Could You Tell Us About Yourself?
For several years my husband and I were raising grandchildren. When they returned to their mother, we found ourselves empty nesters, and I found I was lost. But, I love to coach and speak! So, I began to think about what I wanted for my NEXT. I joined Toastmasters and worked on a certification in Color Code Personality.
Kelly K Consulting grew out of that, and I began to build my speaking and coaching reputation and network. The business originated in 2019 when I realized that I wanted to work with other organizations and individuals to help them solve unique needs in professional development that have a key impact on their bottom line. I love seeing people pursue their innate purpose and develop. That is a game-changer!
What made you write your book (s) ?
I’m really proud of finishing a book I started 20+ years ago: Chin Hairs and Other Things Mama Didn’t Tell You: From Surviving to Thriving in your 20s and 30s. This book was a labor of love, and a local Nashville graphic artist designed the cover and all the illustrations. I love that I have something that I believe in is a resource for women who are in all stages of life and that the stories resonate with all women. It is part “guidebook” and part “humor,” and I’m super proud of it. Is it perfect? Of course not. But I am incredibly excited to have it out there in the world.
What is the first book you remember reading?
Probably the books by Beverly Cleary. I loved the Ramona character!
What’s your favourite book?
I absolutely love The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It’s a story about hard work, being kind and building character. It honors people of all levels.
Who is your favourite author and why?
That is so hard! I really like anything by Jon Gordon and Jim Rohn because they inspire me to continually endeavor to be the best version of myself.
As a preteen, I adored books by Judy Blume because she just seemed to “get” what was going on.
How many hours a day do you write?
Since I have a full-time job and long commute, I don’t write enough! When I’m focused, I get a few hours in on Saturdays and make a point to go on retreats at least twice a year.
What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
Probably working a full-time “9-5” job – if the bills were paid! But I would not stop working in the “business world” at all because of the learning and experiences I gain.
What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
Getting started! Once I sit and go – I’m in good form. My word this year is also “bandwidth.” I have to keep working to create places and spaces for rest so I can be a better writer.
If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you choose and why?
I think it would be fun to spend a day with Mitch Albom. He has written so many compelling books and they always entertain while providing insights. I would also enjoy spending the day with John Maxwell. He has so much energy! I have to also add Mel Robbins because I admire the way she connects with her audience.
What do you need in your writing space to help you stay focused?
It has to be clean – and quiet. I can do coffee shops with background noise, but there has to be a decent table and chair set-up. And I have to use a mouse – even with my laptop!
What’s your favourite writing snack or drink?
If I’m zoning in, I am good with water. But, I also loved iced tea. I prefer it sweet (not super sweet) with lemon.
How do you celebrate when you finish your book?
Hmm. When I finished my book, I didn’t really celebrate – I was just grateful that I had finished something I endeavored to do for years. I think the celebration came later when I was at an author’s event and many friends came and joined me to support. That was amazing!
Do you listen to music while you wrote your book (s) ?
Yes! There are a couple of “focus” playlists on YouTube that I bookmarked. The music is very calming and had no vocals. When I really need to drill in – I put that in the background on my Bluetooth speaker.
I also really like the Eden’s Garden essential oil for kids called Focus, Focus, Focus. It’s bright and citrusy and really helps me. I also use that exclusively when I write to help me brain know, “ok – it’s time to write.”
Where do you get your idea (s) for your book (s) ?
For this one, I just gathered ideas from life and conversations with friends. I thought about what I would have wanted at that age – and now using that to work on my 2nd book.
What is / was your writing process like?
I use Evernote to randomly start recording my ideas and notes. Then, that starts to take shape to be able to build on my chapters and ideas.
As this was my first book, I also had years of emails and pages of ideas that I scanned and digitized to glean from – eventually, that allowed me to build an outline and chapter structure.
Honestly, sometimes I just had/have the Chapter Title! I knew I wanted to write content around that title.
Do you try more to be original or rather give readers what they want?
This is my first book and really came from my heart. It was a combination of being original with the content while also speaking to an audience (of all ages) that I believe needed and reached for this content
How did publishing your (first) book ?
I enrolled in a self-publishing type of academy and learned from the coach. I also just kept making mistakes and figuring it out! Talking to other writers, googling ideas – it’s been haphazard and something I wish I had done better – but I learned a ton and still have so much more to learn.
What kind of research do you do and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Well, let’s not let this first book (since I started 25 years ago haha) be the example! But, I would say I’m constantly grabbing ideas, scanning articles and just building my knowledge base. It’s still a moving target.
How do you develop your plot and characters?
For this book, it didn’t really apply since it is non-fiction.
What’s your favourite and least favourite part of publishing your book (s)?
Publishing, to me, is the hard part! It’s getting the cover design right, making sure the editing is rock-solid and then the formatting comes together. Favorite? Seeing the responses to the book where I know a positive impact was made. There is nothing better.
What part of the book was the most fun to write?
The introduction and recalling stories I’ve been sharing for years. The person who did the artwork helped create an image for each chapter that related. It really added to the richness of the book!
How did you come up with the title for your book (s) ?
It just happened! It came from so many conversations about life in my 20s – and then I continued to refine. For women, chin hairs are R E A L!
If you could meet your characters, what would you say to them?
But, if I could meet every reader, I would say this: you matter. You have value. You are here for a purpose.
Which of the characters in your book (s) do you relate to the most and why?
What is a significant way your book has changed since the first draft?
So much more organization and refinement. Hiring a proper editor – along with getting feedback from trusted friends made a HUGE difference
How would you describe your book’s ideal reader?
Truly, anyone interested in learning more about their own self-awareness and developing to be the best version of themselves.
What did you edit out of your book (s) ?
I had a story that was a bit more “off-color” than I wanted in order to make sure any person could read the book. It was a decision that I feel good about.
How long did it take for you to write a book ?
Technically, about 18 month start to publication. Truly, I started it about 25 years ago. And it just hung out until I brought it to life.
What do you hope your readers take away from your book (s) ?
That they are incredibly valuable and have a purpose for being here. That they finish the book with joy and laughter and fun stories to relate and tell others.
What was the hardest part of writing your book (s) ?
Just the act of the “do” –
Did you get some negative feedback on your book ? and if so how do you deal with that ?
I did! It was from a trusted friend and I am grateful for her insights. It allowed me to see how some items might be received and be able to speak to them. It was more constructive than negative. It was good.
How did you feel when you first published your book (s) ? Scared ? Excited ? Nervous?
I was unusually quiet and just reflective. Realizing that I had “done it” – imperfections and all. Yes!
Where can people who are interested in your book, buy your book ?
It’s available on Amazon via Kindle, Paperback and also in Audible.
Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers about?
I’m gathering ideas and stories for the follow up: You’re Gonna Need More Than Tweezers (copyright) – which will explore mid-life and beyond.
After writing your book (s) what is your advice to people who want to become writers?
Don’t wait until you are “ready”. Start. Breathe. Keep going.
What are common traps for aspiring writers and have you faced any of them ?
Worrying that you are not famous, so nobody cares. Oh – that is such a lie! Your book has a purpose. It might not be for millions. My thought is if I impact just one person for the good – game over. I win.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
I did and do read them! I think it’s important to hear other’s perspectives while also recognizing your own sense of self.
Is it something more you want to tell us which I forgot to ask about?
Thank you for this opportunity. I can’t wait to hear from your audience!
Kelly Knowles Media Links