Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Interview With Author Janet Folk


  1. Why did you write this book?  Writing “Hell In High Heels:How I Conquered My Demons” is my means of confronting the stifling silence that surrounds addiction and its recovery.  Through my narrative, I aimed to offer a candid window into that harrowing journey of overcoming addiction.   It was essential for me to shed light on the topic, breaking the cycle of shame and secrecy that often prevents individuals from seeking assistance.  This was definitely the case with me.  But “Hell In High Heels” was not just about sharing my story; it became an intrinsic part of my recovery process.  Articulating my journey, revisiting my challenges and achievements, allowed me to process and understand my past.  It served as both catharsis and therapy.  My hope was that by candidly confronting my demons on paper, it might help both me and other to heal and move forward.


  1. What is it about and who is it really for? The memoir is a candid reflection of my life, capturing the roller coaster of emotions and experiences that have shaped me.  With a significant portion of the narrative deals with my personal confrontation with addiction, it also shines a light on my forays into a male-dominated business world, where I faced both success and significant challenges.  This dimension of the story offers a nuanced perspective on the struggles and triumphs of women in business, emphasizing the strength and tenacity required to navigate and succeed in such environments.  The memoir, therefore, isn’t solely an addiction recovery tale,it’s also an empowering account for women seeking inspiration to break barriers, assert themselves, and make their mark, especially in areas traditionally dominated by men.  This makes the book a beacon for a diverse group of readers.  Whether you’re battling personal demons, trying to carve a niche in the professional world against the odds, or simply looking for a testimony of the indomitable spirit of determination, this memoir seeks to resonate, inspire and offer a message of hope.


  1.  What do you hope readers will get out of reading your book? More than just a memoir, my story serves as an urgent call to challenge and dismantle these barriers of judgement, paving the way for more compassionate, understanding, and supportive societal frameworks. By sharing my darkest moments and subsequent rises, I hope to exemplify the boundless potential that lies within each of us, even when confronted with seemingly insurmountable odds.   I envision my readers finishing the last page with a renewed sense of hope and a belief in the transformative power of perseverance and self-belief.  It’s my sincere aspiration that this memoir will encourage those grappling wit their own battles to recognize that there is light beyond the shadows, that recovery isn’t just a distance dream but an attainable reality, and that each of us holds the key to our own redemption.


  1.  How did you decide on your book’s title and cover design? The title “Hell In High Heels” carries a playful undertone, acknowledging my known penchant for heels in the corporate world. It was an open secret in the office that my heels weren’t just shoes but a defining aspect of my identity.  Today the beautiful heels are just a distant memory!!  However, the deeper resonance of the title captures the duality of my journey, external poise juxtaposed with internal turmoil.  When it came to the cover design, it was crafted with immense thought and personal touch.  An extremely talented artist (Michael Mankowski), who’s not just a close friend but also a cherished business partner who is mentioned in the book, took on the project.  Drawing inspiration from my impressive shoe collection and compilation of pictures of my now “lost” Gulfstream jet and travel photographs. 


  1. What advice of words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers? Writing is a profoundly personal journey, and my foremost piece of advice would be to stay genuine, humble and dig deep.  Authenticity is the soul of compelling storytelling, and it resonates far more profoundly than any crafted or exaggerated narrative. While it might be tempting to modify your story for broader appeal or to shield oneself from vulnerability, true power lies in presenting the unfiltered essence of your experiences.  Confront your past, embrace the present, and dream for the future.  Don’t shy away from addressing painful truths or raw emotions.  It’s often those very narratives, the ones that stir us to our core and challenge our emotional fortitude, are the ones that most need to be shared.


  1. What trends in the book world do you see—and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading? It’s an exhilarating time to be an author.  We’re witnessing a democratization of the publishing industry, where thanks to self-publishing platforms, every voice has the opportunity to be heard.   This has led to an influx of diverse stories, granting readers access to an array of experiences and perspectives that might have remained untapped in earlier times.  I believe there’s a rising hunger for raw, unfiltered narratives, ones that don’t shy away from the messiness of human existence but instead embrace and celebrate it.


