Interview with Kandy Siahaya, Author of Making Light of Being Heavy

Kandy Siahaya was raised in a small town in Maine where she graduated from high school in 1984. She worked her way up from her first job as CSW to Manager of Kentucky Fried Chicken and ended up in Brunswick, Maine. When she decided to leave the fried chicken business at age 22, she packed up her little Chevy Chevette and moved to Fort Myers, Florida where she worked as a waitress and had a great time as a single girl in her 20's. Reality hit when she was 25 years old and went back to Maine and received her Associates Degree at Beal College and promptly moved back to Florida and started a career in medical transcription. In 1995 at age 29, she met her future husband and moved to North Miami Beach, Florida, and continued with transcription starting her own business.

In 2002, Kandy left North Miami Beach and moved back to Maine with her five year old son and eventually divorced in 2005. Kandy still does medical transcription but had an unexpected decline in work which left her with a lot of time on her hands. This is when she decided to write a book. this is something she had been thinking about for a few years but never had the time because she was always so busy with her business. It was meant to be a quick and funny read, something to brighten the outlook of many that really do not see the light through their own tunnel vision. It was also intended to be insightful for those that could never possibly relate to this specific subject. Kandy has succeeded in doing just that with Light of Being Heavy.

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Welcome to The Writer's Life, Kandy. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

I have a pretty busy career doing medical transcription and raising my son, Nickolai, who will be 12 soon. I have always thought about writing but never had the time to work on anything. When I had a decline in work back in 2005 I decided to just start writing Making Light of Being Heavy. I have a good friend who has battled with weight issues her whole life as well and we had talked about how it would be funny to put this point of view out there.


Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

Making Light of Being Heavy is a comical look at being a fat in today's society, from my perspective. I wrote it hoping that some "weight" could be lifted off a subject that is criticized not only by society as a whole but by many individuals as well, fat and skinny. Again with the cliches but....Life is too short to be miserable and everybody could use a good laugh on a daily basis. With my book I describe certain instances that I could laugh off and offer my opinion on other fat-related topics all with a spin to hopefully get you laughing and thinking.


What kind of research was involved in writing Making Light of Being Heavy?

Because Making Light of Being Heavy was primarily based on my personal observations and opinions, the little research I did do to corroborate what I was saying was minimal.


How much input did you have into the design of your book cover?

I created the design myself. I put the feather on the heavy end of the scale with the hippo on the light end to bring home the point again that the book is just what the title says - Making Light of Being Heavy.


Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?

It has been a long ride, not necessarily bumpy, but long. This is something I expected though because in researching the best way to get my book out there, I would read posts from agents, published authors and unpublished authors and they all pretty much say the same thing, do not give up.


Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

I do not have an agent at this time. Not for lack of trying though. This is definitely a business one has to be persistent and consistent in your efforts it you want something to happen. I did a lot of research looking for agents and/or publishers, also on self-publishing, as well as the many ways to promote a book. It can be overwhelming at times but I will continue to persevere. I think I am on the fence whether I need an agent or not, probably yes but not entirely sure at this point. This virtual book tour is providing Making Light of Being Heavy with a platform which I will use to continue to promote my book even after the tour is done.


Do you plan subsequent books?

Yes, I think I do. All my friends and family want a followup to Making Light of Being Heavy.....I have been tossing around topic ideas but still not quite sure :)


Are you a morning writer or a night writer?

Night, definitely. I have always been a night owl.


If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?

Does paying off promoters for a spot on Ellen Degeneres or Regis count? Just kidding :) That is a tough question. I am thinking I would get a very well-known expensive publicist to just run with it and hope that the old saying "there is no such thing as bad publicity" is really true.


How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?

I think self-promotion is very important. If people cannot see that you can validate what you are talking about then promotion really is useless. Online I have been focusing on the book tour but offline I have been talking to everyone about my book and checking with local bookstores and publications to promote it with reviews and signings.


Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?

Perseverance is definitely the key. Many are going to say no, but it will eventually land on the desk of a person that says yes. Just always believe that :)


Thank you for coming, Kandy. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

Thank you for the interview!
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