Diane Salvatore has made her second acquisition as the newly minted publisher of Broadway Books. The longtime magazine editor, who sat at the helm of Ladies’ Home Journal for many years before entering book publishing this past May, has bought world rights to an intense-sounding novel by 24-year-old Chris Krovatin.
Mr. Krovatin, a big metal fan who graduated from Wesleyan in 2007, has already published two young adult novels: 2005’s Heavy Metal and You, about a prep school metalhead, and last year’s Venomous, a paranormal story of a young man with anger problems.
According to a post on Mr. Krovatin’s MySpace profile, Venomous has sold just under 15,000 copies. “I’m not a big-time writer or a distant teacher or a voice from heaven, I’m a dude, just a dude, and realizing that that many copies of my second novel have been sold is really touching to me,” Mr. Krovatin wrote.
His new novel, this one intended for adults, is about—deep breath—“the family dynamics that unfold when pro-life extremists hold hostage a prominent pro-choice columnist in her home, along with her husband and grown sons, and one of the sons kills the gunman and goes to trial, bringing out the political and legal tensions around the question of when is it defensible to take a life.”
That doozy of a plot summary was posted to the Publishers Lunch deal wire this afternoon. According to the announcement, the deal was brokered by ICM’s Binky Urban, who also represents Mr. Krovatin’s mother, the journalist, novelist, and former New York Times columnist Anna Quindlen.
“I actually used to edit Anna Quindlen back at Redbook, when she was a columnist,” said Ms. Salvatore today. “It’s just lovely to be sort of coming full circle with the family. Chris seems to have definitely gotten his mother’s writing gene.”
She added: “What’s terrific about this novel is the very dramatic subject he’s chosen. It’s about a huge social issue that’s been with us for decades and continues to be with us. It really points up some very challenging moral and political dilemmas. What he’s done is find a way to take a family drama happening at the same time as these large social issues are unfolding.”
How did the book come to her?
“Binky Urban is someone whom I worked with in my past life,” Ms. Salvatore said. “In getting settled in here at Broadway she was one of the first people I reached out to.”
The size of Mr. Krovatin’s advance for the novel was not disclosed, but according to his Twitter feed—if you want to follow him, his username is regrettably @bloodinmystool—he is being paid “fat greenbacks.” The tweet indicates that the deal was done a week ago.