People & Publishing Roundup, February 2021


MONIQUE ROFFEY‘s The Mermaid of Black Conch (Peepal Tree) won the £5,000 Costa Novel award, given to one “of the most enjoyable books of the year, writ­ten by authors based in the UK and Ireland.” She’s in the running for the £30,000 Costa Book of the Year award.


Liz Williams (by David Titchener)

STEPHEN GRAHAM JONES sold My Heart Is a Chainsaw and a second book to Joe Monti at Saga Press via BJ Robbins of BJ Robbins Literary Agency.

LIZ WILLIAMS sold the third and fourth books in the Comet Weather series, Embertide and Salt on the Midnight Fire, to Ian Whates at NewCon Press.

TIM PRATT sold Prison of Sleep (sequel to Doors of Sleep) and novella collection The Alien Stars ( set in the world of the Axiom trilogy) to Eleanor Teasdale at Angry Robot via Ginger Clark of Curtis Brown.

RICHARD BUTNER sold his first full-length collection to Kelly Link at Small Beer Press.

KELLEY ARMSTRONG sold two books in the new Time Travel Mysteries series to Kelley Rag­land at Minotaur via Lucienne Diver of the Knight Agency.

AYIZE JAMA-EVERETT sold the final novel in his Liminal series, THE LAST LIMINAL, to Gavin J. Grant at Small Beer Press.

W. MICHAEL GEAR & KATHLEEN O’NEAL GEAR sold Fracture Event and The Foundation to Mike Bray at Wolf­pack.

CHRIS HOLM sold SF thriller Child Zero, “reminiscent of Mi­chael Crichton,” to Josh Ken­dall at Mulholland Books in a six-figure pre-empt via David Gernert of the Gernert Company.

D.L. SORIA sold Thief Liar Lady, inspired by Cinderella, and a second book to Sarah Peed at Del Rey at auction via Taylor Hag­gerty of Root Literary.

REBECCA CAPRARA sold Spin, “a feminist reimagining of Ovid’s myth of Arachne–the original spider girl,” to Julia Mc­Carthy at Atheneum in a pre-empt via Allison Hellegers of Stimola Literary Studio.

ALYSSA WEES sold histori­cal dark fantasy “Beauty and the Beast” re-imagining Little Bird and a second book to Anne Groell at Del Rey in a pre-empt via Penelope Burns of Gelfman Schneider/ICM.

C.J. CAREY‘s alternate his­tory feminist dystopia Widow­land and a second book sold to Erin McClary at Sourcebooks via Millie Hoskins and Caradoc King of United Agents.

DEBRA BOKUR sold The Lava Witch, third in the Dark Paradise Mystery series, to James Abbate at Kensington via Shannon Hassan at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

JENNIFER THORNE‘s horror novel Lute and a second book sold to Daphne Durham at Nightfire via Katelyn Detweiler of Jill Grinberg Literary Management.

JESSICA JOHNS sold fantasy Bad Cree to Aemen Ansari at Harp­er Canada at auction via Stephanie Sinclair at CookeMcDermid.

SHANNON FAY sold alternate historical fantasy Innate Magic and a sequel to Adrienne Procac­cini at 47North via Rebecca Strauss at DeFiore and Company.

MANDY-SUZANNE WONG sold dystopian novel The Box to Steve Woodward at Graywolf via Akin Akinwumi of Willenfield Literary Agency.

KATRINA MONROE‘s femi­nist horror novel The Drowning Girls and two more books sold to Mary Altman at Sourcebooks via Joanna MacKenzie of Nelson Literary Agency.

Richard Butner, Rudy Ruiz, Nisi Shawl

RUDY RUIZ sold magical realist novel Valley of Shadows, a prequel to The Resurrection of Fulgencio Ramirez, to Rick Bleiweiss at Blackstone Publishing, to be published simultaneously in English and Spanish, via Laura Strachan of Strachan Literary Agency. Naomi Hynes will edit.

CHRIS MCKINNEY sold Midnight, Water City, first in a near-future neo-noir trilogy, to Soho Crime.

DIANA RODRIGUEZ WAL­LACH sold Latinx horror novel Small Town Monsters to Wendy Loggia at Underlined via Lane Heymont at the Tobias Literary Agency. Alison Romig will edit.

TRACEY NORMAN sold Vic­torian supernatural novel Who Is Anna Stenberg to Cherie Ma­cenka at Liminal Books.

RICHARD THOMAS sold collection Spontaneous Hu­man Combustion to Stephanie Beard at Keylight.

MIKE THORN‘s two horror collections Darkest Hours and Peel Back and See went to Chris­topher Payne at JournalStone via Stacey Kondla of the Rights Factory.

KAT TURNER sold Under Your Skin, starting the Jungle Shifters series, and two more books to Tee Tate at City Owl Press.

