EXCLUSIVE: Blackstone Publishing has acquired worldwide publishing rights to Sean Scott Hicks’ autobiography, The Devil To Pay: A Mobster’s Road To Perdition. The company’s Director of Media, TV and Film, Brendan Deneen brokered the deal and will now edit the book, while shopping film and TV rights to studios and streamers.
The Devil To Pay tells the story of a man who was born into one of the most notorious crime families in history—The Winter Hill Gang. Hicks, the illegitimate offspring of a secret relationship, was raised around the criminal influences of such infamous mobsters as Whitey Bulger, Steve Flemmi and Howie Winter. By the age of 15, he became fully involved in Boston’s underworld of organized crime figures, primarily the Irish mob, which ultimately led to him serving over 24 years in prison. In his memoir, Hicks details his never-before-shared theories about how the unsolved 1990 Isabella Gardner Museum heist in Boston took place, who was involved, why no one has ever been arrested, and where he believes the surviving artwork may be today.
Hicks was released from a maximum security prison in 2020 as an entirely reformed man. His story illuminates the reality of what it’s really like in the dark, dangerous and insidious places of the world, and what it takes for a person to climb out.
“I’ve been charged with bank robbery, kidnapping, conspiracy, racketeering, theft, extortion, money laundering, black mailing, aggravated assault, and attempted murder. In short, I was a monster. But all that has changed,” said Hicks. “My journey back to humanity is an ongoing and humbling pursuit.”
“When Sean’s autobiography landed in my inbox, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But after reading it, I realized I had something very special in my hands. The writing is top-notch and the story itself is every bit as compelling as THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, but with a much stronger character arc,” added Deneen. “I’m excited to share Sean’s story with the world. It’s not only entertaining, it’s also the story of a man who chose to atone for his sins and become a better human.”
Hicks is currently shooting an unscripted television series about his post-prison life produced by Aaron Semmel, which will follow him as he balances construction projects, his recovery from alcoholism, his music career, and, most importantly, his family life. In addition to writing, Hicks is currently working as an actor, producer, real estate developer, criminal consultant, musician and record label executive. In 2021, he co-founded the label Mob Rock Records, which was signed by Rob Schwartz of Who?Mag Multimedia with distribution through The Orchard, a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment.
One of the largest independent audiobook publishers in the U.S., Blackstone’s catalog counts over 13,000 audiobook titles from such authors as Ayn Rand, Gabriel García Márquez, Pablo Neruda, C.S. Lewis, Don Winslow and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Its print and eBook imprint releases count over 80 titles a year by both new and established writers including James Clavell, Rex Pickett, P.C. Cast, Catherine Coulter, Norman Reedus and Karin Slaughter.
Deneen is a former Scott Rudin Productions and Miramax/Dimension exec who recently joined Blackstone and launched its in-house film and TV division, which currently has projects in development with Netflix, Paramount, Amblin, Roadside Attractions, Genre Arts, 6th & Idaho and Makeready. Hicks’ agent negotiated the deal for The Devil to Pay on his behalf.