Actor Ron McLarty, whose long struggle to publish a novel was greatly boosted by a plug from Stephen King, has agreed to a two-book deal with Viking Penguin.
KING, in his featured column for Entertainment Weekly, recently cited McLarty’s “The Memory of Running” as a novel “that can do more than walk; it has a chance to be a breakout bestseller.” The book, which had only been available in audio form, soon became the object of a seven-publisher bidding war.
“It’s a fantastic story,” Viking associate publisher Paul Slovak said Tuesday. “It’s full of humor, very warm. It’s very readable, an incredible page turner.”
Financial terms were not disclosed.
McLarty’s novel, the story of a 279-pound toy factory supervisor on a cross-country journey, is scheduled to come out next year. Another novel will follow.
McLarty, whose acting credits include the television series “Law and Order” and “Sex and the City,” had tried to find a publisher years ago, with little success. He is a popular narrator for audio books, including Richard Russo’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Empire Falls,” and ended up releasing “The Memory of Running” in audio form.
McLarty met King several weeks ago and sent him a tape of his book.© 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.