JONATHAN STROUD sold The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne and a second book to Nancy Siscoe at Knopf Children’s via Andrea Morrison of Writers House on behalf of Veronique Bax­ter at David Higham Associates.

SHEA ERNSHAW‘s YA fan­tasy A Wilderness of Stars and a second book went to Nicole El­lul at Simon & Schuster Children’s via Jessica Regel of Helm Literary.

DANTE PARADISO sold post-apocalyptic YA The Havens to Eric Kampmann at Beaufort Books via Tony Outhwaite. Megan Trank will edit.

JENNIFER JENKINS sold YA fantasy Eavesdropper to Hannah Smith at Owl Hollow Press.

JASON SANFORD sold debut novel Plague Birds, “a genre-bending mix of science fiction and dark fantasy, pitched as Jeff Van­derMeer’s Dead Astronauts meets the Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells,” to Jason Sizemore at Apex.

New writer HIRON ENNES‘s Leech, “combining parasitic body horror with Gothic family drama in a postapocalyptic setting,” and a sequel went to Carl Engle-Laird at Tordotcom and to Bella Pagan at Tor UK for six figures in a pre-empt via Alexander Cochran of C+W.

Stephen Graham Jones (by Ellen Datlow), Ayize Jama-Everett (by Arley Sorg)

AIMEE POKWATKA sold first fantasy Self-Portrait With Noth­ing and a second title to Lee Harris at Tordotcom via Stacia Decker of Dunow, Carlson & Lerner.

MAGGIE GILES sold first novel A Life Less Lived, about changing your past, to Alexandria Brown at Rising Action.

First novelist CRISTINA FER­NANDEZ sold YA How To Date A Superhero (And Not Die Try­ing), to Sara Schonfeld at Katherine Tegen at auction via Abigail Frank of Sanford J. Greenburger Associates.

BRITNEY LEWIS sold her debut, YA zombie novel The Un­dead Truth of Us, plus a second title to Emily Meehan at Dis­ney-Hyperion via Katelyn Detweiler of Jill Grinberg Literary Management. Brittany Rubiano and Christine Collins will edit.

DEREK KÜNSKEN‘s Pollen From A Future Harvest , PREMEE MOHAMED‘s These Lifeless Things, and WAYNE SANTOS‘s The Difficult Loves of Maria Makiling all sold to a new novella imprint at Rebellion Publishing, Solaris Satellites, launching later this year. David Thomas Moore is commissioning editor.

NISI SHAWL will edit New Suns 2 for David Thomas Moore at Solaris.

BRYAN THOMAS SCHMIDT & HENRY HERZ will edit YA anthology The Hitherto Secret Adventures of Marie Curie for Rick Bleiweiss at Blackstone Pub­lishing via Andy Ross of Andy Ross Agency.


LAURA SEBASTIAN sold the YA fantasy Castles in Their Bones trilogy to Molly Powell at Hodder & Stoughton in the UK via Charlotte Bodman of Rights People on behalf of John Cusick and Madeline Froyd of Folio Literary Management. Delacorte will publish in the US.


KARA WELSH was promoted to president of Ballantine Books, which includes the Ballantine, Ban­tam, Delacorte, and Dell imprints. JENNIFER HERSHEY has been promoted to publisher of Bal­lantine. Del Rey publisher and executive vice president SCOTT SHANNON is now also director of strategy. TRICIA NARWANI has risen to editor-in-chief at Del Rey, with KEITH CLAYTON promot­ed to vice president and publishing director of licensed publishing.

DAVID DRAKE was pro­moted to president of Crown, while GILLIAN BLAKE has been made publisher. CHR IS JACKSON is now executive vice-president and publisher of One World and RocLit 101.

SEAN MCDONALD has been promoted to publisher and senior vice-president of the MCD imprint at Farrar, Straus, Giroux.

AMARA HOSHIJO is now an editor at Saga Press. She was at Soho Press.

IRA NAYMAN is stepping down as editor-in-chief of Amaz­ing. A new editor will be named later.

Uncanny managing editor CHI­MEDUM OHAEGBU is also po­etry editor, starting with issue 39.


Film rights to RICHARD POWERS‘s Bewilderment went to Black Bear Pictures and Plan B Entertainment via CAA and Melanie Jackson Agency.

Film rights to SHANNON MESSENGER‘s Keeper of the Lost Cities series went to Disney via Joel Vanderkloot and Michelle Kroes of CAA and Vanderkloot Law on behalf of Laura Rennert of Andrea Brown Literary Agen­cy. Ben Affleck will direct and produce through his Pearl Street production company, and will pen the adaptation with Kate Gritmon.

BRIAN MCCLELLAN‘s Pow­der Mage series is closer to becom­ing a TV series, with Joseph Mal­lozzi attached to write and act as show-runner with production com­pany No Equal Entertainment.

This and more like it in the February 2021 issue of Locus.

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