Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start writing.
I am a 70-year-old survivor of child abuse, and I had my first book published in January 2018. I share my uplifting story to provide help and hope for other child abuse survivors, trauma survivors, and people with PTSD. My “credentials” for writing this self-help book are 63 years of pain, fear, depression, and anxiety – and an incredible seven years of growth, expansion, happiness, and joy. My inspiration was to write a book to be of help to other child abuse survivors who are looking for ways out of the darkness and oppression of past traumas.
Tell us about your books.
My first book is entitled “Pieces: Help for Your Life Journey.” Pieces offers hope and help for those who have lost hope due to childhood abuse, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, fear, and/or depression.
“When you rebuild a shattered life, sometimes you don’t get – or want – all the old pieces, but introducing new pieces results in a better life.”
This is a book of uplifting joy, which I share with others to help on their journey out of the darkness of child abuse. The first chapter, is a series of notes I recorded throughout the middle years of my life. Following each note, I explain the circumstances of my life that lead to writing the note, and provide help and hope for those who can readily identify with, or remember, similar types of experiences in their lives, and are looking for a way out of the darkness and fear. The remaining two chapters show my progression as I found my “self,” started picking up the broken pieces of my life, gradually healed and pieced myself together, and opened up to a glorious new viewpoint and an enlightened outlook. Speaking directly to the readers, it’s my sincere hope that this book will provide enough ideas and suggestions for the readers to achieve their own unique progression on their journey from darkness to the light.
How did you go about getting published?
As an unknown first author, I chose the self-publishing route. After comparing a number of self-publishing options, I selected Balboa Press for three main reasons: (1) the price was incredible for the number of services provided in the book publishing package I chose; (2) there were many services that I expected to find only with full publishers; and (3) Balboa Press is affiliated with Hay House Press, which publishes a number of the types of books that I have been reading and within which my book fell. I am very pleased with the services, professionalism, and quality of Balboa Press.
What is your writing process? Do you have a time, day or place you like to write?
“Unorthodox” would probably be a good word for my writing process. I don’t have a schedule – I’m “retired” and I’ve had enough of rigid schedules when I was working. I write when I feel like writing. Journaling every morning is my favorite type of writing, because I can write about anything, there’s no pressure, and it doesn’t have to be read by anyone.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Full-time job, pets, hobbies?
When I’m not writing or marketing my book, I am planning my “Living a Joyous Life Workshop” Tour, which is scheduled for the Fall of 2018. This is an uplifting workshop for people who have been living the same day over and over, with little hope for anything different tomorrow. I show them how they have within themselves the ability to create a brand new tomorrow, filled with hope and joy. As a Reiki Master, I also give Energy Healing sessions.
Any advice for authors about book covers?
Your book cover is your “face” to the public – it’s what people see first and from which they make their first impression of whether this is a book of interest to them or not. You can have the most spectacular book, filled with amazing insights of benefit to millions of people, but your book won’t get noticed if it has a drab cover. I was fortunate that Balboa Press provided the perfect cover for my book. “Pieces” of my self were emblazoned as broken glass pieces in a stark black-and-white cover that I could never have imagined. Choose your book cover as carefully as you choose your publisher or self=publisher.
Any marketing tips you’d like to share with other authors?
Well, if you think the hard part is done when your book has been published, surprise! Publishers don’t market your books – you do. I didn’t know one thing about marketing books, and it showed in poor initial sales only to good friends who I told directly. My tip is “don’t reinvent the wheel.” If you’re like me, and don’t know a thing about marketing, research people who DO know marketing and are willing to share their knowledge with you via websites, online classes, books, articles, or any other means. Be careful, however. You carefully evaluated the expense of publishing a book when deciding on which publisher or self-publishing to select – don’t start wasting your money now on taking a bunch of expensive classes that may or may not help you. Start with the free offerings to find out which marketer’s approach best fits you and your style. Once you have a grasp of the marketing language and the basic concepts of a marketing plan, select the classes that will provide you with exactly what you need to get started marketing your book. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – that’s one of the best ways I learn what works and what doesn’t. Try to make it a fun new learning experience, not the desperate, depressing, and exhausting drudgery it seems like now.
What’s your favorite book?
Believe it or not, it’s “Getting Ready for Roddy.” That was the first book I “heard” (none of us were reading yet) in kindergarten. It’s all about being patient, and having everything prepared, before implementing a project. Of course, to me as a 5- or 6-year-old it was all about “Roddy the Mixer Truck and Sam the Mixer Man” and a backyard swimming pool (didn’t know there was such a thing at the time) being created. Even now, 65 years later, whenever I try to rush something before taking the appropriate steps, I always say I’m “Getting Ready for Roddy.”
What are you reading now?
I like the works of Esther Hicks and Abraham-Hicks, and read their books and articles, and listen to their YouTube videos. I prefer nonfiction, particularly spiritual, metaphysical, and biographical books.
What’s your next book project?
I believe that a second book will come out of the “Living a Joyous Life Workshop” Tour I’m developing now.