Stuff in the ‘Memoir’ Category

15 October, 2020

CLOUDS – A Memoir, by Laura Sobiech

Originally published as Fly a Little Higher and now updated and revised to coincide with the film release of Clouds, Laura Sobiech tells the amazing, true story behind the song and the movie.

“Okay, Lord, you can have him. But if he must die, I want it to be for something big. I want someone’s life to be changed forever.” This is what Laura Sobiech prayed when she found out her seventeen-year-old son had only one year to live. With this desperate prayer, she released her son to God’s will.

At that point, Zach Sobiech was just another teenager battling cancer. When his mother told him to think about writing goodbye letters to family and friends, he decided instead to write songs. One of them, “Clouds,” captured hearts and changed lives, making him an international sensation.

This story is a testament to what can happen when you live as if each day might be your last. It’s a story about the human spirit. It shows how God used a dying boy from a small town in Minnesota to touch the hearts of millions—including top executives in the entertainment industry, major music artists, news anchors, talk show hosts, actors, priests and pastors, and schoolchildren across the globe. And above all, it’s an example of the amazing things that happen when someone shares the most precious thing he has—himself.

“I’m not a musician; I’m just a filmmaker, and my prayer is that you get an opportunity—both through the reading of this beautiful book and the watching of our film based on it—to experience what I will fail to put into words: the magic and inspiration of Zachary David Sobiech.”

—Justin Baldoni, filmmaker and director of Clouds

11 August, 2015

What 4 top agents desire in a memoir

Thanks to veteran editor, Alan Rinzler, for including me in this insightful interview with some esteemed colleagues.  Memoir is so popular, but also challenging to publish.  Here’s what you might want to think about in relation to crafting and publishing a memoir.

11 November, 2014

Target select’s FLY A LITTLE HIGHER as first Holiday Book Club pick

fly_higherWe are so thrilled that Laura Sobiech’s memoir, FLY A LITTLE HIGHER, has been selected as the very first Target Holiday Book Club Pick this year!

Starting December 2, 2014, a new special edition will be available exclusively at Target.  It offers a handful of special bonus materials, including in-depth Q&A with author Laura Sobiech and discussion questions for the reader.

Congratulations Laura!

4 June, 2014

Laura Sobiech speaks with Katie Couric about her inspiring son Zach 1 year after his death

Laurie Sobiech visited with Katie Couric yesterday to talk about Zach’s life and legacy a well as her new book FLY A LITTLE HIGHER, which is soaring up the charts.  If you missed the show, here is the link!

10 May, 2014

Laura Sobiech talks to CNNs Bill Weir about FLY A LITTLE HIGHER

Fly a Little Higher jacketLaura Sobiech’s FLY A LITTLE HIGHER launched this week with a flurry of media attention and a starred review in PUBLISHERS WEEKLY which said, “Sobiech’s talent as a writer and love for her son are obvious. Her details ring true, not treacly, and the power of this book lies in its understatement of the faith and emotion, both of them strong, that course through the story. Keep tissues near.”

Laura’s week started with a huge book signing and concert in the Mall of America which coordinated with the release of the deluxe FIX ME UP CD/DVD featuring all of the songs and music videos shot by her son and his band mates before his death.  The week ended with a heart-warming interview with CNN’s Bill Weir.  Bill later tweeted  “I nominate Laura Sobiech for Mother of the Year.”  We second that nomination!

Watch: Bill Weir interviews Laura Sobiech

7 May, 2014


Becoming an author was not something Laura Sobiech ever intended to do. A Midwest wife and mother of four, Laura was living a pretty average life, raising kids, working two jobs and volunteering at her local fire department. Until one cold and rainy day in November 2009, her third child, Zach (14), was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer called osteosarcoma. Life as she knew it was forever changed.

Laura started blogging on the family’s CaringBridge (a website for families dealing with medical crisis) as a way of keeping people informed of Zach’s medical status. The blogging soon became a way for her to step out of the chaos and reflect on life with a child battling cancer. As the years went by her readership grew; people from across the country were tuning in to be inspired by the story of her son’s battle and triumphs and her reflections on how to find joy through suffering.

