Saya's Book

Update March 2023: a huge part of Saya’s story, her mother passed away, adding complicated grief navigation to the pages. Update update September 2023: … and Mom’s death was followed by the summer of disgustingness, in all the ways; Saya’s crawling back to the book.

Saya is attempting to write a book. The struggle is real though when you don’t have accountability, deadlines, a book deal… So she’s been “attempting” for a long time. (heavy kind of annoying sigh)

If you put it on your website, it will become real, right?!

If it’s included in an article, it will become real, right?! (see No. 22; UPDATE: oh no, Random House removed the article! Welp, Saya was No. 22 on Unwritten Memoirs: 23 Memoirs that haven’t been written (and totally should be))

If you get invited on a late-night TV show to talk about your non-book, it will become real, right?! (This hasn’t happened but if you put it on your website, it will, right?!)

Book Synopsis

“How a sad, silent abnormal girl grew up to be a blissful, vocal abnormal woman as Saya learned to embrace her literal and figurative stretch marks. Her everyday’ness, transparency, and shrugs make for a witty and inspiring reflection that’ll have you murmuring ‘Me too!’ throughout even though you couldn’t be more different. Bonus: Saya stitches in life acumen gleaned from her accidental and successful entrepreneurship that began when she heard the words, ‘I need you to pack your stuff and go.’”

Working Titles

Front-runner — “As Is: a no longer waiting to be chosen journey from wallflower to wildflower”

Other contenders. Saya is working on brevity; the actual title will probably be less verbose…

  • Shoot the Arrow, Move the Bullseye: an unconventional journey from wallflower to wildflower
  • The Poor-Rich, Fat-Skinny, Ugly-Pretty, White-Black, Quiet-Loud, Non Jew-Jew Who’s Just Like You
  • Bullied, Dumped, & Fired: I’m OK and You Will Be Too
  • Where Do I Sit at Lunch?, Will I Be Picked Last?, Why Hasn’t He Called?, Do You Have a Plunger? and Other Heartbreaking Quandaries You Survive
  • Golden Handcuffs, The Mondays, Is This All There Is, and Your Sailed Ship: How To Be Rescued from Adulthood
  • Playgrounds, Recitals, and Camp: Not Just for Kids
  • No One Told Me That to Remove Bangs, You Let Them Grow Out, You Don’t Cut Them Off: a memoir about surviving the worst
  • Born in A Bathtub (On Purpose), Just Mom and I

Storyline Peeks

Childhood — Our "car." My homemade clothes. Examples of Mom's entrepreneurial spirit -- income streams: dried flower arrangements, carpentry, landscaping and gardening, & barter-ship stream: creating and taking care of the Montessori school garden in exchange for lessened tuition.

How to answer "What do you want to do?"


Why Saya Is a Publisher’s Dream Save For the “Not Having a Book” Thing

Saya’s not just a writer, she’s a business partner, as invested and skilled in content distribution as she is in content creation.
Saya possesses that which many writers lack —  
  • A memorable, easy to find, google’able personal name and company name (Saya Hillman and Mac & Cheese Productions℠); Saya has discoverability
  • An extroverted, love to be in the spotlight, can’t wait to meet others charismatic personality 
  • A knack for and love of small talk, chatting with anyone, voice projection, and eye contact 
  • A knack for and love of self-promotion, sales, and asking for money without being that person 
  • Public Speaker, Teacher, Marketer, and Event Producer hats 
  • Nice, legible penmanship 
  • High levels of confidence and self-worth 
  • A firm grasp of her Target Reader

    • Someone who looks to real people with realistic solutions for inspiration to create an intentional, designed life, despite fear, past icks, and that which makes them different.
    • People who’ve Googled –
      • “How to make friends as an adult”
      • “How to figure out what you want to do in life”
      • “How to be happy”
    • People who have had to mark “other” in demographic fields on forms
    • People who had a difficult and/or unconventional childhood
    • People who’ve experienced bullying, body image issues, financial angst and envy, or sexual harassment or assault
    • People who grew up in unconventional homes and families
    • People with complicated family relationships
    • Entrepreneurs and wannabe entrepreneurs especially DIYers, those who want to succeed with what they already possess, and those afraid to take the leap
    • People who’ve experienced loneliness
    • People searching for authentic community
    • People searching for a fulfilling career
    • People who are tired of low self-worth but aren’t sure how to lift themselves up
  • An already established author platform
    • website
    • trademarked brand
    • network of supporters
    • network of collaborators
    • network of volunteers
    • social media presence including hashtags #LifeOfYes and #sayabook
    • e-list
    • blog
    • newsletter (with an average open rate of 63%)
    • sales channels
    • media channels
    • credentials
    • strong, active, growing network that will support her via pre-orders, events, sharing, and direct sales 
  • Ideal blend of Type A and Type B tendencies; yes, Saya’s creative and write’y but also has:
    • the ability to be on time, meet deadlines, create and use systems
    • tech-savvy: Asana, ToDoist, Notion, Evernote, IFTTT, Scrivener, Buffer, BitWarden, Boomerang, HelloSign, 2 Factor, Canva… 
Audiobooks were the fastest growing segment in the publishing industry last year.
Saya reflects on universal topics. 
  • No matter your demographics, values, dreams, there’s a high probability you have experience with and interest in: 
    • friendships as an adult
    • romantic relationships
    • figuring out how to answer “What do you want to do in life?” 
    • figuring out your definition of and path to “success”
Saya is interested in writing multiple books.
Saya is not writing a book to get rich.
Proof exists that Cheese-Its will pre-order (aka that they believe in and desire Saya content).
When Saya shared a detailed yet vague, no timeline, no promises product idea that she said she’d create if enough people showed interest financially, she easily reached her tipping point in two weeks. Which led to the birth of the much loved Adulting Kit (and subsequently Speaker in a Box), both now primary income streams and source of pride.
Important, ya know, say if pre-ordering a book is an important part of the book publishing process…
Beyond being a good writer, Saya is also — 
  • A hard worker 
  • Easy to work with 
  • A leader who knows when to follow and when to listen 
  • Willing to be vulnerable
  • An infectious being of positivity
Saya sticks out.
She’s a joyful and self-assured biracial, chubby, 6′ self-employed woman who spent 10 months in the womb, was born at home, alone (on purpose), and was raised by an entrepreneurial odd duck single mom. She’s lost and gained 100 pounds. She turned getting fired into the best thing ever. She met her husband with whom she had an almost 100% bartered wedding at one of her own events. She has a wonderfully random, “You do what?!” career where you’re not exactly sure what she does but you love the sound of it and you want to know more. Saya’s responsible for countless others’ friendships, marriage, babies, clients, and soaring confidence levels. She used to be a wallflower, now a wildflower.
Her story sells itself. Luckily, it doesn’t have to. She and her numerous Cheese-Its sell it as well.

