Rights offering detail :
Defending Madness: The Story of the Andrea Yates Trial
Apr. 12, 2018
George Parnham with Jonathan Williams
Non-fiction: True crime
Defending Madness: The Story of the Andrea Yates Trial is a narrative non-fiction/memoir to be penned by George Parnham with Jonathan Williams, that tells how a Houston-based defense attorney saved a local mother, Andrea Yates, from death row in one of the most shocking murder cases in the last 100 years. Although it is still being written, upon completion, Defending Madness should run between 70,000 and 80,000 words.
On a humid summer day in June 2001, Andrea Pia Yates drowned her five beautiful children in the bathtub of her Friendswood, Texas home. She then dialed 911, and after telling the operator what had happened, she waited patiently for the police to arrive. Amid the media spectacle and the scores of people calling for her immediate execution, a criminal defense attorney needed to be chosen. So, it was that one day after the deaths, renowned defense attorney George Parnham became the main person standing between Andrea, a mentally-ill woman who suffered from postpartum psychosis, and death row. Thus, began one of the most heart-wrenching criminal defense cases in U.S. history. Her trial would not only become a landmark case in the annals of US criminal justice, but it would also become the biggest trial in the illustrious career of Houston’s best-known defense attorney.
Defending Madness tells how Mr. Parnham defended Andrea Yates and gives its readers a front row seat to that inside story and the rollercoaster events that transpired during not one, but two criminal trials as George fought for Andrea. It also details some of George’s life, from his beginnings as a young man training for the priesthood, to his years as a staunch defender of those who break society’s laws. This book tells how he was raised up and prepared to become the kind of defense attorney who could successfully defend a woman in Andrea’s position. And last, but not least, this book will give voice to some of the hidden struggles of the thousands of US women who suffer every year from the oftentimes overlooked mental conditions known as postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis, illnesses whose victims often suffer in silence.
Defending Madness is written in the first-person point of view. With its open, friendly style, readers will come to understand both the hard-working attorney as well as the illnesses that drove Andrea Yates. They will also come to understand and root for George Parnham, a compassionate man who is the antithesis of the stereotypical slick trial attorney. I strongly believe that the market for Defending Madness is strong. To start with, the twenty-year anniversary of this crime is coming up in a little over three years (June of 2021), making now the right time to again tell this unique and troubling story, but this time from the perspective of the lawyer who was tasked to defend the indefensible. Gripping courtroom dramas involving true crime still command our attention, and George Parnham’s defense of Andrea Yates easily fits into the category of timeless stories that can be told again and again.
Already a highly respected and successful Houston-based criminal defense attorney, George Parnham rose to national prominence when he accepted the challenge of defending Andrea Yates. Throughout his career, he has often defended the indefensible, and when he took on Andrea’s case, he also became an advocate for women who suffer from the mental illness that often arises from postpartum depression. Since this case, George has spoken around the country about postpartum psychosis and has appeared on numerous television shows, including The Today Show, Good Morning America, MSNBC, CNN and CNN with Paula Zahn, Catherine Crier Live, Fox News, The CBS Morning Show, and Court TV. He frequently speaks to mental health and justice advocacy groups around the country and has also participated in national events like the World Congress on Women’s Mental Health and the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association. Mr. Parnham is also one of the first people reporters call for an opinion on high profile criminal cases that involve mental health issues, having been interviewed by The Texas Monthly, The New York Times, People Magazine, and Newsweek.
After getting a Master’s degree in English and working in the trenches as a technical writer for over 20 years, co-author Jonathan Williams struck out on his own to become a freelance writer, ghostwriter, and editor and has helped his clients write over a dozen books. Jonathan is proud to have played a part in co-authoring George’s story and in helping bring to light the struggle of those with postpartum depression and psychosis.
Rights available:
World Rights
Leticia Gomez
Savvy Literary Services
phone: 281-465-0119
3 Griffin Hill Ct., The Woodlands, TX 77382
Offering #:
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