertis, ed.‘s RADICAL HOPE: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times, a collection of epistolary essays by a range of contemporary writers, pitched as love letters in the tradition of Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time and Coates’s Between the World and Me; letters into which we can pour not only our grief or fear or pain, but also the hope and love that will keep us all alive, sustaining us through the coming times, keeping us burning brightly, or at least getting out of bed each morning to keep doing what we can to nurture a better world to come, including the writing of Elmaz Abinader, Faith Adiele, asha bandele, Jeff Chang, Aya de León, Carolina De Robertis, Junot Díaz, Boris Fishman, Paraz Foroutan, Karen Joy Fowler, Cristina García, Francisco Goldman, the founders of Black Lives Matter (Patrisse Cullers, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi), Jewelle Gomez, Reyna Grande, Mohja Kahf, Hari Kunzru, Yiyun Li, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Achy Obejas, Peter Orner, Meredith Russo, Jane Smiley, and Luis Alberto Urrea, to Sarah Savitt at Virago, at auction, for publication in early 2017, by Chris Kepner on behalf of Victoria Sanders at Victoria Sanders & Associates.
Decorated Marine Gunnery Sergeant Tee Hanible with Denene Millner’s WARRIOR, from a member of the first class of females permitted to take the Marine combat-training course formerly restricted to male soldiers, recounting hitting rock bottom as a troubled teen, and working tirelessly to dramatically alter the course of her trajectory, to Monique Patterson at St. Martin’s, in a preempt, by Victoria Sanders at Victoria Sanders & Associates (World).
Andy Hirsh and multiple authors’s SCIENCE COMICS: Dogs, to Calista Brill at First Second, in a twelve-book deal, for publication in 2017 – 2019, by Stephen Barr at Writers House for illustrator Jon Chad, and Bernadette Baker-Baughman at Victoria Sanders & Associates for illustrator Zack Giallongo.
Chelsey Emmelhainz at Skyhorse nabbed North American rights to the debut novel by Michael Fiegel, Blackbird. Fiegel, a Seattle-based game designer, was represented by Chris Kepner at Victoria Sanders & Associates. Kepner said the novel is a literary thriller that follows two sociopaths—one a killer for hire and the other a woman he kidnapped as a young girl and raised as his protégé. The book, slated for fall 2017, is, Kepner added, “nimbly paced” with “a biting social commentary à la American Psycho.”
Katherine Jacobs at Roaring Brook has acquired world rights to Sarah Glenn Marsh’s (l.) nonfiction picture book, Dragon Bones, the true story of Mary Anning, a fossil-hunter who discovered some of the first dinosaur fossils during a time when women often weren’t recognized as scientists. Maris Wicks will illustrate; publication is planned for fall 2019. Christa Heschke at McIntosh & Otis represented the author and Bernadette Baker-Baughman at Victoria Sanders
Writing under the pseudonym Liv Constantine, sisters Lynne and Valerie Constantine sold their first psychological suspense novel, Middlegame, to Emily Griffin at Harper. Griffin took world rights from Bernadette Baker-Baughman at Victoria Sanders & Associates. Baker-Baughman said the book follows a woman who “desires the life of another woman and will go to any length to get it.” Middlegame is set for winter 2018 and will be released simultaneously in multiple countries—including France, Spain, and the U.S.—as part of the publisher’s new global publishing program.
Czech rights to Kim Green’s PAGING APHRODITE, to Marketa Simackova at Sofa Books, by Chris Kepner on behalf of Victoria Sanders at Victoria Sanders & Associates.
Polish rights to KJ Howe’s THE FREEDOM BROKER, to G+J/Burda Media, by Marcin Biegaj at Andrew Nurnberg Associates and Chris Kepner on behalf of Victoria Sanders at Victoria Sanders & Associates.
