Meet Kathy Gruver, naturopath and author. Here she tells us about her experience with writing a book, publishing it and yes, what to do when you’ve been sitting at the keyboard for hours.
Susan Palmquist (SP)-Tell us about yourself and what you do?
Kathy Gruver (KG)- I’ve been involved in natural health for over 2 decades. I was always attracted to massage and even as a little kid would massage my dad’s neck in the car on long car trips. I accidently apprenticed with a healer in college (I was a theatre major) who taught me about bodywork, herbs, homeopathics, etc. I studied more massage in Los Angeles and here in Santa Barbara. I realized that my interest was so much deeper than just massage and spent all my spare time reading medical books anyway. I decided to pursue higher learning and got my ND as a traditional naturopath, my Masters and now PhD in natural health. I still maintain a healing practice in Santa Barbara, but I also write, teach, lecture and do workshops.
SP-Is the Alternative Medicine Cabinet your first book?
KG-I’ve been writing since I was a little kid and written dozens of articles on health, but this is my first book.
SP-What gave you the idea to write it?
KG-Probably not what you’d think. I wanted to do more public speaking and every speaker’s bureau I investigated required you had a book to sell. So, I figured I’d better get on it. I was also very excited about sharing my knowledge with a broader audience.
SP-Anything you learned about the writing process while you were putting it together?
KG- It’s time consuming. You can’t rush it. Editing takes forever and indexes are a HUGE pain in the ass!
SP-Anything you’d do differently?
KG-I’d take my time. I think I was so excited to have it out that I rushed it. And I’d be more patient with the marketing process. Because it really is a process. And things I put in motion last year are just finally coming to fruition. I would not have expected that.
SP-If you could give three tips to fellow writers about penning this type of book, what would they be?
KG-Check your facts. Hire a professional editor and research your publication options. Sometimes it’s better to self-publish than try the traditional route of an agent and publisher, etc
SP-You’re also a message therapist. You probably know this as a writer that sitting at the keyboards can be a killer on your neck and shoulders. Any tips or exercises you can give to us to soothe the aches and pains?
KG-Get up and move. At least every 50 minutes. Make sure your station is set up properly, don’t slouch on the couch with your laptop. Breath, drink plenty of water (wine during those difficult times is ok. 🙂 ) keep up with your nutrition and let things flow.
SP-Any new books on the horizon for you?
KG-Yes, as a matter of fact, I just finished my dissertation for my PhD and now it on to book 2. Much of my dissertation will be included in it, so I feel like I’m already a third of the way done. I’m hoping it’s out by fall. I’m taking my time on this one.
SP-As the book is all about alternatives to what’s in our medicine cabinet, can you offer us any tips on easy to find natural remedies we should keep on hand?
KG-Arnica gel and homeopathic for any falls, bruises, etc. Garlic is great as an antibiotic and antibacterial. I love Airborne for staving off colds. Oscillocicinum is great for fluey feelings. Magnesium, to me, is the most important mineral and helps with headaches, muscle and menstrual cramps and sleep…..I could go on for days, you’ll just have to buy the book for