Thursday, September 11, 2008

Zondervan Announces New Biography of Sarah Palin


From the Zondervan blog:

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 biography, titled Sarah Palin: A New Kind of Leader by Joe Hilley (Zondervan 2008), will explore 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. The book is scheduled for release nationwide on October 10, 2008.

“Regardless of your political persuasion, it is clear that Sarah Palin has quickly electrified the 2008 election and sparked a nationwide dialogue and debate,” said Moe Girkins, president and CEO of Zondervan. “We are honored to publish this book that will provide readers with a comprehensive look into the life and rising political career of Sarah Palin.”

In Sarah Palin: A New Kind of Leader, Hilley explores traits from Palin’s background and experience, including her maverick integrity, electrifying communication style, career agility, and perpetual education, to establish his argument for Palin as an exemplary leader in our rapidly changing cultural landscape. By exploring the leadership principles that have catapulted Palin into the national spotlight, Hilley explains how she models a fresh paradigm of leadership that will guide the United States through the 21st century.

“We live in an age that values relationship over authority and instant information over accuracy, so breadth of knowledge and depth of conviction are the most prized commodities for our leaders,” said Hilley. “Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin brings both of these qualities and more to her new role as John McCain’s running mate and I’m eager for readers to have the opportunity to know her and her brand of leadership more thoroughly.”

About Joe Hilley: Author Joe Hilley holds a Bachelor of Arts from Asbury College, a Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Cumberland School of Law, Samford University. In 1999, he quit the practice of law to write. A lifelong observer of politics and social issues, Joe is the author of five critically-acclaimed novels. He has used those novels as a vehicle for addressing such topics as judicial and political corruption, trafficking in women, and the scourge of meth labs on rural America. His novels include Sober Justice, Double Take, Electric Beach, Night Rain, and The Deposition. He lives in Alabama where he writes full time.

7 comments:

Pam Halter said...

Wow ~ that was fast. How do you pull something like that together so quickly?

~ Brandilyn Collins said...

I agree, inquiring minds wanna know. I'm trying to get some inside scoop on this acquisition. I'll post what I can next week.

Lynette Sowell said...

That was my first thought. Very fast...

~ Brandilyn Collins said...

Turns out the book was sold, apparently on proposal, to Zondervan over the Labor Day weekend. It was presented by a "trusted agent."

I'llbet Joe Hilley is one busy author this month ...

Nicole said...

Kinda goes to show how fast they really can produce a book in a pinch. Don't give it too much thought, though. It might be irritating.

dan said...

The Alabama-Alaska Connection:

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


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:

Biography:
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
things:

"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 biography....by Joe Hilley ....will explore themes from her career..."

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

On his own website, http://www.joehilley.com, 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
wanted."

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.

dan said...

also, duly noted:

According to publisher David Nussbaum, “101 Things You — and John McCain — Didn’t Know About Sarah Palin,” is being written as we speak by Gregory Bergman and will have a print run of some 25,000 copies.
Nussbaum said the humorous paperback will be in bookstores nationwide by the first week of October, perhaps even by the end of September. A website, 101thingsaboutsarahpalin.com, will go live by September 22, he noted.