She was the very first Bachelorette, a former pediatric physical therapist and Miami Heat dancer who fell in love with a handsome poetry-writing Colorado firefighter and had her fairy tale wedding televised on ABC to more than 26 million viewers. As in all good fairy tales—and despite the odds—they have lived happily ever after. Trista and Ryan Sutter are now celebrating 10 years of marriage and two children.
Rarely out of the public eye—covers on People and US Weekly, interviews on the Tonight Show and Ellen, an appearance on Dancing with the Stars—Sutter might seem a natural addition to the long list of celebrity authors. Surprisingly, no publisher approached her with a contract in hand. “It had come up in conversation, but nothing really serious,” she says. A desire to write a children’s book led her to agent Celeste Fine at Sterling Lord. “When I met Celeste, she suggested I start by writing an adult book. We talked about doing a cookbook or a fitness book, but I didn’t want my face on the cover of a book just to have my face on the cover of a book. If I wrote a book, it would have to be something authentic.”
The inspiration for Happily Ever After: The Life-Changing Power of a Grateful Heart (Da Capo, Dec.) came from an unlikely source: Sutter’s Twitter posts. “For the past four years, I’ve been writing about the favorite part of my day, often about something during the day I’m grateful for, as a way to connect with family and friends. Gratitude has always been a core belief of mine, being thankful for blessings big and small.” In the book, Sutter shares personal stories, as well as anecdotes from friends, family, and experts, which, she hopes, will help everyone “live a happy and grateful life.”
As for that children’s book, it’s still a possibility. For now, she’s content reading favorite books like Salina Yoon’s Penguin and Pinecone and Deborah Underwood’s Part-time Princess to her son and daughter. As for the glamorous fairy tale life? Sutter can only laugh. “I get up, make the kids breakfast, put on my sweats, and work on my book.”
Today, Sutter is signing a chapbook of Happily Ever After in the Perseus booth (1402–1403), 1–2 p.m.