This series of blogs are interviews with authors who have contributed to a
collaborative book with multiple authors. It is a perfect way to wet your feet with
the idea of writing a book and share the experience with other first-time authors.
Influence Publishing Inc. has worked on a total of 13 books so far, some with as
many as 15 authors contributing to one book, each writing a chapter.
This first interview is with Holly Chadwick who is now working on her own book
and a new business, because of the first collaborative project she got involved
What collaborative books have you been involved in?
Wild and Wise Women Around the World by Bev Adamo
Why did you get involved and did the experience live up to your expectations?
Following serendipitous connections is the reason I wrote chapter six in Wild and Wise
Women Around the World. I was networking with freelancer support groups through
the Internet and one day I had a message from Susan Rook d’Ettorre. Susan looked
remarkably familiar. I accepted her message and started chatting and found she was
a former CNN anchor and I had watched her Talk Back Live show as a teenager. I told
her how serendipitous events had been happening regarding dragon flies, how I
recently lost my mentor, was seeking new connections, and my interest in creativity
and mental health. She told me I HAD to meet Bev Adamo. I reached out to Bev that
day and Bev and I talked for a couple of hours into the evening, really hitting it off.
Later, from seeing her Facebook page, I learned that Bev was looking for authors. I
reached out to her again and before I knew it, I had written my chapter.
What was the process like for you? Which bit did you enjoy the most?
I admit, since my chapter, "From Strait-jacket bound to success", it was very personally revealing to me and I had my doubts before we went to press if I should still participate.
I even consulted my attorney. However, something inside me that was screaming to be
authentic, to be real, to tell my story of overcoming trauma, to tell my story of
overcoming mental illness because other people needed to hear it over-rode my
concerns. I am glad I went to press with my story as the feedback from people who read
my story is phenomenal. I feel like I have been heard and my story as an example of
overcoming has made a difference to people, or who have loved ones in similar
situations. The first indication was networking with a sales and business mentor
because of writing the chapter. We hit it off and we were to do a work exchange. I
helped her with some design and website work, and she helped coach me with sales. I
mentioned to her my chapter and its subject matter. She was turned off and did not
want to work with me. I did not know this at the time, but I insisted she read my book
chapter. I sent her a book, she read it, and long story short she changed her mind about
me and mental illness. She had been turned off because a friend of the family was
going through some mental health problems and she saw it such a negative light. This
helped her re-frame the situation and reach out to the friend's family to be supportive.
The rest of the stories that I heard as feedback from a result of writing my book chapter,
has been just as satisfying.
What would you say to someone considering this as their first-time author
Julie's team really makes it easy. When all the ten authors met as a group on zoom,
Julie encouraged us to tell our story as if we were in an elevator with Oprah. She gave
us the challenge to make Oprah stay in the elevator with you, and be invited to the top
floor, what would you say to her? I knew it had to be juicy and I had the story in me. A
story, as I said, I wasn't sure I was ready to tell, but when fellow book authors contacted
me later saying how they cried when they heard the bravery of my story, I knew I had
something. It only took me a few hours writing quietly on my boat and working with
Julie's editor a couple of more hours before I had a polished chapter.
How did contributing to a book with other authors change your view on writing a
I had always wanted to be an author, but the reality of how easy it was and to just do it
really solidified when I saw our book become a best seller on Amazon. I got the writing
bug and am now writing my memoir, My New Normal: Barefoot, Walking the Desert in
My Pajamas. This book is about living aboard a boat in the Pacific Northwest and snow-
birding to Arizona while training an artificial intelligent mental health virtual assistant
ready to provide support in the traumatic aftermath of COVID-19. Through Julie's
coaching, the writing process has taken me several months as my memoir is
structured by present day events and the adventures of building a business. It has been
How did becoming a best seller change your business/life?
By stepping out on a limb and sharing my story in a collaborative book, I feel like now I
am doing my life's work. As I am writing my memoir, my technology business
StoryGuide.ai featuring Rubi the mental health virtual assistant is growing. With
StoryGuide.ai, I encourage other people to tell their stories of overcoming trauma,
especially now during the time of the pandemic. With our unique technology, we are
pairing mental health curriculum support to people in this time of need. I am also
actually planning a collaborative book series because of people sharing stories with
StoryGuide.ai. I am inviting 20 pioneers to invest in StoryGuide by partnering with Julie
and Influence Publishing Inc. to create a unique collaborative book about overcoming
fear during the current pandemic. The minimal investment of $1495 includes coaching
and editing to write a chapter for the first StoryGuide book and receive a personalized
book trailer you can use on your own website and social media. As a thank you for
being one of the first pioneers on this unique mental health platform, many of the team
leaders are offering educational gifts and books. You can find more information and
apply to be one of the first mental health pioneers at
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