Wyatt-MacKenzie Celebrates 20 Years of Independent Publishing with Four Celebrity Memoirs for Fall 2018 — Peggy Caserta, Tom Weise, Ben Barnz and Taylor Dayne

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Hated, Betrayed, and Self-exiled, Peggy Caserta Was Called “A Bad Influence” on Her Girlfriend Janis Joplin, But She Survived Heroin Addiction, Society’s Conviction, Rehab, Prison, and Caring for Her Mother with Dementia, all in Her New Memoir, “I Ran Into Some Trouble” — One of Four Wyatt-MacKenzie Celebrity Memoirs for Fall 2018.

This Fall, Wyatt-MacKenzie celebrates their 20th anniversary in independent publishing with four inclusive, and expansive, celebrity memoirs. From a legendary 1960's recluse lesbian to a world-renowned gay advocate of the 80's, to the alternative families — one same-sex adoption, and the other a single-mother of twins — created by an LA filmmaker, and a Grammy-winning pop icon.

Peggy Caserta memoir, “I Ran Into Some Trouble” (https://amzn.to/2JdfZ8p)

Smoke pot. Do LSD. Launch a multi-million-dollar clothing boutique. Inspire Levi’s to make bell-bottoms. Get Jimi Hendrix a job and loan Jerry Garcia money for an amp. Dress the Grateful Dead for photo shoots. Embezzle a pair of jeans for Janis Joplin. Be helicoptered into Woodstock. Publish a bestseller for dope. Break pot smugglers out of a Mexican prison. Hunt for heroin. Do heroin. Rehab. Repeat. Go to prison. Experience all of it in Peggy Caserta’s redemptive memoir “I Ran Into Some Trouble.”

Peggy Caserta, founder of the famous Haight-Ashbury hippie boutique Mnasidika, and girlfriend of Janis Joplin, was a Louisiana homecoming queen turned airsick stewardess who eventually landed in 1960s San Francisco and set up shop. Her store was a hang-out for The Grateful Dead, and where Owsley’s LSD was sold and enjoyed.

Caserta runs into trouble often — drugs, rock-and-roll, lovers, prison, rape, rehab. She also has a whole lot of fun — success at 24 years old, an inexplicable kinship with the biggest rock legends in history, and is now attracting interest in her life-story. Famed 1960s artist Wes Wilson, creator of the liquid-melting type which exemplifies the hippie era, designed a jaw-dropping cover, capturing his friend’s essence in a psychedelic Mona Lisa.

From the foreword by David Dalton, co-founding editor of Rolling Stone, “Peggy Caserta is a wild child.” Foreword Reviews writes, “This memoir is not about apologies.” Dennis McNally, author of “A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead” and “Desolate Angel: Jack Kerouac, the Beat Generation, and America” reviews, “It’s an amazing story.”

Tom Weise memoir, “Living Off The Edge: A Memoir of Alienation and Advocacy”

Coming in October 2018 — immigration, an alienating government, a shift in the social acceptance of LGBTQ, awareness of HIV/AIDS, and daily news that includes porn stars and prostitutes, all provide a hotbed for “Living Off The Edge,” the new memoir from Tom Weise, portrayed in the critically-acclaimed feature documentary The Good American. Weise’s HIV status prevented him from gaining a work visa, so he turned to the oldest profession in history, and helped reform it. Exiled from the U.S.A. and banned for 10 years, Weise’s memoir aims to give voice to LGBTQ rights, remind us of how acceptance has changed over history, and provide a unique perspective on immigration reform.

From growing up in postwar Germany, through a festering estrangement from his own abusive family, to the comprehension and denial of an HIV diagnosis, Weise led a double-life for fear that running the largest online gay escort site in the world would conflict with his life of advocacy. Weise produced, hosted, and sponsored more than 250 events around the world — including Gay Pride festivals, Gay Games, gay cruises, awards shows, concerts, and media events. He created “Hustlaball” parties — a mega international circuit attracting gays with 500+ performers in NYC, LA, San Francisco, Las Vegas, London, and Berlin.

New York Times best-selling author of “Rubyfruit Jungle” and activist Rita Mae Brown describes Weise in the foreword she wrote for the book, “One who tried to help others even when he couldn’t always help himself.” Sean Strub, founder of POZ Magazine, activist, advocate, and author of “Body Counts” reviews “Living Off The Edge” — “A compelling memoir, a story of trauma, escape, self-discovery and empowerment that documents the realities of struggling to survive with HIV in New York in the 1990s and 2000s. Tom Weise reveals himself to be a profoundly caring and empathetic soul who, like the rest of us, is just trying to make sense of our own existence, find love and leave this world a better place.”

Ben Barnz memoir, “We: An Adoption and A Memoir

Coming in November 2018 — “We: An Adoption and A Memoir” by Ben Barnz is an exploration of fatherhood, and an examination of family — particularly relevant today when the very concept of what constitutes a family, and a cake customer, is so divisively debated. “We” centers on an adoption and the author and his husband’s legally-wrought path to parenthood, beginning with his closeted youth in 1980’s New York. Alternating between legal suspense story and memoir, “We” examines shifting gender roles in parenting as well as modern notions of family-construction and the complicated relationships that arise.

