Crown Publishing Group

TSP Editor Kaitlin Ketchum on Producing CHASING LIGHT

CHASING LIGHT: Michelle Obama Through the Lens of a White House Photographer by Amanda Lucidon, was published by Ten Speed Press, a Crown Publishing Group imprint, on Tuesday, October 17.   This collection of striking and intimate photographs of Michelle Obama—many never before seen—is coupled with personal reflections and behind-the-scenes stories from former Official White House Photographer Amanda Lucidon, presented in a deluxe format. 

Ms. Lucidon, who spent four years covering the First Lady, shares a rare insider’s perspective, from documenting life at the White House to covering domestic and overseas travel. Ten Speed Press Editor Kaitlin Ketchum opens a number of windows into the process of creating and publishing CHASING LIGHT in her responses to the following questions: What was involved in the process of working with Amanda Lucidon and your TSP colleagues throughout the editorial, design and production process? [caption id="attachment_8129" align="alignright" width="150"] Kaitlin Ketchum[/caption] Ten Speed’s book-making process is super creative and highly collaborative—it’s one of the reasons I love working here.  Since CHASING LIGHT was a highly illustrated book on a very tight schedule—I acquired it in April, the manuscript was due in May, and we went to print in August to go on sale in October—working closely and collaboratively with Amanda, Creative Director Emma Campion, Senior Production Designer Mari Gill, and Production Manager Jane Chinn,  was crucial to our ability to move fast.  Thankfully, Amanda was a joy to work with, and her background as a White House Photographer meant she was fearless in the face of tight timelines and quick turnarounds! In addition to working long-distance throughout the book-making process, we were fortunate to have Amanda spend a week at the Ten Speed office in California to work side-by-side with our team on the manuscript, photo selects, layout, cover, and color testing. We spread out every photo we were considering for the book on a huge table, and Amanda, Emma, and I spent hours and hours moving them around, debating the selects and order for each chapter. Amanda and I even reviewed the copyedit of her manuscript at my desk, sitting hip-to-hip and making edits together. It was fantastic—if a bit tiring for us all—to be able to spend that time working so intensively with the author, brainstorming, bouncing ideas off of each other, and poring over Amanda’s incredible archive of photos from the Obama White House. [caption id="attachment_8130" align="alignleft" width="225"] Amanda Lucidon[/caption] Amanda was involved in every decision we made about the book, and she and I were talking almost daily—sometimes many times a day—for months, hammering out every detail. It was definitely the most challenging and the most rewarding book I’ve edited in my six years at Ten Speed, and the hard work was so worth it— CHASING LIGHT is a beautiful and moving book, and a lovely tribute to Mrs. Obama. What were the most rewarding aspects of bringing this book to publication? On a large scale, it’s rewarding to see CHASING LIGHT exist in the world, especially in these dark times. Mrs. Obama was, and still is, a source of light and inspiration to so many people around the world, and celebrating her legacy isn’t just nostalgic—it’s hopeful.  It’s also rewarding to see Ten Speed publish such an important book. We may be small, and we may not be in New York, but we have some West Coast magic and produce books that are truly gorgeous and distinctive. It’s an honor to have CHASING LIGHT on our list. On a personal and professional level, it was a joy and an honor to work on this beautiful tribute to Mrs. Obama, and with an author as inspiring as Amanda. I’m constantly inspired by my authors, and it was wonderful to collaborate with Amanda, who is such a warm, brilliant, and genuine person (plus, she’s got some amazing stories from her time at the White House). Helping artists like Amanda shape their vision and bring it into the world is one of the reasons I love what I do.

Tim Tebow Launches SHAKEN: The Young Readers Edition with Book Report Contest

Tim Tebow’s newest book, SHAKEN: The Young Reader’s Edition – Fighting to Stand Strong No Matter What Comes Your Way, was published by WaterBrook, a Crown Publishing Group imprint, on September 12, and launched with a book report contest that is running through January 8, 2018.  The Heisman Trophy winner, former NFL quarterback, professional baseball player (in the New York Mets minor league system) and author is  very enthused about this contest, which is aimed at youth ages 10 to 15 years old, to encourage reading and writing while reminding them of their identity in Jesus. 

