Today I’m with Melissa Kirk, a publishing professional who provides invaluable support services to creatives…
Hi Melissa and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?
Sure! I’ve lived in the east bay of the San Francisco bay area for most of my life, grew up in Berkeley, and now live in Richmond. My first jobs were all about publishing and words…a bookstore, a newspaper, a small publishing house. I worked in publishing houses for 17 years, and have been freelancing as an editor and book coach for 2 years.
I just got the wonderful opportunity to serve on the Richmond Arts and Culture Commission, which I’m excited about.
In my spare time, I hang out with my cats, laugh with my friends, and grow vegetables.
What prompted you to start CreateBuzz Writing and Words to Honey Editing and Publishing services?
Well, about two years ago, I lost my 13-year job at a publishing company.
I knew this was a sign that I needed to really choose carefully what I wanted to do next. I ended up hiring a coach to help me figure it out, and we explored how much I love the arts and the creative world, and collaborating with creative people. It’s something I would do for free if I could!
So both my businesses are ways for me to help creative people in different ways, to get their voices and their work strongly out to the people who will love what they’re saying.
What kind of services do you offer to writers and creatives?
I started CreateBuzz as a way to help creative people get the clients and customers that would help them be able to make an income from their creativity. I help clients with marketing and community-building, which is all marketing really is. Whether its social media, writing web copy, doing video, holding art shows and events, submitting work to galleries, pitching services to potential clients, or brainstorming “out of the box” ways to get your creative work seen, I can help with that, and I can do the marketing work that many creative people don’t want to do, because they’d rather be doing their creative work.
Words to Honey is my editing and book coaching business, where I provide the same services to writers as I did at my old job and then some: editing, writing coaching, help with proposals and pitches, market research, pitching to publishing houses, book representation, ghostwriting, and marketing. But it’s better than my old job, because I can truly collaborate with the authors instead of being the gatekeeper, as I was at the publishing company. I focus on nonfiction.
Beach or city girl? Where are your favourite holiday destinations and why?
Oh, I’m not a city person at all. I’d much rather be in nature, whether the beach, the forest, mountains, or desert. I really love the desert, actually.
If I could pick any “holiday” travel (not that freelancers get holidays!) I’d go on a road trip across the states. I’ve always wanted to do that. I love exploring this country. There are so many cultures, landscapes, and types of people. One thing I like about having two freelance businesses is that I get to do so many different kinds of things. I get bored easily. On a road trip, there’s a potential adventure around every corner!
Have you ever been tempted to write fiction? If you have, what genre would you choose and why?
I used to try to write fiction. I have two half-novels I wrote during NaNoWriMo, but I could never finish them. One of them is about a bunch of freaks living in New Orleans, one of whom turns out to be a vampire. LOL. The other was about a woman who leaves an abusive relationship and drives across the country on a motorcycle.
If I were to try again and if I could finish something, I’d probably do something in the magical realism/dark future realm. I love that stuff.
And lastly, you are planning a dinner party. If you were able to invite four famous guests (living or dead) who would you choose and why?
I’d probably invite Nikola Tesla, Alan Turing, Ada Lovelace, and Grace Hopper. I’m fascinated by the history of tech – how we got these crazy tech devices we have now. I’d just sit back and listen.
Melissa Kirk is an editor, writer, book coach, businesswoman, and marketer living in the SF bay area.
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