James Frey, author of A Million Little Pieces (John Murray), is publishing a new novel with John Murray called Katerina.
Katerina, pitched as a sweeping love story that alternates between 1992 Paris and 2017 Los Angeles, will be published in September this year. John Murray acquired UK and Commonwealth rights through Jenny Meyer of Jenny Meyer Literary Agency on behalf of Eric Simonoff at WME.
At the centre of the novel is protagonist Jay, who is 21 when he moves to Paris to live the artist’s life, and falls in love for the first time. Cut to 25 years later: he is a middle-age family man living in California when he receives an anonymous message that draws him back to the life, and possibly the love, he abandoned years before.
North American rights have sold to Scout Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, while the film rights to the book have been pre-emptively acquired by Makeready, the new production outfit launched in 2017 by former New Regency c.e.o Brad Weston. Frey will write the script and be executive producer. Guymon Casady is producing through Entertainment 360, the production arm of Management 360. WME negotiated the sale.
The deal comes as Makeready is also about to start production on an adaptation of Frey’s A Million Little Pieces, which director Sam Taylor-Johnson is about to shoot with Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Carla Juri, Charlie Hunnam and Giovanni Ribisi. Makeready’s Pam Abdy is producing with The Picture Company’s Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman.
A Million Little Pieces was published in 2004 and, according to JMP, has sold over 10 million copies worldwide. Through Nielsen, in the UK, it has sold 190,014 copies in paperback and 3,447 copies in hardback. Frey, whose publishers had classed it a memoir, was famously caught “embellishing” details in 2006; a new preface had to be printed and his US publishers at Doubleday offered refunds to readers.
John Murray publisher Mark Richards said of Frey’s new book: “James Frey has been a hugely important author for John Murray for the last 15 years, and we are thrilled to be publishing his gripping and all- enveloping new novel this autumn – a novel about ambition, regret, lust and love.”