“There is nothing more empowering, more life-giving and more exciting than having a strong identity,” says Tebow. “My prayer is that, no matter what you’re facing today, this book will help you discover an unshakable identity and a God-designed purpose for your life!” Participants are invited to write a report, limited to one page with a maximum of 750 words, on how the SHAKEN: The Young Reader’s Edition inspired or challenged them in their lives. The grand prizewinner will receive a limited edition, signed Tim Tebow “TT-15” baseball bat, a signed copy of the book, and a Skype call with Tebow. The two runners-up will receive a signed, game-played baseball from Tebow and a signed copy of Shaken: The Young Reader’s Edition. For official rules and details, visit  (As with all of our consumer-facing promotions, employees of Penguin Random House, their immediate families, and persons living in their households are not eligible to enter this contest).
[caption id="attachment_8072" align="alignleft" width="180"] Tim Tebow at Catalyst[/caption] Young readers of SHAKEN will be captivated and motivated by Tebow’s personal stories of highs and lows. With the enthusiastic voice and contagious positivity that he’s known for, Tebow inspires his young readers to believe that God is ready to do great things through them—in their families, their schools, and around the world. Last week Tebow appeared at Catalyst – a two-day conference to help leaders build great churches, grow strong teams, and be a catalyst for change – in Atlanta.  He spoke about a number of the themes found in SHAKEN, such as identity and courage.

How Katie Davis Majors Held On to Hope and Wrote Her Book

In her inspirational new memoir DARING TO HOPE , published by Multnomah on Tuesday, October 3,  Katie Davis Majors faces such questions as, “How do you hold on to hope when you don’t get the ending you asked for?”  When Katie moved to Uganda more than a decade ago, accidentally founded a booming organization, and later became the mother of thirteen girls through the miracle of adoption, she determined to weave her life together with the people she desired to serve.  But joy often gave way to sorrow as she invested her heart fully in walking alongside people in the grip of poverty, addiction, desperation, and disease.  

DARING TO HOPE is an invitation to cling to the God of the impossible.  Though readers’ heartaches and dreams may take a different shape, they may find their own questions echoed in the book’s pages. In this “Meet Our Author” interview, Katie delves inside the creation of her book, her writing regimen, working with Multnomah, and what parts of the book she thinks will connect directly with readers. How and when did you know that the experiences, events and emotions you chronicle in DARING TO HOPE would evolve into a book? Honestly, the first draft of this book was mostly written on post it notes and little scraps of paper lying around my house.  I had no idea a book was forming.  I was going through a season of grief and hurt.  I had a lot of questions, and I was trying to reconcile my heart and my head, what I knew to be true about people and about God, and what I doubted.  When I compiled them together and saw some of the themes, that’s when it occurred to me, maybe I’ve written another book.  Still it took several months before I shared it with my agent.  It had been six years since my first book, Kisses from Katie, and I was nervous to re-engage public life. [caption id="attachment_8010" align="alignleft" width="200"] Katie Davis Majors (middle) on the Today Show with Kathie Lee Gifford (left) and Hoda Kotb (right)[/caption] How would you describe your writing regimen and the process of creating your narrative voice?  Well, I have fourteen children, one of whom is a baby.  And I homeschool. I have an organization I help run that serves people here in Uganda.  My writing regimen is like the rest of my life – squeezed in between family and work and everyday living.  Unlike Kisses from Katie, I’m married now, so I relied a lot on help from Benji.  He would watch the children while I would work.  I had writing days, where I would carve out huge chunks of consecutive days to crank out the manuscript. My editor was an amazing support. What has it been like having Multnomah as your publisher? I have loved working with Multnomah.  They have been supportive, encouraging, and champions for DARING TO HOPE since the very beginning.  I feel like they understand this message, understand my heart, and want others to hear it.  Some of the people on the team have supported our non-profit organization, and another is an adoptive mother.  It’s been extremely collaborative.  Writing with Multnomah has truly been such a joyful process.  I am grateful. What elements of DARING TO HOPE do you think will resonate most strongly with readers?  Although some of my specific experiences might be unique, many of the themes of DARING TO HOPE are not.  We all have our struggles and our sorrows. I lost a child to an unfair system, but everyone can relate with what it feels like when unfair things happen to them.  I prayed and nursed my friend Katherine back to health for months, and I sincerely thought she was getting better, and then she tragically died.  I am not the only person out there who has experienced the tragedy of death or loss.  I was a single mother of 13 children and I doubted whether I would ever find a man who would be able to join me in my life’s work, as a father to my daughters.  Many singles understand this and wonder how their calling is going to fit with a family.  I saw that sometimes things work out as you hope and sometimes they do not.  I had come to the edge of DARING TO HOPE:  Do I really believe in God’s goodness even if the ending turns out differently than I hoped?  So many of us know that feeling, of being on the edge, that line between hoping for miracles and fearing disappointments.  I hope these words help people feel less alone.

