Carol keeps it Cool and publishes first book

By on February 1, 2017

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Ephrata motivational speaker Carol Cool has added a new act to her life — author.

Cool recently published her first book Finding Balance in the Circus of Life. Based on her popular retreat of the same name, the book helps readers recognize how their coping mechanisms often resemble various circus performers.

She said it discusses the five needs people try to meet through these behaviors. It then invites readers to discover the secrets of the tightrope walker that will provide more balance to their days as they learn to live more intentionally.

“We all perform as part of life’s circus,” Cool said. “Are we the controlling ringmaster, the people-pleasing go-fer, or the adventure-seeking lion tamer? Or maybe we’re one of the other six characters many of us imitate. I want readers to move beyond these and see themselves as uniquely created by God. Then they can experience joy, purpose and, yes, even balance, as they live out the principles that keep the tightrope walker up on the wire.”

Cool, who sees herself as both a motivational speaker and an author, grew up in Bucks County.

She moved to Clay Township in 2008 when her husband became pastor of Akron Grace Evangelical Congregational Church. Prior to that, they lived in Delaware and Lancaster City.

“I have a bachelor’s degree in biblical literature,” she said. “I spent 18 years in retail management and then transitioned into work as a copy editor and then copywriter in the advertising world. I still do both as a freelancer for clients in a variety of markets including education, health care and retail.”

She credits a friend with introducing her to public speaking.

“I began writing articles for Christian magazines in 1997, and in 2004 began teaching at a few writers conferences around the country. A friend told me she wanted to get into speaking, so we decided to attend a CLASS conference, which stood for Christian Leaders, Authors and Speakers Seminar, so she could learn about speaking and I could learn more about writing.”

Cool said it turned out to have only one short class on writing basics over the three days.

“All the rest was on speaking, including giving impromptu and planned speeches,” she said. “I got great feedback and really loved doing it. The friend I went with invited me to speak for a church breakfast and it grew from there.”

Cool wrote articles, but a book was not in her plans.

“When I attended writers conferences I always said I didn’t want to write books, just articles, because books took too much work,” she said. “But as I began speaking more and more, my most requested topic was Finding Balance in the Circus of Life. I often had people tell me after hearing it that I needed to write it as a book so they could go back and review the material.”

Cool said, eventually, she got tired of hearing it, started to pitch the idea at writers conferences and submitted the book proposal to a few editors, but nothing came of it.

“So I made the decision to get up at 6 a.m. most mornings and write 1,000 words on my book,” she said. “I finished it in a few months.”

She also decided 2016 would be the year she would publish it herself.

Cool said the book is based on a retreat she created for a pastors’ wives group.

“As pastors’ wives we often feel like we are living in a circus with so many pulls on our husbands and our families and ourselves,” she said. “Since tightrope walkers do a lot of balancing, I looked for information on tightrope walking and found a book by Tino Walleda, one of the famous flying Wallendas, and also read about Philippe Petit, who walked a tightrope between the unfinished World Trade Center towers in 1974.”

She said the principles they used to stay on the wire seemed like ones that aligned with biblical principles, as well.

“I believed we could use them to experience more balance in our lives,” Cool said. “I came to realize the principles could help anyone, not just pastors’ wives.”

As for writing another book, Cool is not sure.

“I do have a Christmas story that is being illustrated by a teenager,” she said. “I hope it will be available for sale by next fall if I find the right printer. As far as nonfiction goes, I have other retreats that I may expand into books, but I haven’t decided which yet. I’m not sure I have the discipline at the moment!”

Regarding advice for other first-time writers, Cool says to write something you are passionate about and do not follow trends. And then do the work, she said.

“In the writing industry, the advice is B.I.C.— Butt In Chair!” she said. “My 1,000-word-a-day goal is what got the book written.”

Cool said it’s also important to learn to write better and revise your ideas.

“Attend writers conferences and critique groups to gain skills and receive feedback,” she said. Lancaster Christian Writers, which meets the third Saturday of the month, is a great local group with a speaker each month and the opportunity to be part of a critique group. They also offer a one-day conference in the spring (April 8); I’ll be teaching on article writing.” (More information is available at lancasterchristianwriterstoday.blogspot.com/p/super-saturday-2017_77.html)

For more information on Cool’s writing or speaking or to obtain an autographed book, contact her directly at carol@carolcool.com.

The book is available through booklocker.com, amazon.com, bn.com, or Cool’s website at carolcool.com.

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