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Author & Community Builder Talk with Cristina Quintero
Meet Cristina Quintero, a first-generation Colombian-Canadian with roots tracing back to both Afro-Colombian and Indigenous-Colombian heritage. Growing up in an immigrant family, Cristina deeply appreciates the power of stories that transcend struggles, emphasizing the everyday joys within immigrant communities. Her formative years in a supportive neighborhood not only brought challenges but also delicious memories, sparking a lifelong love for food and the idea of forging connections within communities through culinary experiences.
Illustrator Sarah Gonzales, whose work can be found on Instagram at @sgonzalesart, adds a visual dimension to Cristina’s narratives.
To follow Cristina Quintero’s journey and gain deeper insights into her experiences, check out her Instagram profile @cquintero_writer.
In addition to celebrating Cristina’s work, it’s important to mention a special initiative close to her heart—Amy’s House (@amyshouseedmonton, www.amyshouse.ca). Inspired by Amy Alain’s wish to provide a home for out-of-town cancer patients and their families during their treatment journey, Amy’s House offers comfort and support. This remarkable project reflects Amy’s vision of providing convenience and solace for families facing the challenges of cancer treatment. Join us in acknowledging this heartfelt endeavor as we celebrate both literature and compassion.
Authors and writers plan, research and write books, scripts, storyboards, plays, essays, speeches and other non-journalistic articles for publication or presentation. They are employed by advertising agencies, governments, large corporations, private consulting firms, publishing firms, multimedia/new-media companies and other establishments, or they may be self-employed.
For Authors and writers; Editors & Journalists, over the period 2022-2031, new job openings (arising from expansion demand and replacement demand) are expected to total 23,100, while 19,300 new job seekers (arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility) are expected to be available to fill them.
This is what you typically need for the job.
- Copywriters usually require a university degree or college diploma in French, English, marketing, advertising or another discipline.
- Creative writing programs are offered by universities and colleges.
- Talent and ability, as demonstrated by a portfolio of work, are important hiring criteria.
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Complete Episode Transcript
Coming up next.
Invest in yourself and go check out a conference.
Find wherever you live.
I promise you, there’s got to be something either in your city or close to you.
Find a conference that looks interesting to you.
Go check it out. Go. It’s a forums, panels.
All those kind of discussions go to the ones specifically with editors and publishers.
Welcome to the Job Talk Podcast, where we talk with people who love their jobs.
Our guests open up about their challenges, surprises and secrets to success in their industries.
Through conversation, we explore their careers, past work experiences and the education that got them to where they are now.
Today’s guest is Cristina Quintero.
Here’s our job talk with an author and community builder.
So, I mean, I have been a reader my entire life.
So when you are a reader, I think reading is breathing in writing is, you know, breathing out.
And so I actually that so students one I do write across a lot of dramas, so I’m working on a cookbook.
I do celebrity ghostwriting.
I have a picture book coming out with Penquin and Pandora in October of this year, which is very exciting.
And there may or may not be as equal coming.
And I also I’ve been working on conceived script, which is kind of fun developments and TV show ideas for it.
And yeah, in my my day to day life, I do have a 9 to 5 job writing doesn’t fully cover the bills at this point, but hopefully will not too long in the future.
Yeah, I know I would always be there, like I live it and but I guess, you know, I have a clue.
So I know all of those they were you might be able to get, but I wouldn’t tell you if you did.
Basically my agent here me with say there is a super famous person who in whatever field that they are in, are have an idea for a book and they need someone to write it because they’ve been solved or not the writer, but they have an idea.
They have a story they want to tell, and so someone like me get paid to write it for them.
And then when it comes out, it just says their name on the cover and not mine.
And I get paid.
No real welcome.
Yeah. Do it. Really cool. The court process was pretty wild.
So this the book coming out in October is the first book I had written.
The first book I wrote was actually when I went through breast cancer just about a decade ago now.
And going through breast cancer, every woman of color in a really small community, the resources were just literally not there.
So some of the things, you know, just a lot of the rehabilitation programs, you post mastectomy camps and, you know, I mean, you can feel kind of like a cruel that ended up having to do a rebrand on you know now such Tony Scott page, those kind of things anyways.
So it was more of a like hey, there are some things that this industry hasn’t really considered.
