Holly Pasut’s star was on the rise as one of the top-producing real estate agents in the country. Then she made a bad decision that landed her in federal prison. While there, she discovered a great deal about herself, her mindset, and her faith. She learned how to set her mind free.
A Strange Path to Freedom shares slices of Holly’s life in prison along with her humorous observations, coping techniques, and faith journey. She now visits professional groups and universities to share lessons on critical thinking errors, lessons from prison, and releasing oneself from a prison of one’s own thoughts.
We asked Holly a few questions about her publishing journey.
Holly on working with SPARK Publications
The writing and publishing world is foreign to me. I continue to struggle and learn, simultaneously. The SPARKlers answered every one of my questions, many times more than once. They are really in the people business; pages of a book are only secondary.
What inspired you to write this book?
I felt as if I had no voice for over six years and finally had the freedom to express myself.
What is the primary goal for the book?
To speak with audiences of white-collar professionals and university students about the effects and consequences of everyday decisions in the workplace.
What surprises did you encounter on the road to writing and publishing the book?
It was difficult reliving and writing about the turbulent times of my past. Turning pages of my old journals stirred up feelings of anger and frustration. Today, my memory of the struggles and pain of the past give me a new vision, one of hope and excitement for the future. While I spent time at my computer, reading, rereading, changing words, and adding sentences, I finally had to let go and say, “Done!” I realized every time I reviewed my writing I wanted to make changes—I guess it depended on my mood. Some days I wanted to wear orange, and some days I wanted to stay in my pajamas! I had to stop making changes in order to get published—that’s what second and third books are for.
What role did SPARK Publication play in publishing your book?
Fabi started a writers group where I was able to ask questions and learn from Melisa and the other group members. Each of the “SPARKlers” has a very distinct role, from editing to photos, graphics, logos, and websites. I like the personal attention and trust they all want success for me. And I like the fact if you get “off course,” they will let you know that too.
Do you have any advice for other authorpreneurs?
Brain dump! Don’t try to edit while you’re writing your first draft.
What’s next for you?
I never wanted to write a book, but I want to share my story and the lessons learn from federal prison. I was told repeatedly that I needed to be a published author in order to be a guest speaker or keynote speaker. I used to laugh when I asked Fabi if the book had to be any good. Today, I am working with SPARK Publication’s in-house publicist who will guide me through the next steps of launching and promoting my book, which will create speaking opportunities.