One-time muse to fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, Sara Stockbridge's HAMMER, set in 1880s Whitechapel, the story of a matriarch and jewel thief, who is forced to go on the run when an early crime finally catches up with her, to Vivienne Schuster at Curtis Brown. Translation rights are represented by Curtis Brown UK.
Andrew Davidson's THE GARGOYLE, "a densely packed story about a car-accident victim in the burn ward befriended by a mysterious woman who claims to be a stone carver in a fifteenth-century German abbey" (per NY Mag), has been sold to Gerald Howard of Doubleday, at auction, reportedly for "around $1.25 million,"
NYT bestselling author J.A. Jance's next three books in her Ali Reynolds suspense series, has been picked up again Trish Lande Grader at Touchstone Fireside, for publication beginning in January 2009 and following annually thereafter, with the second and third to follow in January 2010 and January 2011.
Author of The Blade Itself Marcus Sakey's four books, following Ben Sevier to Dutton, for publication beginning in 2009, by Scott Miller at Trident Media Group (world).
WHAT'S WILBUR READING?
Wilbur Smith, author of The Quest and thirty other African adventure novels, talked to the Christian Science Monitor about what he was watching and listening to.
’I receive a great number of proof copies of soon-to-be published books ... asking for quotes [for] the dust jackets. I bin most of them, but two caught my fancy recently. One was The Accident Man, a first novel by Tom Cain. It is a cracking thriller woven around the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.’ You can read what Ali Karim thinks of The Accident Man.
Nice segue into the next fictional account of Diana’s death is Eoin McNamee’s 12.23 out in the UK June published by Faber&Faber. You may know Eoin better as John Creed. Of 12:23, Eion says, “I can’t actually remember the moment when I recognised something in the events of 31st August 1997 in Paris that drew me towards it as a subject for fiction, but I imagine that it was something which pointed to the atmosphere of the whole thing.”
Bestsellers: riddles, wrapped in mysteries, inside enigmas
The New York Times investigates that perpetual publishing mystery: what makes a book a bestseller? The answer, according to the article, is: who knows? Books that are bounced from slush pile to slush pile go on to sell hundreds of thousands of copies. Others that seem to be surefire hits get pulped within months of publication.
Brian DeFiore, a literary agent, asks: “Is it the cover? The title? The buzz wasn’t there? Timing? It wasn’t that good?”
The answer is that no one really knows. “It’s an accidental profession, most of the time,” said William Strachan, editor in chief at Carroll & Graf Publishers. “If you had the key, you’d be very wealthy. Nobody has the key.”
It’s the publishing equivalent of a Greek myth in which the gods – on a whim, on a bet, for a joke – take turns interfering in human fate: “This thriller about the Knights Templar shall succeed; this one shall fail. This wry comedy about a lonely, weight-obsessed, husband-seeking office worker shall succeed….”