Christina Kaye of ‘Write Your Best Book’: The Power of Flexibility; How I Was Able To Pivot To A New Exciting Opportunity Because Of The Pandemic

Karina Michel Feld
Authority Magazine
Published in
12 min readNov 18, 2020

I wish someone had told me that along with all the fun, growth, and success, there would be some low moments mixed in there. While almost every month since we launched has been highly profitable, we did hit a couple rough patches early on, and I was terrified it was all going to fail miserably. But I hung in there, and I’m truly better off for having weathered those couple stormy patches and never giving up.

The COVID19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives. But sometimes disruptions can be times of opportunity. Many people’s livelihoods have been hurt by the pandemic. But some saw this as an opportune time to take their lives in a new direction.

As a part of this series called “How I Was Able To Pivot To A New Exciting Opportunity Because Of The Pandemic”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Christina Kaye.

Christina Kaye is the Founder & CEO of Write Your Best Book, which helps people who want to write a book become successful authors through author coaching, book editing, and downloadable resources. She’s also an award-winning suspense novelist, public speaker, writing instructor, and podcast host. Christina lives in Kentucky with her two rowdy pups, and her passion is helping other people’s dreams come true.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

I was born to a family of right brainers. Everyone in my family, especially on my mom’s side have been artists or creators of some sort. In fact, my maternal great-grandparents met when he played piano and she danced can-can on his little upright. True story. All my grandparents and both my parents were photographers, writers, artists, musicians, that sort of thing. I was raised in Kentucky and led a pretty idyllic suburban life growing up. That’s not to say my family or I have not had our own struggles, and I lost my father when I was six. But for the most part, I was raised by a wonderful, artistic mother and my (step) father, a tenacious businessman. The love of all things creative was instilled in me at a very young age.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

One thing my mother (among other things) told me growing up was that, if I needed help, I should ask for it. The worst answer I could get would be “no,” and then, I’m no worse off than when I started. But if they say “yes,” you never know how that help could change your life. So, when I decided to turn my side hustle into a full-on career, this little anecdote stuck with me. I asked for help, guidance, assistance, and mentoring from every expert I could find, and they all said “yes.” I truly think asking for help and guidance was the biggest factor in the success of my business.

Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

So many books. So many podcasts. But if I have to choose one, I’d say reading Rachel Hollis’s Girl, Wash Your Face and following her inspirational posts on social media did have a significant impact on me as an author, as an entrepreneur, and as woman going through some pretty tough times the past few years. She talks about how the traumatic experiences or difficult times you’ve experienced in your life don’t have to slow you down, but instead, use them as a catalyst for your future and tell yourself, “If you survived X, you can do anything.” Basically, she’s just such a positive, motivating, and supportive person, just reading her books and her posts have done a lot to help me heal and grow. I wish I could meet her.

Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before the Pandemic began?

I worked in corporate America as a litigation and trial paralegal. For those who may be unsure what a paralegal does, they basically do all the work a lawyer can do (and then some) for about a third of the pay and none of the glory. We have to know all the same laws, cases, and theories they do, and we probably interact with clients a lot more than they ever do, but we just can’t sign legal documents or appear before a judge. Basically, it’s what a nurse is to a doctor. I worked in this field for 22 years, but about 10 years ago, after the relative success of my first novel, I began editing books for fellow authors and coaching them in the evenings and on weekends. But I only saw this for what it was at the time — a side hustle. I would have never dreamed I could have a successful business doing this!

What did you do to pivot as a result of the Pandemic?

The law firm I worked at had a massive, collective panic attack, and rather than sending their staff home to work remotely, they laid almost everyone off, including me. I, too, had my own panic attack. I was 42, my daughters are both adults, but I still had to keep a roof over my head, pay the bills, feed us, etc. And as a side hustle, I wasn’t making enough to do all that. Then, one day, I woke up at 5 am, wide awake with this thought: Why not pivot and turn my “side hustle” into a full-on career? Okay, great. I had an idea. But I was petrified. I had never even considered being an entrepreneur or running my own business before! But I decided to tackle it the same way I tackled everything else. I dug down deep, put on my big girl panties, and learned as much as I could about how to start, run, and grow a home based business. I listened to podcasts all day long. I read umpteen books on business, marketing, and so on. Basically, I decided that this was my ONE shot at having a successful “second act” and I had no choice but to be successful.

Can you tell us about the specific “Aha moment” that gave you the idea to start this new path?

Yes. The day before that 5 am wakeup when I decided to start my own business, I’d come across a website randomly where an author coach was talking about their services and how they serve authors every day. I read it, and I said to myself, “Self, this is what you already have been doing for 10 years on the side! Wouldn’t that be nice if you could do it full-time and make money doing that?” I have no clue why I had to sleep for a few hours for it to dawn on me that, if other people could do it, and if I already had 10 years (unwittingly) doing the same thing, I could (and should) do the same!

How are things going with this new initiative?

I am blessed. We have already surpassed six-figures for 2020, and the year isn’t over yet. Don’t get me wrong. We had two really tough months — April and August. In April, I totally believe it was when COVID really got super scary for folks, and no one knew what was going to happen. In August, it reared its ugly head again, plus parents were trying to get kids back in school or start homeschooling. But we’re averaging over $10k each month (or more), which is FIVE TIMES what I made at my highest point in my paralegal career. Between my coaching clients and editing clients, we’ve already helped nearly 100 authors directly this year. And our social media accounts are slowly but steadily growing each day. Except for Tik Tok. There, in just 4 months on the platform, our account already has 60k followers and over one million video likes. Yes. Things are going great so far.

Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Oh, my. Really, my parents, my team members, all the influencers and experts I’ve listened to or read…But if I have to pick one person who helped me directly the most, I would say my business coach, Marni Blythe of Full Pocket Entrepreneurs. I found Marni and hired her early on in this venture, and she’s been such a rock for me. Not only has she supported me and lifted me up when I was discouraged, she has helped me come up with and implement all my great ideas! I am more of a big picture idea person, while Marni is a very practical, hands-on, and meticulous “here’s how you make that happen” kind of coach. I’m so blessed to have her in my life, and I truly think that without her, my other coaches, and my team, we wouldn’t have grown so much so fast.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?

I think the most interesting thing that’s happened since I launched Write Your Best Book is being approached by some major influencers in the author community to be featured on certain media outlets. And I didn’t even solicit those appearances, either. Around August, we started receiving unsolicited invites for me to be featured on so-and-so’s website, podcast, or blog. In October, I recorded an episode on one of the biggest, most listened to podcasts for writers called The Self-Publishing Show with Mark Dawson. In the two weeks after that episode went live, we wound up booking out through January on author coaching. We were being bombarded daily with new client requests and more feature offers in our community. But maybe more interesting than all the niche media attention happened about two days ago, when I received an offer to be sponsored on Tik Tok by a large water bottle company! I’m working out the details of that sponsorship now, but that was definitely interesting!

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

Thing 1: I wish someone had told me to get off my rear and do this for myself 10, 20 years ago! But I was stuck in a rut and so dependent on other people for so long, I never knew my full potential until I was 42 years old!

Thing 2: I wish someone had told me that along with all the fun, growth, and success, there would be some low moments mixed in there. While almost every month since we launched has been highly profitable, we did hit a couple rough patches early on, and I was terrified it was all going to fail miserably. But I hung in there, and I’m truly better off for having weathered those couple stormy patches and never giving up.

Thing 3: I wish someone had told me years ago that I didn’t need to be born into wealth or have access to instant cashflow to start my own business. I was able to start Write Your Best Book without any loans, and without any capital start up cash flow. Of course, as I began to make money, I still have to reinvest in my business for marketing purposes, etc. But I’d have taken this leap years ago had I known that.

Thing 4: I wish someone had told me how to better manage my time while building a business from the ground up. In the early days, when I was forming my business, building my website, starting social media accounts, putting together a podcast, and all that comes with a brand new business, I slept very little.

Thing 5: I wish someone had told me much sooner that the key to growing and sustaining a successful business requires you to relinquish control over many aspects of the business. I’m an admitted control freak, so I held back at first when it came to hiring a good team and trusting anyone to handle any aspect of my business. Now, I know how crucial a good, trustworthy team is to a business’s success.

So many of us have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. Can you share the strategies that you have used to optimize your mental wellness during this stressful period?

Honestly? This might be unpopular, but I unplug. I’m not normally an anxious person, but all the events of 2020 caused me so much anxiety, I finally learned to turn off the news, unplug from at least scrolling through social media, and only actively seek information from trusted sources when I absolutely HAVE to know. For example, during the election, I was extremely uncomfortable for days like most people were. But for my own mental wellbeing and so I didn’t have a panic attack, I intentionally kept my TV turned off, and I didn’t scroll through any of my feeds that whole week. It was hard, but I made it through because I didn’t let all the drama distract me from my mission, which is to grow this business as much as possible and help as many authors as I can see their dreams come true. Now, I’m not saying be ignorant of the world around you. Not at all. It’s important to know what is going on around you. I just mean that, for me, I could not obsess over things I had no control over anyway, and I buried my head in busy work. I voted. I let my voice be heard. That’s all I could do.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

That is such an awesome question! At this point, I would have to say I’d love to inspire a movement that would somehow heal our divided country and bring people together for a common cause. Especially in 2020, the divide between people with different political, religious, and social beliefs has grown cavernous. We need more tolerance. We need more inclusion. We need more love. What’s that going to take? I’m not sure. If I had that answer, I’d have led the charge already, or at least tried. All I can do for now is try to have a positive impact on as many people as possible and bring people in my little community together by constantly showing up, being a positive role model, and leaving issues that divide people and create polarity out of the conversation. There’s a time and a place for civil debate, but there are also times when it’s important to simply BE together and united for a common cause.

Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!

I’m not a person who gets all gooey over celebrities and movie stars, but there is one famous author/influencer/businesswoman I’d be honored to ever get to meet. Rachel Hollis, in my opinion, is doing so many great things for all women, especially those who have dreams of something better. I read her book, Girl, Wash Your Face, mere days after my unexpected and very painful divorce, only weeks before my fortieth birthday, and I’ve been an avid reader, fan, and follower ever since. She seems so down-to-earth, relatable, and every woman’s woman, if you know what I mean. I love that she shows up for her followers almost every day, often without makeup, while jogging, and she just drops the best and biggest truth bombs on us with every post. If I ever met her, I’d tell her how she played a key role in my career as an author, the success of my business, and in turning my life around in general. So, yeah. Definitely Rachel Hollis.

How can our readers follow you online?

We’re all over the place! You can find and follow my business pages on all social media platforms @writeyourbestbook. Or, if you want to get to know me on a more personal level or as an author, all my social media handles for that are @christinakayebooks. I don’t believe in trying to have a certain ratio of followERS to followING, so I follow everyone back who follows me, and I do my absolute best to respond to all DMs, comments, etc. Though, it’s becoming harder and harder to do lately, especially on Tik Tok.

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!