And I do say industry when I talk about breast cancer because a lot of it, you know, like that.
On if you’re like a bit of a machine.
So anyhow, when I go into it, what I recognized was part of the reason of that a lot of this knowledge is lost is that you’re so just happy that you done going through cancer that you probably want to keep talking about it many ways, right? So I kind of wrote a bit of a Girlfriends Guide to going into breast cancer.
And so what I did was I interviewed all the different people I knew that had been affected by it.
So I interviewed, interviewed men, women, children, children of survivors, children to defeat breast cancer.
You know, I guess victims I’m not sure what the word I want to use there, but either way, so I ended up kind of co-leading it into this a series of questions and I could interview kind of ended up forming a pain or generally speaking, these I think people want to talk about.
So when I talk to you about going through breast cancer reconstruction, I can tell you about my friend here who had just died or I can tell you about all Olga, whose diagnosis was really tricky because her her lump was non globular.
But what she found was that she like she explained it as a tortilla.
She said it felt like a little tortilla per lump, which is so interesting because she herself is referring.
So that was her reference on it. Right? So we all have this like the way that your background feeds into these things and how you then describe those things to a medical professional, they can be different.
So all that to say I wrote that there with the writers conference out inside the Syrian National Writers Conference, and even that I heard about talking to a bookstore owner in Kenmore who had herself written a couple of books as such, she’s like, Oh, you should go to Syria.
That’s where I might well, I’m going to guess I’m going to Surry.
I went to Syria, to Jeannette’s.
All right, This conference I had a manuscript that had a blue pencil by Suzanne appears like the Canadian author who if you’re it’s a kind of historical fiction. Like if you’re like Diana Gabaldon, for example, you would love Suzanne accurately.
So anyways, I BiPAP she took a class Roberta Gabaldon at that she’s a one who wrote Outlander that entire series.
And it was I met some cool people kind of just stayed in touch then it’s a pandemic.
I’m sitting at home and all, you know, as are we all, and we’re all making bread because it’s what we do.
But I had this thought and I’ve long had this this belief that everyone you’ll notice I have a little proggy necklace called Proggy, and it’s a bit of a Rorschach.
People very using like what do you think it is like is it it goes up.
Oh like yeah, I read that you are already pretty evident by that.
Yeah it is if you want it to.
Everyone’s going to dump me I and everyone has a brain.
So I, I ended up finding this contest online for this book festival called the Festival of Literary Diversity called the People.
And I had actually met Jael Richardson, the executive editor at Syria a few years ago.
And so on Twitter, I had seen that she put this thing up for a kid.
It’s like a big book page.
So I sat down 5 hours later, I stood up with like a rough copy and I hit send because I thought, Well, why not? I don’t know. There’s nothing else to do.
I guess I could go do a tour of my house, like, Hey, maybe I’ll be adventurous about my yard instead of my backyard.
So touring around my house, you know? And then I got a call actually somewhere in and my grandmother had actually passed, so I actually missed the series that email requesting, like, did did you want to do this? Like, hey, yeah, it’s yes, I do want to do this.
It luckily Arlo who is I don’t know that had fairy godmother over there basically double checked and she’s like, Hey, just before I pass this opportunity on to someone out, are you sure you want to pass? Oh, my gosh, I’m so sorry.
In my grandmother’s passing, I just missed this.
So they squeeze me in.
Turns out, they paired me with the editor from Penguin, which, luckily, I didn’t realize it was Penguin because I think I might have a lot of rules just a little bit.
You know, had I realized that that’s what I would that’s who I was going to be speaking with.
And anyway, so we we meet by Zoom.
KAGAN get into the Zoom room.
So I’m like emailing like crazy, like, Hey, I’m here.
So you’re in a climate again this year, Will we connect you like, oh, I was eating a dumpling the other day and I had this thought that you everyone has a darkly funny you should mention it.
So it was just like kismet, right? Like it just moment. Like what? All these lovely consequences that just kept happening.
So a couple of weeks later, I get an email.
It’s November ten as I’m 20, and I get an email from Penguin Random House saying, We would like to offer you a wine or a book deal, and it’s a beta.
No, because of my breast cancer book is actually fully written.
So I will say no.
But yeah, this was like my first like I’m a little bit of a unicorn in this world.
Like that needs to be acknowledged.
This is not a typical path.
