My Favorite Birthday Gift: A Book Deal with Post Hill Press!

Post Hill

Dear Friends,

This post won’t focus upon errant hamsters, dancing cows, or much darker thoughts. I have great news to share, and I hope you’ll understand why I want to sing it from the mountaintops! 

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After a nine-year-long labor, in Fall, 2016 (as long as an asteroid doesn’t fall on me), I’ll finally be giving birth to…drum roll please!

 

          Birth of a New Brain – Healing with Postpartum Bipolar Disorder                           

Last month on my 45th birthday, I woke up groggy as usual and made a beeline for the coffee machine. I trudged over to my laptop and opened up my email.  While sipping my beloved Steve’s Smooth French brew, I spotted a message from Post Hill Press and braced myself for another patronizing rejection.  As I scanned the lines, I couldn’t believe my eyes.  They read my proposal and were interested in speaking with me! Yes, it was the same proposal that was rejected by a mean publisher which I whined about here:

https://proudlybipolar.wordpress.com/2015/03/06/lets-play-the-schadenfreude-game-a-writers-1st-rejection/)

Over the past month I received a contract, successfully negotiated a few amendments, signed and mailed the blessed document back to them. Now my goal is to produce a manuscript I’m proud of, and that’ll sell more than three copies.  (To people I don’t know!) 😉

The brilliant Dr. Walker Karraa has agreed to write the foreword. She’s the author of the highly acclaimed book Transformed by Postpartum Depression: Women’s Stories of Trauma, Healing and Growth (a #1 bestseller in the Amazon postpartum category) and founder of the wildly popular site Stigmama. http://stigmama.com./

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Now, many of the bloggers I read are absolutely amazing writers. (I bet you’re one of them!) There are numerous blogs containing writing that’s far superior to mine. So why did this deal happen if my writing isn’t National Book Critics Circle Award-worthy?  I’m stealing an answer from the talented author Kim Hooper. Hooper recently acquired a book deal with St. Martin’s Press for her book People Who Knew Me, and in her blog http://www.kimhooperwrites.com/she states,

“I still believe that getting a book deal is based less on talent than on luck and persistence.  I mean yes, you have to be a good writer.  But you have to keep trying, again and again and again.  And again.”

Kim’s right.

For years I’ve searched high and low for a book depicting PPBD, and to the best of my knowledge, there is nothing out there.  Like every author who’s passionate about her book, I believe my topics are worthwhile, interesting, and unique. That belief keeps me going when I wonder why the hell anyone would read my book.

Life hasn’t been all wine and roses since I got my happy news.  I’ve woken up many mornings at the grisly hour of 4:00 a.m. in a panic, wondering if I can pull any of this off.  I’ve been heartened by the encouragement of bloggers including Kitt O’Malley http://kittomalley.com/ Blahpolar Diaries https://bipolardyke.wordpress.com/ , Genevieve Desrochers/ Birth of a Bipolar Mother http://www.post-partum-bipolaire.me/, Anonymous, https://hidinginthespotlight.wordpress.com/, L.E. Henderson http://passionatereason.com/ and Laura Droege https://lauradroege.wordpress.com/.

All of your comments have bolstered my spirits when I’ve felt like giving up! Thank you!!! 

I’m also extraordinarily lucky to have a writing mentor in Wendy K. Williamson. https://wendykwilliamson.wordpress.com/ and 

http://www.twobipolarchicks.com/

I discovered Wendy years ago through one of my first Kindle purchases. I bought her bestselling memoir I’m Not Crazy Just Bipolar, never imagining that we’d correspond and become friends.

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Author Greg Archer (Grace Revealed) has also served as a magnificent mentor. The day Greg surprised me with a profile in the Huffington Post in which he praised my writing nearly made me keel over.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/greg-archer/agents-of-change-5-inspir_b_5992870.html

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My husband Craig went through the publishing process for his award-winning book Quest for Flight: John J. Montgomery and the Dawn of Aviation in the West.  When it came to negotiating my contract, he helped me fully understand every item in the document.

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There’s a little more to my publishing journey that makes this “birthday gift” significant.

