It's been a while since I have posted an author interview, as I had been busy getting ready for my book launch. Now that it's all done, I can get back into the swing of things and share more interviews with you again of some amazing indie authors! Today's interview is with Kim Wilch, who recently released her debut picture book, Peter the Turtle Can't Poop. Kim has been an extremely supportive friend on Instagram and I'm so excited to share more about her publishing journey!
Hi Kim! Can you tell us a bit about yourself? K: Hi, I’m Kim Wilch. I live in Nebraska with my husband of 35 years, 2 pups, a litter box trained bunny, and a duck that quacks me up. I’m a mom to two boys and grandma to three grandchildren I adore. We love to go camping almost every weekend, life is better on the river. I lack patience but can sit for hours waiting for just the right photo. I have several volunteer jobs and recently spent two months volunteering at the turtle hospital on South Padre Island.
I absolutely adore your bunny and duck. And I don't think I know anyone else who owns a duck! I love that you are volunteering at the turtle hospital too, especially now that you have published a book about a turtle!
So what inspired and motivated you to write your first book and how long did it take from the initial idea to publishing?
K: My first attempt at a book was Rock Bottom Has a Basement. It’s a fictionalized story of a time in my life that saps my soul. Needing a diversion, my grandson and I brainstormed about writing a children’s book. He came up with the main character, Peter the Turtle, and the problem, he can’t poop. My son wanted it to be a scratch and sniff… I decided this was a perfect opportunity to teach about the environmental hazards turtles face. The book took six months to write, have illustrated, and to publish. It’s been the most exciting, and often frustrating process. Now that it’s published, I’m thrilled to be a published author - my dream come true.
It's such a great book! And congratulations on the success of your book launch and tour!
What were some of the challenges you encountered and how did you overcome them?
K: There is so much to learn! Who would think a 28-page book would be mind blowing? Not me! I’m thankful for the guidance of the children’s author group of Instagram and namely, Irenee - YY Chan. Without their unbelievable support, Peter the Turtle Can't Poop wouldn’t have been published. I’ve gained a fantastic group of friends who I will always be grateful for!
Aww I'm so touched! And thank you so much for including me in your Acknowledgements page. It is so sweet. It's definitely important to have a supportive group of friends who can help you on this journey. I know I've learned a lot from others as well, and still continuing to learn!
What has been the most rewarding experience since publishing your first book?
K: Finding my book in the Amazon search was the first reward of the process. Then the reviews began rolling in and I cried happy tears with every kind and supportive word. Peter the Turtle Can't Poop reached #1 new release in several categories, and you guessed it, more happy tears! If my work helps one sea creature or reminds one person that litter belongs in a bin, I’ve accomplished my goal.
That's such an incredible feeling, isn't it? I cried many happy tears after publishing my first book too. And you've definitely accomplished your goal, and more!
So, what was it like launching your first book? What did you learn from the experience? If you could do it again, what would you do differently?
K: The work leading up to launch day is grueling, it’s all a matter of meticulous timing. I often wondered if I had indeed lost my mind attempting it. Then launch day came and it’s a rush that’s hard to describe. I’m sure I made mistakes but I gave it my best shot. In the end, I am proud to bring the book to the world.
I think you did a fantastic job for a first book launch! All the preparation and marketing leading up to it was so well-planned as well.
What would you say is the most valuable lesson you have learned from self-publishing?
K: Remember when I said I lack patience? Self publishing has taught me patience is indeed a virtue!
Haha! I know what you mean! I remember getting so impatient when I didn't hear from the formatter for more than a week!
Have you had any negative experiences or disappointing moments throughout your publishing journey? How did you handle them?
K: Of course there were negative moments in the journey. I absolutely refuse to let the poopy pants rain on the parade. I chose instead to focus on the good - the fantastic reviews, amazing supporters, and to celebrate a dream come true.
I love your attitude! Yes, it's best to focus on the good. They far outweigh the bad stuff.
What advice would you give to other aspiring writers or authors?
K: Two words - support system! Not your family or friends, but other authors who have traveled the journey. They’re the ones that will get you across the finish line. Of course, you need to be willing to give too - but I found what I gave came back tenfold. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for them.
You definitely do give so much, Kim! I'm truly grateful for all your support!
How do you go about marketing? Do you have any tips for first time authors?
K: I attended a lot of webinars, gathered information, took notes, and found what worked for me. Don’t rush it - sit back and observe what others are doing and then put your own spin on it.
Oh, yes. Definitely don't rush it. That's often been my mistake!
Ok. Let's play a game. Finish the following statement: I would love it if (someone famous) could read my book.
K: I wish Betty White would have had a chance to read Peter the Turtle Can't Poop. With her love of animals, I believe she would have supported the book and got it in the hands of more people to make a real difference for our sea creatures. She would have taken the humorous story and made it SHELLarious!
Aw that would have been amazing! She's such a legend.
What are your plans for the next few years? K: I plan to finish Rock Bottom Has a Basement. I believe it needs to be told for the people-pleasers of the world. Through a ridiculous (but entertaining) series of events, personal growth definitely changed my outlook of killing myself to helping others. In five years, I will be on the set of the movie watching Jack Nicholson and Sandra Bullock play out the story. That would pretty cool if they play it! I remember you talking about this book, and I just love that title! I look forward to reading it.
Finally, can you tell us a bit more about your book?
K: On his adventure, Peter discovers treasures on the beach. Little does he know how harmful litter is to a turtle. Alone on his journey, he gets stuck on the shore and has tummy troubles. Who will come to his rescue? Will he be able to poop? While laughing, children will learn the importance of friendship, healthy eating, and putting litter in a bin.
Peter the Turtle Can't Poop is available on Amazon in paperback and ebook. You can also read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited! Help train our children so sea creatures can have a better future. Free Coloring Pages are available for download: http://onemoreexclamation.com/peter-the-turtle/ I just love this book! I wish you every success with it, and all the best finishing Rock Bottom Has a Basement!
Thank you so much for sharing about your author and publishing journey with us!
Check out the video below for a sneak peek into Kim's book:
You can find out more about Kim and her book by visiting her website or following her on social media.
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