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JJ Barnes The Table Read

Written by JJ Barnes

I interviewed business woman and author Melissa Drake about her life and career, what inspired her to start writing, and the work that went into her new book, Orgasmic Entrepreneur.

Tell me a bit about who you are.

Melissa Drake, author of The Orgasmic Entrepreneur, interview on The Table Read
Melissa Drake

I’m a single empty nest mom who went from a 25-year career in the insurance industry to full-time entrepreneurship. I also moved from the only home I’ve ever known in a conservative Midwest town across the country to Southern California. I love to experience new things and have enjoyed connecting with new people and experiences here.

I love stories and helping people find and share their authentic voice. I’m an editor, coach, and publishing partner who helps individuals write and publish articles and books.

When did you first WANT to write a book?

The first time I really considered writing a book was when I got divorced in 1997 and I lost most of my friendships. I wanted to talk about the process of healthy divorce and call it, “I’m not Contagious, I’m Divorced.”

About a decade later, as I was emerging from a really rough go-round with depression after losing both of my parents, I knew that I’d a write a book—actually several. Even though I’d written half of the first draft of one book, after taking private dance lessons, I had so many epiphanies come through, I abandoned my original draft and wrote an entirely new book. That’s how my first book, “TranscenDANCE: Lessons from Living, Loving, and Dancing” was born. It was published in February of 2020. It’s about allowing the Universe to lead your dance with life.

When did you take a step to start writing?

I’ve always been a writer in some form or another. I also authored multiple books in my corporate career, except we called them manuals instead of books. I compiled lots of research and notes for my original book about divorce, and invariably have two or three books in progress at every moment.

How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?

I wrote the first draft of “TrancenDANCE” over Thanksgiving weekend in 2019. The book was released three months later after an extensive editing and refinement process.

Siren Stories Books

How long did it take you to complete your latest book from the first idea to release?

Melissa Drake, author of The Orgasmic Entrepreneur, interview on The Table Read

I took a bit more time with this one as the “crazy” idea marinated in my brain and I reached out to other contributors to help me tell the story well. The first idea came to me in April of 2020 and the book was published seven months later.

Focusing on your latest release. What made you want to write The Orgasmic Entrepreneur?

I had an unusual insight while listening to a podcast about data. The man being interviewed was talking about the importance of digging into the code to fix problems and show people that you care.

Suddenly I had this crazy insight that data geeks must make the best lovers, because they’re always looking for the “sweet spot.” And…the best data geeks never stop searching for greatness once they find the sweet spot. They always seek to improve and make it even sweeter.

I was instantly aroused.

That’s the way the best business ideas start for me. They quite literally excite me.

Once I’d made that connection in my brain, I literally couldn’t stop thinking about it. I knew I had to write about it and I considered writing an article. As time went on, so many other connections came to me about intimacy, business, and living authentically.

It seems that many of the same principles that apply to intimacy or business, while traditionally separated are actually based on the same principles. Not to mention the way one side of our lives impacts the other, most notably the relationship between sexual satisfaction and business success.

The more I leaned into the content, the more correlations I found. In fact, I found so many connections that I decided to write a book about all of them and invite some amazing featured authors to share their perspectives too!

What were your biggest challenges with writing The Orgasmic Entrepreneur?

So far, my biggest challenge in writing something worthy to share with the public has been the editing and refinement process. My editor is amazing at recognizing when I’m just scratching the surface of an issue and not writing from the heart. It causes me to dig really deep and write more authentically, which isn’t always easy—especially when I’m writing about traumatic events. I’m grateful my editor is also a coach and has the nuanced ability to not only edit my story, but was able to coach me through the emotions and challenges as I encountered them.

What was your research process for The Orgasmic Entrepreneur?

I listened to several podcasts, read a ton of books, and most importantly talked with other people and asked them to contribute their insights. In addition, most of the stories shared in the book are personal, so I revisited my past experiences and kept track of new ones as I lived them.

How did you plan the structure of The Orgasmic Entrepreneur?

Throughout my combined 35 years of corporate an entrepreneurial experience, I’ve developed entire 12-week training programs complete with daily lesson plans, presentations, group activities, and competency exams.

I’ve designed and executed multi-million-dollar corporate project plans, established documentation and procedure manuals, and created processes, systems, applications, and websites intended to effectively communicate while increasing efficiency and profitability. I’ve crafted marketing campaigns, researched market trends, evaluated competitive intelligence, designed products, and led cross-functional in-person and virtual teams.

Through these experiences, I’ve found that no matter what the endeavor, there are 10 basic steps to create something from nothing—and create it in a way that provides value. A book is certainly no exception. This is the process I’ve used to write, refine, publish, and promote all of my books from scratch. Here it is for reference:

Melissa Drake, author of Orgasmic Entrepreneur, interview on The Table Read
Structure of Orgasmic Entrepreneur

Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did The Orgasmic Entrepreneur need?

