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February 1-15, 2004 Edition BOOK DEALS Author Cussler Charges

Producer With Altering

Approved Screenplay

LOS ANGELES, CA/1/17/04—Author Clive Cussler has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Crusader Entertainment, claiming that the producer altered a screenplay based on a Cussler book, which had already been approved by the bestselling action/adventure author.

Cussler is suing for more than $10 million in damages and wants to end his contract with Crusader, owned by Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz. Apparently, Crusader changed the material after Cussler gave his written consent, violating the author’s rights under the screenplay agreement. The lawsuit also indicated Crusader had already begun filming on the project.

The film, though not identified by the parties, may be “Sahara,” which Crusader announced it had begun filming in May. Crusader acquired the rights to Cussler’s books in 2001 and announced that the first film in the series would be “Sahara.” Crusader declined comment on the grounds that it had not seen the suit.

Cussler’s contract with Crusader gives him unqualified approval over the screenplays based on his books. The works cannot be changed without his written permission. Crusader has already exercised its right to make two Cussler books into films. The suit would prevent Crusader from exercising any further rights and seeks payment for damages.

Putnam Acquires

Donaldson’s Four

Last Chronicles

NEW YORK, NY/1/16/04—Putnam has acquired the final four books in Stephen R. Donaldson’s series THE CHRONICLES OF THOMAS COVENANT, to be released in the fall of 2004.

The six books in the original series, published between 1977 and 1983, have sold more than 6 million copies. First of the four to be re-published will be THE RUNES OF EARTH. Putnam editor Jennifer Hershey bought the rights from Howard Morhaim at the Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. UK rights have been acquired by Malcolm Edwards at Orion UK. Film rights have also been optioned.

Viking Buys Krum’s

Novel in Pre-empt

For Six Figures

NEW YORK,NY/1/17/04—Viking has acquired Sharon Krum’s THE THING ABOUT JANE SPRING, in a pre-empt for six figures. Likened to “Bridget Jones meets Tootsie,” the book was acquired by Viking’s Jane von Mehren from agent Barbara J. Zitwer at the Barbara J. Zitwer Agency (NA). Krum’s first novel was WALK OF FAME (St. Martin’s Press, 2001). She is a journalist.