Have your ear to the ground. Listening and constantly being aware of what your followers and society is asking for will help you provide it to them before anyone else.

As part of my series about “How to write a book that sparks a movement” I had the great pleasure of interviewing Dr. Will Cole.

Dr. Will Cole, IFMCP, DC, is a leading functional-medicine expert, consults people around the world via webcam at drwillcole.com and locally in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He specializes in clinically investigating underlying factors of chronic disease and customizing health programs for thyroid issues, autoimmune conditions, hormonal dysfunctions, digestive disorders, and brain problems. Dr. Will Cole is the author of the book, Ketotarian, lauded by top-celebrities and CEO’s, in which he melds the powerful benefits of a ketogenic diet with a plant-based one.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share the “backstory” about how you grew up?

My parents were into health before it was cool. Since I grew up in the 80s and 90s in rural Pennsylvania, I was considered the weird kid who always had some strange health food for lunch. My friends all knew I wasn’t going to have junk food snacks at my house so they never wanted to come over and hang out. What I found annoying then, I appreciate now as it laid the foundation for my life now.

When you were younger, was there a book that you read that inspired you to take action or changed your life?

I read Before I Say Goodbyeby Ruth Pickardie in high school. She wrote this book knowing she was going to die from cancer and it was all about embracing life in the present moment. I knew then I wanted to help people not only live healthier lives, but enjoy their life no matter what health problems they may face — I wanted to provide hope.

What was the moment or series of events that made you decide to bring your message to the greater world?

I have an extended history of autoimmune issues in my family. Seeing what they had to struggle through and their ongoing symptoms made me determined to find a way to help them and not have to experience myself the same fate just because my genetics would want to say otherwise.

What impact did you hope to make when you wrote this book?

Besides just helping people reach their optimal health, I wanted to change people’s perceptions of plants and conventional keto diets. I wanted to bring these seemingly two opposite worlds together to show how its possible to dump dieting dogma and reframe how we think about food, health, and wellness.

Did the actual results align with your expectations?

Since Ketotarianwas born out of my own personal and clinical experience, I had already seen firsthand just how beneficial this way of eating can be for your health. The positive changes people are experiencing after going Ketotarian are just an extension of what I’ve already seen for years in my patients’ lives.

What moment let you know that your book had started a movement?

Seeing all of the people using #ketotarianon Instagram and other social media platforms, really hit me that this was making waves and really resonating with people.

What kinds of things did you hear right away from readers? What are the most frequent things you hear from readers about your book now? Are they the same? Different?

A lot of the excitement around Ketotarianwas due to the fact that it was the first of its kind to really combine these seemingly opposite diets together into one plan. Most people were excited and expressed their appreciation for this perspective and an easy-to-follow guide to implement this way of eating.

What is the most moving or fulfilling experience you’ve had as a result of writing this book?

Normally, I am consulting patients locally or via webcam, so I am following along on an almost daily basis with their health. Since there are only so many hours in a day, there are only so many patients I can help alongside in this capacity on their health journey. So, it’s really cool to be able to see what people are doing on social media, how they are taking their health into their own hands, and using Ketotarianto achieve the health they have always wanted and deserve.

Have you experienced anything negative? Do you feel there are drawbacks to writing a book that starts such colossal conversation and change?

Most of the negativity I’ve experienced come from people who haven’t read the book, such as die-hard conventional keto dieters, who don’t understand how plant-based and keto can go together when in reality, they absolutely can.

Can you articulate why you think books in particular have the power to create movements, revolutions, and true change?

They’re timeless. Media platforms continue to change but books have been around from the time people could put pen to paper. No matter if people are reading them in paperback or kindle form, people are still reading.

What is the one habit you believe contributed the most to you becoming a bestselling writer?

Having relentless perseverance and staying consistent were the two biggest factors to Ketotariancoming to life. I was relentless in my pursuit of getting people healthy and staying consistent in the everyday tasks — big or small — all built up to the opportunities and knowledge it took to put this together.

What challenge or failure did you learn the most from in your writing career?

I think I have been fortunate to never have experienced major failure due to the fact that I have always tried to take everything as a learning opportunity. It find myself shifting my perspective when needed and not letting setbacks define me.

Many aspiring authors would love to make an impact similar to what you have done. What are the 5 things writers needs to know if they want to spark a movement with a book?

1. Be consistent. Just coming to work every day and working away at the small tasks will build up to the end goal.

2. Do things when you don’t feel like it. Even things you are passionate come with tasks that aren’t your favorite.

3. Have your ear to the ground. Listening and constantly being aware of what your followers and society is asking for will help you provide it to them before anyone else.

4. Stay in your own lane. It’s tempting to follow the trends and the desire to imitate what other influential people are doing, but that won’t be sustainable as you aren’t being true to who you are.

5. Have a great team. Whether it is your family, friends, or employees, everyone needs support. You can’t do it alone.

The world, of course, needs progress in many areas. What movement do you hope someone (or you!) starts next?

Stay tuned for my next book in October 2019 to find out!

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Website — https://drwillcole.com/

Facebook — @doctorwillcole

Instagram — @drwillcole

Twitter — @drwillcole

Pinterest — @drwillcoleinfo

Thank you so much for these insights. It was a true pleasure to do this with you.


  • Sara Connell

    Bestselling Author & Writing Coach

    Sara Connell is an author and writing coach with a private practice in Chicago. She has appeared in Oprah, Good Morning America, NPR, The View and Katie Couric. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Tri-Quarterly, Good Housekeeping, Parenting, IO Literary Journal, and Psychobabble. Her first book Bringing In Finn was nominated for ELLE magazine Book of the Year. www.saraconnell.com