Read Our Books Starring in New Fall TV, Streaming Series and Films

This year’s fall television and streaming season is upon us, with a number of new shows, series and films based on books published by Penguin Random House imprints, as well as two new books of ours based on the programming itself. The following viewers and readers guide shines the spotlight on this diverse selection:

“THE VIETNAM WAR” Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s ten-part, 18-hour PBS-TV documentary series, THE VIETNAM WAR, tells the epic story of one of the most consequential, divisive, and controversial events in American history as it has never before been fully presented on film. THE VIETNAM WAR: An Intimate History by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns is the expansive, richly illustrated Knopf book based on the series. Ten years in the making, the series includes rarely seen and digitally re-mastered archival footage from sources around the globe, photographs taken by some of the most celebrated photojournalists of the 20th Century, historic television broadcasts, evocative home movies, and secret audio recordings from inside the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations. The book, which serves as a companion to the series, plunges us into the chaos and intensity of combat, even as it explains the rationale that got us into Vietnam and kept us there for so many years. Rather than taking sides, the book and series seek to understand why the war happened the way it did, and to clarify its complicated legacy. Airing throughout September on PBS television stations, the series is also streaming on PBS apps.   “OUTLANDER” The third season of the highly-rated Starz adaptation of Diana Gabaldon’s multi-million-bestselling Outlander series focuses primarily on the third book in the series, VOYAGER (Dell), continuing the story of Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser. Two decades before, Claire had traveled back in time and into the arms of Jamie, a gallant eighteenth-century Scot. Then she returned to her own century to bear his child, believing him dead in the tragic battle of Culloden. Yet his memory has never lessened its hold on her. When Claire discovers that Jamie has survived, she is torn between returning to him and staying with their daughter in her own era. The third season premiered on Starz September 10, with new episodes airing weekly into the fall.   “OUR SOULS AT NIGHT” The Netflix adaptation of Ken Haruf’s novel, OUR SOULS AT NIGHT (Knopf/Vintage), reunites Oscar-winners Robert Redford and Jane Fonda for the fourth time. Addie (Fonda) and Louis (Redford), long-widowed, empty nesters, come to know each other better and discover a second chance at love in the small community of Holt, Colorado. The film, which has received positive reviews, is also enjoying a concurrent brief run in select theaters. Premieres on Netflix, September 29   “LORE” Aaron Mahnke’s THE WORLD OF LORE: Monstrous Creatures (Del Rey) is the basis for a new Amazon horror anthology. Spread across six episodes, the series explores the disturbing history behind a number of horror-tinged myths. In his book, Mahnke, the host of the hit podcast Lore, serves as a guide on a fascinating journey through the history of terrifying creatures. In a world of “emotional vampires” and “zombie malls,” the monsters of folklore have become both a part of our language and a part of our collective psyche. Of note, Mahnke invites readers to the desolate Pine Barrens of New Jersey, where the notorious winged, red-eyed Jersey Devil dwells. Premieres on Amazon Prime, October 13   “JOAN DIDION: The Center Will Not Hold” joandidion Across more than fifty years of essays, novels, and criticism, Joan Didion has chronicled the changing tides of American culture and politics – often in deeply personal ways. This upcoming documentary, JOAN DIDION: The Center Will Not Hold, directed by Didion’s nephew Griffin Dunne, is primarily based on SOUTH AND WEST: From a Notebook (Knopf), in which Didion presents excerpts from two notebooks. In one, she traces a road trip she took with her late husband, John Gregory Dunne, in June 1970, through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. She interviews prominent local