Joe Layden

Joe Layden is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer. He is the author of more than thirty books for adults and children, including the international bestseller The Rock Says (HarperCollins), a collaboration with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Heart of the Matter (HarperCollins), a straightforward program to combat heart disease, which he co-authored with Dr. Peter Salgo. Layden also co-authored Get a Grip: A Take-Charge Approach to Living with Arthritis (Tarcher), and A Smile as Big as the Moon (St. Martin’s), which The American Library Association nominated as one of the year’s best books for young adults. Jerry Bruckheimer Productions and Walt Disney Pictures have acquired the film rights. His book, The Last Great Fight: Mike Tyson, Buster Douglas, and the Day that Changed Boxing (St. Martin’s), is about their famous boxing match on February 11, 1990, and how it altered the lives of both fighters.

Layden's latest co-authored project is the story of Lt. Colonel Nate Sassaman's year in Iraq, during which he sacrificed his military career to fight for his men, both against insurgents and the bureaucracy that threatened his command. Titled Warrior King: The Triumph and Betrayal of an American Commander in Iraq, this thrilling memoir was published by St. Martin's Press.

Published in Authors

A Warrior's Heart

by Micky Ward with Joe Layden

With the success of the critically-acclaimed, Academy Award-winning film The Fighter, the world stood up and cheered for the inspiring true story of Micky Ward—a hard-hitting, hard-headed boxer who overcame the odds to make history in the ring. But that was only part of the tale.

Now, in his own words, “Irish” Micky Ward tells his life story as only he can. From the streets of Lowell, Massachusetts, to the international fight game, to the bright lights and adulation of Hollywood, this is the inspiring, moving, tragic, and humorous story of a living legend.

Buy now!

Published in Sports

Get a Grip: A Take-Charge Approach to Living with Arthritis

by Amye Leong with Joe Layden

Part memoir, part self-help manual, this is one woman's story of living with-and thriving in spite of-arthritis, and an empowerment guide for the millions (43 million in the United States alone) who suffer from this disease.

Amye Leong was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis when she was eighteen years old. Chronic, debilitating, and incurable, the disease has inflicted pain and humiliation on her, and she has undergone sixteen arthritis-related surgeries, including twelve joint replacements. But Amye has not only coped successfully with the disease, she has found dignity and empowerment in a life perpetually affected by illness.

While Get a Grip is Amye's personal story, what she has experienced is common to all arthritis sufferers to some degree. Readers will gain hope and inspiration from her example and learn how to overcome this disease at home and in the workplace. Written by someone who has suffered with the disease for more than thirty years, and enthusiastically supported by national arthritis organizations, Get a Grip is an emotional and inspirational story, as well as a handbook for coping with arthritis on a day-to-day basis.

Published in Health

Street Justice

by Chuck Zito with Joe Layden

Chuck Zito comes by his reputation honestly as one of the toughest, most uncompromising men ever to sit astride a Harley. Now, with tales both hilarious and chilling, violent and truthful, Zito tells his life story in his own words. From growing up on the mean streets of Brooklyn and the Bronx, to becoming president of the New York chapter of the Hell's Angels, to the wild and crazy life of protecting some of the world's biggest celebrities, one thing has defined Zito through it all: his unfailing sense of justice. Zito's perseverance is a testament to his courage, his ambition, and his indomitable heart - a testament now recorded unflinchingly in Street Justice.

Published in Memoirs

The Last Great Fight: Mike Tyson, Buster Douglas and the Day That Changed Boxing

by Joe Layden

February 11, 1990 was the day that changed boxing. In August of 1986, the barely 20-year old Mike Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion in history. Four years later, he was still undefeated, a vicious puncher with stunning technical acumen and an almost animalistic taste for blood. He seemed worthy of comparisons with Muhammad Ali, Rocky Marciano and Sonny Liston. But on that fateful day in February, James “Buster” Douglas took Tyson down to become the heavyweight champion of the world. It was the greatest upset in the history of boxing. In The Last Great Fight: Mike Tyson, Buster Douglas and the Day That Changed Boxing, Joe Layden tells the whole story behind the fighters, their careers, their personal lives, and the fight that clashed them together.

Published in Sports

Home Before Daylight

by Stephen Parish and Joe Layden

The untold story of life on the road with the Grateful Dead, written by an insider who lived it from the early days to today.