Erin Stein at Macmillan’s Imprint has acquired the middle grade novel My So-Called Super Powers by Heather Nuhfer, along with two other books in the series. Veronica McGowan is an average, unremarkable 13-year-old who is desperate to be an “est” – cutest, smartest, funniest – but instead she just might be the weirdest. Publication is scheduled for spring 2018; Bernadette Baker-Baughman at Victoria Sanders & Associates did the deal for world rights.
Cheryl Reid’s MY BANISHMENT, a haunting novel that follows a family of Syrian immigrants, set in 1956 during a stifling August in the Deep South of Riverton, Alabama, to Danielle Marshall at Lake Union Publishing, by Victoria Sanders at Victoria Sanders & Associates (World).
Librarian Nancy Pearl’s GEORGE AND LIZZIE, a married couple have radically different understandings of what love and marriage should be; he grew up in a warm and loving family in Tulsa, Oklahoma, his father an orthodontist, his mother a stay-at-home mom while she grew up as the only child of two famous psychologists who related to her more as an in-house experiment, than a child to love; it extends from their first meeting to more than a decade into their unlikely marriage, to Tara Parsons at Touchstone, for publication in June 2017, by Victoria Sanders at Victoria Sanders & Associates (World).
At the year’s halfway point, we decided to get together and choose our favorite reads so far. Our list includes bestsellers that deserve all the kudos they’ve gotten and astounding books by first-time authors. Find the fiction, nonfiction, thrillers, and romances that have kept us happily reading from January through June.
Our Favorite Bestsellers
THE KILLING FOREST by Sara Blaedel
Author of SOMEWHERE OUT THERE and OUTSIDE THE LINES Amy Hatvany’s next three novels, to Sarah Cantin at Atria, in a significant deal, by Victoria Sanders at Victoria Sanders & Associates (World English).
Author of FIVE DAYS LEFT and UNTETHERED, Julie Lawson Timmer’s MRS. SAINT AND THE DEFECTIVES, about a new divorcee who finds herself and her son the pet project of her mysterious, imperious, and exceedingly nosy new European landlady, bringing into brilliant color two women from vastly different backgrounds and eras, who are ultimately connected by their humanity, interior needs, and secrets, to Danielle Marshall at Lake Union Publishing, for publication in 2017, by Victoria Sanders at Victoria Sanders & Associates.
EXCLUSIVE: Disney has acquired feature film rights to the graphic novel series Delilah Dirk And The Turkish Lieutenant from author Tony Cliff. The literary property, which is an action adventure tale set in the early 19th century, was first published by First Second Books. The story follows Delilah, described as a female Indiana Jones, as she wields her sword (trained in 47 sword-fighting techniques) and battles pirates and escapes on her flying boat while seeking adventures around the globe.
The rights were sold by Bernadette Baker-Baughman of Victoria Sanders & Associates.
Greer Kessel Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen’s THE WIFE BETWEEN US, exploring the complexities of marriage, relationships between women, and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love, to Jennifer Enderlin at St. Martin’s, in a major deal, in a pre-empt, by Victoria Sanders at Victoria Sanders & Associates (World).
The awards are intended to encourage new or emerging writers and honor the Saroyan literary legacy of originality, vitality and stylistic innovation. The Saroyan Prize recognizes newly published works of both fiction and non-fiction.
‘Til the Well Runs Dry by Lauren Francis-Sharma (Henry Holt & Co.)
The final ballot to select this year’s winners will open in mid-May and will be open to all Attending, Young Adult and Supporting members of MidAmeriCon II. The winners of the 2016 Hugo Awards will be announced at a highlighted formal ceremony at the convention on Aug. 20.
