16 April

Wilmer Valderrama to Release Memoir, An American Story, with Harper Select on September 17, 2024

The actor, producer, and activist delivers a profound and gripping story about an immigrant and the power of a dream. 

Nashville, TN- Today Harper Select announced they will publish An American Story: Everyone’s Invited, the debut memoir from Wilmer Valderrama, on September 17, 2024. The book tells the remarkable true story of a young immigrant from Venezuela who had a dream to change the world, a talent for entertaining, and a determined spirit to build a new life, taking as many as possible with him on the journey.

An American Story weaves Valderrama’s personal stories with those of the remarkable people he’s met along his philanthropic journey. This isn’t just Valderrama’s story though. It’s a view of America through an immigrant’s eyes, in both its stunning unmatched wonders and all its native challenges.

 “I’ve long been a fan of Wilmer’s talent and have now become even more impressed with his overall character and heart for service,” said Matt Baugher, SVP at HarperCollins and Publisher of Harper Select. “Whether he’s on the set of a major tv show or onstage at one of his more than 50 USO appearances around the world, his ebullient optimism inspires all around him.  I can’t wait for readers to know his full story.  The American Dream is alive and well.”

His new book, An American Story, goes back to the beginning, delving into Valderrama’s upbringing in Venezuela where he was raised by two hard working parents as they navigated their family through a rapidly changing country and the rise of Hugo Chavez. With the economy crashing around them and their livelihood disappearing, the family decides to flee the country. Suddenly, the young boy had to grow up quickly, journeying as a teenager from a tiny little pueblo in Venezuela to the big city of Los Angeles.

After being cast in a school theatre production, Valderrama immediately knew he had found his calling and began thinking of ways to help support his struggling family. To do this, he would attempt the impossible: find work in Hollywood as an unproven Latino actor. Following countless auditions and frequent criticisms of his accent, he created the personality that would eventually land him the role as Fez on the hit series That 70s Show, which catapulted him to stardom.

It was however through service to others and his first USO trip, where Valderrama found his expanded calling, entertaining and encouraging US troops around the world. Through his work, Valderrama hopes to demonstrate his love and gratitude for the country that changed his life. 

“As a little boy growing up in Venezuela, I never thought I would write a book, let alone be able to fill it with such complex and triumphant stories about a 25-year career in entertainment, philanthropy, and everything in between. This is my thank you to my younger self for seeing beyond the expected,” said Valderrama. “Thank you to my family and every person who has been a part of this whirlwind journey. This is my tribute to the country that gave me a shot, this is for all of us.”

An American Story will be released simultaneously in both English and Spanish. Both editions of the book will be available in hardcover, eBook, and audiobook with Valderrama narrating. You can pre-order today at https://www.harpercollinsfocus.com/harper-horizon/american-story.


From his breakout role as Fez on the Emmy-nominated series That ’70s Show to playing Nick Torres in the number-one TV drama NCIS on CBS, actor, producer, and activist Wilmer Valderrama has been making audiences laugh, listen, and think for more than two decades.

On the big screen, he lent his voice to the Academy Award-winning Disney animated film Encanto, which became a cultural phenomenon. Behind the camera, in 2006, Wilmer established his production company, WV Entertainment, where he continues to develop and produce projects in the alternative and scripted spaces.

Valderrama is active in several philanthropic agencies. He’s the co-founder of Harness, a group dedicated to connecting communities through conversation to inspire action, serves on the board of Voto Latino, and sits on the National Hispanic Media Coalition’s (NHMC) Visionary Alliance, which aims to foster opportunities for Latinx talent in the entertainment industry through the Series Scriptwriters program and the Latinx Stream Showcase. Wilmer is deeply involved with the military community, serving as a USO Global Ambassador, and participating in various shows worldwide.

Born in Miami and raised in Venezuela until the age of thirteen, Valderrama is fluent in Spanish and English. He and his family reside in Los Angeles.


