A few months ago, we had our official bloggers ask the fans what they wanted to know about our keynote speakers. This is the first of a series of interviews with authors and all around rock stars, Kim Holden, Denise Grover Swank and Lauren Miller, where all the questions except one (the time travel one) came from you, the fans.
Question: You love to dream BIG and that led you to pursuing your writing career. Along that vein, what other BIG goals do you have for your future and how do you plan to put those into action?
Kim Holden: I would love to travel the world. That’s always been a dream of mine. I’m attending signing events in several states, as well as England and Australia, in 2015-2016, so one dream is essentially fulfilling another. Which is a crazy, but awesome, unexpected coincidence.
Q: What top three marketing strategies would you say helped your sales the most?
KH: I’ve never had a marketing strategy. I engage readers. And I befriend them. That’s not a strategy; it’s just who I am and what I love to do because they’re awesome people. Any success I’ve had is because of passionate, loyal readers and their word of mouth. Word of mouth is powerful and means so much to me because it’s heartfelt and sincere. A lot of marketing seems contrived and I honestly can’t bring myself to do it. I’m in love with anything and everything genuine. I owe my career to my readers. They are the ones who make what I do possible.
Q: Since utopYA’s theme this year is time travel, if you could only go back and see/re-live one day or event in your lifetime, what/when would it be and why?
KH: Easy. I would re-live the day my son was born. Not only was the entire event miraculous, but I’ve never felt stronger and more alive than I did that day. My son is the greatest gift I will ever receive.
Q: Do you think it’s getting harder or easier to publish books and get discovered by readers … and why?
KH: I think publishing is getting easier. Not that writing, editing, etc. is easy by any means, it’s no cakewalk, but anyone with the dream and the drive to publish a book can do it. The getting discovered by readers is the part that’s difficult. And every successful author I’ve ever talked to has taken a different path to get discovered. Their journey was entirely unique to them. I don’t think there’s a plan or certain steps that can be taken to ensure success. Every writer and book is different.
Q: Name the one thing that happened that turned your publishing career around/brought it to the next level.
KH: I can tell you the exact date everything changed for me. It was August 30, 2014. Several big blogs found Bright Side and reviewed it last Labor Day weekend. Their reviews were all so kind and generous. Literally, everything changed overnight. Blogs continued to review it, and couple that with Jasinda and Jack Wilder telling a crowded room at Penned Con last September about it and Colleen Hoover posting about it on social media last October and it was a surreal recipe for discovery. I still pinch myself every single day wondering how I got so lucky. I’m seriously the luckiest person on the planet.
Q: What has been your favorite thing to research?
KH: No spoilers, but for one of my books I worked closely with a doctor to do my research. The subject matter was tough and depressing, but the experience and the friend I gained out of the experience was a gift.
Q: What would you say to someone whose dream it is to start writing, but hasn’t yet done so?
KH: Finally an easy question. Do it. Just write. No one else can write your story, but you.
Catch Kim Holden’s keynote live at #utopYA2015 on Saturday, June 20th where she will share how to DO EPIC. Get your tickets here: http://utopYA2015.eventbrite.com
Big thank you to our official bloggers, Jo Michaels, Maria Pease, Shana Benedict and Ashley Bodette for their work on the keynote speaker interviews project!!