Cheese-It Reactions  & Cheerleading to Saya’s Writing, Storytelling, and Speaking

“Saya’s career is beyond admirable. Over the years I’ve witnessed countless people (myself included) grow and transform into the best version of themselves, thanks to her events and experiences. I’m thrilled that she is finally sharing her wisdom with the world through her book.” – Ryan Lazarus 

“At a time in my life when I had lost my own sense of direction and spark, Saya offered me a way to get back to Me, through sharing her own struggles and triumphs and inviting me to challenge myself to face my fears. In the same way that Gloria Steinem taught me that “the personal is political,” Saya showed me that Art and Life and Work are not separate but work synergistically to help me build and grow within each aspect of my life.  Her story is her Work and her Art and I am grateful that she has the willingness to share it with all of us.” – Nick Heap 

“Saya’s enthusiasm is contagious; whether it’s for life in general, getting yourself organized, setting/attaining your goals, basically anything in your life. She is everyone’s biggest cheerleader, even if you only met her 5 minutes ago!  We all need some Saya in our lives. I can’t wait to read her book. It’s sure to be filled with inspiring stories that are both insightful and humorous.” – Dan Delbridge 

“Saya has forged a path for herself in this world that so many of us dream of. After being fired for her job, she turned what many of us would have taken as a setback as an opportunity and now empowers and engages her corner of the world one person at a time, which has allowed that corner to keep growing and growing and growing. Saya is dynamic, thoughtful, humorous, and savvy. A book that imparts her wisdom and life lessons to us would be invaluable. Her messages are universal and would resound with those of us who are working towards becoming the best versions of ourselves. I wholeheartedly support Saya in her pursuit in writing and publishing a book, which I know will be first of many.” – Stefania Rudd 

“I would pre-order and read Saya’s book because all of my interactions and experiences with her have been wonderful and highly impactful. I joined her Life of Yes Meetup while feeling down after a lay-off and then participated in Fear Experiment℠ in a time of my life where I needed some more fun and creativity. I made some amazing new friends. She’s crushing her goals but also down to the earth and authentic, such a refreshing combination. Following her advice always improved my life tremendously so I’d love to read her book and recommend it to others!” – Erin Wike 

“I will get Saya’s book because I know it will be honest, genuine writing that can help others. Saya has lots of stories from her childhood, college days, business and more that many can relate to and shows how you can turn bad times into good ones and live a life you want.” – Wilfred Mejia 

“I look forward to reading Saya’s book in the same fashion I long for a delicious piece of chocolate or a vacation in a sunny destination; both awaken my soul. I long for Saya’s book to provide me a calorie free path to finding the encouragement and support to rekindle the fire in my soul. A consistent theme to what has hindered me from accomplishing my dreams in the past is lack of support and encouragement. Let’s face it, not everyone in our lives supports our ideas and/or dreams and if you’re lucky enough to find someone who understands, they often don’t have any solid advice on how to go about accomplishing the next step. Saya’s book is like having your own personal cheerleader on your bookshelf that you can open whenever you are experiencing self-doubt, in need of some encouragement, or looking for advice to make dreams a reality. The difference between being stuck and taking action is having a little Saya pixie dust so you too can experience the magic life has to offer. I trust Saya’s voice because she has been in our shoes and she can show us the path to achieve the life we want. She has mastered the art of achieving her goals and living a life of Yes, therefore, without a doubt, I will be one of the first people in line to get her book.” – Jennifer Fleming 

“Why would I pre-order the Sayabook? Similarly to yoga, the gym, a salad, I never do something Saya-related and afterwards wish I hadn’t. Now that I’m not in the Chicago area, what better way to get a hit of Life of Yes than in handy book form I can pick up anytime I need inspiration? Looking forward to my copy (and hope she signs it so I can say I ‘knew her when’!)” – Keri Christensen

Actions You Can Take RE: Saya’s Book

Close your eyes tight and send positive thoughts her way on being able to finish something that’s been on her To Do List for far too long.

Want to help Saya head out on a non-book tour and write this dang thing? We’ve got 30 days; we did it. Suggest a stop.

Are you able to get Seth or Trevor to have Saya on their shows? Let her know.

Want to give an unpublished wannabe author a book deal or an Italian villa on Lake Como for a writing residency? Get in touch.

Want to gift Saya a writing sabbatical and cover her expenses for three months? Easy peasy.

Hire her. To speak at your conference, industry event, graduation. To facilitate your offsite, professional development, staff retreat. To teach you how to adult, how to clean, how to be a professional speaker, how to manage your life / figure out what you want to do in life / how to (wave of hand). To fill your life with material goodness. To all the things.

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