From the foreword by Jess Cagle, editor-in-chief at People, “It’s a hell of a story told with humor and eloquence, but Ben Barnz’s memoir is also the story of his own evolution growing up in New York City, coming out to his family, marrying his husband and starting a family only a few years after the idea of two married gay men raising a child was unimaginable to many of us.”

Samantha Bee reviews "We": “Captivating, enthralling, and ultimately full of love and hope.” Felicity Huffman raves: “I read this book once. Put it down on my bedside table and carried it around in my heart until I picked it up again and read for a second time…then a third. It’s that good.” Jesse Tyler Ferguson reviews: “A moving reminder of the capacity of love.” Mark Feuerstein says: “At once heart-warming and gut-wrenching. I did the same ugly crying while reading as when I saw Kramer v. Kramer and Terms of Endearment.” “This gem of a first book burns deep with feeling, humor and the grace of salty tears,” raves Jodie Foster.

Independent film producer Ben Barnz and his husband, filmmaker Daniel Barnz, make up “We’re Not Brothers Productions” and have written, directed and produced the films Cake and Phoebe in Wonderland. They are currently developing an HBO pilot with Lena Dunham and a feature film with Brad Pitt’s Plan B about Ryan Wash, an openly gay black debate champion.

Taylor Dayne memoir, “Tell It to My Heart: How I Lost My S#*T, Conquered My Fear, and Found My Voice”

Coming in late November, Grammy-nominated pop icon Taylor Dayne’s memoir “Tell It To My Heart” — how one woman rose above her modest upbringing to manifest her own success, becoming a chart-topping singer/songwriter selling over 75 million records, and choosing to become a single mother.

“Tell It to My Heart: How I Lost My S#*T, Conquered My Fear, and Found My Voice” captures Taylor Dayne’s ascent against all odds, and the stories behind the dance soundtrack of our lives. From her early life growing up in a challenging blue-collar Long Island home in the 1960s and 1970s through her years touring as a chart-topping musician through New York, LA, Shanghai, London, Paris, and Tokyo in the 1980s and 1990s, she tells-almost-all about her experiences with renowned talents including Michael Jackson, Elton John, and Whitney Houston.

Taylor’s personal journey is proof that childhood reverie can become reality. The humor, strength, resilience and grace that led her to stardom are woven through the scenes of her book — showing how vulnerability turns out to be strength, and how strength comes from somewhere inside when you least expect it.

Taylor describes her memoir: “It’s gritty, it’s real, and it’s truthful. It’s about love, which is good even when it doesn’t last, and God, who is good, even when it seems like He’s being kind of a dick. It’s also about friendship, but most of all, it’s about the voice which was my salvation. At fifty-fffrrshx, I feel like I’m the closest I’ve ever been to knowing peace, knowing who I am and what I need. Loving, learning, mentoring and mothering—these are tall tasks that require a strong backbone of authenticity and integrity. I hope this book will inspire readers to do the same.”

Thirty years after the release of her single by the same title "Tell It to My Heart," Taylor Dayne continues to tour the world. She was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2012, joining other luminaries like Billy Joel and Joan Jett.

Additional Information

“I Ran Into Some Trouble” (Aug 1, 2018) by Peggy Caserta and Maggie Falcon is 288 pages, available in hardcover, softcover, and eBook; in Bisac categories of: Personal Memoirs, Women, Popular Culture, Rock, Addiction.

“Living Off The Edge” (Oct 1, 2018) by Tom Weise, represented by Jeff Schmidt at NYCreative Management, is 336 pages with 30 photos, and available in hardcover, softcover, and eBook; in Bisac categories of: Personal Memoirs, Gay Studies, Emigration & Immigration, AIDS & HIV.

“We: An Adoption and a Memoir” (Nov 1, 2018) by Ben Barnz, represented by Kevin O'Connor at O'Connor Literary Agency, is 272 pages, available in hardcover; softcover, and eBook; in Bisac categories of: Personal Memoirs, Adoption, Alternative Family, Gay Studies.

“Tell It to My Heart: How I Lost My S#*T, Conquered My Fear, and Found My Voice” (Nov 27, 2018) by Taylor Dayne with Dave Smitherman, represented by Todd Shuster at Aevitas Creative Management in association with Konrad Leh of Creative Talent Group, is 272 pages with photos, available in hardcover, softcover, eBook; in Bisac categories: Personal Memoirs, Entertainment & Performing Arts, Women, Alternative Family.

Wyatt-MacKenzie books are distributed to the trade by Ingram, Follett, Coutts, Bertrams, and Gardners; and sold retail at Amazon and BN.com. Founder Nancy C. Cleary celebrated her 20 years by capping it off with a Master's Degree in Publishing from George Washington University in August 2018. Cleary holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Rhode Island School of Design.

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