Deals, News, Reviews & Writer’s Resources

Fiction: Mystery/Crime: Stanford Law professor and author of Errors and Omissions, Paul Goldstein's HAVANA RUM, to Thomas LeBien at Farrar, Straus, in a two-book deal, by Wendy Strothman at The Strothman Agency (World English).

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Jonathan Hansen’s GUANTANAMO BAY AND THE MAKING OF MODERN AMERICA, the first full history of Guantanamo’s transformation from bay to U.S. naval base to prison camp, Guantanamo’s role in transforming the United States from isolated colonial outpost to global superpower, and Cuba’s attempts to realize its independence from U.S. imperialism, at auction, to Dan Crissman at Hill and Wang, in a very nice deal, by Wendy Strothman of The Strothman Agency.


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High Strung

The inexplicable collapse of a tennis phenom

By Tom Perrotta, The Atlantic

"... I asked Sian Beilock, a psychologist at the University of Chicago and the author of the forthcoming book Choke, how world-class athletes like Ivanovic, who have spent thousands of hours perfecting a skill, could flail so helplessly. Her answer was deceptively simple: they’re thinking too much. To hit a 120-mph serve, a player must allow the body to do what it has been trained to do. Thinking mid-serve causes “paralysis by analysis,” an attack on performance by the prefrontal cortex, which, in an attempt to control closely synchronized neural activities and muscle twitches, instead sabotages them. “We all know how to shuffle down the stairs,” Beilock told me. “But if I ask you to think about how your knee is bending while you do it, there’s a good...

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How To Raise A Superstar

By Jonah Lehrer, Frontal Cortex

"... I can think of several different explanations for this effect, none of which are mutually exclusive. Perhaps kids in small towns are less likely to get distracted by gangs, drugs, etc. Perhaps athletes outside of big cities go to better schools, and thus receive more attention from their high school coaches. Perhaps they have more access to playing fields. Perhaps they have a better peer group. The scientists summarize this line of reasoning in a recent paper: “These small communities may offer more psychosocially supportive environments that are more intimate. In particular, sport programs in smaller communities may offer more opportunities for relationship development with coaches, parents, and peers, a greater sense of belonging, and a better integration of the program within the community.”

But there’s another possible...

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Beilock, CHOKE

"Ada Copeland, an African-American woman born in Georgia just months before that state seceded from the Union, moved to New York City in the mid-1880s. There, she met a man named James Todd. He was light-skinned, handsome, had a good job for an African-American man in that time — a Pullman porter.

They hit it off, and eventually married. They had five children and a house in Brooklyn. Their story would be unremarkable if not for one detail: Nothing James had told his future wife was true.

"James Todd was really not black, he was not a Pullman porter, and he was not even James Todd," author Martha Sandweiss tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "He was in fact Clarence King, a very well-educated white explorer who was truly a famous man in late 19th century America."

Famously connected, too: "Two of his closest friends were Henry Adams — the grandson and great-grandson of presidents — and John Hay,...

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Martha A. Sandweiss will be on Morning Edition on Wednesday, Aug. 18 to talk about PASSING STRANGE: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line (Penguin, ISBN 9780143116868) and the secret double life of the man who mapped the American West.



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Writing A Query Letter

by Jodi Meadows


I like queries. No, I love them. They’re such short, humble things, but their importance is undeniable. Queries are the initial step to nabbing an agent. They’re your first impression, and your best chance at getting an agent to pay attention to you.

Considering how drastically queries can affect careers, it always shocks me when writers carelessly throw something together, assuming it will be adequate. Which is not to say I think people should get worked up over things like margins and which paragraph your wordcount/genre should be in. There’s also no point in trying to find magic offer-of-representation-words. They don’t exist. No, you must query responsibly and realistically.

The purpose of a query is to make someone so...

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Query letter

What Are You Looking Forward to Reading, Martha A. Sandweiss?

by David Haglund, Critical Mass Blog| Aug-04-2010

" ...This summer I am looking forward to reading the bound galleys of two books forthcoming in fall 2010. For years, I have heard these authors talk about their struggles with the evidence, and now I get to see what they’ve done with it. Virginia Scharff’s The Women Jefferson Loved takes a fresh look at the facts hidden in plain sight to reimagine the Founding Father as a man caught up by the demands of love and the pull of family tragedy. Ann Fabian’s The Skull Collectors: Race, Science and America’s Unburied Dead unravels the improbable story of how and why American scientists collected human heads for the nation...

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Greetings Friends,

The Strothman Agency has a lot of exciting deals to share and a few new
titles to recommend for your late summer/early fall reading list.

We are pleased to announce five new sales:

*    Non-Fiction: Science-Claire Wachtel at Harper won at auction World
rights to The Teenage Brain, by Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical
School and senior associate in neurology at Children's Hospital Boston
Frances Jensen, M.D., with Amy Ellis Nutt. The Teenage Brain is the latest
scientific research to unlock the secrets of adolescent behavior and explain
what is happening at the interface of a teenager's brain and the world.

*    Non-Fiction: Science-Leslie Meredith at Free Press bought World
rights to Choke author University of Chicago professor Dr. Sian Beilock's
second book,...

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Non-fiction: Science : Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and senior associate in neurology at Children's Hospital Boston Frances Jensen, M.D., with Amy Ellis Nutt's THE TEENAGE BRAIN, the latest scientific research to unlock the secrets of adolescent behavior and explain what is happening at the interface of a teenager's brain and the world, to Claire Wachtel at Harper, in a major deal, at auction, by Wendy Strothman at The Strothman Agency (World).

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Proposal Writing Suggestions

Our author's guide to writing  Non-Fiction proposals.