We could all use a smile right now … and how about supporting local business while you’re at it? Rosie caught up with writer Amy Arndt, who is this week’s Woman Crush Wednesday.
What inspired you to write your memoir, “One Hairy Knee”?
“I have wanted to write a book since I was 8 years old but life got in the way, and I’ve been working on it off and on since 2014. Some significant life changes — my husband’s dual cancer diagnosis in 2017, my own health crisis in 2018 — have caused me to rethink what I’m doing with my life. My favorite quote is from George Eliot, a female writer from the late 1800s who used a male pen name in the then male-dominated literary landscape. The quote is ‘It’s never too late to be what you might have been.’ At 47, I believe it more than ever. Look at JLo, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Anniston!”
You chose to self-publish this book and do grassroots marketing. Tell us about that.
“I made a goal several years ago to pitch my book to 100 agents or editors, and by the time I got to the 20th rejection where I was told I’d need an Instagram following of 10K and a large platform, I got so dejected I gave up. I decided to listen to my inner voice and worked to finish my book, working full time, being a mom and writing at Cherrywood Coffeehouse on the weekends. It took longer than I would have liked, but I self published and did all of my own marketing, and sold out my first shipment in 3 days.”
You also do book parties!
“When I was little, women gathered at Tupperware parties. Today, it’s jewelry parties, Pampered Chef, you know the idea… I figured if I can go to a party, have a glass of wine and buy $200 worth of costumer jewelry, women would enjoy going to a party, having a glass of wine, listening to some funny stories, and spending $25 on a book. Turns out I was right – over 40 people have offered to host house parties in cities across the United States. Parties are on hold at the moment, due to coronavirus concerns, but we hope to start them back up again when everyone is safe.”
Tell us about your publishing company, Pigeon Girl Press.
“As part of the self-publishing journey, I worked with a publishing consultant, Tiffany Harelik, and she helped me form my own imprint, Pigeon Girl Press. Pigeon Girl is based on one ceramic pigeon that I named Pigeon Girl and she’s a bit of my alter ego – quiet, withdrawn, and a deep thinker. Since creating my own imprint and getting the logo done by local graphic designer and artist Drue Wagner, now people can publish books through my imprint, avoiding the frustration of agent rejections and time-consuming process of getting published.”