Dale Peck Partners With Heroes’ Kring on $3 Million Trilogy

Mr. Peck had begun reviewing books shortly after the release of Martin and John, contributing pieces to the London Review

Mr. Peck had begun reviewing books shortly after the release of Martin and John, contributing pieces to the London Review of Books and The Village Voice. Then, in 1998 or 1999 (Mr. Peck does not recall), he met Leon Wieseltier, literary editor of The New Republic, and started writing for him. It was under Mr. Wieseltier—himself a polarizing, solitary figure in the literary world—that Mr. Peck’s reputation as a vicious takedown artist started to solidify. In 2003, after being pilloried for his harsh judgments, he announced that he was not going to write any more negative reviews.

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“I’d said what I needed to say, and I’d pretty much become the punch line of a joke,” Mr. Peck said. He added in an e-mail later that he felt like “the literary world had already decided what it thought of [him] by that point.”

Around this time, Mr. Peck left the Wylie Agency (“Everything just seemed to grind down to a halt there,” he said) and signed on with Richard Abate, a commercial agent who says Mr. Peck is the best-read writer on his roster. With Mr. Abate at his side, Mr. Peck ran as far away as possible from the literary establishment that had rejected him and spent the next few years working on a young-adult novel called Sprout and a series of books for 10-year-olds called Drift House, an adventure tale about evil mermaids, for Bloomsbury’s children’s division. He also wrote a thriller called Body Surfing, which will be published by the Simon & Schuster imprint Atria.

Until recently, Mr. Peck was thinking about scaring up some rent money by finding a new publisher for Garden, that pesky fourth novel he wrote in 1998 that remains, because of circumstances, unpublished. Then he got a call from Mr. Abate, who was looking for a collaborator for Mr. Kring.

Mr. Peck and Mr. Kring talked on the phone and were soon at work on a proposal. Before they knew it, the deal was done. Both of them were startled by how much money they were offered.

Still, don’t expect Mr. Peck to get all tech-savvy on this project. “I think I’m too old for the interactive aspect of it,” he said. “For me, TV is pretty much TV, and books are pretty much books.”

Dale Peck Partners With Heroes’ Kring on $3 Million Trilogy