We had the good fortune of connecting with Lisa M. Bolt Simons and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lisa M. Bolt, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I’ve been a writer since I was a little girl. But after I started teaching and realized that most of the students in my building couldn’t just go spend money in the local bookstores, I wanted to write books they could access in libraries. I was able to combine my education background with my writing skills and become a freelance writer. I started publishing books almost 15 years ago. By the end of 2024, I’ll have more than 75 books published, which include children’s nonfiction, middle grade “choose your path” sports novels, and an adult history book. My titles are in school libraries around the nation. I also started a business that helps authors find literary agents and publishers because the research is so daunting and time-consuming. And let’s be honest–there are so many rabbit holes on the Internet! I also teach writing classes.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think the quantity of books that I have sets me apart from a lot of writers. I’m proud of the work I’ve done, and I love teaching others how to write nonfiction books for education. (I’ve also written two historical fiction books for education.) After I took a class about writing these kinds of books–the one I teach now–it took about a month for an editor to offer me a contract to write a book. It took seven years for another publisher to offer me a contract. So sometimes it is a challenge to get one’s foot in the door. I tell my students now that it takes persistence, and once an editor gives you a contract to write a book, do it well, so that you’re asked to do another one. And another. I’ve learned to stick to deadlines and to be diplomatic when conversing with an editor.

I want the world to know that I’m a dedicated writer who works hard, loves to do research, and works well with the editorial team. I am excited to someday also publish my “heart work,” the stories I’ve written that come from my heart and mind versus the projects editors ask me to write.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If we’re back in my hometown of Colorado Springs (writers can work from anywhere!), I’d take her to the top of Pikes Peak and stop in Manitou Springs to walk around/shop. We’d hike around Garden of the Gods and take a tour of Glen Eyrie Castle. We’d walk around the pond at The Broadmoor Hotel and visit Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. We’d stroll around downtown and go see the Olympic Training Center. We’d also take a tour of the US Air Force Academy, since my dad went there and is buried there.

We’d eat at Urban Egg, Phantom Canyon Brewing Company, Mollica’s Italian Market and Deli, Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar, and Modern Market Eatery.

If we have time, I’d probably take her to Boulder (I have a brother who lives there) and Rocky Mountain National Park! (If more time, I have another brother who lives on the Blue Mesa Reservoir near Gunnison!)

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Oh, my…there are so many people! I really need to thank my writers’ group first and foremost. They have given me support, encouragement, and honest feedback about my writing (which I don’t always agree with…) for about 15 years, which has helped drive me forward with my projects. I also want to thank SESAME STREET. After my dad was killed when I was 3 1/2 years old, I remember watching this show and learning to love letters and their sounds, words and their meanings. Unfortunately, I don’t remember my mom reading to me because I think she was too busy trying to navigate her new normal as a widow. But I did learn to love reading and books as I grew up. Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad stories, THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS, and A FLOWER POT IS NOT A HAT come to mind. I’d also like to thank my English teachers at Rampart High School in Colorado Springs who taught me the lovely and damn idiosyncracies of our language, as well as Wendy Cates Jones who pulled all-nighters with me as we wrote and revised English papers. I’m blessed to have gifted author friends who provide mentor texts and vibrant cheers. Finally, I’d like to thank Mandy Robbins, an editor I’ve worked with for about a decade, who has taught me so much about the writing process, praised my research skills, and made me laugh when I’ve wanted to pull my hair out during a revision.

Website: www.lisamboltsimons.com

Instagram: @LisaMBoltSimons

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lisa-m-bolt-simons-04489162/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100076938844132 (Lisa M. Bolt Simons author account)

Image Credits
n/a (the head shot was taken by my daughter–no copyright, but if you want to put a credit, it’s Jerilyn E. Simons)

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