In 2013, I landed a book deal with another publisher. When I got my contract it was absolutely thrilling, of course! Unfortunately, a few days later I relapsed with bipolar depression. I was hospitalized three times within six weeks. When I was released from the unit the third time, I remained terribly depressed. I continued with the bilateral electroconvulsive (ECT) therapy I had requested as an inpatient.  ECT helped me out of suicidal ideation, but back then I couldn’t write a few sentences to save my life.  I had to back out of my contract.

I didn’t think I’d get a second chance at remotely feeling like writing a book, but maybe my Dad had a hand in this one. Finding a great psychiatrist and an effective combination of medication were essential.

 

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Richard Leshin, May 22, 1927 – January 6, 2009   How he loved reading!  

And Mom, you inspired me to read. Thank you for buying me wonderful books as soon as I could hold one up, and for always believing I was a writer. Xo

 

I’m excited to work with Post Hill Press, an independent, progressive publisher. www.posthillpress.com  The team I’m working with has experience at several “Big Six” publishers, and their list features 20 New York Times non-fiction and fiction bestsellers. Post Hill Press publishes books that I purchased long before I even wrote my proposal. (I took that as a good omen!)  

Thanks for reading, thanks for inspiring me through your blogs, and thanks for your “likes” and comments, all of which have motivated me to keep submitting my book proposal again and again and again.

(and again!)

 Dyane

 

Please “like” the Post Hill Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/PostHillPress

Follow Post Hill Press on Twitter:

@PostHillPress

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83 thoughts on “My Favorite Birthday Gift: A Book Deal with Post Hill Press!

    1. OMG, my sweet Pieces, like you EVER have to apologize????? No way! I love it when you comment, but you don’t need to because I know you’re in my corner. This means so much to me – that you took time to do this – in light of all the shit going on. Sending you my love and you’ll be in my thoughts a lot. Keep us posted, okay? Remember your choice. XoXoXoXo

  1. Although it is late May now, sending you congratulations, Dyane! Yours is an inspirational story of the meaning of persistence. Am new to reading your blog/via Wendy’s, who I know from a writer’s group awhile ago.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Susan, and for your lovely comment. I’ll take congratulations any time of the year. :))))

      Wendy has been a wonderful virtual mentor. I wish I could have been part of your writer’s group!

      I hope you’ll return back here, although if you read today’s post, the screechy song I posted might scare you a little. I don’t screech every week, I promise.

      Take care & all my best to you, Dyane

  2. A belated congratulations to you, Dyane, on your book deal with Post Hill. I cannot begin to imagine how thrilling this must be. Am curious about ECT but simultaneously afraid and kind of used to suicidal ideation. You seem quite plugged into the bipolar or just general blogging circuit, which is completely new to me, so I quite enjoy perusing your pages. You were the first person to “like” something I posted so I thank you for that as well! Cheers!

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! I apologize for my late reply; sometimes I get back right away, and other times I lag but I have the feeling you’ll forgive me. 🙂

      I totally understand why you’d be afraid of ECT; I was *desperate*, otherwise I wouldn’t have given it a go. You might want to look into TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation)- in fact, a woman name Martha Rhodes whose book I read (“3000 Pulses Later”) about it heping her suicidal depression is giving a webinar for the International Bipolar Foundation *tomorrrow* – here’s the link:

      https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5229472281445257729

      Their webinars are archived so if you miss it, I believe you can access it later.

      I hope you have a great experience within the bipolar blogging circuit (and beyond). It took me two attempts to “get into it”, but when I did get hooked, it became a great part of my life. Sometimes I’ve gotten far too over-involved, but I’m learning when I need to pull back. The pros outweigh the cons!

      Take care & I look forward to reading more of your posts. I used to post a lot but pulled back to once a week (usually it’s Friday, sometimes it’s on Thursday if I’m especially excited about a topic & have extra coffee) so please come back. I have an original song I’ll be posting for everyone about Seroquel!

      1. Thanks so much for your reply and I am going to register for the webinar ASAP. Will also read 3000 Pulses Later (but wow I hope it doesn’t take that many). Have heard of TMS but not researched so yay!! You’ve provided a lot of great information. Have a fabulous day!

    2. I’m so happy you wrote back – yes, check out that webinar!

      If you have specific questions afterwards, please let me know.

      I was contacted by Martha Rhodes a while ago about her book (I think I wrote a min-review & she wrote to thank me for it.) I have her contact info., which I could share with you as she’s very willing to email/talk to anyone interested in the procedure. :)))) Have a great rest of your day!

