Therese Fowler's SOUVENIR, pitched as "in the tradition of Nicholas Spark's The Notebook, paired with the family drama of Jodi Picoult," to Linda Marrow at Ballantine, at auction, by Wendy Sherman at Wendy Sherman Associates. Other books have been pitched as "Gossip Girl in the Gilded Age," "reminiscent of Everything is Illuminated," "Anne Frank in the Cultural Revolution," "in the tradition of Fannie Flagg and Alice Hoffman," "in the tradition of Kent Haruf and Annie Proulx," "The Nanny Diaries meets Prep," etc. And that's just in the past few months. Obviously, I need to start selling my books my claiming that they are a combination of two other best-selling books and/or authors. A couple of years back, an agent pitched a book as "If Elmore Leonard and Janet Evanovich had a love child, this would be it." I think it tanked.
In fact, here's another one from the same issue: Sonja Blue vampire series author Nancy Collins's DROP DEAD GORGEOUS, FASHIONABLY LATE, and THICKER THAN WATER, of her V.A.M.P.S YA series, described as The Gossip Girls meets Anne Rice, to Barbara Lalicki at Harper Children's, in a very nice deal, by Lori Perkins at L. Perkins
Victorian mystery writer Anne Perry's THE SHEEN ON THE SILK, her first stand-alone historical epic, set in the late days of the Byzantine empire, telling the story a woman masquerading as a eunuch physician who is searching for the truth about her condemned brother -- and the path to heaven, to Susanna Porter for Ballantine, in a major deal, by Donald Maass of the Donald Maass Literary Agency, on behalf of Meg Davis at MBA Literary Agency (NA). [Full disclosure: I saw Ms. Perry read shortly before the truth came out about her being a participant in a murder when she was a teen - her true identity was revealed after they had released the movie Heavenly Creatures about the crime. I've been unable to read her books since. Probably just my own personal issue. She seemed like a nice woman, actually.]
Fran Rizer's A TISKET, A TASKET, A STOLEN CASKET, for a new series featuring a cosmetologist in a funeral home, who discovers some of her customers didn't exactly die of natural causes, to Katherine Day at Berkley, in a nice deal, in a three-book deal, by Jeff Gerecke (world). [Full disclosure: I had a recurring character who was a funeral home cosmetologist, so maybe I should have thought of this series. But I didn't.]
But this is the one I'm holding my breath for: Terrell Owens's LITTLE T LEARNS TO SHARE, on the importance of sharing by one of football's most talked about athletes, to Glenn Yeffeth of BenBella Books, for publication in November 2006, by Ian Kleinert of Literary Group International. Can we say "Newberry"? Well, can we?