Interview with Ingrid King, author of Buckley's Story

Ingrid King is a former veterinary hospital manager turned writer. She writes and publishes the online magazine News for You and Your Pet, covering topics ranging from conscious living to holistic and alternative health. She shares her experiences with consciously creating a joyful, happy and healthy life for pets and people on her popular blog, The Conscious Cat. Ingrid lives in Northern Virginia with her tortoiseshell cat Amber. Visit www.ingridking.com.

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

Ingrid: I haven’t been writing professionally all that long, but I’ve been writing in some shape or form all my life. I started writing professionally when I launched my online magazine News for You and Your Pet about three years ago. Initially, the purpose of the magazine was to help market my Reiki business, Healing Hands (I offer Reiki treatments for pets and for people). In the process of writing and producing the newsletter, I found that I thoroughly enjoyed writing for publication and sharing information about living a happy, healthy life for pets and people. Earlier this year, I started my blog The Conscious Cat as yet another outlet for my writing. I also published several book reviews in NOVA Dog Magazine over the past couple of years. My first book, Buckley’s Story – Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher, was published this September.


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

Ingrid: Buckley’s Story is a story about the important role animals play in our lives by teaching us universal lessons about opening the heart and living a joyful life. It’s also my story of what it’s like to live with a cat with a terminal illness - in Buckley’s case, that was heart disease - and all that comes with it: making treatment decisions, maintaining a positive attitude in the face of a poor prognosis, and ultimately, having to make end of life decisions for her. The book also offers advice on how to cope with the devastating grief that can come with losing a beloved pet. Ultimately, the book is a celebration of the connection between animals and humans, a connection that transcends the physical dimension.

I’ve always believed that animals are amazing teachers, and I’ve been fortunate to have a number of these animals in my life, most of them, cats. But none changed my life as much as Buckley did in the three short years she was with me. Maybe it was a case of “when the student is ready, the teacher appears” – and in my case, the teacher came in a seven pound feline body! When I reflected back on the many wonderful ways in which she changed my life, I realized that most of the lessons she taught me were universal spiritual lessons, and I wanted to share the lessons and her story with the world.

What kind of research was involved in writing Buckley’s Story?

Ingrid: Since the book is interspersed with information on cat health in general and heart disease in particular, I spent quite a bit of time researching those topics. Even though I worked in the veterinary profession for almost twelve years and have a thorough understanding of the field, I wanted to be sure that I used the most recent information. Veterinary medicine, just like human medicine, is an ever changing discipline and information can get outdated very quickly.


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

Ingrid: I choose to self-publish, and I couldn’t be happier with my choice, so it was pretty smooth sailing for me.


For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?

Ingrid: I choose my publisher in February of this year after several months of researching various self-publishing options. I submitted the final manuscript in May, and the book came out the end of September.

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?

Ingrid: Since I choose to self-publish, I did not pursue getting an agent at that time.


Do you plan subsequent books?

Ingrid: Absolutely. I have several ideas that I’m working on.


Can you describe your most favorite place to write?

Ingrid: My office. About three years ago, I purchased my dream desk, and earlier this year, I purchased my dream desk chair. I love everything about my office – the look, the energy, I’m surrounded by things I love, and one of Amber’s favorite sleeping places is the window perch next to my desk.


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

Ingrid: Can you pay to get on Oprah? Seriously, if money was no object, I would purchase radio, television and print advertising.


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

Ingrid: I think self-promotion is extremely important, especially for an independently published author, although I’m hearing from many traditionally published authors that the major publishing houses don’t put all that much marketing money behind their authors anymore, either. I’ve utilized social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to create buzz for the book and build a following of potential readers. I’ve found these sites to be very effective, and I also really enjoy them, I think it’s a fun way to promote. I’ve also found blogging to be a great promotional tool, both in terms of getting word about the book and by building relationships with other bloggers. And I love to blog!

What’s the most common reason you believe new writers give up their dream of becoming published and did you almost give up?

Ingrid: I think it’s hard to stay positive when so much of what you hear about the publishing industry and getting published is full of gloom and doom - how hard it is to get published, how you can’t make money being a writer, how there’s so much competition. You have to have a pretty strong belief in yourself and your writing to counteract that. I believe that if you are passionate about your writing, you will succeed.


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

Ingrid: Keep writing, and don’t give you on your dream. Surround yourself with people who support your dream and who cheer you on. Get rid of the naysayers. Believe in yourself.


Thank you for your interview, Ingrid. I wish you much success!

Ingrid: Thank you for this opportunity – I thoroughly enjoyed it!
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