And I also would love to acknowledge that I work behind the five drop, and I think that’s really key for artists to remember.
If if you are spending all your time trying to figure out how you’re going to pay your bills, your art is never going to flow.
So I am deeply grateful that I have a job that I kind of just go to.
I do it, it’s great.
And then I can come home and be interested in doing art and engaging in parts of me that are, you know, a little more dynamic.
So anyways, so through that whole process, I mean, stay in touch on Twitter through a couple of friends we met at three writers conference.
And so I get this book deal offer for one book actually a lot it work And then I, I messaged my friend like, Hey Robin, I have this book deal and I’m just not sure if I should get a lawyer to look at it.
And so she said, Well, you can, but wouldn’t you rather have an agent? And he said, Well, yeah, but how am I going to get an agent? And she’s like, You know, you have a book deal from Penguin in your hand, you can have a search.
She connected me, actually, with another writer whose agent was looking to sort of increase their load, their roster.
And after meeting with them and it turned out just because I do right across the spectrum, like again, in writing a couple of books right now, I’m working on a historical kind of biography of our family because I have a really interesting family background.
I’ll tell you more about after. But yeah.
Anyways, so long story short, I ended up connecting with these agents who were just sort of new to my agency, which is Transatlantic, which is up here.
Phenomenal, phenomenal, huge agency that actually just expanded into television.
So like, I love it.
The doors just open it open and open and open and open.
And I feel gratitude in my very narrow, honestly, for the people who have been so kind as to not just open doors, but to take the market pains as they walk through themselves.
And it’s like, hey, we’re here, but you got to come this way, right? And to make those connections because this business is nothing if not connection.
There are so many gifted writers that there there’s so many artists who haven’t found that that home for their art or their voice yet.
And I think a lot of it is just get to know people, be kind, be interested, be sincere, you know, you don’t have to buy every writer’s block that you talk to.
Go to the library, especially if you get Canadian authors, if they’re registered with the Writers union, Canada, which most of us has no good reason not to be, we get paid every time you take it out of the library.
So people, Yeah, absolutely.
You get royalty.
So people who think, Oh, well, you know, I can’t really buy that book.
Oh my gosh, you don’t have to. Please don’t.
You don’t go to the library, Request it.
Every library you have a copy.
Usually in 80.
I read it.
You know, I think it.
I mean, I think I know I’m never going to be that person who’s like, Oh, breast cancer may be a better person. You know what? I was pretty, but honestly, I wasn’t a serial killer.
I was good.
I didn’t need that level of improvement so much where people whose low intention words, you know, speak to that.
I yeah, I was just a super unlucky woman.
And actually, I mean, your wife is similar age demographic.
It will hold me and you know, it it sucks.
There’s no nights. It’s terrible.
I had to choose between a life and I had to walk in one day to a hospital knowing that when I left, I was leaving body parts behind.
It were awful.
It was a terrible no good, very, very bad day, you know? And I am glad that your wife is also not a tool for the needs, you know? But it’s tough, right? Because it’s not linear.
It’s not your body is forever changed.
You are forever changed.
You have a sense of time in a different way.
So I think what breast cancer did was just maybe reminded me a little bit that it might be slow, but the time is going to pass anyway.
So just try, right? Just just do the thing.
Just write out, see what they think.
And in my case, they got really lucky.
And now I have, you know, I’ve got this to show for it, which is very exciting.
And there, yeah, there will be more good news to come with regards to my public work.
So I know it’s called The Only.
Yeah, yeah, I would love to.
Okay, so first of all I’m going to do a huge shout out to Tundra Penguin.
So Tundra is a Canadian imprint that had created Imprint for Penguin, Random House.
And when they talk diversity, equity and inclusion, I’m going to tell you what I mean by that.
You guys, you will be able to see it.
But this is an embossed cover.
This is money.
When Penguin said that they care about stories about people of color and inclusion and equity and bringing to the table you in new cover that matters.
It meant it means that like you care they care that they said it and then they did it because plenty of places would stay.
The thing officially that they do to make a place workplace equitable, inclusive, diverse.
Give me representation, please, because I just I think we’ve made so many gains that advances as as a as a human rights in terms of seeing each other for who we are and our value.
And it’s okay to acknowledge that there’s still room to go.
Doesn’t make anyone a bad person.
