Suzanne, when did you first discover that you were a writer?
I first discovered that I was a writer when my overriding desire to reach out and inspire others compelled me to create a 30-day body/mind/spirit workshop. For the mind-spirit aspect of the
program, I had to create and present material which led me to doing research and writing essays. I discovered that I enjoyed researching, writing and teaching and received many compliments on my presentations, especially on how much they were improving the lives of the participants. At that point, I knew I wanted to dedicate the rest of my life to helping others improve their lives through writing and teaching about the health and well-being of the body, mind and spirit.
|Author Suzanne, Ross|
What is your favorite part of writing?
I enjoy the process of contemplating the conceptual ideas I wish to present and then envisioning how they will flow out onto the pages. The most joyful part of the process is allowing the material to flow organically from my heart and mind.
What do you think is the most challenging aspect of writing?
For me, it’s taking what has naturally flowed onto the pages and revising it into a structured format that is more reader-friendly, concise and grammatically correct.
Tell us about your latest release.
My latest release is a 10-day life lessons workshop called “Wake Up! Awakening through Reflection.” This book was inspired by my own personal quest to advance on my spiritual path. I discovered that I could not move forward until I healed the karmic imprints from my past. This inspired a process by which I would reflect upon the most transformational experiences of my life and examine them more closely as an observer. Being aware of the karmic cause-and-effect nature of the universe, I began to apply this concept to my own life experiences. I found that by identifying the causes which created my experiences and then recognizing what effects they had on myself and others, patterns began emerging. I realized that, hidden within these patterns, were the life lessons I came here to learn. Once these lessons were revealed, I began applying them to my life. I realized that I could set an intention to master these life-lessons by learning them once and for all. Along the way, I also learned how to forgive and heal any negative emotions from the past by performing daily practices. I discovered that by reflecting on the past, I was awakening my creative spirit in the present. This cathartic process of “awakening through reflection” had such a powerful impact on my life that I wanted to share with others. Thus, my latest book “Wake Up!” came into being.
How did you come up with the title of your book?
Originally, I was going to write one 30-day book for the body, mind and spirit called “Lighten Up! A 30-day Evolution of Consciousness.” Then it became clear to me that people these days have a short span of attention and as such, it would be better to write three 10-day books – one for the body, one for the mind and one for the spirit. I also realized this would expand the audience since some people might not be ready to explore their mind but still want to heal their body. Likewise, some people might want to awaken their spirit but aren’t ready to focus on their body just yet. One day, while I was out on a nature walk contemplating all this, suddenly the three names for the books just downloaded into my consciousness - Wake Up!, Rise Up! and Lighten Up! That’s how the “Up! Trilogy” was born.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
It’s difficult to make a list of my favorite authors because it really depends on the genre we’re talking about. For inspiration and guidance, I like Wayne Dyer and Doreen Virtue. For spiritual insight, I like Drunvalo Melchizedek and Gary Renard. For science and physics, I like Stephen Hawking and Michio Kaku.
What do you think has influenced your writing style the most?
As esoteric as it sounds, my writing style chose me. I have been most influenced by the stylings of my higher self. When I am able to let go of any preconceived notions about how or what I should write, and just surrender to the process, the words flow out of me effortlessly. Before writing, I go into meditation and connect with a higher consciousness. In this state of mind, profound revelations and spiritual guidance flow out of me that I don’t recognize as having learned or been taught. This knowledge obviously comes from a higher source that I tap into when I set an intention. Honestly, my writing style isn’t a conscious creation of my own.
As a writer, what is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
It’s definitely seeing my first book through to its completion. The process of going from an idea to a manuscript to an actual book I am proud of has been the biggest challenge of my life. It took a great deal of courage, determination, faith and perseverance to complete this journey. The day my first book arrived on the doorstep and I held it in my hands, I wept tears of joy and was filled with a deep sense of gratitude to the higher powers that made it possible. Instead of feeling proud, I really feel humbled that spirit has chosen to speak through me.
How did you get published?
After a great deal of research (and quite a bit of soul-searching) I published my book under my own imprint. I originally thought I would self-publish with Balboa Press because I’m such a huge fan of Hay House but my editor helped me see the advantages of publishing under my own imprint. Once my books are published, and I have developed a strong following, my books can always get picked up by a publishing house. Honestly, I’m enjoying the empowering process of creating my own identity. I am carving out a niche for myself in the literary world of self-help and spirituality that is unique. I have designed my own logo and am creating my own brand.
Do you have any advice for writers looking to get published?
My advice to those who just embarked upon your writing career is to create a buzz about your book before it ever comes out. Talk about it on social media. Create a webpage all about it. Give presentations about it to any group you can get in front of. If you want to try your hand at getting published with a specific house, I suggest submitting a book proposal to them. The major requirement of most publishing houses is that you already have a significant fan base, ie. 10,000+ followers, and some accolades to speak of, ie., T.V., radio, speaking engagements, awards, etc., so if you don’t have these, get busy pursuing them!Self-publishing with a house is an option but typically you will pay a lot for their services and end up receiving only a small percentage of your book sales. Fearless Books in Napa Valley did a fantastic job editing my book and also guided me through the process of publishing with my own imprint. Their prices were very reasonable and I retain a high percentage of my book sales. Post publishing, they are helping me to publicize my book and get it on bookshelves everywhere. I like the freedom of creating my own magic.