A little over a year ago I was in the middle of an exciting auction (the first I conducted as an agent) for a book by Julie Hadden, the 1st runner up on Season 4 of “The Biggest Loser.” I’m excited that the book, Fat Chance, released this week.
I wanted to give you a little background on how I became involved with this book. Each project has its own journey, and with this one, there was a lot of synchronicity involved, or should I say serendipity? Others will call it a “God thing.” Here’s how it happened.
In late 2007, I was looking for a good TV show I could watch with my kids. We enjoy shows like Amazing Race and American Idol, where we can watch people overcome challenges, and root for our favorites week by week. I decided on The Biggest Loser. I’d never watched it before, but my girls and I immediately got hooked. We watched the whole season together, and found ourselves inspired and motivated along the way. There was a woman on it named Julie. She was sweet, she was a mom, and she was such a hard worker. She was our favorite, and we rooted for her all the way to the final episode where she came in second place.
Fast forward seven months. In July of 2008, my query box held an email with a familiar name attached – Julie Hadden. Her query letter was beautifully written, just the right length (430 words) with the right pitch to pique my interest. She told me how her mind, spirit and body were transformed through her incredible experience on The Biggest Loser. She felt she had learned so many things that could help other people who were struggling with doubt, self-image and weight issues. She was already on the speaking circuit, inspiring hundreds of women at a time, and now she wanted to share her story in a book. Needless to say, she had the platform. Now all she needed was an agent and a publisher.
Well, to put it bluntly, I flipped. I couldn’t believe it was really Julie, my favorite contestant from the only season of The Biggest Loser I’d ever watched. I got in touch with her that same day. She had queried several agents, and I was the first to respond. Julie and I chatted a number of times and connected on numerous levels. I understood her vision for the book, and had a lot of ideas to add. I articulated for her what my plan of action would be if she signed with me. It helped that I already knew Julie’s story since I’d watched it unfold on national television and I felt a personal connection with her. (I don’t think any other agents she queried had that edge.)
It was only two weeks later that she signed on as a WordServe client and we went to work on the proposal and sample chapters. Two months later in October it was finally ready for submission and I began phoning a handful of editors and sending it out; in November we had our auction which involved four publishers (two NY houses and two CBA houses) and was won by Guideposts Publishing. In January 2009 we finally had signed contracts.
It’s been an incredibly busy year for Julie, with writing the book, caring for her two children, working hard to maintain her weight loss (she’s 80 pounds lighter than when she began The Biggest Loser!) and the considerable ongoing demands of publicity. Finally having a book on the shelves is the culmination of a dream, and being able to inspire and encourage people is what keeps her going.
See the book on Amazon HERE.
Julie is a strong and brave person who has been on an amazing journey, and whose heart is to serve others. I count it as a privilege to know her. You can visit her website here. Congratulations, Julie![ Next Post → ] [ ← Previous Post ]