Stuff in the ‘Memoir’ Category

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.
Fly a Little Higher jacket
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. She 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)

22 October, 2012

WITH AND WITHOUT HER: A Memoir of Being and Losing a Twin, Dorothy Foltz-Gray

In 1949, author Dorothy Foltz-Gray and her identical twin sister, Deane, were born. In 1981, Deane, then a psychologist, was fatally shot by one of her patients. In the years between, the pair formed an almost supernaturally close bond, one so intimate that at times, their memories fused and their individual identities dimmed.  Here, Foltz-Gray, an award-winning poet and journalist, recounts not only the extraordinary phenomenon of growing up in a world that could not distinguish her from another human being, but also the struggle to survive the loss of her twin.
With and Without Her is the story of what happens when a life divides into before and after. It is a story of identity and individuation, confusion and competition, intimacy and separation, violence and murder. Most of all, it is the story we all face, of loss and survival.