Please share a bit about your journey to become a published author?
My desire to publish came after I shared my writing with a Rhode Scholar who said she found it very insightful and helpful. I can still remember what she said to me, “Your writing digests my personal thoughts and articulates them in a way I can better understand myself Anne. You must share this with all….”
To get started, I took an intensive course on self-publishing at the University of Alberta for a week. After I finished the course and applied all the concepts to my manuscript, I printed 2000 copies of my first book, Beyond the Mirror, and launched it throughout Canada. I was happy with the results (1500 books sold), as I had a full-time career as a young lawyer.
Some of my readers have been looking for a new book for a while and asking when it would be launched. My readers are both male and female and my audience ranges in age from 16 to 60. I was surprised with how the demographics were so wide in age. I was happy that there was interest in a new book, but felt I had nothing new to say, so I just started collecting my thoughts for next 20 years.
Six years ago, I decided to actively work on writing another book as I thought I had collected enough new material based on field research, conversations, observations and my own personal self-growth through my life experiences.
I was ready to print this new book through the traditional route when a friend of mine reminded me of Julie and suggested I should talk with her. She was both inspiring and knowledgeable. I was very advanced in my project, so only needed Julie for the tail end of my publishing journey: formalizing my book, distribution and launching on Amazon. I am working with her company now and am so excited. They are a great support.
How does the writing process work for you? Do you schedule a time every day, work madly when inspiration hits or ?
I capture my ideas right away, when they arise. They are based on my thought processes, my wanting to understand and see the patterns. The challenge is to get the ideas down. I dictate them via phone or write them on my computer. After that, I work on getting them into a framework that is easily understandable to a third party. It took me three years to refine the ideas for my new book, Beyond Reflection – to get it ready for my readers.
What did you find most difficult about the writing and publishing process? What was the easiest?
The difficulty has been to keep the process going when you have a job and a full life with many responsibilities. You have to be serious and dedicated or you can lose your enthusiasm as it takes so long to achieve the finished product.
The easiest part is when you have internal passion and discipline, along with a good support team.
While I was working on my latest book, I had some health challenges and my dad passed away. I made a commitment to him that I would get it published and I put a copy of the final manuscript with him after he passed. This book is dedicated to him and I have pieces in the book about the journey of saying goodbye – The Suspended Goodbye.”
A number of members in the focus group I shared this book with related this piece to losing their parents. I was also surprised to hear that others related the piece on saying goodbye to divorcing their spouse. It is interesting how the reader can be supported in difficult journeys by just seeing their emotions written down on paper by another human being. That is what I do.
Because the pieces are short and raw with emotion, the reader can relate without judgment of himself or herself. They can truly embrace their feelings without having to read a big long chapter. When we are challenged we want to be heard more than talked to. The short pieces make them feel heard and supported.
What title (or titles) have you released?
My first book, Beyond The Mirror, Seeing Ourselves As We Are, guides the reader to look inside. My second book, Beyond Reflection, Bridging Mind and Heart (due to be launched February 7, 2018), is a companion to the first and guides the reader to look outward as well, finding balance of the heart with the mind and the right and left brain. As a lawyer, I have a strong left brain. As a Scorpio, I have passion. I have always had to negotiate the role of both elements in my life. That is how this second book arose.
Both of my books contain pieces that capture and normalize the true human experience and its challenges. The reader is given the opportunity to look at their life without judgment.
As an individual, people view me as very direct, open and willing to speak about vulnerable topics. I am open with my audience. They can find a safe place with me, which they can experience at their own pace. I can be found in every chapter, as the reader’s friend.
Rather than rendering one chapter after another in order, each chapter stands on its own. A reader can choose what they want to read, when they want to read it, and experience it at their own pace. These books are meant to be the readers companion, keeping them company on their life journey and offering support along the way.
Do you have any new books in the planning or writing stage?
No. I am not an author that writes to write a new book. However, I have trust that another book will arise as my life continues to unfold.
What would you like readers to know about you?
I am a lawyer and coach who has been working to resolve challenging issues related to discrimination and sexual and racial harassment from a legal and coaching perspective for the last 20 years, I have been called into investigating conflicts and resolving the same on a confidential basis. I also have been the Ombusperson of The Law Society of B.C for 18 years resolving conflict with lawyers When I became involved in this career, I committed to always using my heart (empathy and understanding) along with the awareness of their legal rights.
I am now consulting with Diversit Group, involved in resolving conflicts, keynote speaking and coaching people on their goals. I am also planning to do keynote speaking based on my new book – something I did with my first book.
What do you hope readers will take away from your books?
I hope readers will find a confidante in the pages of my book – a confidante able to offer comfort and understanding. There is so much done via email and Internet now. I think people need connection. I want to give them a sincere connection to the human experience. I love being in touch with life and getting the most out of it. Life to me is people and truth. I hope they can feel my sincerity.