“Binti” by Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com)
“The Builders” by Daniel Polansky (Tor.com)
“Penric’s Demon” by Lois McMaster Bujold (Spectrum)
“Perfect State” by Brandon Sanderson (Dragonsteel Entertainment)
“Slow Bullets” by Alastair Reynolds (Tachyon)
BEST HARDCOVER NOVEL
Ian Caldwell – THE FIFTH GOSPEL (Simon & Schuster)
Tess Gerritsen – PLAYING WITH FIRE (Ballantine)
Paula Hawkins – THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN (Riverhead Books)
David Morrell – INSPECTOR OF THE DEAD (Mulholland Books)
Karin Slaughter – PRETTY GIRLS (William Morrow)
Faith Erin Hicks’s COMICS WILL BREAK YOUR HEART, a story of two teenagers who find themselves on the opposite sides of a legal battle over the creation of a superhero team that’s about to be turned into a big-budget Hollywood movie, to Calista Brill at First Second, for publication in 2018, by Bernadette Baker-Baughman at Victoria Sanders & Associates (US).
Today we’re so happy and proud to present the 2015 Reviewers’ Choice and Career Achievement Winners! Let us tell you, a lot of blood, sweat and tears (more tears than you might think!) went into selecting these, the best titles of 2015. Hearty congratulations to all of the winners, thank you for writing such amazing books last year. The award ceremony will take place at the RT Convention in Las Vegas next month, we hope to see many of you there!
Winner for Contemporary Mystery:
THE FORGOTTEN GIRLS by Sara Blaedel
All hail Delilah Dirk. The “female Indiana Jones” topped best seller lists thanks to Tony Cliff’s first graphic novel, Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant, earning Eisner, Shuster, and Harvey nominations, and this March, Cliff is back with an all new adventure: Delilah Dirk and the King’s Shilling. Along with that, EW can officially announce the third volume of the Delilah Dirk series: Delilah Dirk and the Pillar of Hercules.
Praise for DELILAH DIRK AND THE KING’S SHILLING
by Tony Cliff (First Second – March 8, 2016)
“The character development adds welcome depth to an already absorbing adventure. Irresistible and exhilarating.“―Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Another whirlwind adventure that builds upon Cliff’s unifying factor―true friendship.“―School Library Journal, starred review
“It’s the dynamic between Delilah and Selim, a headstrong woman and pliant man who remain platonic companions, that gives the book its compelling emotional center.“―Publishers Weekly, starred review
Praise for THE NAMELESS CITY
by Faith Erin Hicks (First Second – April 5, 2016)
“Hicks’s sequential artwork is polished, and though males hold nearly all the political power, the female characters are mighty warriors the men respect (and sometimes fear).“―Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Offer this winning graphic novel to fans of Fullmetal Alchemist and Avatar: The Last Airbender, who will appreciate its mix of fun and adventure and its exploration of questions of identity, belonging, and history. A superb beginning.“―Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“With comprehensive worldbuilding, well-rounded characters, and entertaining action, this expertly executed story will find a home with a wide variety of readers, all of whom will be eagerly awaiting the next installment.“―Booklist, starred review
This year, the People’s Choice Awards teamed up with TheReadingRoom.com to launch a brand new category aimed at celebrating your favorite books of 2015. Bibliophiles far and wide made themselves heard when they turned out to vote for the books they just couldn’t put down!
Favorite Crime & Mystery
Dark Corners by Ruth Rendell
The Cartel by Don Winslow
The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz
Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter — Winner
X by Sue Grafton
Stephanie Stokes Oliver’s BLACK INK: LITERARY LEGENDS ON THE PERIL, POWER, AND PLEASURE OF READING AND WRITING, featuring twenty four essays from writers such as Frederick Douglass, Maya Angelou, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and more, to Atria, by Victoria Sanders of Victoria Sanders & Associates.
Sara Blaedel’s Missing Persons trilogy, originally published in Denmark, has become a #1 bestseller in several countries. Lisbeth Møller-Madsen, editor-at-Large of People’s Press in Denmark, and Chris Kepner at the Victoria Sanders Agency, explained the international appeal of the series, which follows Louise Rick, the new head of the missing persons department at a Danish police department trying to find the killer of an unidentified woman found dead in a forest.
