Los Angeles-based writer Boston Teran has become the latest first-time scribe to hit the publishing jackpot, inking a deal with Knopf for “God Is a Bullet.” Knopf editor in chief Sonny Mehta recently paid $500,000 for worldwide rights to the dark thriller.
In contrast to the recent stream of first-time writers inking simultaneous book and movie deals, Teran is in no hurry to reap Hollywood’s bounty — until the deal is right.
“God Is a Bullet” tells the story of a cop searching for his kidnapped daughter who teams up with a female ex-cult member to track down the missing girl.
Although it was sent to producers and a few offers have been made — coverage has described it as a fast-paced, cinematic novel — no film deal has been struck to date. According to Teran’s Dallas-based agent, David Hale Smith, his client’s first concern is the publishing process.
Hoping to avoid putting the project into development indefinitely, Smith is seeking an outright purchase of the book rather than an option. He added that although they received offers, they have pulled the book back from producers, choosing instead to wait until it has been edited before resubmitting it.
“We’ve heard from some of the top producers in the business and from some of the studios directly,” says Smith, who also is handling the film rights. “But nobody has offered the kind of deal we’re looking for. We decided that we want to wait until it is edited, so we will be in a position to get what we want.”
L’Amour stories ride again
Although he died nine years ago, Louis L’Amour’s Western books continue to ride the bestseller range.
Marking its second week on the New York Times bestseller list, L’Amour’s “End of the Drive” — the prolific author’s 112th book — is the second posthumous collection of never-before-published frontier short stories from Bantam. It follows last year’s “West of Dodge” collection. The stories were discovered by his widow, Kathy L’Amour, and his son, Beau, who is working on a biography of L’Amour.
The stories in both books are said to have been written when L’Amour was segueing from short stories to full-length novels. While some of the stories became the basis for future novels, many in the collections stand alone. In addition to the Western-themed collection, Beau found several adventure stories, manuscripts, and TV and film treatments written by his father.
Nearly 50 of L’Amour’s novels and short stories have been made into TV movies and features, including “Hondo,” “The Burning Hills” and “How the West Was Won.” Film rights to “End of the Drive” are still available and are held by L’Amour’s wife and son.
‘Seconds’ counts for Constantin
Constantin Films has optioned the rights to “Final Seconds” by John Lutz — who wrote the novel “SWF Seeks Same,” which was the basis of the 1992 pic “Single White Female” — and David August. Former Carolco and Cinergi exec Kathryn Sommer-Parry set the project up at Constantin and will serve as executive producer. Constantin topper Bernd Eichinger will produce.
“Final Seconds” is a thriller about a cop forced into retirement by an explosives accident. Investigating on his own the death of a former colleague, he soon links up with another retiree, a former FBI profiler. Together, the duo solve the crime.
Book is scheduled for publication next year by Kensington.
Agent Daniel Ostroff negotiated the deal on behalf of the authors’ New York book agent Dominick Abel. Ostroff also repped Sommer-Parry on the deal.
Pages in preview
“The First Stone”
John Briley (Morrow) Pub date: July
In his third novel, Briley — who won an Academy Award for his “Gandhi” screenplay — takes an inside look at Saudi society from a woman’s point of view and manages to weave personal intrigue with international events. Israel’s Mossad recruits beautiful blonde Lisa Cooper, a UCLA student of Scots-Jewish extraction, to marry rich Saudi Le’ith Satadi and live, veiled, as a mole in his harem. The two elope despite the objections of Le’ith’s powerful, conservative family and Lisa’s reluctance to live under the constraints of Muslim law.
Rights: available (Renaissance Agency)