It doesn’t make you bad because you haven’t considered that maybe your eye is your air recruiting.
Is that to prefer our resumes that have a four year degree versus a year to year? That’s doesn’t make you a bad person.
But how do you consider that some parts of the world that program may actually only be a two year program, right? So you may be without even meaning to write.
And it’s it’s not a matter of hate.
It’s not a matter of necessarily, you know, personal bias so much as just you haven’t considered this thing. So those are all the conversations that are so hard to have because they’re deep, they are rich and they are complex and they are so personal.
And a lot of those conversations feel a lot like finger pointing, the feeling of like, well, you didn’t ask that.
You said the thing.
Sometimes people say really crappy things.
Like I had a guy come into the office today and he was referring to the ethnic on his luck and he got, Oh yeah, I’m not going to win.
I’m spending zero time on this conversation with you because I had zero wins and I had zero skin in the game with you.
I mean, of course, that came out until my family.
How are you doing? I was like, okay, you ever run into this guy in all the other? Okay.
But, well, the one thing that we do all have in common, and actually Ava DuVernay, the filmmaker, she talked about everyone is human at the table and everyone is.
And that my book begins with the story of making bread.
And it’s a the only way to make bread is like this.
First, you need a table where it can be a counter and then you need a bowl.
But it can be any color minus blue, white on the inside, a kind of milky looking, and then you’re going to need flour.
And so I talked to you about the different kinds of flour.
And then I talked to you about the different kinds of ingredients that you might use in it.
And so you get to see in people’s kitchen and you get to see the way in which your bread ingredients are pulled in and different techniques are.
And then we talk about how you’re going to cook them and then we talk about the secret ingredient that we all have, of course, which is love, because, you know, it is that you make food with love and people know like every parent knows what it is to eat a really terrible Mother’s Day breakfast or Father’s Day, you know, but your kid has made it for you.
And you’re going to eat it, even if a pickle with, you know, pancake sirup with some very, very burnt, how like you’re going to eat it if you love it.
And then it ends with a community gathering and sharing all of their types of bread.
And really it ends with saying the only way to make bread is your way and throughout the entire book, what you do see is families from different parts of the world all living together in the same community, making bread in their way, and then coming to the table to share.
Because to me, yeah, cool, cool.
They’ll yeah life there have been is Filipina illustrator human all but she went actually re in Dubai I bogey what I always forget Saudi Arabia so yeah so she was raised in Saudi Arabia now lives in Montreal so a fantastic really vibrant artist her Instagram is Sarah Gonzalez essay RH go and Z alias and self-adhesive lates after two.
But anyways her work she her published work in the Atlantic.
She’s been in all kinds of stuff yeah like all over the sites that’s remarkable.
I can’t believe that my editor saw her work and then just made that connection of how perfect it would be.
And yeah, it’s she’s just a lovely human and very, very fortunate that I work with her and it’s yeah, her art honestly would be anything like if that it it’s really something else to look into a book and to see.
I mean, in my case, I get to look into the book.
Thank you Michael, quite literally, and make me write, but also for families to see themselves and to see.
Those are one of the last thing that like and again, this is where, you know, you say something and you do something is they included even a couple of pages for recipe.
So there’s my recipe for bread, which is a Colombian flatbread called editor.
And then there’s Sun Sole, which is a Filipino bread.
And then the cool thing that they did, even in terms of our just before those two pages, is two pages of other types of breads.
So including bread from all over the world and including Canada.
As part of that, they’re, you know, like my best friend parallels you make the world the best dinner buns that if anyone wants to prove me wrong, I will give you my address so you can get on to me and I’ll sample women.
I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you. You make them better. But yeah, it’s phenomenal.
Just we are this thing in common, right? We all. Everyone’s got to eat.
And the word companion literally means the person with whom you break bread.
And I think the heart of that language is to say that when you’ve broken bread with someone, you now share a path.
Right? It is so much harder for me to now dislike you or to want to disagree with you, or you want to just agree to disagree and walk away where we sat and we share that conversation.
We’ve had a meal together.
I know you you know, I let even just a tiny bit and you know me a tiny bit.
And it opened a flood gates of compassion and empathy to see each other.
And I understand how when I tell you that a woman of color going through breast cancer, it was very disheartened to already be going through it and then to realize that you’re is one more way in which this wasn’t set up to help me get better.
