Friday, December 18, 2015

Writers Fruit Salad

The following questions popped up in a number of writer’s groups, particularly Absolute Write. They were interesting because they were more personal than the norm. Kind of a spill your guts in nature. I’m a truth-teller. I won’t shy or back off such questions because I’ve been in this too long to hide anything. Yet they are only my experiences. So, have at me, and I hope you learn something or take a trip down a writer’s memory lane.


I have to at least be over the 65,000 word mark, 200 plus pages for a YA title before I feel adequate or accomplished. I'm more comfortable with 80,000 or more for any adult title. But I convinced my last publisher to give me the large font in the book, so I got my thieving little way of keeping my page count up there, when my word count was a little slim for a novel (my novels) at about 62,000. (For anyone who has a lean YA title, just ask your publisher to jack up the font and that will do the trick—that’s where you get your extra pages—some fluff up. I think they call them “Easy Readers” or some such. They come out real nice looking that way too). I've written five big books in the past that were all about 110,000 to 120,000--I just don't have that kind of steam anymore unless I'm writing something truly epic with a grand scale and multiple viewpoint characters. I just finished a NA genre book that came in at 216 pages and 72,000 words, and I'm not really happy about the small size of that one—I do consider it an adult novel. I do like a book that has at least enough room on the spine to be noticed or read from a distance.
I had terrific success writing short stories many years ago. I don't know why I want nothing to do with them now. I wrote two prequel shorts for my SF publisher recently, only because he asked me to. I did kind of enjoy the experience and they fit right in with the main title! I just might be afraid of shorts because I'm 28 years out of practice with churning them out.  


Out of 22 books I've only written ONE first person narrative and it was a novella. I'm so damn jealous of those who can master and write in 1rst--it's been so popular in so many YA titles that really broke out and became bestsellers these last couple of years.
During the Dinosaur era when I first started out (exact year as James M. here--1987) there was kind of standard rule or popular belief that third person tight was the only thing that had the best chance of getting published. First person was just a little bit frowned upon--just not the real favorite style. I kid you not. Oh, and memoires and auto biographies? Uh, they were discouraged much more back then.

The dinosaur era, speaking of which--there was a time when we SFWA members laughed at Whitley Strieber because of his alien contact confession—now look at him! We choked with hilarity when the fantasy writers wanted to join and merge with the Science Fiction Writers of America. We were an elite snooty ass bunch of thespians (uh, they still are a wee bit to this day). The mid-old SF guard is still mostly there, and there was an earlier time when you could exchange dozens of letters with Asimov, Robert Bloch, Anderson, Heinlein and other notables. We all had time for each other then--no Internet--lots of regular mail, some which were banged out on typewriters. Tons of us used 4th Class Special Book Rate to mail our fulls and partials--which you marked as disposable if you couldn't afford their round trip. It was a time when I made fun of Clive Barker because he was such a punk at the BEAs. Oh, boy, did I eat that one in a Hellraiser sort of way. Yeah, back then, if you were serious you mailed 400 to 500 pages.

The dinos are almost extinct now, and we're reckoning with this new age of Internet and instant publication for Indie writers. I'm confronted with massive computer storage systems, programming needs, clicks, drop downs, links, navigating social media and a hard-copy list that has over 70 passwords and user names. Motherboard crashes? I've had four of those. It makes me long for my IBM Selectric. I've been so god-damned stupid trying to adapt to all this, I rarely if ever touch any friggin key on my board that doesn't spell a word and belong in a text file. I’m more than hopelessly lost in this computer tech world.


I wrote three longhand pencil novels on yellow rule paper in 1975. My next stint was from 1987 to 1991 when I published two successful non-fiction books and about 15 short stories, which landed me in the SFWA. My agent at that time was Richard Curtis, and he failed to sell three of my completed novels. I wrote an additional 3 novels that I never bothered subbing to the agent or anywhere. I stopped writing in 1991. Total books written = eight.
My current, third stint journey has lasted from Dec, 2004 (joined Absolute Write writers group at that time) until now. Wrote about 17 books during that time which includes a really neat non-fic dinosaur book. My first two novel publications came in 2007 and six others have followed, plus two prequel shorts. My agent now has an additional six completed, revised, edited and polished novels (a trilogy and picture book in there) and my current NA WIP which was just finished, waxed to bedazzlement and sent yesterday. She's going to "stagger" sub all of them in 2016 and see which poop pie sticks to the wall. I'm counting on the trilogy to bust out with a NYC biggie—so is agent. Got everything crossed including my eyes.  