figures, describes motels, diners, a deserted reptile farm, a visit with Walker Percy, a ladies' brunch at the Mississippi Broadcasters' Convention. A different notebook, the "California Notes," began as an assignment from Rolling Stone on the Patty Hearst trial of 1976. Though Didion never wrote the piece, watching the trial and being in San Francisco triggered thoughts about the city, its social hierarchy, the Hearsts, and her own upbringing in Sacramento. Dunne’s documentary, which debuts next month as part of the New York Film Festival, intersperses archival footage alongside his interviews with his Aunt Joan, delving into her extraordinary body of work and its impact on our cultural landscape. Of note: footage of Didion partying with Janis Joplin in a house full of L.A. rockers in the ‘60s; hanging out in a recording studio with Jim Morrison of The Doors; and cooking dinner for one of Charles Manson’s followers for a magazine story. Debuts at The New York Film Festival, with screenings on October 11, 12 and 14; and then premieres on Netflix, October 27   “ALIAS GRACE” On the heels of the success of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, based on Margaret Atwoods novel of the same name and winner of six Emmy Awards, our author’s work is a hot property in Hollywood. Expectations are high for Alias Grace, an adaptation Atwood’s ALIAS GRACE: A Novel (Anchor). In the book, it is 1843, and Grace Marks has been convicted for her involvement in the vicious murders of her employer and his housekeeper and mistress. Some believe Grace is innocent; others think her evil or insane. Now serving a life sentence, Grace claims to have no memory of the murders. An up-and-coming expert in the burgeoning field of mental illness is engaged by a group of reformers and spiritualists who seek a pardon for Grace. He listens to her story while bringing her closer and closer to the day she cannot remember. What will he find in attempting to unlock her memories? Produced by Netflix and Canada’s CBC, the six-part series will tell the story of Marks and delves deeply into this twisty tale. Premieres on Netflix, November 3   “THE LONG ROAD HOME” Based on ABC News reporter and author Martha Raddatz’s searing nonfiction book, THE LONG ROAD HOME: A Story of War and Family (Berkley), this National Geographic series recounts, across eight episodes, the harrowing story of The First Cavalry Division, which suffered a surprise attack on the streets of Sadr City, a district of Baghdad, on April 4, 2004. The series, like the book, will chronicle the events of the attack through the eyes of the soldiers who lived it. Premieres on the National Geographic Channel, November 7   “THE CROWN” Season two of Netflix’s critically acclaimed and Emmy Award-winning series, The Crown, is expected to wade into darker territory. There will be more emphasis on the complexities of Elizabeth’s (Claire Foy) marriage to Prince Philip (Matt Smith) while also delving into Philip’s backstory – one that is both extraordinary and tragic. THE CROWN: The Official Companion, Volume 1: Elizabeth II, Winston Churchill, and the Making of a Young Queen (1947-1955) (Crown Archetype) was written by the show’s historical consultant and royal biographer, Robert Lacey. The book is filled with beautifully reproduced archival photos and show stills, adding expert and in-depth detail to the events of the series, painting an intimate portrait of life inside Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street. A wonderful holiday gift for THE CROWN fan in your life. Premieres on Netflix, December 8

Big Crowd of Book Buyers Turn Out for Erwin Raphael McManus Event

Author and LA pastor Erwin Raphael McManus spoke to a packed house at his Barnes & Noble book-signing event Wednesday night at The Grove in Los Angeles. His new book, THE LAST ARROW: Save Nothing for the Next Life, published by WaterBrook on September 5, is a bold manifesto for a life of passion, adventure, and hope.  As McManus explains through his words and his own life story, everyone is living out their last days—and no one needs to settle for less than all life has to offer. The event kicked off a two-day conference for his church, Mosaic, and was a huge success. The store sold out of the book! 

