Posts Tagged ‘penguin’


Inspiring End of Publishing

March 16, 2010



DeAnna Cameron’s success is seductive

May 13, 2009

With the release of her dazzling debut novel only weeks away, praise for DeAnna Cameron’s The Belly Dancer (Berkley) continues to mount. Lynette Brasfield (Booksense pick Nature Lessons: A Novel) calls it, “A beautifully written page-turner… transports readers into an exotic and sensual world within a world.” Brenda Rickman Vantrease (Illuminator and The Mercy Seller) raves, “The characters in this novel will dance right off the page and into your imagination! Cameron’s representation of late nineteenth century Chicago is rich and evocative, and the whispered echoes of old New Orleans in Dora’s fragmented memory left me hoping this author goes there with her next novel.”

And from the author herself,

“I’m a former attendee of your Los Angeles & San Diego writers conferences, and the novel I was working on will be published by Berkley Books on July 7. I thought I would pass along the good news because I received some great help at both conferences, particularly from Drusilla Campbell, Bob Mayer, Laura Taylor and Mike Sirota on writing, and Gordon Kirkland on treating your writing like a business. The support and guidance I received helped keep me focused and motivated, and I’m happy to recommend your conferences to anyone who’s seriously pursing a writing career.”

Along with Teresa Burrell (The Advocate) and Gayle Carline (Freezer Burn), DeAnna’s release makes for the third successful SCWCer to get published this year. See more of The Belly Dancer at



The next Harry Potter?

July 3, 2008

From The New York Observer, Leon Neyfakh reports about a 28-year-old’s debut novel that recently sold at auction for nearly $1 million.

Here’s a fairytale: A 28-year-old Columbia M.F.A. student named Reif Larsen wrote a novel about a whimsical child from Montana who likes maps, and suddenly all kinds of famous editors in New York were calling his agent, Denise Shannon, and telling her they really wanted to publish it.
Norton offered to preempt with an advance in the neighborhood of $400,000 if Ms. Shannon took the book off the market and sold it to the publisher right then and there. The editorial director of Dial Press, an imprint of Random House’s Bantam Dell Doubleday group, offered to pay half a million for the same privilege.

Ms. Shannon said no to both and confidently took the book to auction. Within days, according to three sources, she’d sold North American rights for a sum just shy of $1 million to Ann Godoff at the Penguin Press, gravely disappointing editors at Random House, Viking, Riverhead and elsewhere. The book was also sold to publishers in Canada, Germany and Italy, and at press time, deals were being negotiated for the U.K. and the Netherlands. The book, The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet, is scheduled to come out in the U.S. next summer.

All of which begs the question: Who is this Reif Larsen and how did he get away with this?

Ms. Shannon, who has also represented Gary Shteyngart, Lydia Davis and Francine Prose, says it’s because the book is so good, obviously. “The fact is that it comes down to the work itself,” she wrote in an e-mail, “and in this case we are talking about a novel that is startlingly original and intelligent and well-written.”

But don’t lots of people write pretty good debut novels? Why did T.S. Spivet send all of New York publishing into a frenzy?

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