Ashland, OR (April 6, 2023) – Blackstone Publishing is extending their working partnership with best-selling Sideways series author Rex Pickett. The long-admired first novel Sideways, that begat the continuing series, was adapted into the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice, SAG and Academy Award-winning screenplay of the same title in 2004 starring Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh. Blackstone originally published the popular audiobook versions for Sideways, Vertical and Sideways: Chile. This relationship expanded further in 2021 when Blackstone published Pickett’s mystery novel The Archivist in hardcover, paperback, e-book, large print, and audiobook formats.
Now, Pickett has agreed to partner with Blackstone’s CEO Josh Stanton and Head of New Business Development Rick Bleiweiss in a deal that will include releasing previous books in new formats and publishing new fiction books in the years to come.
Sideways: New Zealand will be the next original release in the Sideways series. The picaresque novel will feature the return of best friends Miles and Jack, the two main characters from the original novel, on a humorous and thought-provoking book tour gone awry – all taking place within the confinement of a camper van. Pickett spent six months in New Zealand, researching and writing the book. Blackstone will publish Sideways New Zealand in hardcover, paperback, e-book, large print, and audiobook formats.
Just as thrilling, and looking to the future with his Blackstone partnership, Pickett and Blackstone have inked a deal for a proposed post-Sideways: New Zealand trilogy, with the first installment to be set in Burgundy, tentatively titled Sideways Burgundy. Burgundy is, of course, the holy temple of Pinot Noir and Rex’s alter ego Miles (Paul Giamatti) loves his Pinot Noir. The other two books in the proposed trilogy will be announced at a later date.
Pickett commented, “Ever since the Oscar-winning movie of my novel Sideways I have been searching for a publishing house who would believe in me through the proverbial vicissitudes many authors weather. After some fits and starts, I can say unqualifiedly I have found a home with Blackstone Publishing. With my recently released The Archivist, I have felicitously discovered when Blackstone acquires a manuscript, they are partners from editorial to release in the most supportive way imaginable. And now with Sideways: New Zealand I feel a strong gust of wind behind me as I put the finishing touches to this installment in the series, embark on a promotional tour across the country for the Sideways, Sideways: Chile and soon-to-be-released Sideways: New Zealand hardcovers, all leading up to the 20-Year Anniversary of the Release of the movie October 22, 2024, (visit rexpickettbooks.com for personal appearance, and autographed and inscribed books). And then to Burgundy and beyond! I love writing the Miles and Jack characters,” added Pickett. “Deeply personal as it seems sometimes, I love living in their fraught worlds. They are dear to my heart, and now dear to millions of Sideways fans.”
Stanton said, “Sideways has always been one of my favorite books. I’m ecstatic that we’re able to partner with Rex and further expand the Sideways catalog.”
Bleiweiss said, “Rex and I enjoy working together so much that we decided to expand our relationship into a sort of unofficial partnership. Rex is a fabulous writer and a wonderful person, and that’s an incredible combination. I’m so pleased that he wants to have us as his on-going publisher. And, I truly have enjoyed the events we’ve done together. I personally can’t wait to read Sideways: New Zealand.” Pickett has recently collaborated closely with Bleiwiess on several joint bookstore appearances. Bleiwiess authored the Blackstone published mystery novel Pignon Scorbion & the Barbershop Detectives.
About The Author
Rex Pickett is a California-based screenwriter and author who is most well known for writing Sideways, the book that became one of the most critically acclaimed and highest-grossing comedy films in Hollywood history. The screenplay for the film was named one of the Top 100 Screenplays of All Time by the Writers Guild of America while the movie itself was nominated for five Oscars (winning Best Adapted Screenplay) and seven Golden Globe Awards (winning Best Screenplay and Best Picture). Pickett also wrote the script for the Oscar-winning Best Live Action Short My Mother Dreams the Satan’s Disciples in New York, and his Sideways sequel Vertical won the Gold Medal for Popular Fiction from the Independent Publisher Book Awards. The Rex Pickett Papers are in archives at Geisel Library on the campus of his alma mater, UCSD. Pickett resides in Del Mar, California.
About Blackstone Publishing
Founded in 1987, Blackstone continues to pioneer new and creative ways to bring stories to life. With multiple New York Times Best Sellers, Grammy award-winning audio productions, and three books placed on the New York Times Best Books of the Year list, Blackstone has firmly positioned itself as one of America’s fastest growing and respected publishing houses. A truly independent, privately owned publisher, with offices on both coasts, Blackstone is home to a vibrant and eclectic community of storytellers and story lovers, offering hundreds of new titles each month to its catalog of 17,000+ books. The authors published are as varied as the books themselves, with works by some of the biggest names in literature including Gabriel García Márquez, Ayn Rand, Ian Fleming, George Orwell, Robert Heinlein, James Clavell, as well as more contemporary authors like Neil deGrasse Tyson, Karin Slaughter, Don Winslow, Robert Downey Jr., Jeneva Rose, Norman Reedus, and many more.