I met Laurie Buchanan a couple of years ago when she first started attending meetings of the Boise Chapter of the Nonfiction Authors Association. Her infectious energy and practical attitude draws people to her presence as well as her book. I’ll soon be working through Note to Self as I undertake the journey of offloading my personal baggage. Oh yes, we all have it! I for one, choose to deal with it and find resources like hers priceless. Happy Thanksgiving!
Official Bio: Board Certified with the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, Laurie Buchanan is a holistic health practitioner, transformational life coach, speaker, and author. Her areas of interest include energy medicine, inner alchemy, and spiritual awareness. Embracing the belief that life is an expression of the choices we make, she’s a teacher and student of purposeful living.
With tremendous respect for the earth’s natural resources, Laurie’s goal is to leave the slightest footprint on the planet while making a lasting impression on its inhabitants: one that’s positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing. A cross between Dr. Dolittle, Nanny McPhee, and a Type-A Buddhist, she’s an active listener, observer of details, payer of attention, reader and writer of books, high-functioning introvert, and kindness enthusiast.
1. Please provide a brief synopsis of your most-recently released book.
Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth (nonfiction)
Baggage! We all carry it with us through life.
It comes in a wide variety of styles, shapes, and colors―more than enough to accommodate the stuff that we accumulate through life. And no matter how we dress it up, it’s frustrating, inconvenient, and slows us down. In fact, it’s downright disruptive.
This book is about offloading emotional baggage―something that’s especially important when we realize that we don’t just pack for one; we pack for seven. Each of the seven selves―self-preservation, self-gratification, self-definition, self-acceptance, self-expression, self-reflection, and self-knowledge―has characteristics, wellness types, and shadows. Each plays a vital role in harmony, overall health, and well-being.
Chock full of real-life emotional examples, as well as “keys” at the end of each chapter offering actionable tips, techniques, and exercises designed to help you unlock baggage, examine it, and offload it permanently, Note to Self will help you discover a lighter, joy-filled you!
2. Tell us a little bit about what motivates or inspires your writing.
For me, writing is what an empty box is to a child—a key that unlocks the imagination, transforming empty space into a race car or stage coach, fort or castle, spaceship or submarine.
A blank page transports me to a world of my own, one where anything is possible.
Early on, the process of painting word pictures struck me as magical. Over the years that spellbinding practice led me from writing lyrics to magazine articles, blogging, short stories, and finally to writing books.
A vehicle for transforming inner vision to outer reality, writing fills me with a sense of completion. Though I work quite deliberately, consciously employing my muse—concision—my unconscious is the one who holds the reins.
Never without a notebook or laptop, the concrete nature of writing—pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard—frees my imagination and provides the opportunity for serendipity and grace to influence the finished product.
I didn’t set out to become a writing alchemist—an author whose words affect positive change—but as my portfolio developed and my reading audience grew, that description emerged.
One of the most wondrous aspects of writing is that each reader enjoys a different takeaway from the same word picture—therein lies the magic.
3. As an Idaho resident, what do you most enjoy about living here?
Before we relocated to Boise from Crystal Lake, Illinois (an hour north of Chicago) we did two years of research and narrowed it down to Bend, Oregon or Boise, Idaho. In addition to all of the other criteria we’d applied (cost of living, cultural offerings, quality of education, state income tax, property tax, sales tax, crime rate, quality and accessibility of healthcare, moderate four-seasons, mountains, close proximity to a wide variety of outdoor offerings, and population of residents in our age bracket), we added two more pieces—dog and bicycle friendly. Those skyrocketed Boise to the top!
We live in historic Warm Springs, a stone’s throw from the Greenbelt where we ride our bicycles and walk Willa, our dog, daily! We walk to the Botanical Gardens, games at BSU, the Saturday Market, Rediscovered Books, and to the multitude of incredible restaurants in Old Boise (6th and Main) and on 8th Street. We can walk to Whole Foods, and bike to the Boise Coop and Trader Joe’s.