    1. Your comment made my spirit soar, Marsha!

      (My mother-in-law’s name was Marcia, so if I ever goof in spelling your name, you’ll know why I got mixed-up – please forgive me if I do spell it incorrectly!)

      Despite the two publishing deals I’ve secured, & despite the lovely praise I’ve received over the years, I’m sooooooooooo insecure about my writing. I know most writers feel this way, but of course that doesn’t help a whole lot. 😉

      There are many, many writers out there who are far better than me, but I’ve felt called to write this book. You totally made my day with your kind words, you really did. 🙂

      Xo

      take care & bless you!
      Dyane

  3. Dyane that is SOOOO AWESOME Congrats! And just you sharing your first experience with a book deal and loss of a contract after having a relapse (very sad to read that, glad you made it through) makes this all the more of a celebration. Your book will offer so much to others, you share your experiences openly and with much thought, can’t imagine how many new Moms struggling will be comforted by your story.

    Now get to it. Time’s a wasting… 🙂

    1. I —loved—- reading your comment, Molly! Itt meant a lot to me that you picked out one of the most significant parts of my post: that I had this glorious kind of opportunity before.

      Because of my relapse (which happened because I tapered off bipolar meds) I blew it. That makes me doubly determined to get this done, so yes, I’ll get to it! Thanks for being such a bright, positive ray of light in this world!

      (((big bear hugs))))) from Dyane XOXOXOX

  4. This is my third attempt at an effusive and delighted response – technology is not my friend today and

    WELL DONE!!!!!!!

    And stop being so modest and self effecting… You did it. Now you gotta do the hard part – and you will, because you can and because you want to. Youdidityoudidityougottapublisherrrr yeahhhhhhhh!

    Stoked for you, stoked!

    1. First off, I’m very sorry about technology not being kind to you – what the hell!!!
      One (effusive? Ooooh! TYVM!) attempt gone awry would make me flip out,
      so thanks for sticking with attempt #3.

      Last night whilst trying to use my new CrapBook/ChromeBook, which is being returned today, it kept crashing on me as usual. I sounded like a bloody banshee.

      Modest? Self effecting (effacing?) I thought I sounded like a tall poppy and I was utterly obnoxious. Each day I thought about scrapping the post. (Wrote it a week ago.) But I couldn’t hide such big news from my virtual friends without feeling like a disingenuous toad.

      Blurp.

      Yes, it’s now the hard part and I’ll do it. Just because I complete the draft doesn’t guarantee a damn thing, but you know I’ll try. Part of my wanting to get a publisher so much was that it would motivate me to get my act together, and I must admit it’s doing that!

      Sorry to ramble. Time for cup #3 of java (it’s small mug…honest)

      Thanks for seriously helping me get to this point. What the f*ck shall I do come June? Do you have any advice for blahpolar diaries withdrawal syndrome/DSM-666 ??? I’m already going through BDWS a bit, as you’ve posted less over the couple days. I think. Have you? I’m losing the plot.

      XOXOXOXXOOXOXOXOOXOXXOXOXOX

      1. Burp.

        Nope, you didn’t sound remotely tall poppy – although if you are one, I warn you that I am English enough to follow the tradition of my people, become petulant and envious and then behead you. You’re frequently obnoxious, but not this time. Let me bring in one of the truly great philosophers of out time, to address your draft-to-book strategy…

        And here’s the scientific breakdown…

        BDWS is one of those schmancy disorders that don’t exist till you’ve moved to Hollywood and bought your very own psychiatrist.

        Yes I have.

        Aaand again, YAAAAAAYAYAYAYAAAAAY

      2. Hee hee. Cauliflower. I like ’em!

        Wish you could see Snoozy Lucy right now.

        She’s napping on “her” blue corduroy beanbag (I write “her” because she stole it from Avonlea) and she’s oh-so cute. The hound is also extraordinarily clean ‘n fresh for the next few hours. I took a bath with her yesterday. Yep. She’s not that dirty to begin with, and it’s truly not gross to bathe with this beast; she’s actually the cleanest member of this family any day of the week. I’m dead-serious.

      3. Didn’t know what a zimmer frame was ’til 30 seconds away. Look at you! A natural teacher! Wait a minute….egads! I just puddled on the floor, BRB….

