The Publishing Post
Acquisitions & Adaptations
By Alice Warburton and Georgie Cutler
Announced on 10 November, a prequel to the bestseller We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is coming on 3 May 2022, titled Family of Liars. This book will focus on the Liars’ mothers, set twenty-seven years before the events of the original book. It is to be published by Random House Children’s Books imprint, Delacorte Press in the US, Bonnier Books UK's imprint, Hot Key Books, and Allen & Unwin in Australia and New Zealand. Lockhart dedicated her new book to her fans, stating that “their willingness to share their experience online has made all the difference in the world for this book” – probably referring to the 67 million views #wewereliars has on TikTok. The book will be edited by Delacorte Press’s Senior Vice President and Publisher Beverly Horowitz, with world rights acquired from Elizabeth Kaplan at the Elizabeth Kaplan Literary Agency, Inc.
The rights for Washington Post reporters Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa’s book, His Name is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice have been acquired by Transworld, after a 10-way auction. Editorial Director Andrea Henry acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Caspian Dennis at Abner Stein, on behalf of Aevitas Creative Management. Author Olorunnipa added that “We are excited to work with Alex and the team at Transworld to tell that story, revealing both a life that mattered and the systems that so tragically denied its worth.” The book will be published 19 May 2022, in hardback, by Bantam Press. Rights were acquired by editor Ibrahim Ahmad for Viking US.
‘Between the Covers’ BBC 2 TV star Sara Cox’s debut novel, is to be published by Coronet. The rights to the novel Thrown, were bought by publisher Hannah Black, from Melanie Rockcliffe at YMU Group. This is set to be a major fiction debut, as her memoir published in 2018, Till the Cows Come Home, was a Waterstones’ paperback of the year choice. Thrown will be published 12 May 2022, and Cox herself will read for the audiobook edition.
Rights for debut author Deesha Philyaw’s novel The Secret Lives of Church Ladies have been pre-empted by Pushkin Press. This collection of short stories depicting hidden desires of church-going Black women will be published in hardback by the imprint, One, in May 2022, and a HBO Max TV series is in the works, optioned by Tessa Thompson. Rights were acquired by Managing Director Adam Freudenheim, from Curtin Brown, acting on behalf of Upstart Crown Literary.
Sherwood’s 007 Trilogy Picked Up by HarperCollins
Kim Sherwood will become the first female author of a James Bond novel with her new trilogy acquired by HarperCollins. The contemporary thrillers will be set in Ian Fleming’s world of Bond and will feature a new cast of agents for the 21st century. HarperCollins’ Kathryn Chesire (UK) and David Highfill from William Morrow (US), with Jonny Geller and Viola Hayden of Curtis Brown, on behalf of Ian Fleming Publications Limited, negotiated the deal. Sherwood is represented by Susan Armstrong from C&W Agency. The first instalment of the trilogy looks to be released in September 2022.
From Book to Screen
What to Watch?
The Wheel of Time on Amazon Prime
Rosamund Pike leads in this fantasy drama television series based on the book series of the same name by Robert Jordan. It follows Moiraine (Pike), a member of an all-female magical organisation, who sets out on a quest with a group of five companions, one of whom is the Dragon Reborn, to save humanity or destroy it. The Wheel of Time premieres on Amazon Prime Video on 19 November and a second series has already been announced.
Passing on Netflix
Passing is a drama revolving around two mixed-race childhood friends reuniting and becoming increasingly fascinated and involved in one another’s adult lives. It involves a star-studded cast, including the likes of Tessa Thompson, Ruth Negga, André Holland and Alexander Skarsgård. The 1929 novel by Nella Larsen, which the film is based upon, discusses themes of race, class, gender and jealousy. Passing debuted at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival and is coming to Netflix on 10 November.
In the Works
Taika Waititi to adapt Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Incal
Taika Waititi is set to direct Alejandro Jodorowsky and Mœbius’ The Incal. Jodorowsky’s unsuccessful attempt to direct Frank Herbert’s Dune inspired the creation of the bestselling graphic novel The Incal in the 1970s. The graphic novel series, a dystopian space opera, will be the first Humanoids title to be adapted for the big screen. Waititi will be teaming up with Jemaine Clement, who he previously worked with on What We Do in the Shadows, and Peter Warren to write the script. Humanoids is yet to release the studio and premiere date.