I can't even tell you how many false starts I've had--books that went from the 20,000 to 40,000 words and got dumped midstream. Maybe eight to10 of them. I'd have to look them up.

I've never been without an agent my entire writing career. Which makes me think I'm jinxed somehow, since that huge contract has been illusive, with only advances that numbered in the low thousands during my earliest years. Back then we had the “medium sized” presses--which still got you into every library in the United States and all the large franchise book stores, like Waldens and B. Dalton. Today, there is a littler gray area between small/independent presses and the Big Five and all their imprints. Either you land a publisher that has real distribution to brick and mortar stores and pays a nice advance, or you settle for a small press that will typically sell between 75 and 150 books in their lifetime. We do have some really high-end small presses which fork over advances and have distribution. These “middle” type small press publishers might have a large staff, a marketing manager, foreign rights department and other such extras. Bookatour and Entangled would be these types of successful small press/independents.

In conclusion: keep a diary or journal of your writing life and history. You might have to recall your bio when your talented little ass hits the big time.  

Friday, November 13, 2015

What is a Stealth Agent? What is an A-List Agent?

First, Stealth Agents:

My agent was/is a stealth agent. She was/is an A-lister in hiding. You will run across these in your search. Oh, God, you say. That's a whole new kettle of fish. Real short: in most cases, a stealth agent does not have a website, Twitter feed, FB account--NONE of it. No footprint. They might only be registered in a few online media listings, like Agent Query, and there you will find almost nothing about them except a phone number and an email address. They might even announce that they are closed to queries at the present. I Googled one such agent and found a few listings associated with books she had repped on Amazon.

When I Googled those authors I found them to be best-sellers and name celebrities. It was quite a shock to find out how successful she was. I also found more information about her at my AW writing site which confirmed my suspicions. Everyone agreed that she WAS a very successful agent and had dinosaur longevity. She only stays/stayed invisible because her stable was full, she wasn't taking on queries and she concentrated on furthering the careers of her current authors. Quite noble, actually. The secret handshake to her was, simply sending her a proposal whether she liked it or not! Hah! I did this and she took me on, bowled over with the number of books I had finished and ready. She said, "Oh, you know the way to my heart-you came and got me." I don't recommend this strategy for other authors. It's a coin flip. Don’t try to get into the Richard Curtiss Agency this way—he’ll flatly tell you he’s only interested in non-fiction. Yet, he has his ear open to the right scout and movie exec.

The A-lister: look up your favorite genre or contemporary books and authors at the major book stores and look in the dedication pages. Make note if the publisher is a large one, i.e S&S, Ace, Harlequin, Penguin/Random, etc. You'll find out what agent sold those books. Large, popular houses = A-list agents (for the most part). It's a good feeler gauge, but some new agents make big sales too, just not that many of them. Google the name of the agent on the Amazon book page and, wallah! You'll see how many books, ranks, best sellers the agent has dealt with. Better: ask the agent straight away for their rep history, author names she reps, length of business and so on. An A-list agent is How Big, How Many and for How Long. You’re likely to get an agent/author contract.

B-list agents, who also sometimes call themselves "boutique (or medium-sized) agencies" generally have several dozen sales under their belts with medium sized publishers and maybe a few large ones. Heh, don't get me started on Medium size, that's a whole new article. B-list agents are oft times known by first names in the industry and their over-the-line phone pitches are not frowned upon. Many of them (not all) are based in the NY area and have kissy-face lunches with publishers, as well as the A-listers. Agent/author contracts are common.

C-listers are new, have only a couple of sales and are eager to pull in new authors. I say, "pull" because they can compete and be aggressive about signing you. They're just starting out. I can’t say that I recommend them. Caveat: it can also be said that a C-list agent will pull out all stops to find you a publisher and that can mean dozens and dozens of rounds. I have heard of a few authors who are repped by C-list agents and are happy with the arrangement and have no complaints. But I beg them to wait two or three years and tell me the same thing. A no-name agent in the business can be as bad as no agent at all. Besides, do you want your book tied up for two or three years indefinitely? They are more than likely to sign an author to more than one book. You might get an author/agent contract.

Is there such a thing as a D-list agent? Well, yeah. They are the ones that sign you for a one-book contract (having no care about your career), charge a reading fee for a synopses, chapters or full and exceed the royalty share of 15%. They also tack on undefined administrative costs—postage—copying services, mailers and sometimes an hourly rate. They most likely will offer you their lofty editorial services, or refer you which gets them a kickback. You might not get a written contract with them, but it’s not likely.

ETA: Don’t fret if you don’t get a author/agent contract with any agent. It’s no reason to panic and it happens all the time. In this business, your/their word does carry a bond. No so in the movie industry.

Hope this helps a little.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Nabbing and Keeping an Agent


I like this article and I've got just about every one of those suggestions covered. It's pretty standard fair. I'm weak in a few areas. 

I just found out about a year ago that series DO really sell. I didn't think it was necessary, or popular and I didn't believe in such nonsense. Five months ago I went kicking and screaming on a writing rampage because my agent suggested I take the YA Screamcatcher book and make it into a trilogy. Actually it had crossed my mind. I'd never done it before. The results: I'm 3,000 words away from the end of the third book. I couldn't be happier. You really HAVE to love your characters enough to see them through to this length. You have to perform a little bit of sewing to tie the books together. But...alas! You can use a little magic and make them standalones at the same time!

I disagree about three agent queries a month--if that what the poster was actually suggesting. It will be years to find an agent with such a tepid sub outlay. Do you normally quit around 100 or 135 agents? You should. That is a normal and satisfactory expenditure of agent submissions. I know no one who subs that little (three a month) to agents. And did they really say wait one month and move on? Oh fiddle-e-dee--give me a major break. You might not hear from an agent for three or four months or even longer. Yeah, right, cross them off your list. 

I'm at the different end of the spectrum; I use Guerrilla tactics but I don't recommend you do this: I subbed to 440 agents in sight of three weeks--a full-on blow out. I kid you not, there are that many thriller agents out there. I left hard mail subs off my list. Within five months I had four offers. I took the best quality A-list agent from the stack. Finito. Done. Finished. Over. It was that fast and that effective. Of course, you BETTER have a bullet proof query/synopses with a mind-bending premise and irresistible hook. Give it a tag line right up front like you would a movie script and be rewarded extra points for that. Tag line? Look it up.

Where in the land of Goshin is your bio and credit history? Are you supposed to leave that out if you have nothing? Let me show you how to make something out of nothing and you tell me you can't do the same thing.

Auto Repair Shams and Scams (Forward--Ralph Nader), 1990, Price Stern & Sloan, Los Angeles--226 pages, non-fiction, consumer warning and repair book.
Garage Sale Mania, 1988, Betterway Publications, Crozet, Virginia--190 pages, non-fiction—1988.
Word Wars, a SF novel, to Rain Publishing, Canada—May, 2007.
Once Upon a Goddess, a Fantasy novel, to Rain Publishing, Canada—January, 2008
Planet Janitor—Custodian of the Stars, a SF novel sold to Engage Books, May 2009
Gate Walker, a Paranormal Fantasy, sold Lyrical Press—January, 2009.
The Wolfen Strain, a fantasy thriller sold to LBF (Lachesis) Books, February 2009
The War Gate, a Paranormal thriller, to Pen and Press, 10-12-2012
The Girl They Sold to the Moon, a YA dystopian sold to Intrigue Press, August 2013