Harper Select, based in Nashville, TN, publishes an exclusive number of hand-selected memoirs and narrative nonfiction each year. Recent NYT Bestsellers include books from Joanna Gaines, Mark Harmon, Leon Carroll, Jr., and Loyola Chicago’s Sister Jean.

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07 December

Sister Jean to Release Debut Memoir, Wake Up with Purpose!: What I’ve Learned in My First Hundred Years with Harper Select, on February 28, 2023 

The Loyola Chicago matriarch gives readers a remarkable memoir filled with history, wonder, and common-sense wisdom for this century and beyond. 

Fresh off the success of their initial, instant New York Times bestselling release of Joanna Gaines’ memoir, The Stories We Tell, Harper Select announced they will publish Wake Up with Purpose!: What I’ve Learned in My First Hundred Years by Sister Jean on February 28, 2023.  Wake Up with Purpose! is a remarkable memoir that is part life story, part philosophy text, and part spiritual guide.  

“Wisdom can be hard to come by these days, but I can think of no one who carries more of it than Sister Jean,” said Matt Baugher, publisher of Harper Select.  “Her life and her story are both remarkable. We are honored to be her publisher.”  

Known to millions as simply “Sister Jean,” the Loyola Chicago matriarch and college basketball icon, recently celebrated her 103rd birthday this past August.  She, along with her collaborator Seth Davis—an award-winning writer, broadcaster, and New York Times bestselling author— worked together to capture the narrative and life lessons she has gleaned from her fascinating century-long life.  “When Seth Davis asked if I would be interested in writing a book together, I was skeptical that I could find the time. I still go into my office at Loyola five days a week and keep a very busy schedule year-round,” said Sister Jean. “I’m glad I agreed to give it a try, because I enjoyed so much revisiting all these memories that I hadn’t thought about in so many years. 

From teaching at a Catholic school during the Second World War to serving on a Chicago college campus in the sixties and beyond, Sister Jean was already living a treasured life before she became a national treasure while cheering from the sidelines for her beloved Loyola Ramblers men’s basketball team at the NCAA tournament in March 2018.  “As I write in the book, it took me 98 years to become an overnight sensation, and I have a lot more living to do. I hope people will enjoy taking this very, very long stroll down memory lane with me.” 

Wake Up with Purpose! has broad appeal and application that transcends religious creed, belief, and even feelings on Loyola’s basketball team. “I’m happy with how this book came out, but I know that words could never do justice to explain just how much of a national treasure she is. She is truly a gift from God. Sister Jean is just as happy, hopeful, funny, and cool as she seems. She has a loving heart, a giving soul, and a superhuman memory. I tried to capture not just her words but her spirit, so that every reader will get to feel what I felt during all those hours of conversations. Writing this book with her has been one of the great honors of my life,” said Seth Davis.  

“I’ve seen so many changes in the last 103 years, but the important things remain the same. I wanted to recount the story of my life for people, not because I feel that I am so special or my life has been so extraordinary, but rather as a way to give people hope and optimism that once they find their purpose, they can go through life with joy and fulfillment,” added Sister Jean. 

Wake Up with Purpose! will be available in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook. You can pre-order today at https://www.harpercollinsfocus.com/harper-horizon/wake-up-with-purpose/ 


Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, BVM is a religious sister of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She has spent her entire adult life working as a teacher, administrator, and volunteer, first at elementary and grade schools in Chicago and Los Angeles, and later at Mundelein College and Loyola University. Since 1994, Sister Jean, as she is known, has served as team chaplain for Loyola’s men’s basketball team. She gained national – and international – fame in 2018 when the Ramblers went on a Cinderella run to the Final Four.  Sister Jean has been a household name ever since. In August 2022 Sister Jean celebrated her 103rd birthday. 


