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Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Lunch for Dinner 

Email problems appear to be over, after a frantic hour moving everything off the server and cleaning out all sorts of detritus. Argh. Anyway, it means I got the Deal Lunch a bit later than usual.

The first of the Queer Eye dudes to get a book deal is Carson Kressley, with an "untitled book on fashion, about the simple sartorial staples of style from ascots to zippers, along with a dose of makeover magic for behavior and attitude, to Trena Keating for Dutton and Plume, for full-color publication in fall 2004, by Richard Abate at ICM (world)."

I am so utterly overjoyed. No doubt his fellow partners in fashion and grooming crime are jealous that he got there first.

In made-up self-help books:

Alexandra Robbins's CONQUERING YOUR QUARTERLIFE CRISIS, a follow up to the successful Quarterlife Crisis, providing prescriptive
answers and advice to help readers face the unique challenges of life in their twenties, make the choices that are right for them, and forge ahead with the rest of their lives, to Michelle Howry at Perigee, by Paula Balzer at Sarah Lazin Books (world English).


Look, it sucks for my generation. We expected so much and now we're not getting it. Perhaps it's time to return to the thinking of our forefathers, who didn't expect so much for themselves but worked their butts off for future generations? Actually, who am I kidding, I can't get a freaking job either.

In misstating the obvious:

Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, a "male-perspective" consultant and staff writer for HBO's Sex and the City, have teamed up to write HE'S
JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU: The No Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys, a humorous yet wise non-fiction relationship/self-help book (based
on one of the show's episodes) that educates otherwise smart women on how to tell when a guy just doesn't like them enough, so they stop
wasting time making excuses for a relationship that just isn't going to work, to Patrick Price at Simon Spotlight Entertainment, by Andrea
Barzvi at ICM (world).


How to tell that sort of thing? When the guy you dig is after your hot friend. Everything else is just extra....

Something amusing:

Sara Bynoe's compilation TEEN ANGST POETRY: An Anthology of the Worst Poetry Ever Written, a humorous compilation of break ups and breakouts in angst-ridden teenage verse, with "I can laugh at it now" annotations from the now adult authors, a spin-off from the website of the same name, to Elizabeth Bewley at St. Martin's, in a pre-empt, by Sarah Heller at the Helen Heller Agency

And something that might not be:

Roger Bennett, Nick Kroll and Jules Shell's BAR MITZVAH DISCO, a collection of Bar Mitzvah photos, memorabilia and stories that were sent
in by individuals from across the country in response to the authors' own bar mitzvah website, to Doug Pepper at Crown, in a pre-empt, for publication in spring 2005, by Kate Lee and Richard Abate at ICM (NA).


In what might actually be a good tell-all:

Holocaust survivor, groundbreaking Sixties singer in Goldie and the Gingerbreads, the first all-female rock band to be signed by a major record label, and later producer of several seminal bands of the NY punk rock scene Genya Ravan's LOLLIPOP LOUNGE: MEMOIR OF A ROCK AND ROLL REFUGEE, a tell-all autobiography, to Bob Nirkind at Billboard Books, in a nice deal (world)

And this is making me hungry already:

Carol Off's BITTERSWEET: The Inside Story of Chocolate, an investigative journey into the social history, politics, wealth, power and
poverty of the international chocolate and cocoa trade, to Anne Collins at Random House Canada, by Don Sedgwick (world).


Turning to fiction, we open with "The Devil Wears Prada, Weinstein style":

Former Miramax employee Rachel Eve Pine's roman a clef/satire THE TWINS OF TRIBECA (the twins being the brothers Weinstein),
promising "plenty of dishy anecdotes about the underbelly of Hollywood, including its stars," to Jonathan Burnham at Miramax Books, after Harvey Weinstein spoke with the author by phone from Rome in "a friendly if slightly surreal conversation," for publication in summer 2005, by Katherine Boyle at LitWest Group (world).


