Oct 24, 2022 - News

Megan Barry is writing a book about mayoral years

Megan Barry standing at a podium.

Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CRS

Former Nashville Mayor Megan Barry's book "It's What You Do Next" will be released in early 2024, she tells Axios.

Details: Barry says the book centers around the eventful time frame of 2015 through 2019 — as she scaled to the top of Nashville's political ladder and then, following the revelation of an affair, suffered a precipitous fall culminating in her shocking resignation from office.

  • She also experienced profound personal tragedy as her son Max Barry battled addiction and then died of a drug overdose at age 22.

What she's saying: The book focuses on the three things Barry says she loves the most: her son, the honor of serving as Nashville's mayor and her husband Bruce Barry.

  • "Two things I lost — Max and my job — and one thing I could save, my marriage," Barry says.
  • "The book takes place in real time. So you start with me in 2015, and I take you through the four years of that incredible high and incredible lows," Barry says. "As the reader, I want you to come along with me on the journey."
  • "This is not written in a I-wish-I-knew-now sort of way. It's like you're watching and reading and hopefully seeing the humor and sadness, but also the train wreck. Hopefully you're like, 'Oh no, don't do it. She's gonna do it. … S**t!'"

Meanwhile: Barry says she hopes readers see how after "everything falls apart," it can be put back together.

  • Although her extramarital affair with the head of her police security detail was tied to her exit, Barry says the book, which is nearly finished, was not written as a "salacious tell-all."
  • However, she describes the sections detailing her final days in office as "a pretty intense part of the book."
  • Additionally, Barry continues to serve as an ambassador for families with loved ones battling addiction. She hopes the book helps destigmatize addiction and mental health battles for readers.

Yes, but: Don't think of the book as a precursor to a political comeback. But when Axios asked if this would be another case of a politician writing a book before a future election bid, she replied:

  • "I mean, you never say never, right? But, I can basically say, 'No, never.'"

Fine print: Barry is writing the book herself without a co-writer, but with editing help from Shannon Lee Miller. The publisher is Matt Holt Books, an imprint of BenBella Books.


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