She is mom to one of the hottest pop stars in the world—she is Justin Bieber’s mom! Her name is Pattie Mallette, and she is more than just Justin’s mom, she is a woman who more than a million of Justin’s twitter followers also call mom. Now, she can add author to her list of job titles.
Mallette recently released her book, called Nowhere But Up. It is her story—the story of her life before Justin and after Justin. She goes back to when she was a teenager, with all of her struggles, including sexual abuse, drug addiction, and even thoughts of suicide. She bravely reveals so many emotional and dark aspects of her life, as part of her journey as a woman and a mother. This book is part of her journey, and the journey of Justin Bieber.
Not only does Mallette reveal details of her early days, but she also shows readers early days of Justin’s life and his clear love of music. As a reader, you can truly understand how he was able to nurture his talent, because his mom encouraged him, embraced his talents, and was open to the opportunities that helped both of them find their path.
Mallette’s story is one of hope and strength. It is inspiring, not just because she is Justin Bieber’s mom, but because as a woman and a mother she was able to overcome obstacles, struggles, and barriers. She survived difficult days, and there are lessons for all of us in that.
I recently had a chance to chat with her about the book and her life.
How was it to write a book? What was the process?
It was a lot of work. There were a lot of long hours. Also, dealing with the personal aspects of my life was difficult emotionally for me.
It almost feels like the book is written in two parts. The first part deals with such difficult issues, with the early years of your life, and I felt the struggles in the flow and style of the writing. The second part of the book, which deals with the latter part of your life when you had Justin, felt easier to read—it was a smoother style. Was that intentional?
I don’t think that it was intentional. I know that when I was writing it I wanted it to be so that you couldn’t put it down. I wanted to keep it moving. The stuff about Justin, well, he is my son and I think I could talk about him all day, and that’s why the parts about him were not as intense as some of the other more emotionally painful stuff that I have been through.
Any plans to write any more books?
Well, I am writing a teen version of this book in the spring. It is going to be a little more age appropriate. It is going to have some questions, like study guide questions.
Why write a book now?
The only reason I chose to write this book was really to help other people. I had a painful past that I think a lot of people can relate to. I know when I was in dark places and saw someone who wasn’t in that place anymore that had been there previously, I was always very curious as to how they got through it.
I have been sharing my story since before Justin started his career, and now that he is eighteen, I felt it was a good time to put it on paper and share it. He was totally supportive and behind me, because he has seen the impact my story has had on so many. (Justin wrote the foreword for his mother’s book.)
I am a mom. We so often lose our identities when we have kids—whether we are a pop star's mom or we are Jodi’s mom. It is so important to keep your individuality. You need to work on yourself, as well. This book is about me sharing my story, and my hope, and my healing. It is about how you can get through insurmountable circumstances.