4. Describe some highlights of Idaho’s literary community.
Boise’s literary community was yet another magnet that drew us here. You can’t turn around without bumping into a writer/author event/opportunity at one of the following venues:
- Nonfiction Authors Association
- Idaho Writers Guild
- The Cabin
- Rediscovered Books
- Boise Public Library
- Collister Writes
- Boise Book Fest
5. What is the name of your blog and what can readers expect to find there?
Posts at Tuesdays with Laurie are positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing. Each week readers receive an “internal inventory” question as food for thought until the next post. Former president of, and professor at, Goshen College, Shirley Hershey Showalter said, “Laurie’s posts are concise and profound. Like a French sauce—perfectly ‘reduced,’ boiled down to essence.”
6. What does your drafting and/or editing process entail?
And while I love spontaneity, I’m a disciplined writer. I get the writing done by using a tea light. I typically start writing at 10:00 am, purposely giving myself the early morning to take a dip in the social media pool and then tidy up and do what needs doing around the house so that nothing is left to niggle at the edges of my mind, potentially distracting me from the task at hand. Then I sit down at my loft-sized desk that’s clear except for two items—my laptop and a tea light candle. Once lit, the flame is my “contract” to stay seated and continue writing until it goes out of its own accord.
This is where people usually ask, “What brand of candle do you use?” In my experience, Yankee brand tea lights burn the longest (roughly six hours). My favorite scent? McIntosh.
Because of our long-standing relationship, I use the critique services at UW-Madison where I’m honored to teach periodically at the Writers Institute. And yes, I hired a local (Boise) professional editor to edit my most recent manuscript.
7. Are you traditionally published or self-published?
I’m published via the hybrid route. To ensure accuracy, here is the definition straight from my publisher—Brooke Warner, at She Writes Press:
“Hybrid publishing—a partnership publishing model—encompasses the middle ground between traditional and self-publishing. In this model, authors pay to publish under the publishing company’s imprint. The authors keep a high percentage of their royalties, so they absorb the financial risk of their publishing endeavor. In the case of She Writes Press, we offer traditional distribution and the benefits that brings, including the ability to have your books preordered and your data streamlined; a curated, selective acquisitions process; and we have a publisher at the helm making sure there’s a cohesive vision and that all of the books are adhering to a level of quality that’s on par with traditional publishing. Another benefit unique to publishers who have traditional distribution is that they qualify to submit their books to the traditional review channels, like PW, Kirkus, Booklist, and Library Journal. This is a boon to authors who depend on reviews to drive sales—namely novelists and memoirists.”
Text formatting and book covers are included in the cost. In addition to my own marketing, I hire a separate company (in my case, BookSparks).
8. Can you offer one or two helpful tips for fellow writers when it comes to marketing and publicity?
The use of memes has been successful for me. They’re fun and easy to use in Facebook boosts and ads, Instagram, and Twitter. They’re also well received on LinkedIn. In addition to creating my own, I’ve hired for out for some of the “trickier” ones. Through trial and error, I discovered that simple is better.
Here’s an example of a “hybrid” meme. Booksparks created the chocolate/book part; I added the kale. This brief quote and visual is one of the most well-received memes I’ve used to date.
9. What future projects can we look forward to?
My next book, The Business of Being: Soul Purpose In and Out of the Workplace is scheduled for release on July 10, 2018.
This book isn’t just about being in business; it’s about the business of being. But when you stop to think about it, each of us is like a small business. Successful business owners implement strategies that improve their prospects for success. Similarly, as human beings, it serves us well to implement guiding principles that inspire us to live our purpose and reach our goals.
The rich ganache filling that flows through the center of this book is the story of La Mandarine Bleue, a delicious depiction of how nine individuals used twelve steps of a business plan to find their vocation and undergo a transformation (with some French recipes thrown in for good measure).
From a business plan and metrics to mission and goals with everything between—investors, clients and customers, marketing strategies, and goodwill development—this book clearly maps how to create personal transformation at the intersection of business and spirituality. Merging the language of business and self-help, The Business of Being will teach you how to enhance “profitability”—body, mind, and spirit.
10. Is there anything else you want your potential readers to know? What passions drive your life?
My favorite quote from Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth is the most important thing I’ve learned in my life:
“Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
Is there anything else you’d like to know about Laurie Buchanan?
You can connect with Laurie Buchanan and her social media sites via her author website. Please consider taking a minute to browse Note to Self on Amazon.
Images courtesy of Laurie Buchanan, 2017. Please share responsibly.