How cute that Miramax is publishing this! Why, I'm getting all warm and fuzzy everywhere. Well, I might get the book when it comes out, if only to see if it's better written than PRADA was (though I did enjoy Weisberger's maiden voyage for what it was.)

Speaking of bandwagons:

Johanna Edwards's first novel THE NEXT BIG THING, about a plus-size heroine who goes on reality show called FROM FAT TO FABULOUS to
try to win her fat-phobe internet boyfriend, to Allison McCabe, in a good deal, by Jenny Bent at Trident Media Group (NA).


You know, Jennifer Weiner did this whole topic really well, so do we really need something that probably won't measure up to GOOD IN BED? Of course, I'm happy to be proven wrong.

And even more on that wagon-jumping thing:

Melissa Jacobs' debut novel LEXI JAMES & THE COUNCIL OF GIRLFRIENDS, featuring a wisecracking heroine who's more Jo March
than Bridget Jones, the EVP of a flourishing PR agency in Philadelphia, who realizes something's got to change when she spends another
Saturday night alone watching "Sixteen Candles" and eating Skippy Super Chunk with a tablespoon, to Lucia Macro at Avon/Morrow, in a two-book deal, by Betsy Amster (world).


A little bit of Helen, a little bit of Louisa May, and let's throw in some Jennifer W for good measure....voila! Yet another chick-lit novel. Sigh.

In books I might be looking foward to reading:

Michael Lavigne's first novel NOT ME, about a downcast small-time comedian who discovers that his dying father, a deeply committed,
philanthropic Jewish man all his life, may actually have been a Nazi bookkeeper before forging his new identity, eventually leading him to
confront his own puzzling past and starts to understand the true meaning of benevolence, compassion, and forgiveness--and identity, to Daniel Menaker at Random House, by Michael Carlisle at Carlise & Company.


On the crime fiction front:

Lori and Tony Karayianni aka Tori Carrington's first two titles in their mystery series SOFIE METROPOLIS, PI, about a Greek-American
heroine standing at a cultural, personal and professional crossroads...until she ditches her cheating fiance, turns a blind eye to the other
"appropriate" Greek men with whom her mother endeavors to match her, and trades her job as waitress for that of private investigator with often times comedic results, to Melissa Ann Singer at Tor, in a very good deal, by Robert Gottlieb at Trident Media Group (NA).


Oh, gag me. Not because the premise is terrible or anything, but because it isn't. So why is this getting published in the US while Paul Johnston's marvellous Alex Mavros books (the latest one, THE LAST RED DEATH, is a potent blend of PI, political thriller, history, and family ties) isn't anywhere near such a deal? But because his books doesn't involve a female protagonist and bears no relationship whatsoever to MY BIG, FAT GREEK WEDDING, they get shafted. And now that I think about it, I can see the pitch as "Nia Vardalos meets Stephanie Plum" and I'm liking it even less than I did before.....

Meanwhile, in the techno-thriller arena:

Dr. Jeffrey Anderson's first novel SLEEPER CELL, a thriller with plausible science, intense action, and intricate plotting, telling the story
of a biological attack no one is talking about--one that may already have its seeds in the research laboratories of elite universities on American
soil--and the new top secret Biodefense Command, that must race to stop the deadly attack, to Natalee Rosenstein at Berkley, for six figures,
in a pre-empt, by Kimberly Whalen at Trident Media Group. (NA).


I can think of a couple of people who really have to hurry up and get their somewhat similar books finished already...such deals started coming in last year and the bandwagon's on in full force.

Two-time winner of the Shamus Award and three-time Edgar nominee Brendan DuBois' next two Lewis Cole mysteries, featuring magazine
columnist and retired Defense Department analyst Lewis Cole, who pursues mysterious happenings in and around the New Hampshire
seacoast, to Thomas Dunne/St. Martin's, by Liza Dawson at Liza Dawson Associates (NA). Chandler Crawford is handling foreign rights.


Hmm, New Hampshire. Don't think that's been done in mystery fiction for a while.

So there it is, folks, with an extra dose of snark for good measure..

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