[Note from Frolic: Today, we’re so excited to welcome publicist Kiki Chatfield to the site! She’s talking about the AHA moment aht made her love reading. Take ita away, Kiki!]
Many ask, “how did you get into this business?” I have a long story, BUT I will try to go SHORT with you…
The first thing to know about me: I hated reading. I, the person in PR & Marketing BOOKS… HATED TO READ. WHAT. GASP! I get wide eyes a lot when I go back home and tell my friends or other people this is what I do. This is coming from the girl who hated to read. “You do what now with books?” they ask.
I would read books here and there as a kid/adult, but nothing sparked my interest or was engaging enough for me to sit, take the time, and read a book. I think the books themselves were intimidating in size. They scared me A LOT! So I chose not to read. I would be so jealous and then try again when my friends were talking about these amazing stories in school.
So in 2011, my mom asked if I wanted to try this NEW device called a Kindle and she bought me one for Christmas. So on Christmas, I charged it up and loaded some free books or 99¢ that looked promising. THEN. THEN IT WAS ALL OVER! My family didn’t see me for almost 72 hours. I was immersed in The Twilight Series. I was mesmerized and didn’t want to stop. Eat. Sleep. Bathe. Mom or wife. I just needed all the words. Finally, I put it down and we went “OUT”. We went to the mall, I saw the TWILIGHT BOOKS, which were the books I just finished. Those SUCKERS were THICK. And I was like I READ THAT! OMG. That is like winning the Olympics and getting over a fear all in one.
And the thing I loved the most, at the end of the eBook it would recommend a book similar to the one I just finished. I would read a little into the sample and get hooked again and CLICK that book. It was an ongoing battle with needing to adult but wanting to read at the same time. READING won a lot that year. I think you see where I am going with this!
So then I started connecting with authors because at the end of their books, it says “connect with me.” So I did. Don’t have to twist my arm! Reaching out and sharing my love of their words was and still to this day one of my favorite memories I have of diving headfirst into the Book Community. This is where I talked with some of the world’s almighty writing warriors, Michelle Leighton, Jennifer Probst, Samantha Young, E L James Author, Raine Miller, Tarryn Fisher, Author-Sherry Gammon, Abbi Glines, Katie Ashley, Kelly Elliott, Molly McAdams and the list goes on and on. And these ladies talked to me, their reader, like I was an old friend. It was one of the most magical moments in my life. Then I found this world and community and my love for reading.
Then the word ARC was passed around, A LOT. And I wanted one because no one wants to be left out, right?! So I reached out and asked, but I was turned down because I was NOT a blogger. ARC = Advanced Reader Copy, the book before the word gets it! What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger and work harder! I did that. I needed to be a blogger. I reached out and found the most amazing lady in LA. She went above and beyond for me and taught me the ropes so I could early review for these amazing authors. I became a part of Read. This. Hear. That. BLOG with Natalie and she was one of the best things that happened to me.
Blogging turned into an itch and I wanted to DO MORE for these authors and get more word out. Because EVERYONE needs to know about these authors and this community!
I started my own business in 2015. The Next Step PR, LLC is based out of Kentucky but is a global company, working with authors all over the world and I will work with anyone who needs my help. We have built the business from the ground up. I know what it means to start from nothing. I know that hard work looks like and pays off. I am a coach, resource and someone to hold your hand through the bumps in the road! I will organize you an excel sheet you until you’re blue in the face. Ask anyone who has worked with us, I am google drive OBSESSED! Sorry, NOT sorry.
I am 100% self-taught in what I do. I 100% listen and learn from my readers and authors and anyone who wants to share their wealth of knowledge and information to help us grow. I do this because I am in love with it. I would work 24 hours a day if it wouldn’t kill me and my husband would divorce me if I did. Plus, kids, did I mention I have an 8-year-old and a 1-year-old? WOW! What a journey I have had! What amazing and talented authors I have worked with over the years! I have an amazing supportive team and support system. Reading has SAVED my life. Working with authors from all over the world is the most rewarding thing I have ever accomplished besides loving my family and God. I finally have found my happy place. And people know it too!
What’s your reading AHA MOMENT?
Who are your ALMIGHTY WRITING WARRIORS you love that got you hooked on reading? (I had to go to my amazing account to look who were my FIRSTS!)
Kiki Chatfield is the owner of The Next Step PR which was established in March 2015.
She has a degree in Elementary Education, has been a Nanny, worked in daycare and was a blogger.
Kiki has a love and passion for reading and loves talking about books whenever she can.
Kiki is all about family, friends, fun and sharing the love in this community. The Next Step PR also tackled their first event in April of 2017, Authors in the Bluegrass, which was a very successful event. The readers are excited and ready for the next event in 2019!
When not online, you can find her out with her family and friends. She loves to travel and see the world. Reading in her big comfy bed with all the pillows. Going to the movies ALONE and is a HUGE Ohio State Buckeye football fan, who also loves all the wine!