With Charles Frazier’s second novel, Thirteen Moons, now scheduled for an October release, The New York Times takes a look at the considerable expectations the book will face. Frazier’s 1997 debut, Cold Mountain, was a massive hit for Grove/Atlantic, after which he decamped to Random House for an $8-million advance on his next book. Elisabeth Schmitz, the Grove editor “who had discovered and nurtured him to success” (in the words of Times writer Motoko Rich), was only able to offer $6-million and so lost out. “We did the best we could, and in the end $2 million is a lot of money to leave on the table,” she tells Rich. “It’s business. This is his job.”
On an interesting note, though, the trade paper rights for Cold Mountain, which Grove had sold (or rather, apparently, licensed) to Vintage, are about to revert back, so Grove its planning its own new trade paper edition.