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Justin Cronin Bloodsucks Big Money from Ballantine

New York Magazine’s Vulture blog scooped up quite the deal story yesterday afternoon involving PEN/Hemingway award winner Justin Cronin. In a major change of direction – also involving a pseudonym, Jordan Ainsley – Cronin is working on a postapocalyptic vampire trilogy set in 2016. He’s already completed the first 400 pages of volume one, which was sold by Trident Media‘s Ellen Levine as a partial manuscript for what Vulture reports to be a whopping $3.75 million, 3-book deal to Ballantine‘s Mark Tavani. Vulture seems surprised that there could be very strong in-house reaction (“Usually I hate this stuff, and I love it!” we hear one scout told her colleagues. Another publishing insider gushed to Vulture, “It is totally awesome,” while a third suggested that comparisons to Michael Crichton and Stephen King were appropriate, given the likelihood of this book being “a big best-seller”) but when there’s that much money involved, it’s pretty easy to find a few folks to say nice things about the deal…

Still, on balance it might not seem to be as crazy a bet as it seems, especially if the deal is for world rights (which we’re in the process of finding out) and sells to a bunch of different countries. Plus Tavani’s had some experience in the vampire realm with Charlie Huston‘s ALREADY DEAD and NO DOMINION, starring Joe Pitt, vampire PI. And if CAA can get a movie made, well, then this gamble really pays off.

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