In 2021 I interviewed poet and essayist Neysa King to discuss her book Rainbow Body! You can watch the full video below. In addition to being a published Author King worked in tech for many years in various roles. She has done everything from individual product management to freelancing.
From Web3 To Writing Books
When she decided to pursue her passions as a writer in 2020, she was COO at a blockchain company.
One of her tips for aspiring writers is to write every day for at least 10 minutes.
This is what she did. Pretty soon she had a book! She started to submit her pieces, mostly poetry and essays, and a few of them got published. She did this to learn what publishers looked for when considering pieces to publish.
A Silver Lining and Fresh Start From COVID
It was April 2020 when she got let go due to COVID. This turn of events reignited her passion for writing which is similar to how I got into writing! While she had been working, all she wanted to do was write, and the layoff made her realize that now was the time. She had to "at least try" to make it as a writer.
With her new found freedom, she picked up her life in Austin, Texas and moved to Miami saying she felt “called to come here.” Not only did she want to be by the ocean, Miami also has a really vibrant writing community especially for poets.
Becoming A Professional Writer
Eventually she started working with a writing coach, and got into Richard Blanco’s writing workshop. Inspired by the chaos and the sexual energy that is Miami Beach, King began to explore her own body.
She was all alone in a new city, in addition to the breakup with her job, she was fresh out of a relationship.
Everything was starting over for her. Rainbow Body was birthed during this time. It is an enthralling work of poetry which tells the story of self-discovery through sex, drugs, and sugar on Miami Beach. The 12-poem collection explores the idea that God is everywhere, even (and maybe especially) in the vices we are taught to avoid.
Sounds hot right?!
The title of the book actually came to her about a year go before she had put together the poems for the book. She was writing and the name just came to her. When she sat down to write the book, she was trying to force the poems to fit to that title, and was not happy with the poems so she abandoned the name.
A Journey of Self Discovery
Through the writing workshop with Blanco, the title came back to life. She discovered that had an obsession with her body, and through exploring that she was able to write the dozen poems that make up the Kings first chapbook. She knew it was meant to be because the title felt very Miami, and also because of the spiritual phenomenon where before someones dies their body shrinks and people say that they are turning into light.
Writing Your Own Book Best Practices
During the interview Neysa also shared some of her best practices for getting published, and what she learned from the experience.
Be patient. It takes a long time, sometimes 6-8 months just to get a response from publishers.
Start small. Submit your work to publishing in journals. Submit X number and expect to get X number of rejections. Don;t get discouraged, keep going.
If you want to move fast, self publish. You shouldn't wait for anyone else to validate that your work is good enough to share with the world. You don’t need anyone’s permission.
Work with the experts. Hire a designer for your cover. Use a firm for distribution. Hire a marketing agency. Don’t skimp on marketing
Pull in people who have done what you want to do and talk to them. There is so many moving parts to keep track of, even legalities. Learn from others mistakes when you can.
It's Time to Share Your Story
Lastly, Neysa said that you can’t be afraid to talk about what you are working on and I agree. Quoting my dear friend and Author Jeffrey Shaw, you are not in the business of writing books, your are in the business of selling books!
Don’t be afraid to say it over and over again. People need to see things at least 6 times to remember it. Share your story from the start of writing all the way to when it gets released. People want to come along with you for the journey!
If you need help or have questions reach out to the team here at Bootstrap Publications.
Video snippets from the YouTube interview coming soon! Make sure you subscribe below to the Bootstrap Publications newsletter to stay up to date!
Buy Rainbow Body on Amazon
Watch the recap video on YouTube