Four months remain before Jodi Picoult's 2011 release, Sing You Home, hits stores in March—complete with a CD of custom-written tunes inspired by the main character's career as a musical therapist—but she's already sharing news about her 2012 novel.
The book, as yet untitled, is "about wolves…but it’s also about the right to die, and what happens when two siblings have very different ideas about whether or not to keep their dad alive after he suffers a traumatic brain injury," says Picoult in her latest e-newsletter. The author spent the summer doing research on wolves in England, which included "learning how to howl and doing it so convincingly that five wolf packs in the near distance start howling back at you!"
Are you looking forward to Sing You Home? Intrigued by the topic of Picoult's next work?
Jerry Lee Lewis had back-to-back hits with "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" and "Great Balls of Fire," was friends with Elvis, inducted into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, had six wives (including to his 13-year-old first cousin once removed) . . . are you curious about the man behind the scandal and rockin' tunes?
If the answer is "yes," then you're in luck—because Lewis has signed a deal with HarperCollins imprint It Books, which will publish his memoir in 2012.
Press release author quotes are usually quite bland, but I had to smile at Lewis's statement about why he's writing a memoir:
I am ready to say a whole lot about why I lived my life the way I did. People can read it, burn it, or never give it another thought. Either way the truth is about to be told, and I'm the only man still standing who can touch it.
Poet Natasha Trethewey, who won the Pulitzer Prize for her collection Native Guard, has sold a poetry collection* to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Titled Thrall, it will be published in fall of 2012.
Trethewey taught at Auburn University while I was at school there, and though I never took a class with her (my decision to concentrate in tech writing was partly a nod to my lack of creative writing ability) I attended one of her readings when her first collection, Domestic Work, was published in 1999. It drew such acclaim that the young assistant professor became one of the English department's most prominent faculty members, and Emory stole her away just a few years later with the offer of the Phillis Wheatley Distinguished Chair in Poetry.
Trethewey's background has profoundly influenced her poems, many of which, like "Flounder," are very personal. She was born in Mississippi in 1966 to a black mother and a white father. Their marriage was illegal in the state at the time. Though they divorced while Trethewey was still young—she moved with her mother to Atlanta—the poet spent childhood summers on the Gulf Coast.
*The original deal announced the sale of a novel, but Thrall is another poetry collection. The post has been corrected.
Young adult author Barry Lyga recently signed a deal with Little, Brown for a book that Publisher's Marketplace described as "'Dexter' meets 'The Silence of the Lambs' for teens, about a teen boy who uses his killer instinct, inherited from his serial killer father, to help solve a series of gruesome murders." The book, I HUNT KILLERS, will be published in spring 2012.
Lyga is a rising star in the field of teen fiction, with four YA novels under his belt, all set in the town of South Brook, Maryland. I wonder if I HUNT KILLERS will take place in South Brook as well — and if so, should fans of his earlier books fear for the lives of their favorite characters? But even if the place and people are all new, Lyga's ability to create fully realized and believable characters will no doubt have me hiding under the covers with a flashlight, frantically turning the pages to find out who survives.
Related in BookPage: A Q&A with Lyga about his most recent book, Goth Girl Rising.
And a question for readers: What was the scariest book you read as a teenager?
We were happy to hear that Libba Bray has signed a contract with Little, Brown Books for Young Readers to write a new YA series for major bucks—$2 million, rumor has it. Editor Megan Tingley (who also publishes Stephenie Meyer) will be working with Bray on The Diviners, a trilogy set in the 1920s. Bray describes the series as "a wild new ride full of dames and dapper dons, jazz babies and Prohibition-defying parties, conspiracy and prophecy—and all manner of things that go bump in the neon-drenched night.”
Bray's success comes on the heels of winning the Printz Medal for Going Bovine, a picaresque tale of a teenage boy searching for a cure for mad cow disease, but she is also known for her atmospheric Victorian-era series that started with A Great and Terrible Beauty and contains supernatural elements.
One mystery: in our interview with Bray, she told us her work-in-progress was something quite different, “a satire about a group of teen beauty queens whose plane crashes on a deserted island. Sort of Lord of the Flies as channeled by P.J. O’Rourke and [National Lampoon writer] Doug Kenney.” Though we're eager to see what she makes of the 1920s, we're hoping this intriguing project will also see the light of day!