Steve Parish was never one to walk the straight-and-narrow, even during his childhood growing up in Flushing Meadow, Queens. Incarcerated as a teenager for selling acid in 1968, Parish's experience changed him and after getting out, he secured a job moving music equipment at the New York State Pavilion. The first show he worked was a Grateful Dead concert in July of 1969, and Parish was captivated by the music and he fell in quickly with a band of likeminded misfits who formed the nucleus of what would be the greatest road crew in rock 'n' roll history. Home Before Daylight is a story of friendship, of music and redemption. It is a piece of music history, one that reflects the American spirit of adventure and brotherhood. Seen through Steve Parish's eyes and experiences, The Grateful Dead's wild ride has never been so revealing.

Published in Music

The Rock Says: The Most Electrifying Man in Sports-Entertainment

by Dwayne Johnson with Joe Layden

New York Times Bestseller

In this action-packed, revealing and outrageously funny memoir, WWE Superstar Dwayne Johnson (a.k.a. The Rock) recounts his life in and out of the ring with unapologetic honesty and inimitable style. From his boyhood days traveling around the world with his father (professional wrestler Rocky Johnson) to his years as a football player at the University of Miami to his meteoric rise through the ranks of the Federation, The Rock Says. . . chronicles in vivid detail the life story of one of sports-entertainment's most innovative and best-loved personalities.

The Rock takes fans on a guided tour of big-time professional wrestling, a highly competitive business in which a handful of gifted and lucky performers dominate, and all others dream of a moment in the spotlight. He provides a breathtaking, minute-by-minute account of Wrestle Mania, the Super Bowl of pro wrestling, including an intimate backstage look at rehearsals with his opponent, Stone Cold Steve Austin. And he discusses in heartfelt detail the loss of his friend and co-worker, Owen Hart. Filled with genuinely touching stories of love and strife, hilarious anecdotes and dozens of previously unpublished photographs from Johnson's personal collection, The Rock Says. . . is -- as The Rock himself might put it -- "the coolest thing since the other side of the pillow if you smell what The Rock is cookin'."

Published in Sports

A Smile as Big as the Moon

by Mike Kersjes with Joe Layden

Mike Kersjes always believed that his students could do anything - even attend the prestigious Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama, where some of America's best and brightest high school student compete in a variety of activities similar to those experienced by NASA astronauts training for space shuttle missions. The challenge was convincing else that the kids in his special education class, with disabilities including Tourette's syndrome, Down's Syndrome, dyslexia, eating disorders, and a variety of emotional problems, would benefit from the experience and succeed. With remarkable persistence, Kersjes broke down one barrier after another, from his own principal's office to the inner sanctum of NASA, until Space Camp finally opened its doors. After nine months of rigorous preparation, Kersjes's class arrived at Space Camp, where they turned in a performance beyond everyone's expectations.

A Smile as Big as the Moon is being made into a feature film by Jerry Bruckheimer productions.

Published in Memoirs

There and Back Again: An Actor's Tale

by Sean Astin with Joe Layden

New York Times Bestseller

The Lord of the Rings is one of the most successful film trilogies in cinematic history. Nominated for more than 18 Academy Awards, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers stand as two of the highest grossing films in box office history.

Though each Lord of the Rings DVD includes a special behind the scenes look at the making of the film -- showing some of the techniques and artistry employed to bring Tolkien's vision to life -- the real story of what took place on the set, the harrowing ordeals of the actors and some of the unspoken controversy that occurred between the cast and studio has never been heard, until now. There and Back Again: An Actor's Tale is the complete memoir of Sean Astin, who plays Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. His experience and candid retelling of events is unparalleled. More than a companion guide to the film, this book is filled with stories from the set and of the actors involved that have never been told before.

Published in Memoirs

Warrior King: The Triumph and Betrayal of an American Commander in Iraq

by Lt. Col. (Ret.) Nathan Sassaman and Joe Layden

Lt. Col. Nathan Sassaman was one of the most celebrated members of the United States military. With 800 soldiers under his command in the heart of the Sunni triangle in Iraq, his unit sought and eliminated terrorists and loyalists to Saddam Hussein while rebuilding the region’s infrastructure. In Iraq, Sassaman was known for his innovation and strategy, but in America, his reputation is awash in the nation’s dour memory of an Iraqi’s alleged drowning at the hands of Sassaman’s men. When the Army convicted three men for manslaughter and a fourth for assault, it was the first time troops serving in Iraq were charged with murdering a detainee. In this complex fight where Army leaders find themselves pinned against one another and the media’s hunger is satiated by taking down our own men, Nathan’s decision to cover for his men demonstrates much about the toll his war has taken on our nation.

Warrior King is a revealing and haunting memoir of both the brutality and the humanitarian efforts in Iraq, the power play between the troops’ ground work to the Pentagon, and why this war has gone horribly wrong.

Published in Military
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