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The inside scoop on the book world

Ronan Tynan, Gene Simmons, and Erik Larson’s ”The Devil in the White City” made book news April 21, 2000

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The Devil Made Him Do It
Erik Larson, author of the best-selling Isaac’s Storm, has decided on his next book of historical nonfiction, which he’s likening to both Ragtime and The Silence of the Lambs. The Devil in the White City will look back at the 1893 Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition, focusing specifically on Dr. Henry Holmes, who ran the World’s Fair Inn, where guests sometimes checked in but didn’t check out. ”He was America’s first known serial killer, a cross between Ted Bundy and Hannibal Lecter,” says Steve Ross, editorial director of Crown, who expects to publish the book in the fall of 2002.

Memoirs Sure to Strike a Chord
In other deals, Irish tenor Ronan Tynan reached a $400,000 deal with Warner to write his autobiography. ”He’s overcome so many things,” says Warner editor Diana Baroni, who will publish the ”inspirational memoir” in spring 2001…. Kiss cofounder and long-tongued, makeup-covered rocker Gene Simmons — a.k.a. The Demon — has made a six-figure deal with Crown to write his autobiography. Born Chaim Witz in Haifa, Israel, Simmons will tell ”a classic immigrant’s tale mixed with a rock star’s story,” says Kristin Kiser, the Crown senior editor who made the acquisition. ”Here is a man who wears a mask on stage, and the book will reveal what’s behind that.” The as-yet-untitled book will be out in 2002.