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Monday, 8 April, 2002, 12:52 GMT 13:52 UK
US author's '$8m advance'
Jude Law
Jude Law is set to star in Cold Mountain
The author who wrote the award-winning Civil War book Cold Mountain has signed an advance deal for his next novel worth $8m (5.6m), according to reports.

Charles Frazier's one-page outline for his second book started a frenzied bidding war between publishers, US newspapers have reported, with Random House securing the deal.

In addition, Hollywood movie producer Scott Rudin is said to have bought up the film rights for a reported $3m (2m).

True story

The book, which is yet untitled, is not expected to be published until 2005.

The story will once again be based in the Civil War era, and will centre on the true story of a white man raised by Cherokee Indians who represented his tribe in Washington.

The man lived in Frazier's native North Carolina.

"His life spans the time from when the southern Appalachians were still a white space on the map to the time when there were early automobiles and sound recordings and light bulbs and telephones ringing," Frazier told Newsweek magazine.

The amount paid to Frazier is considered very high for one work of fiction.

Clinton autobiography

He received $100,000 (69,700) for Cold Mountain from small publishing outfit Grove/Atlantic, which was resigned to losing its star author.

Other big signings have included American suspense writer Mary Higgins Clark, who was signed up for a 45m five-book deal, and Stephen King's final four books were given a 23m price tag.

Former President Bill Clinton has reportedly been handed $10m (6.9m) for his autobiography.

Cold Mountain is about a wounded Civil War soldier making his way home after the war to be with his sweetheart.

The novel won the National Book Award in 1997 and is currently being turned into a film.

Jude Law is set to play the lead character and it will be directed by Anthony Minghella, who won a Oscar for The English Patient.

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