Monday, November 10, 2003

Eating Out With Lunch Weekly 

Scanning through this week's deals, I first come across something that only I think is rather cool:

Television and film writer Barbara Davilman and humorist Ellis Weiner's YIDDISH WITH DICK AND JANE, a parody kids'book/language primer wherein grown-up versions of Dick and Jane help us all learn Yiddish, to Terry Adams at Little, Brown, for publication in fall 2004, by Paul Bresnick in affiliation with Carlisle & Company (world).pbresnick@carlisleco.com

But then, Yiddish is my first language. Although I bet the book would have been ever better had this man been recruited for the job. Although perhaps the end result might not be for children....

In the Spoiled Princesses Dept:

Sasha Cohen, with Kathy Stafford and Linda Stiegler's untitled autobiography of the seventeen year-old Olympic Champion figure
skater, to Abigail McAden at Harper, in a nice deal, by Andrea Brown,with Robert Preskill, at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency (NA).

Let's see. Seventeen. Autobiography. Figure Skater. What the hell is she going to say besides "I Hate Michelle Kwan?"

For the aspiring writers:

Literary agent Pamela Brodowsky's SECRETS OF SUCCESSFUL QUERY LETTERS, an insider's guide showcasing the working query,
complete with real letters that landed writers an agent, to Marcia Schutte at Nonetheless Press, in a nice deal.

If you ask some agents, evidently, the successful query is no query at all. Look, a query is like a cover letter for a job, it's just that people get attached to their books a hell of a lot more than they get attached to their work. Usually.

More on the Geezer Sherlock:

Mitch Cullin's literary novel THE MOON REFLECTS THE SUN, his seventh book but first with a major publisher, deconstructing Sherlock
Holmes at age 93, portrayed here as retired and tending his bee apiary and losing his prized memory, as he visits post-war Japan and Hiroshima invited by a Japanese intellectual whose motivations are concealed - until converging mysteries force Holmes to come to terms with emotions he has resisted his entire life, to Coates Bateman at Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, at auction, in a good deal, for two books, by Peter Steinberg at JCA Literary Agency (NA).

Uh, Holmes and bombed-out Hiroshima. Sherlock and nukes. What am I missing in this picture?

I'm reporting this because of the hook, which cracks me up:

Two hip caper novels ("Notting Hill" meets "Ocean's Eleven") by Lucy Hawking, British journalist and daughter of Stephen Hawking, JADED and MY GLORIOUS BREAKDOWN, to Julie Saltman at Plume, at auction, by Amy Jameson at Janklow & Nesbit.

The scary thing is, I suspect I might actually like these books.

In totally fantastic news if you're into crime fiction in translation, like I am:

Norwegian mystery/crime writer Karin Fossum's DON'T LOOK BACK and HE WHO FEARS THE WOLF, to Drenka Willen at Harcourt, for
publication beginning in March 2004, by Random UK (NA).

Fossum is really gaining a huge following in the UK, and I predict similar success in the US, where contrary to popular belief, Henning Mankell's books do quite nicely in the independent mystery world, thank you very much. A very welcome addition.

In the head-scratcher dept:

Dylan Shaffer's novel I WRITE THE WRONGS, the second in a series of legal thrillers about Gordon Seegerman--Public Defender by day, lead singer in a Barry Manilow cover band by night, again to Colin Dickerman at Bloomsbury, by Lydia Wills at Writers & Artists Agency (world).

The first one's not even out yet, and I scratched my head plenty when that deal was announced a few months back.

In CanConCrime news:

Hammett Prize shortlisted Brad Smith's PICKLOCKS, his third "country noir" crime novel, about the discovery of what may be the only known recording of Lincoln giving the Gettysburg Address, the small-time scams surrounding it, and the larger-than-life characters trying to get a piece of it, to Jennifer Barth at Holt, and to Barbara Berson at Penguin Canada, by Ann Rittenberg at the Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency, Inc.

In the "it makes sense after you've thought about it a while" department....or maybe not:

Terry Burns' MYSTERIOUS WAYS, and two other books, part of a new line of Christian Westerns, to River Oak Publishing, by Joyce Hart at Hartline.

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