And it’s something as simple as the postal sector mechanics, old not being the skin tones, you know, that fall within.
And I’m not a particularly dark skinned Latina, you know, I’m much lighter than my siblings even. So it’s that level of thoughtfulness that when we talk about that hurts the equity inclusion.
I think people start to tune out because they think, Oh my God, I had to do that workshop check, like, got this or did that get high that were good.
But the truth is that that when we talk about those things, this is this infographic many of us have probably seen about and equity inequality.
And you see a group of kids like say it often or you see a group of people that have been and they’re trying to see over the head and you see that people are different heights or had different ability.
And so if you give everyone the same box at the quality, but if you give everyone the size box that they need to see over the head at equity and that is a conversation, it’s not thing that people are looking for more.
It’s saying that we’re looking for equal access to the same opportunity.
And so when you even build the world, if you’re thinking about building a physical building that can occur, make sure it’s a banked curve because you were going to anyone with wheels or any sort of mobility issues.
So whether that’s someone in a wheelchair, a walker, person with a stroller, a bicycle, rollerblade airport, you have now opened that space up to be accepting and open to everyone to approach it with safety, right? And so then everyone gets to feel that little bit better.
People feel better, they behave better, people are less crappy.
People feel understood.
They want to understand you to go to just that little bit extra patient when you get that.
But an extra patient and bespoke for me was a way of being able to call people through a table to say, Hey, maybe you need a table, but maybe I needed to ramp it.
Cool, because at the end of the day, we all get our brain out of the deal, right? And hey, let me tell you, they because some of my advice.
So how would you see? Oh, it’s so funny.
I’m like, I can’t remember what you actually ended up following with, but this is a great this is probably a really good book early years.
So part of like middle like elementary and preschool is probably really good.
But one thing I would tell you as a former family literacy coordinator and educator is every book is a children’s book.
If you just read the pictures, you know that the beauty of the picture book is that you read the pictures.
You have kids to show you.
Hey, can you show me something? Right? Can you show me something blue? Can you find the dog? Right.
Is there a Castro take you up? Is there her work, you know? Yes, I know the cat right there.
So you know.
Ah, yeah. Ideally. Ideally, yeah.
The kids who are going to enjoy this most probably early elementary and preschool.
But I think anyone who’s really interested in diversity, equity and inclusion and in making that an understanding maybe in a different way, what that means, I think this is a book that could be used in an art class.
Yeah, yeah, that’s a good I’m from Colombia.
I was born in Canada, but my parents arrived a year before I was born, so they haven’t quite realized that they left the country yet.
You know, I was raised in Colombia, inside in Canada.
It is that, you know, they they weren’t ready to let go.
So Spanish is actually my first language, English of 3 seconds. And then my dad descends from enslaved African actually in Colombia, Colombia, with a major slave trade route.
So my dad, that’s part of his heritage and obviously my and my mom descends from one of indigenous peoples of Colombia, the Juja and or Lusaka.
And so the cool thing about this for me is there are people, even my last name Quintero, ever actually necessarily our last name.
It’s the name of the person of the the slave owner who owned my life, like my first freed relative.
So in choosing to use that name, it is the one the most identify with in terms of my, you know, heritage, but it isn’t necessarily the name from which I derive the most strength.
So the word book that I am trying to the family history I’m working on is actually trying to find those story and to trace back, even just to know which nation my my ancestors would have been stolen from.
Because they’re like, when you look through those slave registers, that’s what you have to do as you’re going through the piece manifest and you’ll see how we’re really pounds of oranges.
However many pounds of cinnamon, however many pounds of this head dried fish, nine males this age roughly this many females pig flour.
That’s that’s heavy work.
And it’s extremely heavy work.
And I remember reading my laptop for a moment, and my son was nine at the time when I was starting this research.
And, you know, I left the room for a second and he came back and he typed in nine year old boys just to see like, you know, and there was there was like a series of nine year old boys that had been abducted, essentially stolen.
And and then soul mate.
So that word gets very heavy and very happy to take breaks from it and to focus on writing food stories and and to do celebrity projects, which can be kind of fun and distracting from some of your work, whose stories are equally worthy in terms of telling that.
Because also, you know, Colombia is a breed.
There is a heavy it very similar.
