Thursday, September 11, 2008

Palin's biography among new books coming....

From Publishers Lunch Weekly:


ANT FARM and FREE RANGE CHICKENS author and SNL writer Simon Rich's first novel, ELLIOT ALLAGASH, a coming-of-age comedy about "obscene wealth, megalomania and vengeance," to Jonathan Jao at Random House, by Daniel Greenberg at Levine Greenberg Literary Agency (world English).UK rights: ctisne@randomhouse.comTranslation:

Andrea Busfield's debut novel A MILLION WALLS, the story of a young boy growing up in post-Taliban Kabul, to Helen Atsma at Holt, for publication in winter 2010, as a trade paperback original, by Charlie Campbell at Ed Victor Ltd. (NA).


James Rollins's next four thrillers, to Lyssa Keusch at Morrow, for publication in Winter 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, by Russell Galen at Scovil Chichak Galen Literary Agency (NA).


Sherry Jones's THE JEWEL OF MEDINA, to Margot Atwell at Beaufort Books, for a very small advance ("we'll earn our advance back in about two minutes," Kern says) for publication in mid-October 2008, plus a sequel, by Natasaha Kern at Natasha Kern Literary Agency.

Michael Calce with Craig Silverman's MAFIABOY, to James Jayo of Arcade, for publication in Summer 2009, by Lisa Rundle of Penguin Canada (US).

James W. Nichol's TRANSGRESSION, about a young woman persecuted in WWII France as a "horizontal collaborator" whose past haunts her in America, to Jeanette Perez at Harper, for publication in fall 2009, by Beverley Slopen at Beverley Slopen Literary Agency (US).


Novelist Joe Hilley's SARAH PALIN: A New Kind of Leader, exploring themes from her career in politics, her life as a hockey mom, and her strongly-held Christian faith, explaining how they influence her new style of leadership and align with our changing economy in the information age, to Zondervan, for publication on October 10, 2008.


Megan McKinney's DYNASTY: The Fascinating Story of a Great Newspaper Empire, about the single family that simultaneously owned the Chicago Tribune, forerunner of the Washington Post, New York Daily News, and Newsday -- personal drama (sex, suicides, enormous wealth, secret treacheries) blended with social history of American newspapering during its most powerful era, to Gail Winston of Harper, by Agnes Birnbaum of Bleecker Street Associates (NA).


Politico writer and cultural columnist Helena Andrews's BITCH IS THE NEW BLACK, a biting look at the generation of young, successful black women, including the author, who have grown up to find the Cosby dream elusive and Cliff Huxtables few and far between, to Serena Jones at Collins, in a pre-empt, by Howard Yoon at Gail Ross Literary Agency (World).


1 comment:

dan said...

The Alabama-Alaska Connection:

Legal Thriller Author Joe Hilley of Alabama Penning Much-Awaited Bio
of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin


by Dan Bloom

The announcement last month in Lunch Weekly's online book news site in
New York, run by veteran publishing industry observer Michel Cader,
read very simply:

Novelist Joe Hilley's "Sarah Palin: New Kind of Leader", exploring
themes from her career in politics, her life as a hockey mom, and her
strongly-held Christian faith, explaining how they influence her new
style of leadership and align with our changing economy in the
information age, to Zondervan, for publication on October 10th.

Turns out that Hilley and his wife of 20 years, Joy, live in southern
Alabama with their teenage daughter and a younger son. Almost ten
years ago, in 1999 to be exact, Hilley -- who always had a hankering
to be a writer of fiction -- left a nice career in law and walked out
the door to write thrillers. Fulltime. He just got up and said goodbye
to a lucrative and rewarding law career and said: "Bookworld, here I
come!" or something like that. He has never looked back.

And now he's got a ringside seat at the travelling media circus known
as the Sarah Palin show. As the Republican Vice Presidential
candidate's chosen rush-job biographer, he's at the top of his game.

After the Christian book publisher Zondervan asked Hilley to write the
upcoming Palin bio, it put out a press release saying, among other

"Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's nomination as vice presidential
candidate by John McCain not only changed the landscape of the current
election, but also marks a shift in leadership style across our
country. Her acceptance speech during the Republican National
Convention showcased her personal brand of intelligence, passion,
vigor, and hope, and explained why she is the most talked-about woman
in America.
A new Joe Hilley ....will explore themes from her career..."

So who is Joe Hilley and how did he get this gig?

On his own website,, Hilley explains himself
in detail, and it's an interesting backstory.

