Casey Rislov has always been one to help others, and children have always been her passion. An early childhood special needs educator, she also puts her extensive teaching experience to good use as a sports coach for youngsters.
Last November, she achieved another of her dreams by becoming an author when she published her book Time Together, Time Well Spent through AuthorHouse.
Time Together, Time Well Spent: More Than Just a Reading Experience
Rislov has obviously drawn from personal experience for Time Together, Time Well Spent. It is designed to be read with friends and loved ones as a shared exercise to bring them together through fun activities, games, and adventures. Not only will you have a great time, you will learn more about the people who are important to you.
How Does Becoming a Published Author Compare to Teaching and Coaching?
Rislov has accomplished a great deal during her career. Many of her favourite achievements have come through her students. She recalls one of her most memorable moments as a ski coach.
“One of my students was awarded best all-around athlete. Coaches from every one of our high school’s sports, including guest coaches from our university, came to celebrate his success. I had a chance to talk about him in front of everyone. I was so proud to be a part of his success!”
Rislov also shares one of her strongest connections with a student as an early childhood special needs educator.
“A moment that sticks out for me is one of a child scared to do much of anything in the classroom when I met him. This was also a problem for the parent. But by the time he left my class, he was following normal routines and socializing with all the other children around him. He went from not wanting to be there to being a prominent part of my classroom.”
It is little wonder then that Rislov’s inspiration to realise her dream of becoming a published author sprang from her desire to have a positive impact upon those around her. In typical fashion, she searched for a solution that would help her through one of her toughest personal ordeals by doing something that would not only help herself, but also be of value to others.
“I needed something positive that I could give back to the ones around me. I just went through a difficult year with my family, as my mother was struggling with breast cancer and many other complications. It was a difficult thing to watch her go through as it came fast and took her overall health down quickly. She passed away the month before I decided to just go for it, as I had the chance to tell her that I was finally going to pursue this goal I had only dreamed about.”
Casey Rislov Has Also Been Rewarded for Her Literary Efforts
Reaction from Rislov’s students, friends, and family was initial surprise followed by pride and then all-out support.
“I have had wonderful support from so many directions. I did not tell many people about what I was doing when I was in the process of creating the book. Those I did keep in my circle of knowing still couldn’t believe the finished product, despite going through the entire process with me!”
This positive support provided Rislov with the confidence to enter Time Together, Time Well Spent into the recent Los Angeles Book Festival, where she was delighted to receive an honourable mention.
“It was the first contest I entered since my book was published at the end of Nov. 2011, and so for me it was quite a wonderful surprise! Of course I am proud of how it all turned out, but it feels great to see what the outside world thinks so too! Especially since this was a contest not only for independent publishers but also for traditional publishers!”
So how does this recognition compare to her teaching and coaching highlights?
“I think it’s the icing on the cake when you enjoy what you are doing and try your best. Seeing that those around you agree is great too! I have felt that way about all of my experiences that have been around kids. I always want to do my best in order to be a role model for them. I also like to show them that we are always growing and learning, even from mistakes.”
Is There a Marketing Strategy Behind Time Together, Time Well Spent?
Rislov’s story has a wonderful, karmic element to it. She devotes her time to her family, friends, and students, and they are totally supportive of her efforts as an author. This dedication has overflowed into her marketing efforts. Rislov initially conducted a number of book signings upon its release last November.
“I was really happy about my book signings as they were right before Christmas. Many small businesses asked me to hold book signings during their weekend events, and of course, I had the full support of my friends and family. It was also fun to meet new people and hear about what they had to say about my book or about their own experiences.”
Her friends are also actively helping by marketing her book for her.
“I have had so many friends who own small businesses telling me they will sell my book and asking me to hold book signings at their establishments. Time Together, Time Well Spent can now be found in coffee shops, hair salons, baby stores, art museum shops, and women’s specialty boutiques to name a few.”
Rislov is also actively learning about the power of social media to help market her book while she spends time at home with her and her husband’s second child, a baby boy who arrived last March.
“I have had a lot to learn about Twitter and blogging. One of my publicists has helped me find interested newspapers and magazines. It all takes time, but persistence and self-belief can take you a long way, as I am definitely learning!”
Casey Rislov’s AuthorHouse Experience
Becoming a published author had been a long-standing dream for Casey Rislov. She finally had the confidence and inspiration to just go for it. So how did working with AuthorHouse measure up to expectations?
“The people at AuthorHouse are great. I received straightforward answers to my questions and always in a timely manner. I always felt they were really trying hard to meet my needs. They listened and helped whenever I needed them to. I would definitely publish with AuthorHouse again.”
Always a Helping Hand to Offer to Others
We know that Casey Rislov loves to help others. She was happy to share her advice and experiences with fellow writers considering self-publishing and wanting to market their work.
“If you are a self-motivator and learner, then self-publishing is for you. You have complete control from how your book looks to how it is marketed. I was not afraid to try something new or to ask questions of the people around me. I have found that creating and marketing your book is a group effort if you allow yourself to hear others. I could not have made this book as well or as I wanted to in the hands of a traditional publishing company. I like pushing myself and learning. It only makes me grow as an individual.”
And Her Advice about Writing in General?
“I think the biggest drive for anyone is loving what you are doing. My book was a labor of love. I have created something from a few words scribbled down on scratch paper. For me, creativity comes at unplanned moments. I may have to write it down on my checkbook or on a used envelope, as ideas come that fast and leave just as quickly! It is also about just putting your self out there and doing it! If you fail, fail big! I would rather say ‘I tried,’ rather than ‘I never did try.’”
Future Book Projects
Rislov is still weighing up her options before deciding which literary challenge to take on next.
“I definitely want to continue my work as an author. I can’t decide if I want to go a different route with a totally different children’s story or add another edition to the bear family. I have many ideas to create a series as I love what illustrator, Stephen Adams, did to make my book come alive.”