Spinach Soup

Spinach Soup for the the Walls

EB: Tell us about your book. What is it about? Can you describe it in just a few sentences?

LH: I’ve spent many years as an expatriate and encountered the highs and lows of the traveling life as well as seeing wonderfully diverse cultures. My book is my search for spirituality and meaning of life from the basis of a deep personal low. The story begins with me in the jungles of Gabon, in West Africa, where my husband and I had just relocated. Enthusiasm for the new posting had faded quickly and I found myself beginning to question many elements of my life as well as the general purpose of life.

EB: Why did you write it?

LH: I’m an artist and am accustomed to spending time behind my canvases, using paint to document internal emotions. However, I’ve always loved using words to release some of these inner thoughts and have frequently used this means of expression as well. I’d written almost an entire book of these thoughts, over some years, which were sitting in a folder on my laptop.

EB: What qualifies you to write this book?

LH: The writings were a cathartic process for me and a way of somehow understanding and releasing difficult periods in my life as well as the challenge of expatriate living and the constant change that comes with that.

EB: Why do you think your book needed to be written? What will it do for other people? How will it help? Do you have any competition?

LH: Out of the blue I spotted a competition in a spiritual magazine to have a book published. The entry requirements were ‘up to 75,000 words’ and I had 72,000 already sitting in on my laptop. I took this as a ‘sign’ and submitted an entry. I didn’t win the overall competition, but the publisher kindly expressed a wish to publish anyway. It seems that from the feedback I’m getting most readers are relating to the simple human thread in my book of a lost soul on a search for peace. Several of my books are now circulating in health areas, in particular where people are suffering self-esteem related issues. There are many inspirational type books out there but I see that they work together and not in competition. Books come to us every bit as much as we feel we select them. I think the ‘right’ reader will connect with the ‘right’ book.

EB: Who do you think will read your book? What made you think that there was a market for it? 

LH: My book will appeal to expatriates,  artists,  those with self-esteem and relationship struggles as well as those interested in memoir-style books. The diverse feedback and variety of readers seems to support this theory.

EB: What steps have you taken or do you plan to take to promote your book? Which methods do you think work best and can you give me any examples?

LH: I have a web site, Blog, Twitter and Facebook page. I have also just organized a Goodreads ‘Giveaway’ to donate 10 books. This runs from January 14th to February 14th. I am planning a book ‘event’ also incorporating my art in the early Spring. I’ve done several press releases and I find that my profile on Expat Bookshop is definitely helping to spread the word as well as generate sales through Amazon.

EB: What was your biggest challenge regarding the writing of your book? How have you overcome that?

LH: The biggest challenge was not in the writing but in the decision to go public with such a personal story. My art contains the depths of my emotions but leaves room for interpretation, whereas there is no hiding or disguise in words.

EB: Now you have written this book, what has writing it done for you, your family, your self-esteem or your business?

LH: I’ve had incredible family support as well as signs that my book has facilitated some healing in readers. I like to keep quotes special and meaningful and so use only one quote in my book.  Iyanla Vanzant: “When you stand and share your story in an empowering way, your story will heal you and your story will heal somebody else.”

EB: If you were to give advice to someone else who is thinking about writing a book, what would be your number one tip?

LH: Write with honesty and for yourself and the audience will come to you.

EB: And finally, how can people buy your book, in what formats, and what does it cost? Please include any links if you have them.

LH: The book is for sale in paperback and eBook in Amazon. Signed copies can be purchased via my web site and there are copies available for purchase in some bookstores in Scotland.

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