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IR Approved Author Skyeris: “I chose self-publishing because it’s a better fit for my goals and my timeline, and I’ve been very happy with it.”

Still Moving received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author Skyeris.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

Still Moving, published November 2023

What’s the book’s first line?

The first line depends on whether you consider an introduction to be the book. The first line of the forewords:

“As of writing this, it’s been nearly four years to the day that a man dismissed my symptoms as resistance to meditation.”

The first line of the first chapter:

“I sat quietly on the ground, while the meditation teacher barely looked at me.”

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.

Still Moving is a memoir about my first three years of Long Covid. It’s a raw, searing account of the psycho-spiritual experience. And though it’s not bunnies and rainbows and constant optimism, neither is it doom and gloom and hopelessness. Rather, it’s understanding how much pain and grief can deepen our connection to love.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?

Friends asking about my Long Covid experience inspired me to start writing about it, because talking about it was too difficult. At first, I assumed the final version would be a pdf to send to friends.

Several drafts later, some friends who have chronic illness shared the feedback that they’d never encountered anyone being this honest about the intensity and the challenges of living with chronic illness. That motivated me to write something more cohesive, to share more widely.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?

The main reason to read Still Moving depends on your life experience. If you’ve had or still have Long Covid or chronic illness, this book will validate your experience and remind you that you’re not crazy and you’re not actually alone. If you haven’t, this book will illuminate the experience, probably in ways you haven’t encountered.

Is this the first book you’ve written?

Yes, this is my first book. I have been a writer since I was very young, not long after I started reading books on my own. In the sense of being the author of a book, I decided in early 2023, when feedback from friends convinced me that sharing my story in book form was worthwhile.

What do you do for work when you’re not writing?

When I’m not a wordsmith, I’m a musician, intuitive, and teacher. I play a lot of ambient music, mostly sound journeys. As an intuitive, I work with individuals to help them understand themselves more deeply and implement that understanding in tactile, meaningful ways. And occasionally I teach classes about divination or other topics related to intuition.

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

My writing time depends on the project and the process. I’m a batch writer, in part because I manage chronic illness. Right now, I’m not writing much, though I’m slowly working up to a lot of edits on another book.

By late winter, I hope to be writing steadily, which means several months of it consuming most of my life. I try to scale down other work, so that I can give a lot of my waking hours to writing, with plenty of breaks. My sleep often gets interrupted because the ideas flow pretty intensely. I continue that pace for a few months, ideally until I reach a natural stopping point—usually that I’m out of ideas, or that I can no longer edit, because I’m so entwined with the work. Often at that point, I send drafts to friends for feedback, take a break and do other work, until I’m ready to return to writing again.

What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?

The best and hardest things about being an indie are the same: it’s all on me.

It’s the best because I have creative control and manage my own process.

It’s also the hardest thing because I don’t have help. I had to make a lot of new decisions on the way to publishing, as well as hire people for tasks beyond my capacity, all of which required a ton of research.

It’s all on me, which was great because I did exactly what I wanted. But it was also exhausting. Definitely worth it, no regrets.

What’s a great piece of advice that you can share with fellow indie authors?

I’m really terrible at the “choose one thing” task, so I have 2. Please and sorry:

~ People want to know your story. Some of the most glowing reviews I’ve received so far are from people who are not long-haulers or who don’t have chronic illness. You never know who will appreciate your story.

~ You can be an author in any way that you want. There are a ton of courses and classes and coaching for writers, many of them online. AND none of that is required. You can write and publish an entire book without having someone guiding every step. I did.

Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling?  If so, why?

I would be shocked if a traditional publisher were interested in my book. If so, I’d listen to the pitch and consider the opportunity.

I chose self-publishing because it’s a better fit for my goals and my timeline, and I’ve been very happy with it. Traditional publishing would have to improve a situation that I already like.

Is there something in particular that motivates you?

Several things motivated me for this book. First, that I could share my story widely, without having to talk about it. Second, I see how many long-haulers are suffering from invalidation and isolation—which applies to a lot of chronically ill and disabled people as well—and I believe my story can help.

More broadly, I’m motivated by the ways that art challenges convention, alters consciousness, and fosters connection. Those threads are in all of my work.

Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?

Oh wow, I have so many answers for this, but I will choose just one: Toni Morrison.

Her books were the first I read that truly centered women. They showed me the power of the written word. All but one of her books were published after she turned 40, which is immensely encouraging to me, as an author over 40. Most of all, I admire that she was always willing to challenge prejudice, whether in her books, interviews, or scholarship. Her courage and honesty remain a formidable example to me.

Which book do you wish you could have written?

Well, for once I don’t have an answer. There are so many books I love, but none that I’d want to claim as mine. I hope that I will continue to share my own work, of what truly does belong to me.

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