HarperCollins Speakers Bureau

Rebecca Wells

#1 Bestselling Author, Actor, and Playwright known for DIVINE SECRETS OF THE YA-YA SISTERHOOD


  • Women’s Friendships
  • Mother-Daughter Relationships
  • Health: My Journey with Lyme Disease
  • Women’s Spirituality
  • The Creative Impulse and Vulnerability
  • The Southern Imagination



Rebecca Wells is an accomplished actress, playwright, and #1 bestselling author of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood series. Born on a cotton farm in Rapides Parish, Louisiana, Wells comes from a culture where story telling is as essential and as rich as gumbo. She studied Tibetan Buddhism and creative writing at the Naropa Institute, and graduated from Louisiana State University before going on to study acting in New York City and perform off Broadway. She has been a guest artist, teaching writing and acting at University of Idaho, University of California at Santa Cruz, Washington State University, and Antioch University, and is a founding member of the now-defunct activist group, Performing Artists for Nuclear Disarmament. Additionally, she has served as a waitress at Yellowstone National Park, worked as an actress in regional theaters across the country, and been hired out as a fortunetelling gypsy for sorority reunions.

Wells’ Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood about mothers and daughters, female friendships, alcoholism, and spirituality was a #1 bestselling novel, winner of the American Booksellers Award, and short-listed for the Orange Prize. The book launched a host of Ya-Ya clubs worldwide, as well as a host of books about girlfriends, and was made into a feature film by Warner Brothers. Wells’ novel has been translated into 28 languages, and has sold over 6 million copies. Her other best-selling novels include Little Altars Everywhere (winner of the Western States Book Award) and Ya-Yas in Bloom. Her stand-alone novel, The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder introduced an entirely new set of characters, from the magical Louisiana town of Le Clair.

A natural performer, Wells has toured her one-woman show Splittin’ Hairs throughout the country, including bush Alaska. Her play, Gloria Duplex, about an erotic dancer in the French Quarter who sees the face of God in the mirror ball above her dance floor, was called “one of the glories of the decade” by the Seattle Post- Intelligencer. She is available to speak on topics prevalent in her own work, including female relationships, spirituality, and creativity. Rebecca Wells tours her new one-woman show, “Birth of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood”, which blends performance and memoir to explore the inspiration behind her work. She lives in Nashville where she is completing her first memoir.


“A big, blowzy romp through the rainbow eccentricities of three generations of crazy bayou debutantes.”
— Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“A very entertaining and, ultimately, deeply moving novel about the complex bonds between mother and daughter.”
— Washington Post

“Mary McCarthy, Anne Rivers Siddons, and a host of others have portrayed the power and value of female friendships, but no one has done it with more grace, charm, talent, and power than Rebecca Wells..”
— Richmond Times-Dispatch


“A gem of a book....Wells offers a virtuoso performance.”
— Denver Post

“Energetic and delicious…each voice is unique, independent and right on.”
— Seattle Times

“A hilarious and heartbreaking first novel.”
— Booklist

“Rebecca Wells has written a funny, eloquent and sad novel that easily leaps regional bounds.”
— Washington Post

“At the Walker family altar, sainthood is a one-way ticket to purgatory, and getting there is half the fun.”
— Columbus Dispatch

“Wells’ people pop with life.”
— Kirkus Reviews

“Wells effectively juxtaposes the innocence and joy of childhood reveries with the pain and guilt of adult memories.”
— Richmond Times-Dispatch

Praise for YA-YAS IN BLOOM:

“Irrepressible…Touching…A pleasure to read.”
— The Oregonian (Portland)

“Unforgettable characters.”
— Southern Living

“Reveals the roots of the friendship of the Ya-Ya sisterhood.”
— USA Today

“Hilarious…Had me laughing out loud…Brims with the Ya-Yas’ hallmark irreverence.”
— Rocky Mountain News

“A must-read…Rollicking anecdotes.”
— Detroit Free Press

“The charm here is in the details, the dialogue, and Wells’ canny observations about life in Thorton, Louisiana.”
— Seattle Times

“Charming…Sparks of humor and sass.”
— Austin American-Statesman

“Wells is a marvelous writer.”
— Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Readers in touch with their inner Ya-Yas will feel right at home in Thornton.”
— New Orleans Times-Picayune