As an editor myself, it’s been very interesting to have the tables turned while someone else edited my work. Good edits are much less about grammar and punctuation, and more about creating depth. As mentioned above, I’m fortunate to have an editor who is meticulous about the details while also understanding the nuances of sharing personal stories to create depth. As a team, I did three full edits with my editor. I also used beta readers and personally read and reread the book umpteen times before it was published.

What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a book?

First, get support and coaching to help you throughout every stage of the process. Connect with others who’ve already written a book and collaborate with other writers who are in the process of writing a book. Take the time to learn as much as you can about the process to make it smoother for you. I have a free download, template, and group provides support for all stages of writing a book.

Second, it’s important to be aware that writing a book with personal themes isn’t as much about writing a book as it’s about the healing that takes place throughout the process of writing, refining, publishing, and promoting the book.

It’s not talked about often, but writing your own book—particularly a personal one—brings up every limiting belief, self-sabotaging pattern, and traumatic story to the surface.

The process of writing a book is more about the healing that takes place along the way to the finish line. The book is simply tangible evidence of that healing.

Books are also an unbelievable manifesting tools, so it’s important to write about things in a way that you want them to manifest.

If you want to heal your past, write a book and enlist in empathetic support with a coach who can help get there.

Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?

Melissa Drake, author of Orgasmic Entrepreneur, interview on The Table Read

Yes! I’m elated to share that my third book is being released as we speak. “Sacred Medicine Integration” is a companion journal supporting ceremonial medicine experiences. The idea for this one came about after I had my first plant medicine experience.

Within the span of a few hours, I went from having a profound sacred medicine experience, to returning to my regular life. Something about the lack of processing for the ceremony experience definitely felt off for me.

Having just completed a comprehensive NLP training program, and being an author who uses writing to gain perspective and process emotion, I immediately began thinking of an effective way to integrate sacred medicine experiences—especially because I planned to have many more of them.

This book is a result of that insight and it was written in collaboration with my dear friend, Mayra Aceves. We’re both everyday moms and NLP coaches who turned to plant medicine for generational healing. Authors Jonathan Anderson and Eden Rincon are emerging leaders in sacred medicine ceremonies who were first-generation-trained directly by tribes in Latin American countries and through their lineage. Three of four authors identify as Indigenous. All believe in the power of sacred medicine and the life-changing revelations that can appear with its intentional use.

The book is a companion journal supporting ceremonial medicine experiences.

And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?

I’m immensely proud of writing the book and inviting amazing contributors to join me on the journey. I believe it takes time to fully realize the rewards from writing a book. Books are very frontloaded in terms of effort and expense. Achieving the “gains” in terms of income and impact will take time, and the beauty of books is that they’re timeless. They will be around for many generations.

The bigger accomplishment for me though was the massive healing created through the process of writing this book. I honestly feel like it was my own version of “Eat, Pray, Love.” Writing this book was a cry on the bathroom floor kind of experience—one that kept me alive moment to moment with this aching yearning to express and share with the world. 

That is what I’m most proud of. After much personal healing, research, and deliberation, I found the sweet spot. 

It’s me, as I am. 

It’s me in all my power, in all my glory, and accepting all my imperfections and idiosyncrasies. 

That alone is worth all the effort in the world.

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Bio: Melissa Drake is the author of The Orgasmic Entrepreneur, Sacred Medicine Integration, and TranscenDANCE. An entrepreneur, proud single mama, certified life coach, and NLP practitioner she helps individuals and businesses find creative solutions and go further than they imagined.

When middle-age life and an empty nest presented a wake-up call in the form of two concurrent chronic illnesses and a job loss after a 25-year career, she turned to social media and dancing for a reprieve. The results included recovery from a lifetime of depression, a cross-country move from the Midwest to California, full-time entrepreneurship, and a TEDx Talk, “The Dance of Collaboration.”

An intuitive life coach and NLP practitioner with a BA in Business Management, Melissa has helped hundreds of coaches and healers to connect, collaborate, and heal through living their truth, seeking new adventures, writing their stories, and empowering others. Melissa is a compassionate coach and solutions-based resource who supports authors in publishing their books and exploring new income opportunities.

Melissa writes, edits, speaks, and leads workshops helping others expand and realize their dreams. Connect with her at

Company name: Uncorped Influence: Brilliant Transformations & Collaborative AF

Company URL:

Watch TEDx Talk: The Dance of Collaboration

Purchase Books: Amazon Author Page

Write a Book: 10-Step Process to Write a Book from Scratch (free)

Sacred Medicine Integration: Download Single-Use Integration Journal (free)

Facebook: The Orgasmic Entrepreneur (sweet spot expressions)

Facebook: Brilliant Transformations (recovery and mental wellness focus)

Facebook: Collaborative AF (business and collaboration focus)

Facebook: Transcen DANCE (dance and music focus)

Instagram: Uncorped Influence 

Instagram: Collaborative AF

Instagram: The Orgasmic Entrepreneur 

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