Kindle Author Interview: Meredith Kendall

Meredith Kendall, author of Reiki Nurse: My life as a nurse and how reiki changed it, discusses her book, her journey as a writer, and self-publishing on Kindle.

DAVID WISEHART: What can you tell us about Reiki Nurse: My life as a nurse and how reiki changed it?

MEREDITH KENDALL: So you want to know what nurses do in the middle of the night? Why does the nurse open a window when a person dies? What happens when a nurse makes a mistake? Read Reiki Nurse for a behind-the-scenes look at a hospital.

And it's not just nursing: reiki too. Reiki is a dynamic health practice with amazing results. Reiki opens your heart and lets your spirit fly.

I've worked as a pirate waitress, ski guard, and clothespin maker. I've sold herbal skincare products, assisted a lay midwife at homebirths, and lived in a cabin with no electricity or running water. I became a nurse and worked in hospitals and home care. I learned reiki and my spirit expanded into the cosmos. Reiki Nurse is my story.

DAVID WISEHART: Who do you imagine is your ideal reader?

MEREDITH KENDALL: My ideal reader is an intelligent, curious person.

DAVID WISEHART: What was your journey as a writer?

MEREDITH KENDALL: My older sister told me to write this book. I usually do what she tells me to do. She channels, and I can hear in her voice when she's giving out otherworldly wisdom.

I worked as a nurse for many years before I became a teacher. Instructing scared and eager students reminded me of the heartwarming and amusing events of my career.

There are many fine storytellers, writers, and teachers in my family. One uncle was a  poet, another is a philosopher and author. I was a writer in a past life. It felt natural to write.

I spend the day working with my students: observing, assisting, and instructing. There is so much I want to tell them, but never enough time. So I come home at the end of the day and write. I wrote Reiki Nurse for my students.

DAVID WISEHART: What is your writing process?

MEREDITH KENDALL: I don't have a TV; I write instead. I carry a little notebook with me to jot down observations, memories, and synchronicities. Sometimes my sister tells me what to write: "Write about death" she told me once.

I write a crappy first draft and rewrite many times. I use a conversational tone; I want my books to be easy and accessible. I set it aside and let it be, then go back with fresh eyes and edit again.

DAVID WISEHART: What authors most inspire you?

MEREDITH KENDALL: I love the wit of Jane Austen, the humor of David Sedaris, and the passion of Diana Gabaldon. Bob Dylan's autobiography is fascinating. Diane Stein's Essential Reiki is my favorite reiki guide. Author Mark LaFlamme has been a fabulous mentor. I like to read authors who blow my mind: Barbara Marciniak, Patricia Cori, and Angeles Arrien are examples.

DAVID WISEHART: What one book, written by someone else, do you wish you'd written yourself?

MEREDITH KENDALL: The first Harry Potter is amazing. What an imagination!

DAVID WISEHART: How did you create your cover?

MEREDITH KENDALL: One hot summer day, in my swimsuit, on my patio, I did a series of watercolors. I tried to capture the colors and feelings from a hypnotherapy session where I traveled to The Other Side. I added stones and flowers to the paintings and took photos.

I chose my favorite photo and sent it to an artist at my publishing company. Todd Engel of BookLocker.com did the cover design and graphics. He did a super job. I love my cover!

DAVID WISEHART: How have you marketed and promoted your work?

MEREDITH KENDALL: I blog, and have a web page, of course. I do book readings and signings. I send out press releases and advertise on a couple of web sites.

I have bookmarks, and I love to plant them around the country. I've left little stacks in bookstores and airports from Sacramento, CA to Freeport, Maine.

College professors have discovered Reiki Nurse, and it's being used as a text book. That's been an exciting and unexpected development.

One of my marketing plans is to give copies to celebrities and politicians. I gave Reiki Nurse to a movie director, a TV star, a couple of movie stars, and a state director of the CDC.

DAVID WISEHART: Why publish on Kindle?

MEREDITH KENDALL: Everything is moving and changing rapidly these days. Kindle is a product of our times. It's quick and easy. You hear about a book; you can start reading it right away.

Books are heavy and take up so much space. Your Kindle library is clean and portable.

Schools are moving to online books. I teach at a community college, and half the students' texts are online. The texts are frequently updated with results from the latest research. This is sensible and convenient.

DAVID WISEHART: What advice would you give to a first-time author thinking of self-publishing on Kindle?

MEREDITH KENDALL: Good editing is key. It's worth it to hire an editor to fix spelling and grammatical errors.

Cover art is vital. Hire a professional.

Marketing is equally important. There are lots of great websites, like Kindle Author, Kindle Nation, Amazon, and Goodreads. Research these sites to see what works well. Advertising on these sites is a great way to get your book out there.

DAVID WISEHART: Thanks, and best of luck with your books.


Meredith Kendall is a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Southern Maine and a master’s degree in nursing education from St Joseph’s College of Maine. Kendall received her Reiki Master attunement from Kaimora at Tangwala in Oquossoc, Maine. She teaches nursing and manages a reiki program at an outpatient cancer center.

Visit her website and read her blog.

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