Simon & Schuster Children’s Books beat out Kayvion Lewis bet of thieves amid a series of international rights deals for the YA thriller and plans for a “momentous global launch” in fall 2023.
Fiction editor Lucy Pearse has acquired the UK and Commonwealth rights to Charlotte Bodman at Rights People on behalf of Chelsea Eberly at Greenhouse Literary for three books – two in the Gambit of Thieves universe and a third untitled book.
The US rights were acquired at auction by Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, in a seven-figure deal, followed by a flurry of translation auctions totaling 14 languages to date. The film rights were purchased by Lionsgate Studios following a bidding war with Temple Hill Entertainment, Steven Caple Jr and Hodson Exports. Caple Jr is also set to direct with Lewis executive producing.
The first book will be published in the UK and Australia in the fall of 2023, simultaneously in the US, supported by a superlead marketing and advertising campaign.
bet of thieves is described by the publisher as “a slick, high-stakes thriller with an unforgettable protagonist. In a fierce competition for the world’s best thieves, a teenage girl must triumph to save her parents’ lives.”
The synopsis continues: Dragged into a world of deception and danger, 17-year-old Rosalyn must outwit her competitors for the ultimate prize: a wish. But can she steal victory from the charming boy who plays with her heart? There can only be one winner.
Pearse said: “Not since Katniss Everdeen have we met a heroine so powerful. Everyone at S&S was immediately immersed in the intrigue and drama of Rosalyn’s story. We immediately knew it was going to be the next addictive YA franchise and we’re thrilled to welcome Kayvion to our market-leading YA list alongside many international bestsellers. This is going to be a momentous global launch and our must-watch campaign will ensure that every reader will want to join the bet.
Lewis, a youth services library technician who lives in Louisiana, said: ‘I almost fainted when I saw who launched in with incredible preemption on the eve of our auction. United Kingdom. I am so grateful to have been able to date S&S in the UK. Their enthusiasm is electric and contagious. I would take a 12 hour flight across the pond just to see their edits on a real UK shelf.