LONDON, 1912: Someone is stalking the brave band of heroes who had defeated the vampire Dracula a quarter-century ago.
Bram Stoker's great-grandnephew and blood descendant, Dacre Stoker, and award-winning Dracula documentarian and historian Ian Holt have sold North American-English publishing rights of the Stoker-family-authorized sequel to Bram's classic novel "Dracula" to an alliance of Dutton U.S. (Brian Tart), Harper U.K. (Jane Johnson) and Penguin-Canada (Laura Shin).
The novel will appear in October 2009.
Laura Shin, senior editor of Penguin-Canada, who signed up for two additional sequels, said, "I was thrilled by this page-turning story and loved spending time with those great characters-Stoker and Holt did a fantastic job melding the old with the new, and I found the work to be a virtually seamless continuation of the original. The story has all the hallmarks of a historical novel, but with a modern sensibility that gives it wide-spread appeal."
Dutton and Harper signed a single novel deal. Although other precedent-setting foreign deals are already closed from preempts, Baror is planning to sign the bulk of world territories at the upcoming Frankfurt Book Fair.
Using Stoker family connections, the writers were able to access Bram Stoker's hand-written notes for his novel - which, before an editor changed the title, was to have been called "The Un-Dead."
"Our story," Stoker said, "includes characters and plot threads that had been excised by the publisher from the original printing over a century ago."
"The Un-Dead" is the first Dracula story to enjoy the full support of the Stoker clan since the original 1931 movie starring Bela Lugosi. Lugosi's appearance in Hamilton Deane's and John Balderston's stage production of the story on Broadway in New York, fifteen years after Bram Stoker's death in 1927, sparked the original novel's bestselling popularity. It has never been out of print since.
AEI's Ken Atchity, Chi-Li Wong, and Michael T. Kuciak (Life or Something Like It, Joe Somebody) will produce the film adaptation with Blue Tulip's Jan de Bont (Speed), and are expecting to see it go before the cameras in June '09.
The script has been completed by Ian Holt with the story co-written by Alexander Galant, who are both managed by AEI and agented by Ron Gwiazda and Amy Wagner at Abrams Artists.