      4. I shouldn’t worry if I were you, I’m vastly younger than you, at 44, and I just spooned hot chocolate into a dog bowl instead of a mug.

        Shush, I can hear your thoughts from here.

    1. Thank you sweet Raeyn! You can bet there won’t be a chapter on mindfulness! 😉 An entire book about mindfulness is coming out this spring. :0 Needless to say, I won’t be buying it! have a good weekend, my dear!

  5. Congratulations Dyane! What wonderful news! You should be so proud of yourself…your hard work and persistence has paid off. Good luck with all that is to come…looking forward to reading the final product 🙂

    1. Thank you Rachael!!!

      You’ve always been so kind & encouraging, and you inspire me to no end! Sometimes when I start to crumble, I think of what you’ve been through with the different health challenges, the hospitalizations and much more. The fact you not only got through to the other side to pursue your PhD, but continue to kick each health challenge’s derriere with grace & wit gives me strength. XOXO DY

      1. Thank you Dyane, you are such a great supporter of me in the blog world. Your words mean a lot, and I truly appreciate all the feedback you have given me since I was a newbie with about 20 followers 🙂

        You will ace this book, it is your time 🙂 Absolutely can’t wait to read it! xx

    1. Merci, Genevieve! You’re totally on your way with your own book! We must encourage one another, and I’ll make an effort to check in with you & (gently) virtually kick your derriere.;) In the meantime, please give my love to that absolutely stunning, beautiful little girl of yours! She’s truly extraordinary. I don’t want to leave out your son, however. He’s quite handsome, and I bet he’s getting a kick out of being the big brother. Keep in touch and keep posting those awesome photos on Facebook!!

  6. You deserve it, every word you write will inspire many, many women with PPBD. I am thrilled beyond belief for you because you have exactly what it takes and it paid off. Talent and tenacity are the formula and that is the definition of you. I’ll be on standby when you need me. Beuna suerte chica, though you don’t need it one bit. It’s already inside you now it’s time to tell your story. I can’t wait to read it and spread the word. You will sell thousands and thousands and thousands but you can’t think about that now. While you write think of you and that one mom who desperately needs your book. When that one mom who needs answers picks up your book, and feels relief, or gets help or both, your job is done. It will all be worth it. That is our purpose as mental health authors and you will have achieved that.
    Now, for the torture, not the rough draft, but the revisions. I say keep chocolate on hand, attend your support groups and keep up with all your appointments. I did all the above and somehow got through it. I’m glad you got a lengthy deadline so you won’t lose it in the process. You can do this. I’m so happy and proud of you!

    1. Yo Ms. Wendy! I bet you’re enjoying being back at home and I’m sorry about the cat pee – hope it wasn’t another couch/robe incident!! (I have to admit I giggled over it, but I apologize profusely….cat pee is heinous…..ewwwwwww!)

      I’m thinking about that one mom you wrote about with all my might – it REALLY helps for me to focus upon her rather than get caught up and distracted with the bigger picture!

      And I have sh*tloads of chocolate, my fave candy ever, around here. I started buying a pricey dark fudge sauce with the perfect brand name of “Fudge Is My Life”! I pair the regular fudge flavor flav with my locally made chocolate, hazelnut or vanilla gelato. Soooooooooo good, especially now that the heat is on around here and we’re getting days in the high 70’s. An Italian fellow named Massimo of Watsonville manufacturers this glorious, lowfat (!!! that’s what the label says, anyway….) gelato and evidently he has Oprah as a loyal customer! Bellisssimo!

      Sometimes I eat big, pure spoonfuls of Fudge is My Life sauce. There is a chocolate orange flavor that almost rocks as much as regular. YUM! Healthy? Um, no. Superamazing? YES!

      I lead my women’s support group every other Saturday afternoon so it doesn’t interfere with my writing time on Monday-Friday while the girls are at school.I’m keepin’ my eyes on the prize, Diner Girl; I’m not letting anything mess this chance up! I’m schlepping to the dr. and therapy appointments etc., and girl, I have YOU to thank for so, so much. You have some serious good karma coming your way! XOXOXOOOOXOXO

  7. Dyane….I am so excited for you! I’m thrilled, and can’t wait to read your book when it comes out!   Enjoy every minute of the process!  🙂   With Love, Linda

    1. Many thanks, beautiful Linda! Remember you have an open invitation to come visit& speak at our meeting anytime as an honored guest!!! :)))) XOXO

    1. Thanks, magnificent SuperMommyofTwins!!!! Please say a special prayer for me that the process goes well. You continue to amaze me with your perseverance, strength, creativity and humor….keep those insightful blog posts a comin’!

