THR's 5 Book Deals of the Week: YA Science Fiction, Pirates and Female Cops

Bilge Rat Book Cover - P 2011

Bilge Rat Book Cover - P 2011

Two new YA series set in space, a boy on a pirate ship and female detective stories set in Hollywood and Buffalo are the week's hot deals.

This week The Hollywood Reporter inaugurates a regular roundup of recent book deals that will catch the attention of consumers and Hollywood when they are published.

Young Adult continues to be where the action is in the book market, especially YA science fiction and fantasy novels. Three of the week's most important deals fit into that category, including two novels about space travel and one about pirates. In particular, recent bestsellers like Suzanne Collin's The Hunger Games and Pittacus Lore's I am Number Four have increased interest in YA science fiction.

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Also making the list are two new detective series, one from The New York Times bestselling non-fiction writer and journalist Stephan Talty and another from former LAPD policewoman Connie Dial. Both novels are centered on female cops and both are rooted in particular places, Talty’s in Buffalo and Dial’s in Hollywood.

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THR's rundown of the week’s top 5 deals:

1. Black Irish by Stephan Talty sold to Ballantine Bantam Dell by Scott Waxman at Waxman Literary Group. Film rights repped by Matthew Snyder at CAA.

Envisioned as the first in a series about a Harvard-educated policewoman solving crimes in Buffalo's Irish-American neighborhoods, Black Irish centers on the hunt for a serial killer who taunts the policewoman with cryptic messages. Talty grew up in Buffalo and his take on the city as a place of broken dreams and broken promises suggests the story will be a procedural plot with a dash of The Wire. Talty has written non-fiction bestsellers about everything from race in America to how typhus undermined Napoleon’s army and seen his work appear in The New York Times, GQ, Men's Journal, and many other publications. This is his first book of fiction. Publication is expected in 2013.

2. Fallen Angels by Connie Dial sold to The Permanent Press by Jodie Rhodes at Jodi Rhodes Literary Agency.

A detective thriller about a dead Hollywood starlet, the murder of her agent and the discovery of an appointment book filled with the names of the city's most powerful and its corrupt cops. The novel centers on a newly promoted female captain in the LAPD whose career is put in jeopardy when her husband's name shows up on the list. Dial, the author of several other police novels (Internal Affairs, The Broken Blue Line) served in the LAPD for 27 years, rising from patrolwoman to the head of the Hollywood Division.

3. Bilge Rat by Kevin Charles Smith sold to Journey as part of three-book deal by Mark Miller at Mark B. Miller Management and George Brigandi at Brigandi & Associates.

The story is cleverly described as "Mutiny on the Bounty meets Pirates of the Caribbean with an Oliver Twist." Smith is a former senior vice president of marketing at Kellogg's Cereals and this is his first book deal. Bilge Rat already has cover art and Smith and his team are fielding inquiries about the film rights.

4. Wrecked by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner sold to Disney/Hyperion as part of a three-book deal by Josh Adams and Tracey Adams at Adams Literary. Films rights repped by Stephen Moore at Paul Kohner.

Wrecked—which is pitched as "Titantic in outer space" (but also sounds a bit like a space version of Blue Lagoon, the 1980 Brooke Shields hit)—follows a wealthy teen socialite and a young war hero confronting harsh conditions and their mutual attraction while stranded on an uncharted planet after their spaceliner crashed. Publication is scheduled for Summer 2013.

5. Starglass by Phoebe North sold to Simon & Schuster Children's as part of a two-book deal by Michelle Andelman of Regal Literary. 

This debut novel from 2009 University of Florida MFA graduate Phoebe North follows a teenage girl who is drawn into a rebel group's assassination plot aboard a spaceship but falls for the boy she is supposed to kill. Scheduled for publication in summer 2013 with the tentatively titled sequel, Starfall, set to follow in summer 2014.