Published in June by Penguin Random House imprint Berkley Jove Trade Paperback Originals, and currently in its fifth printing, the romance novel’s heroine is a brilliant woman with Asperger’s syndrome, something very personal for Hoang. In 2016, Hoang was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, also known as Asperger syndrome, and her experience inspired her to write the book.
In The Kiss Quotient, Silicon Valley econometrician Stella Lane finds herself in a quandary that mathematics can’t solve. Her parents think it’s time for her to start thinking about marriage – a prospect that means dating…and sex. Aside from the fact that Stella’s idea of a good time is spending weekends at the office with a shiny new dataset, she also has Asperger’s, a type of autism that makes it difficult to socialize, communicate, and enjoy physical contact. Stella’s solution? She needs a professional. But when Stella hires strikingly handsome male escort Michael Phan to guide her through everything from foreplay to fantasies, their no-nonsense business arrangement starts making a strange kind of sense, leading Stella to discover that love is the best kind of logic.
Pilgrim Media Group is currently developing the project, with plans to focus first on a feature film adaptation. Piligian is producing, alongside Pilgrim’s Vice President, Scripted Content, Lauren Pfeiffer.
“We are so excited to bring Helen’s exceptional novel to the big screen,” said Piligian. “The Kiss Quotient gives us a protagonist not often seen in romantic comedies, and it does so in a fun, heartfelt, and thoroughly human way that everyone can relate to.”
Added Hoang, “While The Kiss Quotient is a work of fiction, it is highly personal to me and close to my heart. As a first-time author, I was unfamiliar with the process of adapting it for film, but after speaking with Pilgrim, and seeing their sensitivity and consideration for the material, I know the book is in the right hands. I am thrilled to see these characters reach a broader audience and make an impact.”
Mary Alice Kier and Anna Cottle of Cine/Lit Representation handled the rights negotiations for the book on behalf of Kimberly J. Lionetti of BookEnds Literary Agency, the literary agent for Helen Hoang. David Harris and Christine Luu brokered the deal for Pilgrim.