By SUSAN JENNINGS
For the Daily Record/Sunday News
On the Sunday following Thanksgiving, York Township resident Christine Kloser stood in front of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of York and spoke on “Gratitude in Hard Times,” a topic she is all too familiar with.
Almost exactly a year ago, the best-selling author of “The Freedom Formula” found herself in what she described as financial ruin.
A business she’d built as a coach for budding entrepreneurs was crumbling around her.
“It wasn’t totally aligned with who I truly was in my heart and soul and that business completely fell apart,” she said.
She took solace in the fact that she still had her other business, Love Your Life Publishing, a company she’d co-founded in 2004. But on Dec. 21, the day before her birthday, she received a letter from an attorney that her partner was seeking to become the sole owner of the company. She fought for the company for more than a month before giving it up in March — deciding that God had something better in store for her.
What God had in store for her was the birth of the transformational author movement, a type of inspirational writing that aims to take both the writer and the reader on a journey to spiritual, personal and financial success.
In June, the 44-year-old launched a contest in search of aspiring transformational authors, a term she coined. She received 300 book proposals from around the globe — a number that far exceeded her expectations.
Twenty-nine contest winners received prizes ranging from book cover design to editing by a professional. Two grand-prize winners received publishing packages from Balboa Press. Kloser secured all the prizes through friends and acquaintances in the publishing industry she’d met over the years.
“There was no great media,” she said. “It was just calling upon all of my relationships and asking for people’s support like I’d never done before.”
Marc Allen, president and publisher for the New World Library in Novato, Calif., was one of the contest sponsors — offering to personally review the proposals of promising writers.
“I was happy to be involved,” he said. “I love talking about publishing and I love talking to writers. And in the back of my mind I keep thinking, maybe there are great books that these writers will come up with.”
Allen, who met Kloser a few years ago at a book-marketing event in San Diego, said her work is important because of how these types of books can affect readers, changing their perspectives on life.
Allen was pleasantly surprised by the number of quality submissions he got through the contest. He said that in any given year New World Library receives thousands of book proposals, 90 percent of which get weeded out before they reach his desk. Of those, the company only publishes 40 titles — half of which are from authors they’ve previously worked with.
While ultimately, they didn’t select any of the contest entries for publication, Allen said that Kloser sent him a dozen really strong submissions that came close to being picked up.
“That’s what transformational writing is about,” he said.
“Phase one, we need to change our lives — and phase two, we need to change our world. That’s what we’re starting to dream about now.”
When defining transformational writing, Kloser describes a four-step process:
- First, the writer must have gone through some sort of personal transformation that resulted in a message he’d like to share with others.
- Second, the writer must have a clear picture of whom the recipient of that message is, to help make a better connection to the reader.
- Next is the idea that the book is just the beginning of the transformation process — the author can create a successful business surrounding her message that can not only bring in income, but also reach more readers.
- Finally, transformational authors should become committed to the idea that their work can change the world.
In her own life, Kloser said the contest was the start of both her spiritual and financial recovery.
She’s been able to rebuild her coaching business and is now helping aspiring authors to write, publish and market their own books. She’s writing her next transformational book, due out in 2012 and compiling an anthology that features some of the contest submissions called “Pebbles in the Pond: Transforming the World One Person at a Time.”
She also put together a book of quotes from contest participans called “Transformational Quotes: Timeless Wisdom From Global Thought Leaders.”
After hearing about her struggles, UUYC’s Rev. Kate Seitz Bortner asked Kloser about speaking in front of the congregation. She was impressed that Kloser had maintained such strong spirituality and hope during such a dark time in her life and thought her message was one the congregation could benefit from — especially given tough economic times and the tumultuous state of the world.
“That’s a powerful message, clearly a demonstration that having hope is a powerful thing,” Bortner said.
And as she reflects on the roller coaster ride of the past year and her own transformational journey, Kloser counts her blessings.
“I stand back in awe and every day I’m just so grateful that this is where grace has guided me,” she said, “because it was hell getting through that devastation.”
Lives in: York Township
Family: Husband, David, and daughter, Janet, 6
Hobbies: Cooking, reading, entertaining, yoga, swing dancing
Education: BS in Business Administration from Providence College
On the shelf
Books by Christine Kloser include:
- “The Freedom Formula: How to Put Soul in Your Business and Money in Your Bank,” Love Your Life Publishing. $19.95 on Amazon.com
- “Inspiration to Realization: Real Women Reveal Proven Strategies for Personal, Business, Financial and Spiritual Fulfillment,” Love Your Life Publishing. $4.99 on Amazon.com
- “Conscious Entrepreneurs: A Radical New Approach to Purpose, Passion and Profit,” Love Your Life Publishing. $19.95 on Amazon.com
- Align Expand and Succeed: Shifting the Paradigm of Entrepreneurial Success,” Love Your Life Publishing (written with Lynne Klippel). $19.95 on Amazon.com