HBO Options The Boy Kings of Texas

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Select media coverage: New York Times, All Things Considered, This American Life: The Mimis, This American Life: Getting Away with It, Diane Rehm Show, Publishers Weekly, This American Life: Is That What I Look Like?

HBO has optioned THE BOY KINGS OF TEXAS: A MEMOIR, by Domingo Martinez. The book was published by Lyons Press, an imprint of Globe Pequot Press, in 2012 and chosen as a finalist for the National Book Award that same year. Salma Hayek and Jerry Weintraub are the executive producers on the project, with author Martinez writing the script. The deal was negotiated by Bruce Vinokour of CAA, working with Alice Martell of The Martell Agency.

BKOT cover“It’s beyond my comprehension that this book has drawn this level of attention and success, but I’m doing my best to absorb it and adjust,” said Martinez, who is currently working on his next book, My Heart is a Drunken Compass, which will be published by Lyons Press in November 2014.

“I have to credit my agent, Alice Martell, and my editor, Lara Asher, for seeing the potential in the book in the first place, and all the support I’ve had at Lyons Press. It was my first book, and with nothing in the way of a publishing background, I was certainly a gamble. But to their credit, they saw what the book could be and what it’s done, and so here it is, making the leap from the literary to the cinematic—and on HBO, no less.”

“This is the perfect story,” said agent Alice Martell. “An unknown author submits an unsolicited manuscript, an agent falls in love with it, and a publisher does, as well. The book goes on to be a National Book Award Finalist and then is optioned by HBO with a dream team attached. As Domingo’s agent, I couldn’t have imagined a better way for this amazing work to be recognized.

THE BOY KINGS OF TEXAS is an authentic coming-of-age story about the traumas and pleasures of growing up in Brownsville, Texas, in the 1980s, and the often terrible consequences when two very different cultures collide on the banks of a dying river. Partly a reflection on the culture of machismo and partly an exploration of the author’s boyhood spent in  his sister’s hand-me-downs, the book delves into the enduring and complex bond between Martinez and his deeply flawed but fiercely protective older brother, Daniel, and features a cast of memorable characters—including his gun-hoarding former farmhand Gramma and “the Mimis,” two of his older sisters who for a short, glorious time, manage to transform themselves from poor Latina adolescents into upper-class white girls. In telling his story, Martinez provides a real glimpse into a society where children are traded like commerce, physical altercations routinely solve problems, drugs are rampant, sex is often crude, and people depend on the family witch doctor for advice.

Domingo Martinez (Nicole Rule Photography)

Domingo Martinez (Nicole Rule Photography)

Domingo Martinez is the New York Times Best Selling author of The Boy Kings of Texas, which was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2012; a Gold Medal Winner of the Independent Publishers Book Awards; a Non-Fiction Finalist for The Washington State Book Awards; and was nominated for a 2013 Pushcart Prize. Martinez’s work has appeared in Epiphany Literary Journal, Texas Monthly, The New Republic, Saveur Magazine, and Huisache Literary Magazine. He is a regular contributor to NPR’s This American Life and has appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered and The Diane Rehm Show. Martinez was the recipient of the Bernard De Voto Fellowship for Non-Fiction at Bread Loaf Writer’s Colony in 2013, and is a fundraiser and spokesperson for 826 Seattle, the literacy project founded by Dave Eggers. He is currently working on his next book, My Heart is a Drunken Compass, which will be published by Lyons Press in November 2014. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

6 thoughts on “HBO Options The Boy Kings of Texas

  1. Pingback: The Boy Kings of Texas: Coming Soon to a TV Near You | Huizache

  2. If you bring this incredible and compassionate account of us Texans to HBO then I will go out and get that “pay TV” channel. Thanks to Mr Martinez for his bravery and Ms Hayek for her boldness. Please get this story out as it will help people understand Texas and Texans. Orale!

  3. Just finished this wonderful book. It’s the Texas version of Angela’s Ashes. Loved it. Couldn’t put it down. I hope it translates well to the screen, unlike Frank McCourt’s memoir.

  4. Pingback: My Heart Is a Drunken Compass | Lyons Press

  5. Many thanks to Ms. Hayek and HBO for picking up this Texans story. Authentic and honest. Domingo is definately making the world better by telling his story. I am picking up My Heart is a Drunken Compass today. Nice job yall.

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