  8. Great news! I share your goal of selling one copy of my book, then one copy to someone who I don’t know, and eventually finance our entire retirement…or something in the middle 😉

    I agree that success depends on luck and persistence, and people without talent ride their networks to popularity all the time, but special commendations go to people who have talent AND who persist AND put supportive networks in place AND get lucky because of their talent and persistence and networks.

    Rock on! And Happy Mental Health Month! May your wellness ride with you through this project.

    1. What a beautiful comment – plus, you made me giggle about financing your retirement! 🙂

      Happy Mental Health Month to you as well. I’m crossing my fingers, crossing my toes, crossing my eyes (maybe not such a great idea!) and crossing my t’s that I will, indeed, have wellness ride with me through the next year. It’s a daunting prospect but I’m determined nonetheless. Blogging helps me remain accountable and enjoy wonderful encouragement such as yours.

      I wish you luck and continued perseverance in attaining all your literary dreams.
      I’m also proud to say that I’m your newest follower on “Weaver Grace”!

      take good care,
      Dyane

    1. Thank you lovely Lady Lauren! I’m scared shitless, but I’m gonna birth this “baby” no matter what! 😉 And as you know from your incredible experience qualifying for the roller derby term, the things we do that are especially challenging will rock our world! XOXOX

  9. Whoooo-hooooooo! (Every writer who gets a book deal needs to be whooo-hoooed at least once.) Seriously congratulations!!!! I am so, so happy for you!!!!!! I love how you announced your news. Great post!!! 😀

    1. Yep, I needed that whooooooo-hooooooo. Especially from you! Thanks from the bottom of my raggedy-nailed toes. While I still had lots of doubts about this particular post, it feels good “making it real”, so to speak. You get it. 😉 XO

    1. That’s HUGE praise, coming from a bloody NEW YORK TIMES-published writer! (That searingly honest essay was such an amazing piece of writing) I want to read *your* book when it comes out.

      Maybe I could beseech you to take a look at a few chapters over the summer, since you have SO much free time. 😉 (not!)

      Really looking forward to seeing you soon! Xo

  10. Hi Dyane (all the way from Australia. ) Congratulations on your publishing deal. Wonderful news! I’m thrilled to hear there’s a publisher with the foresight to tell your story. It’s certainly been a journey for you. I don’t think it matters how many ppl read it but who will read it. And if it helps just one person, what an incredible contribution you’ll have made. All the best!
    “Whoever saves one life saves the world entire. ” Schindlers’s List

    1. Thank you, Keryn, for a lovely comment! I felt so inspired by the quote! (What an incredible film that was.) I can’t ignore my drive to write about PPBD (believe me, I’ve tried because it’s not a walk in the park! 😉 I’ve been given one of the greatest opportunities I could wish for, and I’m so thankful. Please keep in touch, and I hope you and your family are doing well! (((hugs))) Dyane 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Dr. Vania! I’ll be audacious when the time comes, & ask you for an endorsement blurb! Then you’ll get a freebie! 😉 By the way, I LOVED your D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathy) blog post yesterday; it was extraordinary and I meant to comment. I will this weekend. 🙂

      1. would be happy to! and thanks for your thoughts about my DO blog…took me awhile to write it and figure the best way to get my points across, but i’m pretty proud w/ how it turned out! have a great weekend dyane!

      2. I would totally prefer a D.O. to an M.D. for a psychiatrist! On a different note, my husband is going to Fairfield tomorrow for a geological job, and I showed him your latest pic on your blog with those ubiquitous Fairfield bovinel residents! 🙂

      3. I hope the bovines are here to stay!…so many housing developments taking up their pastures 😦 But how cool that we share that fairfield connection!

    1. Thank you Yve!!! Kim Hooper was right – you keep trying and don’t give up. If I didn’t find a regular publisher I knew I would self-publish and that’s a wonderful option we have nowadays.

      With your ginormous talent & true, pure passion, you have an extra edge that many writers don’t!!! There is only ONE Magnificent Yvette the Writer! much love, Dyane

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