Thesp branches out with 'Wednesday' romance

NEW YORK — Ethan Hawke has been moonlighting as a novelist and director. With his directorial debut, the digital feature “Last Word on Paradise,” in the can under the InDigEnt banner, he has completed a second novel and sold it to Knopf for a six-figure advance.

The deal cements Hawke’s relationship to editor Jordan Pavlin, who he’s followed from Little, Brown to Knopf. Little, Brown sold more than 40,000 hardcover copies of his debut, “The Hottest State.”

“Ash Wednesday,” like Hawke’s last novel, is a story of romantic obsession, told in the alternate voices of a young couple on a road trip from New York to New Orleans as they grapple with questions of marriages and parenthood.

Little, Brown did not exorcise an option on the novel, and Knopf acquired World English rights through Hawke’s longstanding lit agent Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, of The Writers Shop. Hawke retains film rights to both his novels.

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