UK/Commonwealth rights to ThrillerFest Executive Director KJ Howe’s debut THE FREEDOM BROKER and a second UNTITLED novel in a new thriller series featuring Thea Paris, an elite kidnap negotiator whose talents take her across the globe, to Vicki Mellor, Deputy Publishing Director at Headline, by Chris Kepner on behalf of Victoria Sanders at Victoria Sanders & Associates.
Karin Slaughter and Burke, both best-selling authors, sat down to discuss The Ex, unlikeable characters, and writing about events that can hit uncomfortably close to home (like mass shootings).
Jewish Book Council announces the winners of the 2015 National Jewish Book Awards, North America’s longest running awards program in the field of Jewish literature, now in its 65th year.
Oskar and the Eight Blessings
Tanya Simon and Richard Simon; Mark Siegel, illus.
Roaring Brook Press, Macmillan
The 2016 Stonewall Book Awards were announced Monday, January 11 by the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) of the American Library Association (ALA), during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston.
The Stonewall Book Awards are given annually to English-language works of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience and include the Stonewall Book Awards – Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award, the Stonewall Book Awards – Barbara Gittings Literature award and the Stonewall Book Awards – Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award. The awards will be presented to the winning authors or editors at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Orlando in June.
The Stonewall Book Awards – Barbara Gittings Literature Award was given to “The Gods of Tango,” written by Carolina De Robertis and published by Alfred A. Knopf.
The puzzle we should be obsessed with solving is how do we make the system work for everybody?
Several years ago, I was invited to tour the police museum at Scotland Yard where, among other things, they keep evidence relating to the Jack the Ripper investigation. Written within the margins of an old book is the apparent identity of the Ripper, recorded by the chief investigator of the case. Let me repeat that: Scotland Yard may already know the identity of Jack the Ripper. When I asked the museum director why the general public still considers the Ripper case unsolved, he shrugged and said: “People love a mystery.”
The Reading List Council has announced the 2016 selections of the Reading List, an annual best-of list comprised of eight different fiction genres for adult readers. A shortlist of honor titles was also announced. The list was announced today during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting held in Boston.
The 2016 selections are:
“Pretty Girls: A Novel” by Karin Slaughter. William Morrow, a division of HarperCollins.
Three sisters are driven apart in the aftermath of one’s disappearance. When a violent crime occurs, new fears arise and relationships shift again. Long term effects of family grief are exploited by the compulsions of a psychopath. Brutal and disturbing, this is ultimately a story of love and empowerment.
Author of THE FORGOTTEN GIRLS Sara Blaedel’s THE LOST WOMAN, continuing her series featuring the head Missing Persons Department investigator, to Lindsey Rose at Grand Central, in a good deal, in a two-book deal, by Victoria Sanders at Victoria Sanders & Associates (NA).
To honor the best writing to appear in our pages each year, VQR created the Emily Clark Balch Prize and the Staige D. Blackford Prize. Past recipients include John Berryman, Philip Caputo, Pauline W. Chen, Carolyn Forché, and Natasha Trethewey.
We congratulate the following prizewinners for 2015.
Emily Clark Balch Prize for Fiction
Todd James Pierce, “Keller in Effects” (Summer)
Odyssean journeys of migration by Dominican boys, secret messages from underworld goddesses and Mexican gods and photographic volumes that capture the beauty and grace of Latin America: these 10 books by Latino authors published in 2015 will make you reflect, laugh, think and enjoy.
The Gods of Tango by Uruguayan native Carolina De Robertis explores immigration, love, gender, and Argentina’s greatest export—the tango. Writer and book critic Marie Arana, calls De Robertis a natural storyteller and says that the volume is a rapturous book whose pages one keeps wanting to turn.
Slaughter was awarded the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for the best thriller story for Cop Town (Century). Cornerstone m.d. Susan Sandon accepted the award on behalf of Slaughter. This Dagger is presented to the best thriller story of the year. The judges said: “The judges loved this fascinating story filled to the brim with rich and evocative period detail of Atlanta in 1974. The judges found the characters to be instantly real, engaging well-drawn and convincing helping the reader to be pulled through this dark and twisted story to the very end.”