“A sharp ear for dialogue and one of the finest gifts for verbal insult this side of Dorothy Parker.”
— Wilmington Star News (NC)

“Having friends like the Ya-Yas is something every woman wants and the lucky ones get.”
— The Sentinel

“Every bit as joyful as the original…Uplifting, uproarious, saucy, and smart…lives up to the highest expectations”
— Booklist

“Entertaining...Wells still charms.”
— Publishers Weekly


“The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder will remind you of your first love and power of friendship. As the saying goes, ‘You’ll laugh, you’ll cry.’ But, really, you will.”
— Real Simple

“Calla Lily is a sweetie. . . . This is a novel full of miracles, with characters more colorful than a Crayola 64-crayon box. It’s just the right dose of Southern charm.”
— Seattle Times

“Many readers will recognize that all the characters . . . are creations of a literary goddess in her own right. . . . Down-to-earth and comforting . . . [A] good-hearted, wishful-thinking book.”
— Washington Post

“Wells writes genuinely about her native Louisiana. . . . It’s hard not to fall in love with the people in this magical place, where love is as plentiful as the dancing, gumbo and ice-cold Cokes. . . . A perfect beach read about mothers and friends and sisters.”
— Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Charming and luminous . . . A perfect summer indulgence that’ll have you peeking out your window on a muggy night in search of the Moon Lady, who’ll wrap her nurturing arms around you from afar.”
— Austin American-Statesman

“Wells brings back the lush beauty of her birthplace. . . . Wide-eyed, big-hearted Calla has more faith than all the ya-yas put together. . . . As ever, the author’s strength lies in her ability to articulate the profound relationship between women.”
— Miami Herald

“Rebecca Wells spins a sweet Southern yarn about an aspiring beautician who overcomes tragedy to find love.”
— Parade

“Fans of Rebecca Wells’ tales of the ‘Ya-Ya Sisterhood’ will find themselves just as enchanted with this story full of Southern charm and lessons in life. . . . With wisdom and insight, Wells guides Calla on her path of self-discovery.”
— Daytona Beach News-Journal

“[A] heaping helping of sugar . . . [for] when you’re feeling nostalgic for a sugarcoated past.”
— USA Today

“Calla Lily Ponder is every bit as affable as her name suggests. . . . Expect high demand from loyal Ya-Yas fans, who have eagerly awaited a new work from Wells.”
— Booklist

“Told in Wells’ signature style . . . Rich in anecdote and atmosphere . . . This is easily a three-hanky read. . . . the lessons of hope and promises of healing will be a balm to many.”
— Bellingham Herald

“Fiction junkies packing for vacation can without hesitation place The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder into the juicy reading pile. There’s period drama, there’s romance, and there’s a lot of fabulous hair all wrapped in a vibrantly Southern package.”
— North Kitsap Herald

“Another exuberant tale of Louisiana women . . . who can resist those moonlit nights, those swimming holes, that delicious cochon de lait, the dreamy little Louisiana towns, the women who are larger than life? Wells weaves that magic spell again.”
— New Orleans Times-Picayune

“All readers will embrace the themes of second chances.”
— Library Journal

“Rebecca Wells has done it again. . . . A new book full of Southern charm and unique characters . . . impossible to put down. . . . Wells delivers characters that are distinct and realistic.”
— Houston Chronicle

“Wells’s larger-than-life characters are custom made for summer reading.”
— The Independent Weekly

“The latest novel by Rebecca Wells, the belle of Southern fiction. . . . is a satisfying coming-of-age tale in a place where the moon glows and the lemonade flows.”
— Columbus Dispatch

“Wells knows how to paint a picture of small-town life and the wide world beyond that pulls at the heartstrings. Ya-Ya fans are likely to go gaga over The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder.”
— Deseret News

“Pure Southern comfort, and [Wells] continues the tradition.” — New York Daily News
“Rebecca Wells is a master of . . . women’s fiction. . . . The novel teaches us that even the worst decisions can be rescued and that approaching the world with love will heal any brokenness in our hearts.”
— Winnipeg Free Press

“Wells delights in small-town life. . . . She makes the enchantment of daily life seem as plain as daylight.”
— Richmond Times-Dispatch

“[Wells’] descriptions are so lush and lyrical it feels like you could step through the pages into the hot, humid landscape so shaped by the Mississippi River.”
— Denver Post