  1.  Were there experiences in your personal life or career that came in handy when writing this book? Absolutely.  Every aspect of my life, each high and low, became integral to the narrative I was crafting.  Navigating the intricate dynamics of the insurance and warranty world taught me the art of resilience, strategy, and understanding hu-“man” behavior.  These lessons from being a female CEO unexpectedly lent themselves to the pages of my book, offering a unique juxtaposition between corporate life and personal vulnerability.  On the other hand, my deeply personal battles against addiction, catfishing, and sexual abuse imparted invaluable lessons on the human spirit’s capacity to heal, grow and overcome. Each experience, no matter how harrowing or uplifting, enriched the narrative, making it a raw, genuine reflection of life’s myriad challenges and triumphs.  I often say, had I tried to pen this story two decades ago, I wouldn’t have possessed the depth of understanding or the breadth of experiences that I do now. Life, with all its twists and turns, prepared me to share this tale in its most authentic and impactful form.


  1. How would you describe your writing style?  Which writer or books is your writing similar to? Well, diving into the writing realm, I often light heartedly describe my style as “word vomit” – it’s unfiltered, perhaps a tad messy, but authentically me.  Everything’s just laid out for the world to see.  While I didn’t intentionally model my writing after any particular author I always hoped to channel the same raw honesty that I found in Lisa F. Smith’s “Girl Walks Out Of A Bar: A Memoir”.  If I had to draw a parallel, that would be it.  Like Smith, my aim was to pull no punches and share my unvarnished truths.


  1.  What challenges did you overcome in the writing of this book? Absolutely, delving deep into my past and confronting my most painful memories was a daunting task.  Every chapter that touched upon my traumas felt like reopening old wounds.   The mental toll was significant.  It was like walking a tightrope between healing and reliving the pain.  There were numerous instances when I wanted to hold back or even abandon the project entirely. But I consistently reminded myself of the broader picture, the possibility that my story could resonate with someone out there and potentially offer them solace or guidance.   This belief, coupled with a supportive circle of friends and family, kept me pushing forward.  In the end, it wasn’t just a book for me but a testament to my journey and the resilience of the woman spirit.  And, well, if men have “grit”, women certainly have “spirit…and heels, but we won’t get into that now.


  1. If people can buy or read one book this week or month, why should it be yours? If you’re searching for one transformative read this month, “Hell In High Heels” is it.  Why?  Because every once in awhile, a story comes along that has the power to shift your perspective, to reignite a fire within, and to prompt genuine introspection.  This isn’t just a recounting of trials and triumphs; it’s a battle cry.  A call to challenge our biases, to embrace vulnerability, and to advocate for those who are grappling in silence   By picking up this book, you’re not just reading a memoir-you’re participating in a larger dialogue about resilience, redemption, and the true grit of the female spirit.  Don’t just read; join the movement. 

About The Author: Janet Folk, a renowned start-up entrepreneur and founder of J. Folk & Associates Agencies Ltd. in Alberta, Canada, boasts an impressive 30-year tenure as President.  Her astute business acumen led to the expansion of her portfolio with acquisitions of insurance brokerages in British Columbia and the N.W.T Canada In 2000 she co-founded the National Home Warranty Programs Ltd. in Canada. In 2008, Janet reached new heights when she successfully sold all companies to AVIVA Canada, enabling her to delve into philanthropy and fresh business opportunities. Janet Folk’s life exemplifies the transformative power of business acumen, philanthropy, and mentorship.  Her unwavering dedication to making a positive impact in various spheres of life continues to inspire leaving an enduring legacy for generations to come. Please see for more information: www.janetfolk.com 


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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  http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs  and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by www.WinningWriters.com 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: www.linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum

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