Stellar by Starlight, to Amazing Stories, 1988.
The Lonely Astronaut, to Amazing Stories, 1988.
Temperamental Circuits, to Gordon Linzner of Space & Time, 1989.
Things that go Clump in the Night, to Richard Fawcett of Doppelganger, 1989.
Dance the Macabre and Dance it Well, to Erskine Carter of Ouroborous, 1989.
Future School, to Chris Bartholomew of Static Movement, January 2006.
The Incredible Mr. Dandy, to Not One of Us--1989
Planet Janitor The Moon is not Enough, to Enage Books, 2012
Planet Janitor Journey Interrupted, to Engage Books 2012
Other magazine appearances from 1988 to 1991 include, Alpha Adventures, Small Press Writers and Artists Organization and Sycophant.

The Summit, 15-minute horror play to Night Sounds, Embassy Cassette Inc, Santa Ana, California—1990
Night of the Moa, 13-minute horror play to Night Sounds, Embassy Cassette Inc, Santa Ana, California—1990.

Finalist in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest, for Temperamental Circuits, 1987.
First place, grand prize winner for The Girl They Sold to the Moon, a YA distopian novel, to a Publisher's Novel Writing Competition. Advance and publication offered—June 2012.

350 newspaper profiles, stories, and interviews to Sunset Publishing, Anaheim, California, appearing in The West Coast Jewish News, The Senior Citizens Reporter and The Military Review. From 1988 to 1991. Seven automotive and home and garden articles articles to Dollar Stretcher Magazine, from 12-2-2011 to 2-28-2012. Eight science articles to Xiauduo Media, for Chinese translation( 8 -14 year-old audience)—Astronomy, new transportation technology, space, exoplanets, future spaced ship drives, big bang, theory and inflation.

I have written and published over 1,750 non-fiction automotive, aircraft, marine, home and garden and science articles for Demand Media Studios, under the Beta-Automotive and E-How stations. Six automotive articles to—6-2012. Published. 440 automotive and general articles to TextBroker—plumbing, gardening, home improvement, home utilities, electricity--Content writing for a total of three years.

Served as content editor of Sunset Publication (see above) for three years. Responsible for all writing assignments content editing, filler and artwork and payment.
President and founder of Heartland Writers Group, Huntington Beach, California, from 1987 to 1991.

Past agent--Richard Curtis Associates, from 1988 to 1991.
Past agent—TriadaUS (Dr. Uwe Stender), from 2006 to August 2009
Present agent—Sara Camilli Agency--2010 to present. 

Iron Girl, a military espionage thriller.
Valley of the Mastodons, a non-fiction book involving the Ice Age megafauna discoveries in Hemet, California, during the Diamond Valley reservoir dig. Proposal, chapter outline, and 100 pages available upon request
Dispossessed Incorporated, an urban ghost fantasy with time travel
The Omega Wars—SF, apocalyptic alien invasion (Sequel to PJ)
Screamcatcher, A YA portal fantasy out on agent sub round. Resembles the Narnia world.

Do you see any category in there that would include your history or even general writing interests? You SCRATCH deep for anything you have that is writing related. No one has nothing. That's impossible. BTW--your bio is a tiny one-paragraph of your personal life--your name, location, work history, degrees, if you love hamsters and such things. I'm sterile. I don't include a bio--with me it's all business.

It's perfectly acceptable to contact your agent about every 30 to 40 days. You're not being intrusive with that frequency. Once you hook up with an agent, you can usually call and discuss things over the phone, UNLESS, your agent prefers email. And here's a controversial tip you'll seldom hear: ask your agent what's hot and are any publishers looking for something specific. Publishers ask agents this all the time. The agent will evaluate one of his/her writers and ask them if they would like to take a leap of faith. I've been assigned twice. If you have the chops to write in most genres, and your agent singles you out for a stylistic fit, you just might give it a go. Talk about putting your finger to the pulse--this one takes balls/ovaries.  

Getting an agent is not as difficult as keeping one. That means you write your ass off and have a new book ready to go after your agent has exhausted all attempts at selling your first one via one, two or three rounds. My agent took my entire inventory. I was lucky she'd sold and dealt with the multiple genres I write in. If you time it right, you'll have a book making the rounds all year long, year after year.

