Welcome to the first of a new series of posts, based around my latest book Be An Author. These bonus author interviews will offer a peep into the motivations and feelings of a growing number of contributing authors, and expand the range of viewpoints already found in Be An Author. I hope you find them enlightening and enjoyable.
The first author I would like to introduce is Felicity Warner. Felicity is founder of the Soul Midwives Movement – holistic and spiritual care of the dying. Her books are Gentle Dying, A Safe Journey Home and The Soul Midwive’s Handbook. She teaches and runs lots of courses.
Welcome Felicity, let’s begin the interview by asking:
Where did you first get the idea to write a book?
I have always been a working writer, though chiefly as a journalist, so writing a book was something I always hoped to do. I now run a movement in holistic and spiritual palliative care called Soul Midwives. Many people come on my courses from all over the world and so writing a book about my ideas and methods followed on from that.
What goal did you originally have for your books and / or writing?
I hoped that the book would reach and … also help as many people as possible. My first book Gentle Dying was written in a very simple style so that anyone sitting at the bedside of a loved one would be able to feel that they could do something to help…. I have been so lucky to have had wonderful feedback. People write and tell me how they used the book and how it helped them, which is better than I could ever have dreamed of.
How did you decide whether to self-publish or find a mainstream publisher?
My first version of gentle Dying was a small printed booklet which I put together myself using Powerpoint and printed by a local printer. People who came on my courses liked to buy it as a souvenir of the course. I am lucky enough to have a very good agent- Chelsey Fox and she took this booklet to the Frankfurt Book Fair where it was seen by many publishers. We had five big names expressing an interest. Hay House were very keen and signed me up very quickly and I have just completed my third book for them- The Soul Midwive’s handbook which is published in May.
How do you feel about the rise of ePublishing in the last few years?
I think it’s a wonderful thing. It means that anyone can have their work published without the huge costs that used to be involved. If you are a motivated person, the writing and marketing involved is a real adventure.
How did you find enough commitment to complete your first book?
Commitment isn’t a problem for me. I love writing, and also my work so much that I happily do it all day and every day. It suits me as I am quite a hermit and I enjoy my own thoughts and company… and I live in the middle of no where so there aren’t many distractions.
What did publishing your book mean to you in terms of self-fulfilment or growth?
I think writing a book is one of the most fulfilling things you can do if you are about passionate about the subject, which I am. In terms of growth, I find the act of writing very valuable in focusing and crystallising thoughts. Because I was trained as a journalist I had short sentences and clarity drummed into me from day one… I think this discipline has helped me to grow and articulate my ideas.
How did you and/or your publisher get your book(s) known? How much is your responsibility?
I am very lucky because Hay House are so active in supporting and marketing their authors I have a wonderful publicity manager who works flat out at publication to get my book into newspapers, magazines, TV and radio. I have to be available to do this at very short notice, but that’s part of the fun!
After the first mad flurry, I keep my profile raised by writing articles, talking on the radio etc which I enjoy.
What is the oddest, most amusing or exciting thing that has happened as a result of becoming an author?
The oddest thing is having my book translated into Dutch… and not being able to read a word of it.. and most exciting thing is receiving tons of letters and emails from amazing people… not sure about the most amusing, I’ll think about it and let you know!
What advice can you to pass on to others who would like to write?
To get on with it. Sit down and write until your fingers hurt.. and believe in what you are writing.
That wraps up our first interview, and I would like to thank Felicity very much for taking part and sharing her experiences to inspire others.
If you would like to find out more about Felicity and her work, you can do so at the following places: