“We are all in the process of becoming something unexpected. I am no exception,” says Lynnda Pollio, author of the multiple-awarded novel Trusting The Currents. For her, the unexpected turned out be writing. Her first book took ten years to complete, and one year and a half to be self-published. It won thirteen prizes (including 2104 Nautilus Book Awards, 2015 International Book Awards Gold Medal In Visionary Fiction, 2015 USA Book News Best Book Awards, 2015 Writer’s Digest Book Awards, Honorable Mention in Inspiration) and was also selected by Library Journal for its Self-e Select program as a great library book. In this interview, Lynnda Pollio speaks about the writing process, inspiration, and motivation, the self-publishing process ups and downs.
Your book captures the universality of the human soul. It is the one ingredient that can make it a worldwide hit.
That’s what Addie Mae (e.n. – the main character of the book) told me. That this book will bring people together. As I was writing it, she never would give me the location. Or what year it really was. I have people from different states who tell me they know the place where the action takes place. I’ve had the book reviewed and some people believe it’s set in the 50s, others, at this time. When people ask me can you explain the book, I say no. I can’t explain it, you have to experience it. It’s not the story that is the power of the book. It’s the way the book brings you into your own story. So many people are in fear now that they need guidance. I hope my book takes people out of the fear they are living in and opens them up to the possibility in their heart. Everyone is vulnerable, everyone is confused, everyone is suffering. We try to put these masks on, show how happy we are, but we are all wounded. Part of the human experience is to go through the process of healing the wounds. Once you start sharing your vulnerabilities, they become strenghts.
Trusting The Currents is your first book. Were you afraid of writing and publishing it?
Constantly. I think fear is part of all creative process. I think the best creative work comes out of the dark, of the unknown. I didn’t expect to be a writer. I was working on something when, one day, I heard this woman’s voice. For a long time, every time I felt her, I would go back to my computer and start typing what she told me. I couldn’t admit that I was writing a book for almost a year because I thought who am I to write a book? But when you have this thing in you that wants to come out you just push through the fear. It took me ten years to get the book out.
Why self-publishing instead of traditionally publishing?
I realized it would take three to four years to get the book out if I went the traditional publishing path. Also, every traditionally published author I spoke to told me that they were going to self-publish their next book. The publishers I met had this blank look on their face because I didn’t fit in any of the categories and they didn’t understand the book at all. A couple of agents asked me if I could make the character white because I am white. I had no idea how long self-publishing would take or what was involved, which was another one year and a half of learning and failing and falling and picking myself up. It’s done well. Once people get to read it, they seem to love it. It’s about finding its audience, which is a hard thing, particularly when it’s not a popular genre.
What is inspiration?
All art is channeling. We don’t know where it comes from. I don’t know who Addie Mae was. She could have been an aspect of myself. It really did feel like a presence was asking me to tell a story and to share it. I could have said no. I’m sure this happens to a lot of people. Their intuition tells them to do something, and their rational mind says no. As I created Addie Mae, Addie Mae created me.
What’s the right state of heart for receiving the gift of inspiration?
I think it’s about being open and saying yes. We have a tendency to say no to everything, to what we don’t understand or is new or unexpected. Nature helps me to open up; it reminds me of who I am.
What is the biggest challenge for you as an indie author?
The awards helped. The great reviews I had helped. They helped raise the profile of the book. Right now I am interested in getting it into a production company so that it can become a movie. When it comes to filmmaking, mainstream publsihing, they care less about awards and more about sales numbers. That’s always a struggle when you’re in a genre they don’t quite understand. Marketing a finding an audience is a struggle, no matter what.
Listen to the full audio interview bellow: