Observer critic Stephanie Merritt, who has published two novels with Faber and a memoir on depression with Ebury, is reinventing herself as a writer of historical thrillers.
Julia Wisdom at HarperCollins has acquired a trilogy set in the 16th century by Merritt writing as S J Parris. The first volume, Heresy, will be published in spring 2010. Wisdom bought UK and Commonwealth rights in "a big six-figure deal" from Jonny Geller of Curtis Brown at auction, with Ebury and Simon & Schuster the underbidders.
Heresy stars renegade Italian monk Giordano Bruno, based on a real-life figure, who has heretical ideas about the universe and escapes to England to work undercover for Sir Francis Walsingham. When attending a debate in Oxford, a series of murders take place which Bruno must solve. Wisdom, who bought the book on a 200-page partial manuscript, described it as "a really vividly painted picture of the time and place", being pitched to the C J Sansom market.
US rights have gone to Doubleday for a "high six-figure" deal at auction, via Jennifer Joel of ICM.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
S J Parris - Publishing Deal
I've been given some old Bookseller magazines so there may be a few slightly out of date bits of news appearing over the next couple of days! From The Bookseller (online):