The wind may not be a river, but the accolades have flowed freely for Payton’s novel. Critics have praised its moving, painterly prose; it’s earned numerous literary awards and titles. All of it has been a surprise to the self-contained Payton, whose greatest thrill came after a reading when a group of Aleuts rose to thank him for his accurate, dignified portrayals.
Karin Slaughter, author of the new novel Pretty Girls, is on a mission to save the nation’s libraries.
“Our libraries are being hit with a tsunami and there has been no call to action,” she says. “Staffs are being fired. Hours are being cut. Doors are being closed. Buildings are being razed. Kids are being left behind. Futures are being destroyed.”
Slaughter explains how she’s doing her part to Save the Libraries, and why we should be, too.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE
Meghan Daum, Leslye Walton, and Graham Moore are among the winners of the 2015 PEN Center USA Literary Awards, the organization announced Thursday.
On Nov. 16, there will be an official ceremony hosted by Aisha Tyler to recognize the honorees at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
Young Adult/Children’s Award: Leslye Walton, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
Recognizing the power of literature to promote peace and reconciliation, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation today announced the finalists for the 2015 Dayton Literary Peace Prize in fiction and nonfiction.
Who We Be by Jeff Chang: This book explores the changing (and unchanging) ways that the U.S. has viewed race over the past half-century, asking whether or not in the eras of “multicultural” and “post-racial” cultures if we really see each other more clearly.
A winner and runner-up in fiction and nonfiction will be announced on September 30th. Winners receive a $10,000 honorarium and runners-up receive $1,000. Finalists will be reviewed by prominent writers including Ron Carlson, Christine Schutt, Faith Adiele, and Evelyn McDonnell.
Pretty Girls: A Novel, by Karin Slaughter
(William Morrow, 9780062429056, $27.99)
“I was grabbed from the first page of Slaughter’s latest and roped in on the second. Boldly written and at times very raw, this psychological thriller is as suspenseful as it is scary. Dangerous secrets reunite two sisters who have been estranged since their older sister went missing 20 years earlier. As they search to discover what happened, they uncover evidence of her brutal murder and true evil. It is a gifted writer who can make you adore a character at the beginning of a book and loathe the same character at the end. Slaughter, author of both the Grant County and Will Trent series, has done just that in her newest stand-alone thriller.” —Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC
Zachary Auburn’s THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PATRIOTS PRESENTS: HOW TO TALK TO YOUR CAT ABOUT GUN SAFETY (EVOLUTION and ABSTINENCE), based on the zine, for a parody guidebook that mixes the lighthearted silliness of Cat Fancy magazine with the rhetoric of a Chick tract, to Amanda Patten at Three Rivers Press, in pre-empt, by Bernadette Baker-Baughman at Victoria Sanders & Associates.
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
This book is framed perfectly by its title. As a novel, it’s both strange and beautiful, following Ava, a girl who is born with wings. Perhaps even more unique than its plot is the atmosphere of the novel; harrowing and effortlessly lyrical, intoxicating without being too brutal to read.
Barbara Bourland’s I’LL EAT WHEN I’M DEAD, when a note from a woman lands on an NYPD Detective’s desk—two months after her funeral—he’s convinced that the fashion director of RAGE Fashion Book didn’t merely starve to death; once he begins investigating the circumstances surrounding her death he meets a bizarre, brilliant, and beautiful graduate school dropout who is about to be promoted into the dead woman’s job; pitched as one part Devil Wears Prada and one part Janet Evanovich, to Emily Griffin at Grand Central, in a good deal, for publication in Spring 2017, by Victoria Sanders at Victoria Sanders & Associates (World).
The longlist 2015 was announced on the 15th June and the shortlist was announced on the 30th June at the CWA Dagger Awards Dinner. The winners will be announced in September at an award ceremony in central London.
COP TOWN by Karin Slaughter