Interview with Sue Ellen Kolman
Author of Tarot for All Time
Where are you from originally and where do you reside now?
I was born in New York City and am now in Eugene, Oregon.
If you currently reside somewhere besides where you were born, what’s the story that lead from there to here?
College and graduate school were in Maryland, where I taught every age from pre-school to adult continuing-education, got married, raised two children, studied astrology, tarot, crystals, and alternative healing, got divorced, and tried to figure out who I wanted to be when I grew up. I also became a certified clinical hypnotherapist. In the late ’90s, I asked the universe to send me a sign as to whether I should stay or leave. I received an answer and moved to Oregon.
What made you decide to write and publish your first book?
I had been reading tarot cards for years and kept getting insights and information that was somewhat different from what I had heard in class or what I had been taught. Friends encouraged me to write a book about these messages, but I thought they were just being kind and supportive. In 1991, I went to a psychic fair and sat across the table from Ernestine Knippschild, whom I had heard of but never met. She looked me in the eye and said, “How many people is it going to take before you write the tarot book?” That’s when I knew it was real. It still took me until 2012 to organize, refine, submit, get “encouraging” rejection notices, and research the process before Tarot for All Time was published.
How would you describe your books to first time readers?
Tarot for All Time is a complete guide for beginners and experts alike. It is based on the premise that whether you like it or not, you are in charge of your life. The cards are a tool to bring you insights and information so that you can get clearer guidance and understanding in order to make better choices and decisions.
Who do you feel is most likely to connect with the topics you write about?
Anyone from teenagers on up who is interested in understanding tarot and how it can be used as a tool to develop insight can benefit from this book. It can be used as a self-help book, a metaphysical text, or exercises in service and healing for oneself and others.
What unexpected or surprising thing did you learn during the process of writing and publishing?
I was sometimes surprised by what I had written after I read it. It took as much time to edit it, find and correct mistakes, as it did to write. Also, I was not prepared for all of the costs of obtaining permissions, attracting publicity, starting a website, submitting manuscripts, and having to re-do the website when it got hacked (more than once). I am still learning to trust myself and move beyond my limiting beliefs.
If you could, what advice would you give to your past self before embarking on this journey?
Believe in yourself and know that you are enough. There is enough of everything you need in the universe.
How many people would you ideally like to reach with your books?
I believe there are at least 1000 people out there who would like it and find it helpful.
What has been the biggest challenge and frustration during the process to date?
Scammers who stole the downloadable version of the book without paying for it (since discontinued) Oh Yes, another learning experience.
What’s your biggest strengths when it comes to book a) writing, b) publishing and c) marketing?
What’s your biggest weakness when it comes to book a) writing, b) publishing and c) marketing?
B and C
When do you think you will write your next book?
Are you self published or did you use a hybrid publisher, or a traditional publisher?
I self-published on Lulu, and in the last eight years have been contacted by six or seven “publishers” interested in representing it. All of these have asked for a substantial investment to do so.