The narrator, perhaps Hilley himself, begins: "Some said it wasn't
much of a change, from defending criminals to making up legal
thrillers. And they may be right. But the living of it has been quite
an adventure and a walk of faith -- not only for Joe but for his
entire family. When he walked out the door of the law firm and went
home to write, he didn't have a publishing contract. In fact, all he
had was an idea for a character and the bare outline of a story. With
that, he went home to write..."

"Had he merely written a hard-edged novel with
earthy language, he would have been picked up
by a traditional publisher," the website narrator continues. "If he
had written a softer novel with a more explicit message, he would have
found a Christian publisher years ago. But Joe wanted to write a novel
with a hard edge
without an explicit language. And he wanted any
message the book might have to come from the
experience of reading the book, not from telling
the reader the point."

"Writing a story like that was exhilarating. Finding
a publisher proved a challenge," the narrator says. "Then, Joe found
Jeff Dunn, an editor with RiverOak Publishing, an
imprint of Cook Communications Ministries."

Now Hilley speaks up: "Jeff
was looking for well-written fiction with a realistic
edge that didn't beat the reader over the head
with the message. I was sure I had the book he

The narrator continues: "RiverOak soon purchased Joe's first novel,
'Sober Justice', and struck a deal for a follow-up book. In September
2004, 'Sober Justice' introduced readers to Mike Connolly, a
down-and-out, 50-something attorney, battling alcoholism and a
disintegrating life. It also introduced the world to a new type of
Christian fiction. One that wasn't afraid to tackle spiritual
issues,and didn't soft-sell the story or water down the writing."

Joe explains: "I want to write like Ernest Hemingway, tell a
story like Mark Twain, and produce books that
grab the reader by the collar. To do that, you have to keep the story
razor sharp. [My wife, Joy, sees to that.] She's my first and best
editor. She keeps the story from going too far."

Both books did well. More were soon to appear.

A new book, "Double Take" continued the story of Mike
Connolly, and "Electric Beach", the third in the series, was
released in May of 2006. Then came "Night Rain" in April 2007, and the
fifth book in the
series, "The Deposition", in August of 2007.

"These novels have been a vehicle for addressing such topics as
judicial and political corruption, trafficking in women, and the
scourge of meth labs on rural America," the website notes, adding:
"Recently Joe's work has expanded to non-fiction. He ghost-authored
'Reign Down' which was released in April 2008. He's now finishing
'Sarah Palin' [on a tight deadline].

Exactly how the prolific author of a series of legal thrillers landed
the plum assignment of writing Sarah Palin's biography is still
something of a publishing industry mystery. Perhaps Zondervan's
editors knew Hilley from previous talks, or perhaps Hilley's book
agent set the deal up, or perhaps it was all meant to be and God had a
hand in this, too. We shall find out soon enough.

Meanwhile, in case any reporter out there is thinking about writing a
feature on Hilley, here's a few items from his resume. He holds a
college degree from Asbury College, a theology degree from Asbury
Theological Seminary and a doctorate in law degree from Cumberland
School of Law at Samford University.

Asbury College? I confess I had never heard of it. It's in Kentucky.
Its website says that with "a commitment to academic excellence and
spiritual vitality, Asbury College encourages more than 1,300 students
to study, worship and serve together on a campus located 20 minutes
southwest of Lexington in Wilmore, Kentucky."

Asbury Theological Seminary? I had not heard of this school before
either. Also located in Kentucky, it was founded in 1923 "to prepare
and send forth a well-trained, sanctified, Spirit-filled, evangelistic
ministry" to spread scriptural holiness around the world" and is
"committed to a vital evangelical Christian faith, rooted in the
Wesleyan-Arminian theological tradition.

Now even some of my Christian readers might not know what the
Wesleyan-Arminian theological tradition is all about, so let me tell
you: "[It] stresses the free grace of God in two ways: First, the
grace of God is free in all -- not dependent on merit nor on works.
[And] second, the grace of God is free for all -- all may be saved.
[Jesus] died for the whole world. People are lost, [therefore], not
because they cannot be saved, but because they will not be saved."

While the media usually describes Zondervan as a Christian publisher
-- and, of course, it is -- it is also a subsidary of the
non-religious HarperCollins book company in New York, which publishes
just about anything about everything.

So get ready for Joe Hilley's take on Sarah Palin. While it will be
very different from his fast-paced page-turned novels, it will be sure
to capture the attention of readers in both blue and red states -- on
both sides of the church aisles -- some looking for affirmation and
others looking for a few cracks in the mirror. Expect the former. This
is will God's book, with some human-powered editing allowed. And sure
to be a nationwide bestseller by October 11th.