REPEAT: You don't want a one-book agent. You don't want a cheap date. You want a marriage ceremony. 

I really don't think the Twitter calls are a waste of time. I know too many authors who participate in them and many get picked up or get solid feedback. Those hash tag ones, you know?

Now, wait just a minute about new agents who are intent on building a stable but have NO fiction credits or very little. I'm sorry--agents who have been in the industry for eight years plus and live in NYC or near by are on a friendship-face-to-face basis with dozens of A-list publishers and routinely use the phone (or dinner) to intro a book and get FULL manuscripts read. This also includes big agencies that live in other states. Check their sales history, staff, genres covered and best-seller status and frequency (if any). Go for the gusto first. Then work your way down. My list is A-List, B-List and C-List agents.

Don't send agents gifts out of the blue.

Gobble up any critique suggestions you get and use the rule of 3. If three or more agents discuss the same problem you have in the manuscript, take it to heart. They've probably got you nailed to the garage wall. This goes for major R&R, grammar, syntax, POV, show not tell, passive, plot, theme, execution, adverbs/adjectives and any other nasty little trouble makers.

You better keep a spreadsheet/database of all your agent submissions including query, partial or full and the date of all contacts with them.

Do not protest a rejection. Read it and file it away. You can get a form rejection, a form rejection with notes, a critique letter and even, dear God Almighty, a red-lined manuscript WITHOUT representation.

Do not refer your friends for representation to your agency even though you might have that power as an agented author. I get asked that one a lot.

I could go on and on...but I have to stop. I'll have some more guerrilla tactics on this subject later.

 Keep writing and reading and submit till hell won't have it.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Trilogies and Madness

I can't believe that I'm about halfway finished with book # 3 in a series. It's my Screamcatcher YA fantasy (# 1) that started this nearly reckless journey. I've written sequels before--three in the past that didn't sell. That's because book # 1 never sold, so how did I expect to sell two as a package deal? I swore that I would never commit such a blunder and waste of time again.

Alas, lightning struck me again, leaving me addled and stupid. 

 My reason for the trilogy could be really misplaced and off track. But the original Screamcatcher was offered 10 contracts by small press independents in a span of 11 months. I made submissions after my agent gave it a huge round # 1 of subs to the majors. She turned me loose like an unchained barbarian and suddenly I was getting offers right and left. 

These offers put us in a mild shock. I say mild because we couldn't understand how NYC missed it, along with the medium-sized independents--and there were a lot of them. My agent agreed that digging even deeper and finding a large publisher was worth the effort for a round # 2. So it' going out again. Meanwhile, I thought if I got that kind of reception, surely I could write a sequel to it that was just as captivating and adventurous. 

To safeguard myself, I would make all the books stand-alones. The titles would all be different. There would be no "Book 1, Book 2 or Book 3 connotations. The characters would remain the same but the hooks, queries and synopses for each would be unique and unfamiliar. I did not want to make any obvious reference of any book to another. I would, however, make a subtle tie-in with all of them but it would not be blatant. I figured this stand-alone strategy would protect me from any of the book # 1 first rounds that were rejected by the big pubs. "Series" would not be mentioned, until we had an offer on one of the books. Agent said, "Then we could reel them in for the other two." Agent agreed to this method.

I've never done this before. I had to have characters that could easily appear multiple times and solve multiple paranormal mysteries--kind of like a Ghostbusters without the humor. I would call it the Badlands Paranormal Society. There's a lot of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" in it too, and a rash of other similar ghost cop books.

This is probably the most difficult project I've had in 27 years. I don't even know if I've grabbed the golden ticket or wasted a lot of precious time.I only know that I've constantly seen series books sell like hotcakes, even though many or most of them have been written by A-list authors. 

Have you written a trilogy or larger series? How has it worked for you? Was it any easier sell? If you have an agent, did he or she encourage this journey of madness?

