UPDATE, 2:25 PM PT: I have found out more about author Don Winslow‘s move from Simon & Schuster and back to Knopf. The first of the two books he’ll write under the new pact is a sequel to The Power Of The Dog, the 2005 seminal epic novel about the drug war that Winslow spent six years writing. It was the book that established him outside the U.S. Turns out Winslow spent the last five years writing the sequel and researching the drug biz in Mexico, the U.S. and other countries. The new book picks up the characters and storyline where the original ends, in 2005. It covers the drug scourge until the present, as seen through the eyes of a maverick DEA agent.
The book, called The Power Of The Dog Part II, is being edited by Knopf chairman/editor-in-chief Sonny Mehta, and it will be released in late 2015, ahead of the film adaptation of The Power Of The Dog. The sequel will be the first book published under the new deal, and he will follow with a four-quadrant action thriller that marks a departure for Winslow. The second book will be shopped to studios and filmmakers shortly. In addition to the Knopf deal, Winslow’s lit agency The Story Factory has made seven-figures in deals for Germany (Droemer), Italy (Einaudi), Japan (Kadekowa), France (Seuill) and the UK (William Heinemann). The other 25 territories are in the works.
The Power Of The Dog really hooked me into Winslow’s fiction. For its large canvas and sweep, it reminded me of the way that Dennis Lehane stepped up in The Given Day, and Stephen King did the same with The Stand. For Winslow, this creates a film sequel opportunity, as the first book is being adapted by Avatar 4 co-writer Shane Salerno & Nikolaj Arcel & Rasmus Heisterberg, latter of whom adapted the Swedish The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and followed with A Royal Affair. Arcel is set to direct with Salerno producing.
EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, 8:26 am PT: Don Winslow, the author of bestselling crime novels that include Savages, The Power Of The Dog and The Winter Of Frankie Machine, has left Simon & Schuster to return to Random House’s Knopf imprint. He has signed a fat two-book deal there. Winslow has delivered the first novel and will turn in the second in July. No titles or details are known just yet. The deal was made directly by Knopf Chairman and Editor-in Chief Sonny Mehta, and who can blame Winslow for wanting to return. Mehta personally edited Winslow’s novels before, including his seminal drug tale The Power Of The Dog, and they will resume that relationship.
Winslow’s two novels for Simon & Schuster, Savages and The Kings Of Cool, were bestsellers and broadened his readership abroad. Savages was turned into a 2012 film directed by Oliver Stone.
“I’m so glad to be back at Knopf with my mentor and friend Sonny Mehta,” Winslow said. “I remember sitting all night at the kitchen table in his place in New York editing The Power Of The Dog. He had these detailed notes written in pencil in the margins and we discussed, debated and argued until we had a book. And I recall walking home when the street sweepers were out thinking that this was one of those rare, prime moments in a writer’s career.”
Winslow’s books have been catnip for strong directors. The former private eye turned author has become more involved in those adaptations, and there is major film action already on The Power Of The Dog. Shane Salerno, who worked with Winslow and Stone on the Savages script and who wrote Avatar 4 with James Cameron, is writing that script with Nikolaj Arcel & Rasmus Heisterberg. The latter duo scripted the Swedish version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and followed with the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar Nominee A Royal Affair. Arcel will direct the film. Salerno is producing and an early 2015 start date is planned for the epic story of one DEA agent’s heartbreaking 30-year battle in the war on drugs.
Winslow’s deal was made by The Story Factory.