Colombia is actually so similar to Canada in many ways.
And so like I said, my mum descends for the cheap stuff.
So my mum went to what is essentially residential school in Colombia as a child.
So she had and would touch many things because it’s her story to tell about mine.
But she had many similar experiences that children in residential schools here had and so Colombia is this mix of colonial, so like Spanish, Portuguese, Italian blood, plus indigenous peoples and enslaved Africans.
So were this really lovely, beautiful.
I think the movie Encanto was a little confusing to people because they like, excuse me, but I lady has curly red hair and green eyes and is super fair.
But the truth is the phenotypes of Colombians are really broad because of that diverse history.
I think I’ll probably always write in English.
My hope is, of course, of course, I would hope that everything that actually would be written into.
But I think I’m also too far removed from living in Colombia for my entire life that I will be able to really, truly write in a way that I can express myself in English so that it may be my first language, but I would tell you it my mother tongue.
But it is more accurate to say that English really is my primary language.
Well, I haven’t had a bad review yet because that they know that.
But I pay my agents 15% and give me back said to be back.
So if you want to get good at anything, get good at receiving feedback because if I read the first iteration of this, like the very first draft, it was good, it was solid, it had lead, you know, it could go somewhere that said some sweat of in My agent at Penguin is an absolute goddess of editing and who was able to understand and even just to say, hey, my tongue is getting tripped up here, is there a different way that you can say this or, you know, and wondering about this? You haven’t talked about salt.
Actually, she’s like, like if it’s bread, shouldn’t there be salt in the book? You know what.
Yeah, some bread. You might.
You’re totally right. But I salt in there, you know so I think that if you want to get good at anything, get really good at taking that feedback.
If I wasn’t reading negative reviews, that’s a choice that is between you and your therapist.
If you choose to do that, I think I’m stupid, uninterested.
As long as my agency keep selling my book and everything.
So this book, again, I got the book offer on November 10th, 2020, and it hits the shelves October 3rd, 23 at almost three years.
Traditional publishing. Yeah, traditional.
Traditional publishing with very slow, very slow.
And it’s because it’s just you’re drinking so that when this book comes out, it’s a hit the country like I will never have to sit in front of a bookstore with a pile of books and try and convince people to buy them.
Penguin just will have it in every bookstore across the country.
You know, that’s that is a huge advantage if you if someone is considering telling a story.
My friend Phil, as a perfect example.
So Phil has this beautiful organization called Amy Phelps.
It is in honor of his late wife, Amy, who died of lung cancer at this startlingly, shockingly young age of 38.
And she was an ultra marathoner, scrappy little thing.
I think Amy was maybe why I beat it.
You know, maybe five.
True and built like an ultimate ultramarathon or so the last thing they were looking for was lung cancer.
She didn’t have any of the lifestyle factors that might have been considered.
So by the time they started looking at that, they were like, this is kind of crazy, but we’re going to do that book that just just it’s weird.
But at the while, sure enough, it was to rate on stage for what athletic and it didn’t deep lung and she but I so the beast that woman was an absolute marvel of grace and kindness and strength and endurance and love love love love love allied.
She left behind this massive legacy of love because she were that person.
You know, I ever when we got to meet Amy a handful of times, but my husband actually was roommate with her husband when we met my husband actress met so, you know, the way that she just created waves of love in his community.
So they had a rental property that then after her passing, Bill actually started a nonprofit called Amy House.
They had this beautiful event called Made Up Artist.
Check it out. You’ll be so happy you did it.
You’ve got a bare wall or something that you bought it.
IKEA once upon a time, like do the elevator, go to the head of artist, buy some art.
It’s local and it support Amy course which is essentially like a Ronald McDonald House or adult outside of Edmonton who are coming into town for blood cancer treatment and it is full and actually they just opened up Amy’s house to it, which is remarkable.
And anything and it goes to show that kind of a community really like soul just got out of the way of the kindness of the community and created this incredible, incredible place.
And Phil, he blogged every single day on Facebook and also Instagram.
But I think Facebook about he and Amy, their story.
It is a love story that puts the notebook to shame, truly, because it is one of just intense logging commitment.
And their young family, their kids were so little when Amy and I, my kids were so my kids were three and six when I was sick.
So I had a great compassion for their situation.
And anyways, for Phil, he was like three years.
