I have some news to share!
I landed a book deal with a traditional publishing house!
To all of my friends and family, THANK YOU. You’ve all been so incredibly supportive and wonderful, reading passages from my manuscript, cheering me on…I just can’t thank you enough. You kept me going.
After 44 rejections from major, medium and small publishing houses over the past year and seven months, I got a publishing deal with Post Hill Press! They’re distributed by Simon and Schuster, and based in NYC and Nashville. My memoir with the working title, Little Voices: How Kids in Spirit Helped a Reluctant Medium Escape and Heal from Abuse, will officially launch this September 2022.
But, let’s back up because the story of the book deal is a story about trusting intuition in and of itself.
I started writing Little Voices in late 2017. Two years later, I partnered with a wonderful agent by the name of Tina Wainscott. It took about three months to find and pitch Tina, alongside 14 other literary agents. I knew it would be an uphill battle due to the subject matter, but the Universe had my back. My intuition told me that I’d sign with an agent and ink a publishing deal. I didn’t know how or when, but I knew it was written in the stars as long as I did the work and stayed the course. Tina later told me that intuition told her to take me on as a client even though she knew the odds of selling a spiritual memoir written by a first-time author who isn’t a celebrity and who doesn’t have millions of followers is slim to none.
Still, Tina took a chance. She started pitching my memoir to publishing houses mid-April of 2020. Around that same time, I reached out to two of my favorite people who happen to be intuitive healers/mediums (Cynthia Spiece and Katie Beecher) about my book and both told me, unbeknownst to each other and about two weeks apart, that the publishing house I’d land would have a tree in its logo. All of my intuitive “spidey senses” agreed with what they were channeling. I knew in my soul that the tree logo was spot on. Naturally, I researched every damn publishing house with a tree or leaves in their mark and I made sure that Tina knew what was being channeled about my upcoming book deal.
Over the next year and seven months, we received some “we were really close to offering a deal on this book, but…” feedback, some “I can’t figure out how to sell this” replies, a few “this is incredibly interesting but it’s not a fit for our publishing house” comments, and lots of “her platform isn’t big enough” rejections.
Still, I kept the faith through the different phases of pitching. First, Tina started with her tier one target list. This list is made up of big dogs who make the most sense like HarperCollins imprint that publishes spiritual books. Tier Two publishers are slightly smaller but still make a lot of sense with regard to the subject matter of my book. Tier Three are great houses but they're considered long shots. Enter Post Hill Press—the last publisher on my agent’s list.
Almost a year ago last December, I finally started diving into the Tier Three list because we'd struck out on most all of the Tier One and Tier Two publishers already. The minute I pulled up Post Hill Press’ website, I knew they’d be my publisher. First of all, their logo was a tree. I’m talking THE ENTIRE logo is a FREAKIN’ TREE! How had I missed that?! Secondly, I realized I personally knew one of their authors. I’d filmed a TEDx talk (2018) on the same stage as Dr. Ramani Durvasula, a wonderful clinical psychologist from LA who is considered the foremost expert on narcissistic abuse and narcissism in general. Aside from those two things, Post Hill Press didn’t look like an obvious fit. In fact, they looked like they might laugh in my face. Quite a few of their authors stand for everything I stand against. Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that PHP was the one.
I mustered the courage to ask Dr. Ramani how she liked working with PHP, and then I asked her if she’d be interested in reading and endorsing my book. If you know me, you know I hate asking for help and I hate asking for endorsements. I gave Dr. Ramani every "out" possible. I told her that I completely understood if she didn’t feel comfortable endorsing Little Voices due to the spiritual woo woo nature of the book. Much to my surprise, she said she’d be honored to read my book. We set March 2021 as the target date for her to share her thoughts and blurb with me.
March quietly came and went. I figured she was busy filming shows like Jada Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk, so I waited until the time felt right to check in with her again. A month or so later, I followed up with her on email but I never received a response. I knew she was being pulled in many directions...or maybe she had just changed her mind? Fast forward to August of this year and I still hadn't heard from her. You know that rabbit hole you go down imagining all the bad stuff? I went there. I thought she hated my book so much that she felt her only option was to ghost me. After a few deep breaths and a chat with another intuitive friend of mine named Robin, I wrote to her to let her know how much I appreciated her willingness to read Little Voices and I understood if she’d decided it just wasn’t for her. I wrapped things up and prepared to move on. That very day she replied apologizing for not getting back to me and told me she was canceling what she had planned that day in order to read the rest of my memoir that she’d already started reading in early 2021. She was beyond lovely and apologetic.
The very same day, she reached out several times saying how good the book was, and that she hoped I’d negotiated a good film rights deal because she thought it would be turned into a movie or a limited series like “Maid” on Netflix. I was blown away by her enthusiasm and kindness. Her endorsement was incredible, too.
Tina packaged my pitch—including the new endorsement from Dr. Ramani—and wrote to the head of Post Hill Press. And then I held my breath.
About a month later, the head of PHP told Tina that they were reviewing my proposal. I breathed a sigh of relief because sometimes you don’t hear a word from publishers even when you have an agent pitching on your behalf. Unbeknownst to me at the time, he then shared my proposal with one of his consulting editors on November 8th. The same day the editor received my proposal she let Tina know that she liked it very much and wanted to talk with both of us.
Two days later, we jumped on that three-way call. It was surreal, to say the least. My new editor immediately said she really loved Little Voices and was ready to make an offer.
Against all odds, Little Voices will find its way to bookshelves. Once again, intuition has proved to be a reliable compass—for me and for my agent—and I couldn’t be more thrilled about that. After all, it’s the point of my whole book.
To top things off, Mark Pucci, the homicide detective I work with in New York (who also graciously wrote the foreword for my book) called me up before I received the book deal offer to talk about a new nonprofit he’s starting. He wants me to be a founding board member and a big part of the National Institute for Law and Justice (NILJ) where a network of detectives from all over the world, a team of specialists with ballistics and CSI expertise, and a few trusted intuitive mediums help families looking for answers they haven’t been able to find. The families will not have to pay for our services. Our mission will be three-fold: we will help find answers in homicide cases, missing persons cases/cold cases, and, in cases of missing Indigenous women and children. I could write for days about this new nonprofit but I’ll save that for later. I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the NILJ—a project Mark and I have talked about since meeting one another in 2012 but neither of us really knew at the time how it would come together. Now we do.
I’m beyond grateful for all of the amazing people in my life, like Mark, who have supported me through my stranger-than-fiction journey. To Tina, for believing in me enough to spend almost two years of your life championing my book. To Rachael for helping keep me sane during our early morning Zoom calls. To Egan, Cynthia, Lorraine, Karen H, Nicole, Theresa, Necole, AJ, Ben, Yvette, Andy, Krista, Melissa, Cindy, Tracie, Camilla, Macie, Jeneda, Amanda K, Mark, Katie B, Vicki W., John and Denise P, Janine, my mom, dad, and sister—thank you for helping me climb out of the darkness into the light. I wouldn’t be here without you.
Most of all, I want to thank my Natalie, Grace, and Scott for giving me the strength, space, and confidence to write Little Voices.
You are my everything. Always and forever.