It's a little daunting when you fuss and fret over a single book. We all know that feeling. I'm praying, heaving buckets of fairy dust in the air, and throwing kegs of salt over my shoulder. I'm wondering if this is the biggest mistake I've ever made in my writing life. I keep saying to myself, STAND-ALONE, STAND-ALONE, STAND-ALONE, in the hopes that my writing career won't be dashed to bits.

Until next time...



Thursday, August 13, 2015

A Retrospect of Name Authors

Keep in mind that the source/research of this blog post was the free edition of Publisher's Marketplace. The membership edition might very well contain many more debut authors. I only wonder why the free edition is so skimpy when it comes to new authors or small independent publishers. Where are we little guys in the scheme of things? Please keep in mind:

I'm not as jealous as I am mystified.

No sour grapes. Just a lot of questions and curiosity.

John Scalzi's thirteen books - 10 adult and three YA titles - to be published over the next 10 years, for 3.4 million dollars, which includes a new far-future space opera series, as well as more in the Old Man's War universe and sequels to 2014's Lock In, again to Patrick Nielsen Hayden at Tor, by Ethan Ellenberg at Ethan Ellenberg Agency (world English).

John Scalzi is a well-known and established best selling science fiction author, who tends to get loads of film options. His reading public is more than loyal; they’re rabid and always coming back for more. I truly wonder why Tor has dug so deeply into its pockets to single out this author, when that outlay of cash could support a dozen exceptional authors for the same workload, even though it’s a ten year contract. Do the yearly math income on this one. It’s pretty astonishing.   
NYT bestselling author Dale Brown's ON THE EDGE, to Henry Ferris at William Morrow, in a two-book deal, by Robert Gottlieb at Trident Media Group (NA).

Dale published eleven best sellers in 11 years. But I wonder if his track record had more to do with his offer than the quality of his storytelling. Sorry, but I just wonder if his contract signing is on full automatic. If I remember correctly, for example, Jean M. Auel’s last book received some of the worst reviews ever on Amazon. It took her 31 years to get to The Land of Painted Caves. Her 1-star reviews eclipsed her 5-stars. Her 2-stars beat out her 4-stars. Was she published for her name’s sake, with editors overlooking the unsubstantial repetition and clumsiness of her manuscript? In her credit, she’s still in the top 100 best selling Amazon lists.      
NYT bestselling author J. Kenner's untitled new erotic romance trilogy, featuring a bad boy hero with a tortured past and the one woman who is absolutely forbidden to him, again to Shauna Summers at Bantam Dell, in a three-book deal, for publication in Spring 2016, by Kevan Lyon at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency (World).
Film/TV: Brandy Rivers at ICM

I’m seeing a NYT bestselling author again. This is a planed trilogy that hasn’t been titled yet. Are all the books finished or will they be purchased on an outline? Just saying, if the books are sold on spec it’s kind of a gamble, wot? Or does it even matter? Uh, what’s a bad boy hero anyway? I’m a little confused on that one. And, okay, for some reason this blurb smells a little like 50 shades.
The NYT bestselling author of The Southern Reach Trilogy Jeff VanderMeer's BORNE, about a scavenger who discovers a mysterious creature she longs to keep despite her companion's warnings and her own reservations, but is it animal, plant, company discard, biotech, cruel experiment, dinner, deity, or a source of spare parts, again to Sean McDonald at Farrar, Straus, by Sally Harding of The Cooke Agency.
UK/ANZ rights to Nicholas Pearson at Fourth Estate (World).

NYT bestselling author again. This story sounds like a mash up of fantasy, horror and science fiction. I think it’s uncommon or not very likely that a very large publisher buys a book that has no real genre. Aren’t those types of books more welcome and appropriate for the small or independent presses who willingly gobble up crossed genres? Hence, its category of General/Other.  
Children's: Middle Grade
Chelsea Clinton's IT'S YOUR WORLD: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going!, to "inspire readers to realize that they can start making a difference now, in their own way, for their family, their community, and our world," covering a range of issues from poverty to gender equality, for readers ages 10 to 14, to Jill Santopolo at Philomel, for world English publication on September 15 (world).