McManus is an artist, entrepreneur, and cultural thought leader known for his integration of creativity and spirituality. He is the founder of Mosaic, a community of faith in Los Angeles. Known for its innovation, creativity, and artistry, Mosaic has been named one of the most influential and innovative churches in America. He is the author of several other books, including Soul Cravings, Chasing Daylight, An Unstoppable Force, and The Barbarian Way. His books have sold more than a million copies worldwide.
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Cooking and Activism Join Together in Alice Waters’ New Memoir

Our new Igloo Book Buzz selection is Alice Waters’ COMING TO MY SENSES: The Making of a Counterculture Cook, which Clarkson Potter published this week.  Alice retraces the events that led her to open the doors of Chez Panisse, arguably America’s most influential restaurant, in Berkeley, California in the early 1970s.  She chronicles the tumultuous times that emboldened her to find her own voice as a cook when the prevailing food culture was embracing convenience and uniformity.   

Alice Waters’ editor, Pam Krauss, said, “Even before I had the opportunity to work with Alice on her cookbooks, I was a huge admirer of her efforts as a food activist and her determination to reshape the conversation around food in this country. So I was excited both as an editor and as a fan when Alice finally agreed to tell her own story, and sketch the circuitous route that brought her to Chez Panisse. Given the parallels between the political climate now and when she first opened the restaurant in 1972, this insider’s account of the counterculture feels incredibly relevant.” Moving from a repressive suburban upbringing to Berkeley in 1964 at the height of the Free Speech Movement and campus unrest, Alice was drawn into a bohemian circle of charismatic figures whose views on design, politics, film, and food would ultimately inform the unique culture on which Chez Panisse was founded. Fueled in equal parts by naiveté and a relentless pursuit of beauty and pure flavor, she turned her passion project into an iconic institution that redefined American cuisine for generations of chefs and food lovers. Dotted with stories, recipes, photographs, and letters, COMING TO MY SENSES is at once deeply personal and modestly understated, a quietly revealing look at one woman’s evolution from a rebellious yet impressionable follower to a respected activist who effects social and political change on a global level through the common bond of food.

Hogarth Author Eimear McBride Wins James Tait Black Prize for THE LESSER BOHEMIANS

THE LESSER BOHEMIANS by Eimear McBride has won the James Tait Black Prize, Great Britain’s oldest literary award.  The winners of the prizes were unveiled at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on Monday, August 14, when the honor for biography was also announced.  

Published by Hogarth, Ms. McBride’s second novel is a captivating story of passion and innocence, joy and discovery set against the vibrant atmosphere of 1990s London over the course of a single year.  More than 400 titles were submitted for the 2017 James Tait Black prizes, with a shortlist chosen by University of Edinburgh academics and postgraduate students.  Fiction judge Dr. Alex Lawrie described THE LESSER BOHEMIANS as being “full of wit, energy and nerve, an extraordinary rendering of a young woman’s consciousness as she eagerly embarks on a new life in London.” Congratulations to Ms. McBride, her editor, publisher and everyone at Hogarth as well as the Crown Publishing Group. The James Tait Black Awards were founded in 1919 by Janet Coats, the widow of publisher James Tait Black, to commemorate her husband’s love of good books. Ms. McBride’s debut novel A GIRL IS A HALF-FORMED THING won the 2013 Goldsmiths Prize and the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2014.

Watch Teaser for Steven Spielberg’s READY PLAYER ONE Film, Based on Ernest Cline’s Bestseller

The much anticipated first look at director Steven Spielberg’s upcoming READY PLAYER ONE film, based on Ernest Cline’s bestselling Crown/Broadway novel of the same name, debuted as a teaser in theaters nationwide this past weekend.  The movie, scheduled to be released by Warner Bros. Pictures on March 30, 2018, was written by Mr. Cline, Eric Eason, and

Zak Penn.  Crown first published READY PLAYER ONE in hardcover in 2011, with Broadway Books releasing the paperback edition the following year.   Watch the READY PLAYER ONE film teaser:

Vibrant Photographs of Michelle Obama by Amanda Lucidon in New Book Coming from TSP in October

Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, announced today that it will publish a new book by former White House photographer Amanda LucidonCHASING LIGHT: Michelle Obama Through the Lens of a White House Photographer is a striking and intimate collection of 150 color photographs—

many never before seen—along with personal reflections and stories from Ms. Lucidon, the Official White House Photographer from 2013 to 2017, the only female photographer during her time in the Obama White House.  North American print and digital rights to CHASING LIGHT, scheduled to be published on October 17, 2017, were acquired by Ten Speed Press Editor Kaitlin Ketchum from Rachel Vogel at Waxman Leavell Literary Agency.     Michelle Obama is one of the most admired First Ladies in our country’s history, known for her grace, spirit, and beauty, as well as for the amazing work she did during her tenure to promote girls’ education, combat childhood obesity, and support military families. In CHASING LIGHT, Ms. Lucidon shares a rare insider’s perspective, from documenting life at the White House to covering domestic and overseas travel. [caption id="attachment_7102" align="alignright" width="278"] Cover image by Amanda Lucidon, Copyright © 2017[/caption] CHASING LIGHT is a candid celebration of Michelle Obama. As one of the White House photographers responsible for documenting the First Family, Amanda spent four years traveling to twenty countries. During this time, Mrs. Obama became a role model to Amanda, who has since been inspired to share her own life story when she speaks with students about the power of art, education, and mentorship. “Mrs. Obama is a source of light and inspiration in my life,” says Amanda. “She was a mentor to me and so many people around the world. The work she has done with young people, especially girls and underserved youth, has helped me realize that I want to spend my life helping others reach their fullest potential.”CHASING LIGHT is a candid celebration of Michelle Obama. As one of the White House photographers responsible for documenting the First Family, Amanda spent four years traveling to twenty countries. During this time, Mrs. Obama became a role model to Amanda, who has since been inspired to share her own life story when she speaks with students about the power of art, education, and mentorship. Amanda Lucidon is an award-winning documentarian, filmmaker, and former freelance New York Times photographer who served as one of the White House photographers responsible for photographing First Lady Michelle Obama from 2013 to 2017. She is one of only a few female White House photographers in history and was the only woman photographer during her time in the Obama White House. Amanda attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she studied communications media and journalism; she also studied photography at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. Amanda’s work has been honored by Pictures of the Year International, National Press Photographers Association Best of Photojournalism, and the White House News Photographers Association, among others. She is currently a photographer, filmmaker, and public speaker based in Washington, D.C.

Crown Acquires POLITICO Playbook Authors’ Inside Account of Fight for Congressional Power

Crown announced today that it will publish a book of investigative journalism by Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer, co-authors of POLITICO Playbook, that will take readers inside congressional battles in the lead up to the 2018 midterm elections.  As yet untitled, the book will chronicle the first two years of Donald

Trump’s presidency from the vantage point of Capitol Hill insiders, providing a living, behind-the-scenes history of one of the most extraordinary times in contemporary American politics.  This news was covered this morning by Vanity Fair and POLITICO., among many other media outlets. The book will be published as a hardcover, an e-book, and a Penguin Random House audiobook in Spring 2019. Crown Senior Editor Kevin Doughten acquired world, audio, and first and second serial rights from the Creative Artists Agency. In their book, Sherman and Palmer will bring to dramatic life the inner workings of the 115th Congress, the first in the Trump era, as Democrats seek to overcome deep fissures within their own party and take the House in 2018 while Republicans try to govern with complete control of a Washington that’s drastically changing in real time. Drawing upon inside access to key players as well as their own deep knowledge of Capitol Hill, Sherman and Palmer will trace the strategy and the struggle, and the deal making, all in service of telling an unforgettable story of power and politics where the stakes are nothing less than the future direction of the country. Anna Palmer is a senior Washington correspondent for POLITICO and co-author of POLITICO Playbook.  Palmer covers the world of Congress and politics, and has successfully chronicled the business of Washington insiders for years.  Prior to writing POLITICO Playbook, Palmer was the co-author of the daily newsletter, POLITICO Influence.  Palmer previously covered House leadership and lobbying as a staff writer for Roll Call and the intersection of money and politics in the legal and lobbying industry for the Legal Times. Jake Sherman is a senior writer for POLITICO and co-author of POLITICO Playbook.  Since 2009, Jake has chronicled all of the major legislative battles on Capitol Hill, and has also traveled the country to cover the battle for control of Congress.