I can’t do it.
I can’t I can’t wait three years.
So with the help of some friends, he got the book edited and then put it out and it’s called Run on Amy, and it’s available at Bonnie doing shop location at nine Devoted Gallery.
So he was the person who couldn’t wait for traditional publishing to tell the story at Right.
Edit Or should he be quiet in the meantime, what people need to understand is that lung cancer isn’t just for smokers, right? So he waited three years for him.
He understood the urgency of I have to tell people this story.
I have to tell people because what if someone else is in a similar circumstances and doesn’t pursue testing and doesn’t know what to ask and all of those things? And, you know, you and I have now all this cancer wrote out.
It was supporters or survivors or as I call myself, you know, you know, the matter of urgency is that when you hear that word, when you hear cancer, you’re like, okay, so what now? Please? But what next? And is it now? Because I’m ready now, You know, like, let’s go.
So yeah, so Phil was able to publish Self-Publish and put that out.
And it’s amazing because who knows how many lives that are made? The number of live the lives it touched is it’s I didn’t even know right because she in her journey just discovered that I believe it’s Canadians a day not sure what the current number are diagnosed with lung cancer so she did a campaign called lung just for lung cancer.
So chemo she would have like videos of herself doing the number of lunges for the number of Canadians that were diagnosed that day.
And it was a movement that actually went around the whole world.
People were sending in videos from all over the world doing lunges for lung cancer as an awareness campaign.
And it was so great because it wasn’t just awareness, it was action or other.
Yeah, for sure.
If you’re a control freak and you have absolute, you are singular.
And no, I mean, it wasn’t I don’t mean it sounds disrespectful, but let’s just acknowledge that we’ve all in a little something.
And if you are a person for whom your aversion is singular and you feel like Ed publishers, they’re not going to understand your very unique world view and you are passionate and you’re you you’re committed to the product who self-published.
You know what? You lose very little, honestly.
Why not take the risk what the Gretzky that you made how to reason that you know right I’m going to give time I just made a fatal hockey reference tool He’s going to be like you didn’t know about.
Well, then I would tell you the Stanley Cup parties story that make Joel angry.
But yeah, well.
Well, I think writer’s block is the action.
And I think like, no, I there is always I’ve always had something to write about, my husband would tell you, but falling asleep beside me is possibly the worst thing ever.
Because I’m like, Hey, have you ever thought about, like, what did parthenogenesis even mean? And he’s like, it literally and 30.
Could you be not, you know, her brain it doesn’t stop but he also means about kind of little notebooks all over the place.
I have these fantastic little notebooks that I kind of have in my purse, just like big little plane notebooks of thick, weird sticker on them, provided they don’t like boring thing.
And each one of them probably has like a couple of pages of ideas where that all like circle back is that idea right? Every now and then I’ll do a phone dump.
So I’ll look in my phone, I’ll look in my note that’s been in all my weird things.
He is like, why tell me about at with Phantom? Like, what was I thought was that like a super deep thing or was it like, Oh my God, that would be so funny.
Is this thing right? So I’m getting better at my own personal for and now that I can understand my own. No, but yeah it’s I think writing is also a practice which I definitely had a lot of room for improvement at because, you know, people like Ursula Halligan, she had Stephen King say thing that people who have prolific careers that were just epic at how much volume their output they’ve got down to brass tacks every single.
They just sat down and wrote it.
It was just crack it all.
They wrote in a day with this news crap.
This is crap.
They spent an entire day practicing writing, which just, you know, muscle building of, Oh, yeah, yeah.
This is kind of.
But yeah this is so one thing with my agent, the agency I’m with, they have now expanded into television.
And so at this point, I’d actually written a couple of show Bibles, which is really fun.
So show Bible is essentially think of world building.
So I start with the concept and then I build the whole world.
I write a couple of episodes and then my agency pitches, you know, potentially to external partners or actually we’ve now got a division which in our book to television and film the and you know, so if you have a book deal that let’s just paper every hundred dollars they get 15 so 15% basically of whatever you are offered on your agents.
And can I just tell you I would be I’m so happy to pay that 15%.
I really am.
Anyone who thinks, Oh, but the thing with publishing traditionally has yet to pay all its money, I think.
Yes, but I went I got a one book deal with Penguin, ended up meeting with my agents, and I was like, Oh yeah.
