Kimberley Dickinson, author of The One Life Movement, released her book in May 2018. We wanted to catch up with the new author and see how life had been treating her since she was published.
Did you always dream of becoming an author?
I remember when I was in Grade 6 and would spend all my time in class writing short stories, when I was probably supposed to be learning about Social Studies or Greek Mythology. One of the first stories I remember that the teacher read aloud to the class was written in the late 1980’s and was about being anaesthetized but still being conscious through the whole surgery, and how I was changed after.
Becoming an author and actively having the opportunity to write is something that has always been inside of me, but I never really understood that I could strive to be a writer. I didn’t know how to figure out what my true calling was, or how to accept myself for who I am, until recently. I never thought I was worthy of being good enough to accomplish the title of Author (or anything else for that matter), so I feel incredibly proud that I have been able to do what I have, despite the obstacles I have faced.
What was your first job?
My first “real” job was working at a pancake house in a small town for minimum wage and tips when I was a teenager. It is interesting to reflect back on that and how hospitality became such a huge part of who I am today. Learning essential customer service skills and figuring out how to navigate colleagues is a huge skill. It also was my first introduction to the concept of “serving others” in a very straightforward way. Serving is something that has stayed with me and resonates deeply with me at this point in my life. My hope is that I will be able to serve others with gifts of honesty, forgiveness and strength (amongst other things), so that they may build that within themselves.
How did you come about writing your book? Was that your intention or did you start writing for fun?
I have always journaled and written short stories for fun. I still do this with my son who recently wrote his first book about dragons. The One Life Movement came about as I began to write as a form of therapy to get myself through another very difficult period for me personally. I honestly never thought I would have had the ability to publish an entire works, but after a chance conversation in the middle of the night with an old friend I changed my intention to actually piece together a story such as this one. Once I started dedicatedly writing this book I soon felt a sense of urgency because the process became a very large part of me realizing just who I was again after so much time spent focusing on pain, change and confusion.
What was your life like before you became an author?
Unbelievably busy, stressful, and unsure of what my purpose was-to be honest. I am a single mother and have never really been able to rely on anyone but myself for anything which seemed very overwhelming at times. Writing The One Life Movement series has helped me to affirm that I am able to multitask like a champ. I can to be honest with myself and with those I encounter and to help me find my own strength and resolve to be true to who I am despite what others would like to degrade me to. I felt a little lost before writing this book, so through reaching out to others by sharing my story it has helped me to understand who I am within myself even more.
Did you face any struggles before becoming an author? If so, how did you overcome them?
I don’t know if there is enough time in the day to possibly give space to every struggle I have encountered in the past many years. Divorce, substance abuse, attempted suicides, emotional abuse, death, working three jobs in order to pay bills and keep my child well fed and cared for. Life can be very hard when we are lost. Before becoming an author the toughest thing for me was identifying my purpose. Once I started writing I began to realise how full I felt when I wrote things like “I am a writer” and “I am here to make the world better” (and I still cry out of happiness when I write these things) because they feel truer than anything else I have ever done, set out to do or accomplished thus far in my life. I can do this, we can do this. I have found my purpose, and I know my intentions are always only good (although my sarcasm can be interpreted otherwise) so it feels really amazing to be doing what I absolutely am ecstatic to do. I am so grateful for all the quiet help I have received and for being given the gift to finally believe in myself. It was so hard for me to climb out of a very negative space, and I feel like this project- as much as it is to be hopeful, also was hope in and of itself for me, the creator as well. We are what we create and we create what we are.
Now that you are a published author, how has your life changed, if at all?
I am getting back to travelling more, as I once did. It continues to provide me with opportunities to reach out to communities and individuals directly and indirectly to help them understand the power that they and I have to make the world a better place, simply by talking with each other. I am getting back to the essence of who I am; gregarious, carefree, loving, accepting, tolerant and patient of myself and of others because of the impact I have seen my ideas have on others. The more I have identified my truth, my purpose and my passion, the more it serves to empower me to continue moving forward and to help others the way I would want to be helped. It has given me more a sense of resolve to see, feel and know that I am doing what I am meant to be doing.
Can you please describe a typical day in your life now?
Mornings are fairly go-go around the house getting everyone ready for the day. It begins by being woken by a child’s elbow to the face and the dog sitting on my neck. I eventually rise and make oatmeal with some kind of frozen fruit, which I almost always burn the first time around. I get the dog walked and the child clothed and prepared for school. I work in an office during the day and run all the crazy errands whenever I can fit it in.
Once the day’s work is complete I rally the family, make the dinner, help the child with maths and reading French books, break up spontaneous wrestling matches between the dog and the child, probably have a sword battle or two, get everyone washed and fed, pack tomorrows lunch and hopefully fall in to an undisturbed 10 hour coma before 8pm (wishful thinking, this never happens). I usually get about 6 hours of interrupted sleep before rising and doing it all over again. I write whenever and wherever I can in the gaps-I make notes on scraps of paper or notebooks or on my phone to remind myself to come back to and think more about. I spend any and all other time reaching out to my readers on social media and emails etc. Reach out, I am here.
What is your most memorable moment of your life as an author?
Getting positive feedback from readers that have had some form of connection with the content I write about. My greatest joy is seeing other people react in ways that I could have not imagined- how it has helped give them the courage to do things they never would have thought were possible; like travel the world, start a new business, forgive themselves for messing up or just opening themselves up again after suffering serious setbacks.
Watching the success of how this book has been embraced, and how my honesty has helped others to be more real with themselves and each other has been a blessing beyond comprehension. Seeing The One Life Movement on bestseller lists has helped remind me that people are connecting with this on so many levels which reinforces that there is still so much love and hope out there in the world even when we are being distracted from it. There is far more good being done, yet to do and we will do it together. This series of books will give some great ideas on how to go about doing that. Spoiler: help and love each other.
In a few words, how would you review your experience with Pegasus Publishers?
Pegasus has been amazing overall, I am thankful for their tireless efforts to market and expand the reach of distribution and exposure as far as a company could possibly go. It says a lot about an organization for them to take on a virtually unknown writer and believe in and promote the work as much as I do in order to help it to be read by as many people and have as broad an impact as it has. It takes the work of an entire community to help support positive change and I am so thankful my team at Pegasus has done just that. Together you, I, Pegasus and other like-minded people will realize the power we have to promote positive change, overcome stigma, overcome anger and spite, and move past those that would like us better to be divided.
Why did you choose Pegasus Publishers?
I chose Pegasus because I feel our values closely align. We both know integrity goes a long way, as does giving back to communities, charity outreach and inclusive causes. They are very dedicated to promoting new and established authors and continue to look forward to figure out how we can continue improving, growing, becoming more sustainable and more giving to our communities both locally and globally. I could not be prouder to be working with such an honest, hardworking group.