After a bit of a misstep where the deal was posted a day early, then taken down and put back up again on Publishers Marketplace, Warner Books finally sent out the official announcement that yes, Janet Evanovich and Stephen Cannell would be teaming up to write a new series of action adventure novels, with the first, NO CHANCE, due out in stores in Fall 2007. In making the announcement, Senior Vice President and Publisher Jamie Raab said, “The combined talents, creativity and sales power of Janet Evanovich and Stephen J. Cannell is guaranteed to result in a marvelous, bestselling new franchise. Warner Books is thrilled to be working with this dynamic duo.” Beth De Guzman will handle editing duties. Robert Gottlieb, who already reps both Evanovich and Cannell individually, made the deal.
This news is interesting on several levels. First, there’s Evanovich’s increasing fecundity where she’s well on her way – if not there already – to becoming the female James Patterson in terms of output. The difference is that Patterson’s products are all with one house, Little, Brown (owned by the same parent company as Warner Books) while Evanovich will have three hardcover series with three houses (the Plum series with St. Martin’s Press, the NASCAR series with HarperCollins) plus co-authoring duties with Charlotte Hughes and Leanne Banks for paperback original series at St. Martin’s.
Then there’s Cannell, rumored to have been turned down by Warner Books some time ago when his Shane Scully series was up for a new contract (he ended up re-signing with St. Martin’s in the end.) Though he’s deservedly noted for his TV work, his books have never quite sold up to expectations. So will the teamup – reminiscent, albeit on a much larger scale, of Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer‘s action adventure series (also with St. Martin’s Press) – yield a successful result? Time, as always, will tell….