Laura Esquivel, the Mexican novelist whose Like Water for Chocolate ruled best-seller lists in 1993 and 1994 is going back to the material that made her famous: She has just signed a seven-figure deal with Crown for As Swift as Desire, which will tell the story of her father — much as Chocolate told the story of her mother. ”Her father was a telegraph operator who always tried to improve the messages he sent and received in order to create more harmony in the world,” says Crown editorial director Steve Ross, who acquired the novel with senior editor Doug Pepper. Look for it in fall 2001…. In other deals, rapper DMX has reached a mid-six-figure deal for his autobiography. In a Dogz Life, written with journalist Smokey D. Fontaine, is due next fall from HarperEntertainment. And West Coast pop-punk band Blink-182 is hoping to turn the success of its CD Enema of the State into a memoir. Agent Susan Raihofer is shopping The Official Blink-182 Crapbook — as in ”scrapbook” — which will be cowritten by Anne Hoppus, sister of bassist Mark Hoppus.
Street magician-turned-TV star David Blaine has reached a rumored million-dollar deal to write Mysterious Stranger, which will be a history of magic, complete with background on stunts, tricks, and ”bets you can’t lose.” There will also be a code embedded in the book. ”Whoever can decipher it will be led to a treasure chest with close to 100 grand in it,” promises Blaine. Says Bruce Tracy, editorial director of Villard, ”[Blaine’s] not a big-haired, sequined-assistant Vegas-magician type. He has a sensibility that makes him very of-the-moment, even while the craft he practices is centuries old.”