Seth Davis is an award-winning college basketball studio analyst for CBS Sports and a senior writer for college basketball at The Athletic. Since 2004 he has been a mainstay of CBS and Turner Sports coverage of the NCAA tournament. Seth is the author of eight books, including the New York Times bestsellers Wooden: A Coach’s Life and When March Went Mad: The Game That Transformed Basketball; the memoir Equinunk, Tell Your Story: My Return to Summer Camp; and The Soccer Prince, a novel for middle school readers. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Melissa, their sons, Zachary, Noah, and Gabriel, and their Goldendoodles, Clarence and Sadie. 


Harper Select is a boutique-style imprint, based in Nashville, TN, publishing an exclusive number of hand-selected memoirs and narrative nonfiction focused on stories of hope and determination.  

Media Contact:

Kevin Smith 

Publicity Director, Harper Select 

Tel: 615-902-1738 

Web: [email protected] 

16 August

Joanna Gaines to release highly anticipated memoir, The Stories We Tell, with Harper Select on November 8 


The Stories We Tell

Today, Joanna Gaines announced that her first solo memoir, The Stories We Tell, will be released on November 8, 2022, with Harper Select. The Stories We Tell invites readers on an authentic and deeply vulnerable journey into Gaines’ story—and helps shine a light on the beauty of our own—guiding us to release the weights that hold us back so we may live and share our story in truth. 

The book is described as an invitation to take stock of the chapters we’ve lived—the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly—to glean what’s gold and carry only that forward. “Very few people innately capture beauty like Joanna Gaines,” said Matt Baugher, publisher of Harper Select. “She has now taken that ability and turned it inward to shine a light on the deepest parts of her own story while showing us how to do the same.” 

In a social media post, Gaines shared directly with fans why she wanted to write the book “Earlier this year I started jotting down memories and stories from my past, journaling about things I was still, years later, trying to work through. Half of my life is behind me, and I’ve been longing for clarity about what I should carry forward and how I could hold this next chapter well. At some point, I realized I was writing a story—my story. The bits and pieces that shape who I am. It was messy and winding and beautiful, and graciously revealed about a million wonders. Some of it broke my heart—and some of it pieced it back together. I took this picture the day I finished it—and today we sent it off to the printer!! It’s out of my hands and time to share it with the world. I’m feeling a little bit of everything: nervous, excited, vulnerable, but mostly hopeful. That any part of my story might shine a light on the fullness of yours.” 

“We all have a story to tell. This happens to be mine—every chapter a window into who I am, the journey I’m on, and the season I’m in right now,” says Gaines. “Because this is my story, maybe you won’t always relate, or maybe it will feel like you’re looking in a mirror. Whatever we have in common and whatever differences lie between us, I only hope my story can help shine a light on the beauty of yours. That my own soul work will stir something of your own. And that by the time you get to the end of my story, you’re also holding the beautiful beginnings of your own. A story only you can tell. And I hope that you will.” 

Gaines’ previous literary works The Magnolia Story, Magnolia Table, Homebody, and two children’s books, We Are the Gardeners and The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be, have sold more than 10 million copies to date.   

The Stories We Tell will be available in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook with Gaines narrating. You can pre-order today at http://magnolia.com/storieswetell. 


Joanna Gaines is the co-founder of Magnolia, a New York Times bestselling author, editor-in-chief of Magnolia Journal, and creator and co-owner of Magnolia Network. 

Born in Kansas and raised in the Lone Star State, Jo graduated from Baylor University with a degree in communications. It was an internship in New York City that prompted her desire to discover how she could create beauty for people. In a big city unknown to her, Jo always felt most at home whenever she stepped inside the cozy and thoughtfully curated boutique shops, which inspired her to open a shop of her own in Waco, Texas. 

Alongside her passion for design and food, nothing inspires Jo more than time spent at home with Chip and their five kids—whether they’re messing with recipes in the kitchen or planting something new in the garden. 


Harper Select is a boutique-style imprint, based in Nashville, TN, publishing an exclusive number of hand-selected memoirs and narrative nonfiction focused on stories of hope and determination.  

Media Contact:

Kevin Smith

Harper Select, Publicity Director 

[email protected]