The publishing world was jolted Thursday afternoon when news broke that #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline, one of the most prominent voices on the literary scene today, is leaving St. Martin’s Press to sign a six-book deal with Putnam, an imprint of Penguin.
According to a press release issued by Putnam, the six-book deal includes three domestic thrillers along with a trilogy “set in Fascist Italy during World War II,” which the publisher notes is Scottoline’s “first foray into historical fiction.”
The book deal was negotiated by Ivan Held, President of G.P. Putnam’s Sons and Robert Gottlieb, Chairman at Trident Media Group (Scottoline’s agent), for North American, Audio, and e-book rights. Also, as part of the deal, it was announced that VP and Executive Editor Mark Tavani will edit.
Tavani joined Putnam in February 2016 after spending 15 years at Ballantine Bantam Dell, where he was the editorial director for fiction. Recently, he’s played a major role in inking authors such as C.J. Box. Jeffery Deaver, Frederick Forsyth, Robert Crais, T. Jefferson Parker, Dacre Stoker, and J.D. Barker to new deals, forming one of the deepest, most diverse and successful lineups in all of publishing.
Putnam will publish Scottoline’s Someone Knows, a domestic thriller and her first book under this new deal, sometime in Spring of 2019.
Scottoline’s released her first novel (Everywhere that Mary Went) in 1994, after a successful career in corporate law. That book went on to become a bestseller and was later nominated for an Edgar Award. To date, she’s written 31 novels, all of which have been New York Times bestsellers.
According to Putnam, the first book in Scottoline’s forthcoming new historical fiction trilogy (no release date has been announced yet) is titled Eternal, and will “tell the story of the beautiful and fiercely independent Elisabetta “Betta” D’Orfeo, who finds herself caught in a love triangle with her two closest friends, one a rising star in the Fascist party, the other a reserved Jewish mathematics prodigy.”
“Family secrets and betrayals change Betta’s circumstances until she is forced to make a devastating choice in a world gone mad with bloodlust and war. Reminiscent of novels like The Nightingale, Pachinko, and of Elena Ferrante’s the Neapolitan trilogy, Eternal is an engrossing, sweeping story that explores themes of love, family, liberty, and justice in wartime history.”
Scottoline released a statement saying, “I’m thrilled to be at Putnam and working with the genius team led by Ivan Held. I love their energy, expertise, and commitment, and I know we’ll make new readers and reach new heights. I am simply over the moon, going forward!”
As part of the press release, Ivan Held said, “We’ve been tracking Lisa for nearly a decade and it’s a thrill to bring her to Putnam. The fact that she is continuing with her standalone domestic thrillers and starting something entirely new meshes perfectly with what we do. It’s the ideal marriage of franchise publishing and ‘discovery’ publishing. And she is our dream partner. We look forward to a long collaboration and to bringing her work to many more readers.”
Lisa Scottoline becomes the second major author to make headlines after switching publishers in 2018. Back in March, it was announced that Harlan Coben had agreed to a five-book deal with Grand Central Publishing, following his longtime editor Ben Sevier from Dutton, an imprint of Penguin.
Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck (“The Godfather of the thriller genre” — Ben Coes) has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.