Thursday, June 28, 2012

Re-post: Dopamine, Meth and You

This is one of my top two most popular posts. (Click here to read.) It does an excellent job of explaining what meth does to the human brain in both the short and long term. It's very reader-friendly and I've had a lot of people tell me how valuable it was to them and their friends and families.

If you're looking for a way to talk with someone you care about (parents? friends?) or simply someone who wants to understand why meth does what it does and why it's so difficult for people to recover from this particular addiction, give this article a read. It will be well worth your time.

If you're so inclined, please take a minute to check out my KickStarter project. I hope you'll consider becoming a part of this by contributing toward getting my memoir published. You can read an introduction to my book here.

Take care of each other and, especially, yourself.

~ K

Sunday, June 24, 2012

In Your Dreams...

Platform. That's the buzz-word in publishing these days. Especially with non-fiction. Do you have a platform? Is your platform big enough? You need to work on building your platform.Any time I had contact with an agent or editor about my memoir, CRYSTAL CLEAN, I was asked these questions.

In short, platform refers to a ready-made audience for your work. Agents and publishers expect authors to have hundreds of FaceBook "friends," thousands of Twitter followers and an active blog with a substantial list of subscribers to promote their work . Without these things, the quality of one's writing almost doesn't matter. In other words, an author is expected to create hype for something that doesn't yet exist.

I've had three agents who were interested in my book and I signed with one of them, but in the end, it all came down to my lack of platform. But I still believe in my book. I'm proud of it and I think I have something to say that can help people whether they're in the throes of addiction or someone who loves an addict. That's why I'm going to e-publish the book myself. Because I believe in it.

Here's the good news: YOU can help me make my dream come true! I've started a project on KickStarter. There are rewards for donations starting at the $10 amount. Rewards include everything from getting your name in the Thank You section of the book, to free down loads, copies of the manuscript and an invitation to the book kick-off party. The money raised with go toward hiring someone to do cover art for the book and having it professionally formatted for all e-readers. Any remaining money raised will go toward speaking engagements and possibly publishing physical copies of the memoir.

I believe this is an important project. I hope you'll consider helping me build my platform and, hopefully, by contributing to help me get my memoir published. If you have any questions please ask away!

Thank you all so much for your continuing support!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

CRYSTAL CLEAN - The KickStarter project

My memoir, CRYSTAL CLEAN: It took me three years to write and another year working with an editor to get it polished. I landed a New York literary agent and thought my dreams were coming to fruition. Then I lost the agent. Then I lost confidence in the project.

Then I met Jacob.

Jacob, if you don't already know, is my personal trainer. I met him in Dec. '11 and my life hasn't been the same since. Let me introduce you to Jacob. He's a young man with a seemingly ever expanding family and no hair. He's maddeningly upbeat and he likes to dance, doing a goofy little white-boy-shuffle that's as obnoxious as it is endearing. His energy is contagious and, oh yes...he's right about everything. If you don't believe me, just ask him.

He's also the most inspiring person I've ever met. He's a rabbi, priest, therapist and most trusted confidante all rolled into one very centered and supportive soul. "We're going to change your whole life," he told me when I started working with him. "The weight loss will only be a small part of that."

I'm beginning to understand. I can either continue to sit back and hope life will come to me, or I can start to take control, shape my world and actually live the life I've only previously dreamed of. To that end, I've decided to e-publish my memoir.

I thought I needed to be accepted into the golden circle of traditional publishing for my book to have meaning. I thought that they were the only ones qualified to judge my work and that if I were anointed, it would mean I had something to say and was good enough to be the one to say it. What it came down to was this: I lack platform. My agent didn't think there was enough awareness of who I am to garner interest for my story. In OTHER words: Who am I and why should anyone give a rat's ass about what I have to say? This is a valid point. If no one knows about me, how is a publisher supposed to sell my book?

Okay, so how does one obtain a platform? Being famous = platform. Notoriety = platform. Creating buzz = platform. Obviously, my only hope is in the latter.

Maybe New York is right. Maybe no one cares enough to read about some unknown woman in Idaho and the story of her addiction to and recovery from meth. But maybe they're not and all I need is to find a way to get the word out to readers. That's what I'm hoping you'll help me with, if you believe in what I'm doing.

I've started a project on KickStarter which you can read about here. I hope you'll consider helping me, but more importantly you can help me by spreading the word about my story and my book. If you can, take a few minutes to browse through some past blog posts to see if this is something you'd feel good about standing behind. If so, you can help me by spreading the word via FaceBook, Twitter, blogs and even in your local community. I'll be available for speaking engagements once the book is released.

Let people know about me and my project, CRYSTAL CLEAN. There are rewards for donations. Feel free to write to me or leave a comment if you have questions. Thank you, in advance!

To say that this is a little scary for me would be grossly understating reality. I'm so apprehensive about this, my legs are jiggling like jack-hammers under my desk as I write this post. But all my doubts and hesitations about going forward with publishing aren't as strong as my belief in the book and how important I think it will be for people to read.

Like I said, I'm beginning to understand what Jacob's trying to drill into my thick skull. I'm changing my life and a big part of that involves me putting myself out there because if I don't try, I'll never know what I'm capable of. I'm betting on big things.