Why Representation Matters

by | Aug 12, 2007

Rice University professor, Justin Cronin, is an emerging voice in fiction, commanding multi-million dollar deals from both Manahttan publishing houses and Hollywood producers.

His 2001 release Mary and O’Neil garnered the author prestigious literary prizes, but now an unfinished manuscript has people writing big checks.

According to The New York Times, Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions won a biddng war for movie rights to Cronin’s lastest, eventually offering $1.75 million. This is on top of the $3.75 million Ballantine Books is paying for a trilogy from the New England-bred, Houston-based author.

Ellen Levine, a literary agent at Trident Media Group, is the woman orchestrating these deals on Cronin’s behalf. One of her ploys was to send out the new book under the pseudonym “Jordan Ainsley” because Cronin was known more for writing midsize family dramas than for Stephen King-size thrillers, and she didn’t want her client to be typecast by his previous literary success.

Cronin’s new story, a futuristic fable about death row inmates transformed into vampires by a government-spawned virus, has vast commercial potential, Ms. Levine said. She is currently shopping the trilogy to foreign publishers, having already sealed deals in seven other countries.