This vlog is not our usual weekly update. It's an emergency vlog, coming out on a Friday. It's been years since I felt the need to shoot a midweek vlog about something significant and dramatic. So, thanks for taking the time to absorb this.
I have to confess that I've made a mistake, and I'm here to make amends. This week has been the book launch week for ON THIS BRIGHT DAY: A Year of Reflections for Lasting Food Freedom, and the community has shown great love for the book. However, something has felt off about this book launch right from the beginning, and it seems the community and I have sensed it. Two days ago, a profound realization came to light in a Lunchtime Live forum.
During Lunchtime Lives, I invited people who purchased five or more copies of the book to join me on Zoom, and only those who could attend live were present—roughly 30 to 35 people, including some from the Bright Line Eating team. On book launch day, we had no special guest; it was just me engaging with the community. During the live session, I noticed JoAnn Campbell-Rice, a member of the Bright Line Eating team who had a significant role in the book, was in attendance. I invited her to share her thoughts and contributions to the book, and our conversation started there.
In that face-to-face conversation, a part of me that had been seeking my attention for some time finally surfaced. I'm sure many of you can relate to this—a part of you tries to convey something, but it remains subconscious. During this discussion, I realized that I had not acknowledged why JoAnn wasn't a co-author of this book. The conversation took an unexpected turn, and JoAnn and I ended up discussing this topic in depth.
What I found was that I had been avoiding confronting my feelings about the process of writing and publishing books, as it had been a painful experience. Specifically, I had concealed the fact that I received substantial professional help in writing the Bright Line Eating books. During the recent Lunchtime Live, my special guest was Nicola Kraus, who has been helping me write these books. Nicola is a professional writer and writing coach who co-authored The Nanny Diaries and several other books.
The journey began when I signed on with my agent to write Bright Line Eating, and my agent recommended that I work with Nicola. Initially, I resisted, thinking I could write the book on my own. However, as my life became increasingly hectic with the explosive growth of the Bright Line Eating community, I eventually realized that I couldn't write the first draft of the book myself. Nicola graciously offered to help, and we mapped out the book together.
She transcribed my words from the Boot Camp, from Webinars, and from voice memos I sent her and worked tirelessly for months to write the first draft of the book. Afterward, I went on a writer's retreat to refine and improve the manuscript. This process continued with subsequent books, where Nicola played a significant role in drafting, editing, and co-writing.
In contrast, JoAnn Campbell-Rice contributed to On This Bright Day by initially creating a comprehensive outline for the book. Then, her involvement ended, and I took over the project, shaping and editing the content using voice memos and written notes.
The heart of the issue was that I failed to recognize the substantial difference between JoAnn's and Nicola's contributions. While Nicola is a skilled writer, JoAnn is an experienced subject matter expert with a background in addiction recovery and spiritual counseling. She had poured her soul into creating the initial content for the book.
With this realization, I want to correct my mistake and acknowledge JoAnn as a co-author of this book, On This Bright Day. I've reached out to my publisher, Hay House, to explore the possibility of updating the authorship, but this process may take time, and I can't change the authorship for the already printed books. However, I can modify the acknowledgments for all subsequent printings to reflect the reality of JoAnn's contributions.
JoAnn and I talked at length an hour ago. She expressed that she’s very happy right now and grateful for this turn of events. She has been sitting with the question, “Why didn’t I ask? Why didn’t I raise the topic myself?” She looks back at her life and sees a string of events where she didn’t ask for what she wanted. She notices that, in many cases, she’s even stopped asking herself what she wants, because it’s less painful to not even notice.
I mentioned that it’s very hard to speak up into power. The power differential (boss/employee) between us will create a very powerful silencing force that can be hard to overcome. My role in that situation needs to be to look EXTRA closely for anything I might be missing, knowing that others may not speak up.
I'm deeply sorry for my oversight and the pain it may have caused JoAnn and our community. I value and respect her immensely, and I hope that this vlog and my commitment to correcting the situation will make amends. Life is filled with imperfections, and sometimes we don't see the full picture until it's revealed to us. My main focus is to make this right and ensure that JoAnn receives the credit she rightfully deserves.
Ultimately, at this point, the timing of this revelation is beyond my control, and it may take some time to rectify. I hope this experience can lead to positive changes for JoAnn and potentially others. Life is unpredictable, and sometimes we must confront our past mistakes and work toward a brighter future. Thank you for your understanding and support.