Laura’s memoir, Fly a Little Higher, How God Answered a Mom’s Small Prayer in a Big Way, recounts Zach’s heroic battle with cancer, his joyful outlook on life and the remarkable story of his beautiful and poignant song, “Clouds,” and how it changed the world.  The film, “Clouds”–streaming from Disney Plus as of 10/16/2020, now has a movie-tie in edition of the book, under the same title. Laura tells the story with authenticity, exposing her family’s struggles while living through disease and death. Though the story is heartbreaking, it is also one of hope, filled with joyful and even funny moments as Laura writes about her spiritual journey with her son through cancer in a way that people of all faith backgrounds can relate and draw from.

You can follow Laura on Twitter and learn more about her book on the website

12 August, 2013

THEN CAME LIFE, Geralyn Lucas

THEN CAME LIFE, Geralyn Lucas.  From the cancer survivor and author of Why I Wore Lipstick…to My Mastectomy, the continuation of her life story, learning to live joyously after cancer.  (Gotham/Penguin, Fall 2014)

5 August, 2013

CLOUDS, Laura Sobiech

In this inspiring memoir Laura, the mother of Zach Sobiech, the teenager whose YouTube rendition of his original song “Clouds” went viral shortly before he died of cancer at 18, writes about her son, his simple philosophy of the importance of family, friends, love and faith, as well as, his clarion call that you don’t have to know you’re dying to start living.  As she shares the joys and sorrow of Zach’s years fighting Osteosarcoma while making the music that touched the hearts of millions, readers will get to know the story behind the music and the boy behind the phenomenon.” (Thomas Nelson/Spring 2014)

17 July, 2013

Sequel to Ashley Rhodes-Courter’s THREE LITTLE WORDS sold!

I first met Ashley Rhodes-Courter when she was 16.  I represented her adoptive mother, Gay Courter, a wonderful commercial novelist, and nonfiction writer.  Ashley had just won a contest sponsored by Scholastic for an essay on “What Harry Potter Means to Me.”  As a child, Ashley had been in and out of foster homes from age 2-12.  The encouragement she received from teachers, and a love of reading saved her from the often abuIMG_9703sive and sad circumstances in her foster homes.  Harry Potter gave her hope.  A year later, Ashley won another essay contest, this one sponsored by The New York Times magazine for teens.  She wrote movingly about being adopted—finally—by a loving family.  At that point, Ashley had been disappointed by so many families that she wasn’t quite sure what to expect. So when the judge asked her how she felt about her adoption, she uttered three little words:  “I guess so.”

That grew into a memoir about growing up in the foster system.  Published by Atheneum, a division of Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Publishing, Three Little Words went on to sell over 120,000 copies, hitting The New York Times bestseller list.  15115267Ashley, who since her teens, has been speaking out about the rights of children, especially in foster care and adoption situations, crisscrossed the country, addressing audiences as diverse as those who work in the justice system to schools and parent and teen groups.  The book was optioned for film, and as I write, director James Mangold (Girl Interrupted, Walk the Line) is collaborating with actress Reese Witherspoon in a feature film that should be released in the fall of 2014.

Ashley is now 27, married, with a biological son. Together with her husband, she has already fostered many children, trying to apply the lessons learned as a foster kid to parenting.  She has won scores of honors and awards for her inspiring work, graduated college with two majors and two minors, and finished a Master’s degree, all while juggling the life of a newlywed, learning to parent, and a whirlwind public speaking schedule.

I was thrilled when Ashley sent me a proposal for the sequel to Three Little Words, and even more thrilled when her publisher, Atheneum, picked up the publishing rights.  Three More Words continues Ashley’s story into early adulthood.  She will share stories of joy and heartbreak as she learns to live with the families she belongs to—the one she was born into and her adoptive family—and as she forges the bonds of a family of her own.  Most of all, she embraces the “three more words” that she now feels comfortable uttering:  “I love you.”  Three More Words continues the journey but also the biggest lesson of all, learning to give and receive love.

Thanks to a fantastic editor, Caitlyn Dlouhy, and the dream team at Atheneum.

–Joelle Delbourgo



16 July, 2013

THREE MORE WORDS, Ashley Rhodes-Courter

The remarkable follow-up to the New York Times bestselling memoir about growing up in the foster care system, about becoming a foster parent as well as mother to a biological child, the continuing challenges of dealing with one’s family of origin into adulthood, learning to trust, accept and give love. Rhodes-Courter is a motivational speaker and advocate for the rights of children.  Publication to coincide with release of a feature film based on her first book.  (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster, Fall 2014)