Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Interview With Author & Business Book Strategist Cathy Fyock


1. What is your new book, Writer Crisis Hotline, about? As book coaches, Allie and I have heard about all the obstacles that block the best efforts of writers: not enough time, lack of focus, the imposter syndrome, and more. We decided to write a book specifically addressing these issues so that writers can go to one source for solving their toughest problems. We've written it in "Dear Abby" style, with the common questions posed by writers, followed with our best advice. Writers can go directly to their specific issue for guidance and support. 

2. What inspired you to pen it? Our inspiration for Writer Crisis Hotline came from our one-on-one clients and group coaching participants' questions and problems. While many books on writing address the process, we wanted to create a book filled with specific ideas for overcoming these problems. 

3. What are the biggest fears writers have? Writing is a vulnerable experience, as the writer shares their values, principles, and wisdom. Unlike the spoken word, the written word has permanence and gravitas, and often blocks even the most confident thought leaders and professionals. Many writers experience some version of the Imposter Syndrome--feeling exposed. I recall that my greatest fear in writing my first book was that my readers would know that I had "documented for the world my level of incompetence"-- Yikes. That's heavy stuff. We offer suggestions for overcoming these fears, and help normalize these fears in the process. 

4. For writers that say they can’t find time to write, what do you say? While we're all busy people today, you DO have time to write. Allie and I are constantly amazed by what is generated during two-minute writing prompts with our group coaching clients, especially when they are really focused and the timer is set. Allie and I suggest using a timer, and setting it for less time that you think you need in order to quit editing and to get in the flow.

5. Are writers their own worst enemy? Why? Allie and I have seen that many writers just need to get out of their own way! They overthink their books, believing that stewing over each word will create gems of wisdom, only to find that they end up writing very little or that the writing they do is labored. We see that writers often flourish within a group setting, and that's one of the reasons we believe so much in our group coaching model. 

6. You co-authored the book with an international best-selling author. Was it hard to share one voice throughout the book? That is a great question, and one that we really wondered about. We split up the chapters and wrote about half the book, and then I reorganized the files and took our names off the chapters we had penned. When we reviewed the chapters, neither of us could tell the difference in our chapters! I think that's due in part to the partnership we have forged over several years of working together providing writing retreats, writing challenges, and our group coaching. There are a few areas in which we differ in our approaches, and we share these in the spirit that there is often not one right way 

7. As a business book strategist, you have helped more than 200 people write their books, over nearly 15 years. What is that process like? Over the ten years I've worked as a book coach, I've refined my process slightly based on the results of my clients. I always begin with a strategy session that defines the strategic elements of the book: purpose, thesis, ideal reader, structure, and project plan. We meet weekly to discuss obstacles, and I provide feedback on chapters as we go. I now have a separate group--my Speaker Author Mastermind--that helps my authors develop their plan for marketing and promoting their books. 

8. How does this one compare to your earlier books? The approach and style of this book is distinct from my previous books on writing since it is focused on providing specific solutions. And, it's always so much fun collaborating with a coauthor who brings in a unique perspective and voice. 

9. You encourage authors to adopt your writer’s pledge. What is it? I developed my Writers Pledge early in my coaching process with the input from my authors. We say it together at the beginning of our group coaching sessions, retreats, and other workshops and programs. My authors love it, since it reminds us all of the commitment needed to write our books, and focuses on the big WHY of our writing: to make the world a better place, one word at a time. Here's the pledge: 

I pledge that I will use my power to make today a fantastic day. I will block writing time on my calendar, and I will honor that time commitment and hold it as sacred, creative time.  

I pledge that I will not allow my negative voice to guide my thinking or stop my creative process. I will surround myself with people who love me and support my writing.  

I pledge to tell my story--to share my experiences--with authenticity and without apology. I know that in telling my story I can provide others with the gifts of hope, wisdom, and joy.   

I pledge that I will continue to work so that I gain clarity and focus for my readers, audiences, and clients. Then I can continue to make the world a better place, one word at a time.  

About The Author: Cathy Fyock, CSP, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is The Business Book Strategist and works with professionals and thought leaders who want to write a book as a business development strategy.  She is the author of twelve books, including—On Your Mark: From First Word to First Draft in Six Weeks, Blog2Book: Repurposing Content to Discover the Book You’ve Already Written, My New Book, and with coauthor Lois Creamer, The Speaker Author: Sell More Books and Book More Speeches. Her book, Authority, is an anthology about the power of authorship and was a Wall Street Journal bestseller. Her newest book, coauthored with bestselling author Allie Pleiter, is Writer Crisis Hotline: The Write Solutions for Authors. Since beginning her business in 2014, she has helped over 230 professionals become published authors. She believes that we all have a purpose, and that our stories are the way in which we share our truth with others. She is certain that authors can and do change the world, one word at a time. Website:


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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on LinkedIn. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2023. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog, and El Chapo, a pug rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This award-winning blog has generated over 3.4 million pageviews. With 4,600+ posts over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult:  

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