What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.
Awakening the Spirit: The Open Wide Like a Floozy Chronicles is my most recent book and Maria Shriver, award-winning American journalist and member of the Kennedy family, has endorsed it. It is my true-life, inspirational story of painful childhood events, including a rape at age nine, the feelings created, and ultimately, how I healed and returned to a state of joy, the result of working with a local shaman. The book gives the simple process that anyone can use to find joy, despite any adversity.
Tell us something about yourself.
I gained skill as a writer while enjoying a long and successful career in the corporate environment, developing training manuals and writing reports for clients. My expertise is supported by a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Southern Methodist University (SMU), Dallas, TX and first-hand experience of healing from many life-changing events, including a childhood rape at age 9, a near-death experience and living with many debilitating illnesses. I began journaling a few years ago, which resulted in the publishing of my first book. I continue to write, submitting articles to several article-marketing sites on the internet.
What inspired you to write this book?
I never set out to write a book—it just evolved over time. It began simply as a cathartic journey of healing for me. However, as I continued to write, I realized that my story and personal discoveries might be beneficial to others. Therefore, I decided to publish the book as a way to inspire others that despite any adversity, there is always a way to overcome life’s tribulations along the path to finding true happiness and joy.
How did you choose the title?
The title of my book is based upon the outcome of my story, awakening the spirit within each of us. However, the shaman who assisted in my healing inspired the subtitle, as it is in reference to something he once said to me, a way to look constructively at destructive events.
What are three clear things you want others to understand about you?
1. I am qualified to help them because I have experienced and overcome great pain in my life.
2. The approach I use to heal is the only method that worked for me, out of numerous methods I have tried and used, and was the simplest method.
3. I am truly interested in helping others heal, especially rape victims, sexually abused survivors, and domestic violence victims.
What are three clear things you want others to understand about your book?
1. It is autobiographical and no part of it is fiction.
2. It seeks to help others heal by promoting acceptance of all and ending shame and guilt, which are reflective of an attitude of judgment in our society.
3. It is a fast read that proves to be very inspirational.
What can your reader gain from you and only you?
A reader can gain from me the experience and knowledge from a 1st-hand survivor of pain on how I finally managed to heal from rape, sexual abuse and abandonment after years of using other standard methods of healing that did not work.
What will a reader miss if they do not read your book?
If someone chooses not to read my book, he or she will miss a unique and effective way to heal from adversity that only requires a simple adjustment in thinking.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
Although my book can be beneficial to anyone who has endured hardship in their lives, my ideal reader are those many readers who may have been the victims of rape, sexual abuse or domestic violence. My book can be very insightful to this particular group of readers as it gives practical advice on how to heal from such events from a fellow survivor.
If you had to describe your book(s) in one word, what would that word be?
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?
I learned that it is one thing to write and publish a book and it is another to sell it. One must have a plan to work hard to market and sell one’s book if one wants to be a successful writer. I use a variety of methods. The most effective method is giving. The more I give, the more I receive.
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
If I had it to do all over again, I would make sure that I had several friends read my manuscript before it went to print. I have learned that having only your publisher and yourself read your manuscript does not guarantee there will not be typos in your final book, as no matter how carefully you proofread your work, your mind will miss things. Having several people read the work before it is printed can limit typos and grammatical errors.
What types of books do you like to read? Why?
Although I like a variety of topics, I most especially love to read books on self-growth and spirituality. Since I write about personal development and Mind Body Spirit healing, I think it is important to read what others are saying in order to gain perspective and continually grow, both on a personal level and as an expert.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
I do plan to publish other books and have begun my next book. Since I have discovered that all is within, I understand that both father and mother modalities exist within each of us. My first book deals with healing the mother side of my spirit and gives practical knowledge on how others can begin their healing journey. My second book will focus on healing the father side of spirit and will explore healing from a point of self-examination.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
The best advice I could give other writers is just do it. Do not wait—simply begin writing and your story will unfold. We all have a story to tell that can be beneficial to someone else. If you wait until you feel you are ‘the best writer’ or for some other reason, you could be denying others the value of your unique perspective.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
Readers can purchase my book, download FREE information, or read my blog at http://www.cherbchronicles.com. In addition, readers can follow me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/cherbchronicles and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1271135088, as well as on LinkedIn under the name Cindy L. Herb.