Balzer + Bray Invests in Loutzenhiser

In a North American rights preempt, Donna Bray bought two books by Katy Loutzenhiser. The first title in the deal, the author’s debut, is a YA novel called If You’re Out There; the second book is currently untitled. Jennifer Mattson at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, who represented Loutzenhiser, said Out There follows a girl named Zan who begins to question the fate of her best friend, Priya, after she moves away and ceases all contact. Mattson, who pitched the novel as a “YA Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” said Zan, who becomes obsessed with Priya’s “bubbly” Instagram feed, then starts to wonder, “What if Priya isn’t just not answering her calls and messages—what if she can’t?” Out There is set for spring 2019.

Swyler Has ‘Twitch’ at Bloomsbury

Lea Beresford at Bloomsbury preempted North American rights to Little Twitch by Erika Swyler (The Book of Speculation). The 1986-set novel, the publisher said, is about a girl in a “small Florida Space Coast town” who dreams of becoming an astronaut “and an invention that alters the fabric of time.” Michelle Brower at Aevitas Creative Management represented Swyler.

Kistler’s ‘House’ Burns at Atria

House on Fire, a domestic suspense novel by Bonnie Kistler, was acquired in a world English-rights agreement. Sarah Cantin at Atria preempted the novel from Jennifer Weltz at the Jean Naggar Literary Agency. Cantin said the book, “about a blended family thrown into crisis when a drunk-driving accident leaves the daughter of one parent dead—and the son of the other parent charged with manslaughter,” will appeal to readers of Celeste Ng and Jodi Picoult.

Algonquin Catches Gleick’s ‘Killers’

Journalist Kathryn Miles (Superstorm) sold a work of true crime, called Killers on the Trail, to Betsy Gleick at Algonquin. The book, subtitled Love, Murder, and the Quest for Justice in America’s Wild Places, examines the 1996 killing of a couple, Julie Williams and Lollie Winans, who were hiking the Appalachian Trail. Wendy Strothman at the Strothman Agency, who sold world English rights to the title, said that in addition to the murder, the book will examine “the long history of violence—particularly against women—in America’s wild places.” Killers is set for 2020.

Miller’s Debut Finds a Home at LB

Halfway Home, a nonfiction debut by Reuben Miller, was bought by Vanessa Mobley at Little, Brown in a world-rights acquisition. Miller, an assistant professor at the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration, draws on his research about the lives of ex-convicts for the book. Lisa Adams at the Garamond Agency, who sold the book, said Miller “examines the ways incarceration permanently changes lives, condemning former prisoners and their loved ones and families to living in a permanent supervised society.”

Briefs

For Simon Schuster’s Enliven imprint, Zhena Muzyka took world rights to Heather Ash Amara’s The Warrior Heart Princess. Amara (Warrior Goddess Training) was represented by Anne Marie O’Farrell at Marcil-O’Farrell Literary. O’Farrell said the self-help book will teach readers how to “unravel those emotionally stuck places that impede their sense of well-being.”

TarcherPerigee’s Nina Sheild preempted world English rights to Quit like a Millionaire by Kristy Shen and Bryce Leung. The authors are the creators of the blog Millennial Revolution, about how to pursue the dream of global travel; the book’s subtitle is How to Retire Decades Early and Travel the World. Andrea Somberg at Harvey Klinger, who represented the authors, said the book will offer a “reproducible, mathematically proven way to make money and quit the rat race forever.”

Bestselling author Karen Kingsbury (Baxter Family series) signed a new six-book contract with her publisher, Simon Schuster’s Howard Books imprint. Beth Adams and Becky Nesbitt acquired the titles from Rick Christian at Alive Literary Agency. Kingsbury, SS said, has more than 25 million copies of her books in print.