I mean, I had this other idea.
They were like, Well, tell us which was the sequel to this book.
And, you know, they’re able to turn around and pitch that to Penguin and to say, Hey, well, actually, you know, what is a book to write? So I didn’t have that ability to have that confidence or that industry know how, Hey, the money and the money every time.
Hey, to prose, do only do what only you can do.
You know that level executive function work with that.
Really the thing that makes you amazing.
Do that thing as much as you can. You can.
I suck at social media.
My husband is so great.
Listen, he got me a website that offered up like a year ago.
I am the absolute worst and falling through with actually inserting content into this thing.
Like it, you know, I know that I suck at it.
So luckily I have a teenager who I’m very much planning on paying to look.
Hey, here’s the deal.
I’m terrible at this.
You seem pretty cool if you don’t want you also.
But you have a friend who wants to make the money.
Just tell me. And I’m very happy to pay them.
They can get it done and then it’s done and I didn’t have to do it.
That’s fantastic for me.
For people’s expertise.
Oh, if you want people to pay for yours, so be willing to pay for other people’s right.
Reciprocity is the key to success.
Are you be kind.
It’s what opened the door for you and they don’t need you to open one for them.
You better open it for the person behind you.
There is room at the table for literally everyone.
This is not it’s not high, you know, it’s not a some zero game.
We can we can make room for everyone.
There is room for everyone to succeed and to help a great need and to have what they want.
Absolutely share, invest in yourself and go check out a conference.
Find wherever you live.
I promise you, there’s got to be something either in your city or close to you.
Find a conference that looks interesting to you.
Go check it out. Go.
It’s a really boring quotation marks, forums, panels.
All those kind of discussions go to the ones specifically with editors and publishers.
Yes, it was amazing taking a class from panic available when they’re with me and like what, nine other people in that room.
It was remarkable.
It is a lady who’s like, borrowed all this incredible contents and any storyline, the new characters that people now love and, you know, embraced, that was cool.
And what was equally valuable to me was take taking it every panel on, working with an editor, working with a illustrator, any of those things, all that technical know how that’s the stuff that’s going to matter.
So that when you pitch a book.
So about pitching a picture book, I now know that for my picture, No, if I’m not an illustrator, I’m going to just give a general idea of how I envision that page looking.
And that’s a guideline.
It’s a bit of like a here’s some suggestions for that illustrator in the editor, but the editor is very much a part of that story, which again, you wouldn’t know unless you’re either talking to someone who’s had the experience or you go on to a panel.
So taking all the industry things that you can and also just sit down and write literally, right, Even if it sucks, even if you’re like, Oh my gosh, this is terrible, the top of your page, write worst one will copy started off.
Do that. If that’s your base level, do it.
Whatever you’ve got to do to make yourself do the thing.
If it means that on that first day, all you do is write out your grocery list.
But you write it on that page.
Do it the second day yellow, read a poem that you like or find a book that you love.
And I maybe a page really inspiring to you and copy of the paragraph.
Literally make yourself physically do the thing.
It will get you into a place that then when your idea is ready, when you’re kind of ready to get out of your own way, it will flow.
This book again, I literally wrote my first draft in 5 hours, right? So the only way to make bread, I wrote it in 5 hours and five years of thinking about how Pierogis and Empanadas and Joe’s that and more.
And and some Moses are the same thing for this format.
And just with the pandemic, bread was timely.
And so bread was on my mind because, of course, we’re all making our dough.
So bread was the right medium for this box for emerge.
But it came from all of that thinking and research and research for me is eating.
I get to eat more stuff all the time. It me.
I get to know cool people other than like me.
Have you ever tried one? I thought, Oh, it tastes so good with that thing you got over there.
I wish I could type some, but.
But the might it? Yeah.
You know, that’s not that’s not in there yet.
How about instead of going Instagram, which is the quick arrow underscore writer so you you I A.R.
Oh underscore writer and I do you know people can message me all that kind of stuff but eventually I will have my website up and sooner rather than later because my publicist it’s like going to be bold, but it’s done if you’ve got good hair.
So that would be really neat of me. But well, thank you.
On that I say to you for having me.
Thank you for tuning in to the Job Talk podcast.
For more information, please visit us at the job.
Our podcast music was created by our friend Mike Malone in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.