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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, author and founder of SWATT books, Sam Pearce, shares what inspired her to write her new book, From Broken To Brave.
Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed Sam Pearce about her life and career, what inspired her to write her new book, From Broken To Brave, and how she hopes to inspire her readers to achieve in their lives and careers.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
My name is Sam Pearce; I’m a self-publishing consultant and founder of SWATT Books. Born in Frimely Hampshire, raised in Toronto Canada, I formally trained as a graphic design but fell into the world of books and publishing completely by accident and have since found my calling of helping business owners, thought leaders and coaches transform their lives and businesses through the power of publishing.
I’ve helped publish over 200 titles, many of which have gone on to be Amazon bestsellers and revolutionize the businesses of their authors – including my own. When I’m not writing or publishing, I also am heavily involved in online SIM racing both as a driver and commentator where I act as an ambassador for female involvement in motorsport.
When did you first WANT to write a book?
I’ve wanted to write a book since I was a little kid. I can remember being 7 or 8 and sitting in my room “writing” a book about dinosaurs. Books had played such a fundamental part of my childhood that I wanted to in some way be a part of that world – though I never once thought it could be my full-time job until I actually started doing it.
When did you take a step to start writing?
It wasn’t until I had been running SWATT Books for about a year or two before I took my first step to writing my own book. My business coach at the time pointed out to me that I was publishing all these books for business owners to support their businesses, where was my business book? And that started me on the journey to writing my first book “Stress-Free Self-Publishing: Who to publish your own book without losing the will to live” which was published in May 2019
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
SFSP took ages to finish – about 3 years all told. I knew everything about self-publishing, but at the time didn’t really know anything about writing and authorship. I got stuck, stopped and started half a dozen times, and got frustrated… just like any other first-time author. But through the process of writing that book, I cobbled together a system of writing that works for me that draws on advice and wisdom from a broad spectrum of authors and writing coaches; many of whom are not even involved in business writing, but whose methods just fit with my way of working.
How long did it take you to complete your latest book from the first idea to release?
Taking what I had learned through writing SFSP, my latest book, “From Broken to Brave: Profound life & business lessons learned on my journey through pain, loss and abuse to successful entrepreneur” went from the idea of it waking me up at 3am the morning that SFSP officially went on sale to being on sale itself in about 16 months.
Focusing on your latest release. What made you want to write From Broken To Brave?
During the early stages of the pandemic, I started seeing lots of statistics about the increase in frequency and intensity of domestic violence as a result of lockdowns. It made me think back to my own experiences and how I felt like I was the only one experiencing it and no one else could possibly understand. So I decided that it was time to share my story, as well as other darker experiences from my life to help others see that they are not alone; that someone does understand; and that if you are of the right mindset, you can not only survive these experiences but become strong and successful as a result of them.
What were your biggest challenges with writing From Broken To Brave?
When I first started the project, I anticipated that my biggest challenge was going to be the emotional and mental impact of ‘reliving’ the experiences that I was going to be writing about. I even went so far as to warn my family and my husband that I might start getting nightmares again and to be understanding if I suddenly got really withdrawn and skittish again. But none of that happened. The biggest challenge in the end was getting past the ‘story’ that I had been telling myself since I started my business that my personal life had to be kept completely separate from my work life and that people would not want to do business with me if they knew the ‘truth’. There really wasn’t any way of getting past that challenge aside from just putting on my big girl pants and doing it; trusting that the book would do more good to those that needed it compared to any negative impact it would have on me, my business, or my reputation. In actuality, none of that happened, and it has actually helped both my business and my status as an entrepreneur as a result of being transparent and more “human”.
What was your research process for From Broken To Brave?
The book is about my experiences and what I learned from them, so very little research was required. In the few areas where I wanted to give my readers a bit more support on a topic outside of just my personal experience, the research consisted of simple Google searches for additional resources that I could recommend.
How did you plan the structure of From Broken To Brave?
Very early on in the writing process I realized that the traditional ‘biography’ model wasn’t going to work for me; it felt a bit pretentious to write a ‘biography’ when I was only 42 years old. Instead, I broke the book down into individual memories or experiences arranged in chronological order. I then broke down each chapter into my recollection of the event followed by a ‘what I learned in hindsight’ section. That structure seems to have worked very well as it makes the book really easy to read and people are able to dip in and out of sections relevant to them if they don’t want to read the whole story.
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did From Broken To Brave need?
Through my work with publishing other authors’ books, I know how important the editing process is for any book, so I employed the exact same editing process that I recommend to all of my authors… extensive self-editing, followed by a peer review before sending the final draft to an editor for line editing and then a post-typeset proofread once the book is in artwork form. It sounds like overkill to some people, but it well worth getting as many eyes as possible to read your book before it’s published.
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a book?
There is soo much advice I could give to a first-time author, but I think the first piece of advice would be even if you are not a detail-orientated person, take the time to do a bit of planning before you start writing – no matter the genre. At the very least, have a clear idea of A) who you are writing for B) what you are writing for them C) why they should care that you have written it, and D) why YOU want to write it. Knowing the answers to those 4 questions will make the process or writing and publishing a book much easier when the going gets tough.
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
I am in the initial stages of writing my 3rd book “The Write Strategy” which will look at the reasons why intermediate business owners should include publishing a book as part of an overall business strategy and how to best go about it to ensure success and optimize ROI. I am aiming for that to be on sale early/mid 2024. Then when I get a bit more personal time, I want to give fiction writing a try and already have the seed of an idea for a modern-day fantasy novel
And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
Most definitely. I’m very proud of what I have achieved not only with both of my books, but with my business as well. The experiences of my life (the good, the bad, and the traumatic) that made me who I am, and the time, effort, dedication and hard work that has gone into my work and my books was all more than worth it. And no later how difficult my past has been, I would change any of it because I wouldn’t have what I have now without it.
Pop all your book, website and social media links here so the readers can find you:
“From Broken to Brave”: Buy direct at https://frombrokentobrave.co.uk
SWATT Books: https://swatt-books.co.uk
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