“Chelsea Clinton is adding a new title to her ever-growing resume: author!”

Uh, whoopteedo!
“The daughter of former President Bill Clinton and current presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will release her first book this coming fall.”
Is this her full resume? 
“The 35-year-old's book will aim to explain issues such as poverty, climate change, and more to children between the ages of 10 and 14.”

Sorry, but I’m just wondering in what context does she have the resume and professional background to write about paucity and climate change? She comes from a very astute and wealthy upbringing, which I think renders her under qualified to write about real poverty. I don’t believe she has a degree in any core science related to climate change. An unknown author would be required to have a degree or voluminous writing credits in either of these fields of study, regardless if it is meant for young teens. This one pisses me off, mainly because her parents have seen more print entitlement than a score of biblical authors. Hillary’s Hard Choices nabbed 14 million up front, with a first printing of one million copies by S&S. The book lost 50% of its sales in the third week and kept foundering. Like daughter like mother?   

Conclusion: celebrity author.   
Children's: Young Adult
Robin Roe's A LIST OF CAGES, a debut pitched as being in the tradition of Perks of Being a Wallflower, told from the alternating perspectives of a charismatic 17 year old with ADHD and his foster brother, a sensitive boy in an extraordinarily dangerous living situation that he must save him from at all costs, to Stephanie Lurie at Disney-Hyperion, at auction, in a two-book deal, by Peter Steinberg at Foundry Literary + Media.

No complaints here. Robin is truly a debut author—THE ONLY ONE IN THE BATCH! This book was also an auction property for a two-book deal. Bravo, and Hooray for our side!
NYT bestselling co-author of the BEAUTIFUL CREATURES series and author of THE LEGION series, Kami Garcia's THE LOVELY RECKLESS, pitched as "The Fast and the Furious" meets Romeo & Juliet in a YA contemporary romance about the daughter of an undercover cop who falls for the car thief her father is pursuing, to Erin Stein at Imprint, for publication in Fall 2016, by Jodi Reamer at Writers House (NA).

No big complaint here, except seeing that NYT bestselling tag again.

Herman Wouk's SAILOR AND FIDDLER: Reflections of a 100-Year-Old Author, Herman Wouk turns 100 on May 27, 2015, the first part of the memoir ("Sailor") refers to Wouk's Navy service during World War II and how those experiences informed his classic war novels, such as The Caine Mutiny; the second part ("Fiddler") refers what he's learned from living a life of faith, to Jonathan Karp at Simon & Schuster, for publication in December 2015, by Amy Rennert of the Amy Rennert Agency (World).

Herman Wouk is another celebrity author, but of advanced age. I wonder if Simon & Schuster wanted to cash in on or exploit this author while he was still alive. I’m curious about intentions here. Still, Wouk deserves any type of publication, to be sure.

“Barbra Streisand's memoir, called ‘honest, enlightening, and revealing’, that will share memories of her childhood; explore her extraordinarily successful career on stage, screen, and in the recording studio; and reflect on her life,’ as she is ‘finally going to tell her own story,’ to Rick Kot at Viking (which published her design book), for publication in 2017, by Robert Barnett at Williams & Connolly (world).”

Another celeb author writing about her memoirs. This book was probably highly anticipated, but I wonder about the cash that went over the table for this one. I do think Barbara deserves the financial outlay and credits for this manuscript. Yet, I didn’t see the title to this and wonder, given the lengthily publication date, if it was bought on outline/spec. I still love her music!   
New Yorker writer and editor Roger Angell's THIS OLD MAN, a compendium of writings that celebrate the view from the tenth decade of his richly-lived life, gathering essays, letters, photos, comic verse and drawings which in aggregate present a kaleidoscopic portrayal of a deeply engaged and vibrant life, including the National Magazine Award-winning title essay, to Bill Thomas at Doubleday, at auction, by Amanda Urban at ICM.

No major complaints on this one. Just an irritating itch. Angell has reached his 10th decade, an accomplishment in itself. Yet I shun the thought that there’s any ambulance chasing going on here. We have another such name author of advanced age upstream.