My book is a collection of essays based on my personal experiences about alternative ways to define wealth. Several years ago I found myself in the same predicament that many Americans found themselves in when I was laid off from my job as an Executive Assistant. I had never been in the situation before of not having a job and the collective mood of the country was very pessimistic at the time as far as the economy was concerned. I remember thinking I cannot go down this path of doom and gloom, I refuse to!
Instead of getting all depressed, I decided I was tired of excessively worrying about money and thinking about wealth in such a narrow way. I seriously began to question what wealth meant and whether or not I needed huge amounts of money or material possessions to be rich when my life was already full of great abundance, I just hadn’t been fully acknowledging it.
By writing this book I wanted to inspire myself and others to question their old beliefs about wealth and start defining it in a whole new way. I began to read about and talk to other people from all walks of life who too were exchanging ideas and thoughts about this very same subject. Although society disproportionately still values money too much, I believe that’s about to change. The ideas and viewpoints I write about are a contribution to that dialogue.
Tell us something about yourself and your background.
I’m originally from Alabama but I’ve made my home with my husband in Southern California since the early 90s. Animals are a great source of our wealth and we share our home with four cats and a turtle. We also take care of three outdoor kitties or “the little ladies” as we like to call them.
I’ve had several careers (acting, waitressing, communications coordinator, executive assistant) but I’ve always wanted to write. At first it seemed intimidating to me but I finally realized we all have something unique to say and all of our expressions are valid. I’m a big believe in sharing with others – not only sharing material resources but sharing our thoughts and feelings with each other as well. Writing gives me the opportunity to do this.
How did you choose the title?
I felt that too many people (myself included) had been limiting ourselves in the way we defined wealth. I wanted to encourage people to expand their horizons about what it meant to live a rich life. The secondary title “Discovering Prosperity and Fortune in the Unemployment Line” is fairly obvious I think since I wrote this book while I was literally in the unemployment line.
Why did you decide to self publish your book as opposed to going the traditional route of finding a publisher?
We live in a time when we have more opportunities than ever before thanks to technology and I wanted to take advantage of those – self publishing being one. I didn’t want to sit around and wait for someone else’s approval.
Also, I wanted to get my message out as fast as possible and self publishing allowed me to do that. Many traditional publishing companies that publish books in the genre that my book falls under only take on writers that have a large platform. From a business point of view, I understand this and it makes sense from their perspective. However, I’m not an established self help guru nor do I want to be. I’m a person who is in the same situation that so many are in right now and I wanted to write from that perspective. I thought people would appreciate thoughts and reflections from a “real” person as opposed to an established self help guru who’s already raking in millions of dollars or maybe doesn’t understand what a lot of average Americans are going through right now.
Do you have any writing rituals?
I know it sounds weird but I can’t write if I have a messy house. It doesn’t have to be spic n span but it does have to be orderly and visually pleasing to my eye. Then I sit down at my laptop in the kitchen and I start to write away.
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book?
I learned all about the project management part of producing a book and let me tell you I had no idea that publishing a book entailed so much. There were times when I wanted to pull my hair out. It was a great experience though and I will now know so much more when I publish my next book. I also learned about art design, editing, paper stock, you name it! I even converted my book over to Kindle and I did it myself of which I am extremely proud. Disclaimer: I have a husband who is a brilliant computer guy so he was there to bail me out when the going got a little tough!
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
I would start aggressively marketing my book as soon as I published it. It took me a few months to start telling people about my book because I’m a very modest person and not that great at self promotion. I now know that if I want to get my message out, I have to let people know about my work.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?
I love spiritual books and anything by Marianne Williamson. A Woman’s Worth is a beautiful piece of work. Her writing style is so open and you feel like she’s talking directly to you. I may never meet her but I feel like I know her.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
I believe we all have something to say and I love that we live in a time when we can all get our work out there for people to read. Publishing a book is no longer for a select few. We can all get in the game now and I love that! Don’t let the naysayers talk you out of self publishing if that’s what you feel called to do. Follow your own intuition and realize everyone has an opinion so don’t give anyone’s opinion too much power if it doesn’t feel right to you.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
People who are willing to think outside of the box and question the status-quo will enjoy my book.
Those who are unemployed, under-employed, or downsizing by choice or necessity will want to check out my book as well.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?