Communicate from your heart. When you speak and write from your heart, people listen.

Aspart of my series on the “5 Things You Need To Know To Write A Bestselling Book” I had the pleasure of interviewing Lori Lite.

Lori Lite is the founder of Stress Free Kidsand has written 12 books. Stress Free Kids: A Parent’s Guide to Helping Children Build Self-Esteem, Manage Stress, and Reduce Anxietyhas been named a Best Stress Management Book of All Time by BookAuthority. Lori’s children’s books and curriculum are considered a resource for parents, teachers, psychologists, therapists, child life specialists, and yoga instructors. Her constant upbeat presence on social media has been awarded numerous accolades to include Top 5% Social Media Influencers and Top 100 Parenting Experts to follow Twitter(@StressFreeKids). Lori’s content is featured in hundreds of media outlets, including CBS News, CNN Living, WebMD, and Family Circle magazine. Lori Lite is currently the Manager or Marketing and Communications for Actualize Consulting, a financial services consulting firm.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share a story about what brought you to this particular career path?

As a stay-at-home mom of three active children, I experienced stress and exhaustion. Each night I spent 2 hours trying to settle my son down for sleep. I had just learned how to use deep breathing and positive statements to help reduce my own stress and improve my sleep. One night while putting my children to bed, I decided to create a story about a boy and a bear that used a breathing technique that was working for me. Remarkably, the story had my children following along and calming down with diaphragmatic breathing. My husband Rick Lite suggested that I write it down saying that he thought the story could help parents and children around the world. Thankfully I did, and this led to having my first story A Boy and a Bear: A Children’s Relaxation Book published.

What was (so far) the most exhilarating or fulfilling experience you’ve had as an author?

As a traditionally published, Indie author, and entrepreneur it was a fulfilling and adrenaline-charged moment when I appeared on Shark Tank. I felt that everything I had done in my life up until that moment had prepared me for my one chance to pitch my line of books and CDs to the sharks in front of a global audience. It was a proud moment for me as an author, mom, and entrepreneur.

What was the craziest, weirdest, wildest experience you’ve had as a bestselling author?

Seeing my titles in public is a wild experience. One of my wildest experiences was walking past a passenger on the airplane and seeing them reading Angry Octopuswith their child. It took my breath away.

What is the greatest part about being a successful, bestselling author? What is the worst (if anything) part?

The best part is knowing that I have a purpose and that I am helping children. I have received so many thank you notes over the years, but this one stands out to me. “I’ve got two kids in therapy. Truly this one little ‘What If?’ (from Stress Free Kids: A Parent’s Guide) trick has had more of an impact than all the therapy they’ve had so far. The difference in my daughter’s anxiety since we started practicing it has been huge.” — Michelle

The hardest part is self-imposed pressure to stay current, keep up with social media platforms, and continue to release new titles. Luckily my husband handles all of my Indie publishing, marketing, and distribution through his company aptly named Stress Free Book Marketing.

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

I developed the habit of believing in myself and calling myself an author even before I had my first book published. I made notes and taped them around the house with affirmations like, “I am a published author” and “I am a creative writer.”

Which writer or leader has had the biggest impact on you as a writer?

Creative Visualizationby Shakti Gawain showed me how I could use my mental energy for improving my health. The Lovables in the Kingdom of Self-Esteem by Diane Loomans helped me realize the beauty in exposing children to positive thinking. My titles bring affirmations, visualizing, and breathing to children, merging the two books that had a significant influence on me. In Affirmation Weaver positive statements are used for empowerment, Bubble Riding introduces playing with colors to relax your mind and body, and Sea Otter Coveuses the power of breathing.

What was the biggest challenge you faced in your journey to becoming a bestselling author? How did you overcome it?

Accepting the fact that I needed to use social media as part of my marketing plan. It was a challenge to learn the ropes and to put in the necessary hours to develop my platforms, but the rewards have been countless. I encourage all authors to pick 2 platforms they can develop.

Twitter has been especially generous to me. A senior editor at Scholastic followed me on twitter and ordered my books. After reading my titles she approached me to create an original title on mindfulness for Scholastic. This led to a book deal. My newest title is Stay Cool at School and part of their new Mindful Me, Happy Me series.

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

I have learned that anyone can be an author but to be a successful author you must be willing to put in the legwork and get people talking. Author Harriet Beecher Stowe inspires me. Uncle Tom’s Cabin released in 1852 long before the internet and social media sold 300,000 copies by word of mouth.

What are the 5 things a writer needs to know if he/she wants to become a bestselling author?

1. Don’t take things personally. The first few times I read a negative review I cried.

2. Be prepared for criticisms.Realize that you cannot please everyone and there will always be people that will criticize your work.

3. Believe in yourself. Surround yourself with what I call “dream keepers.” You might have to drop a few friends along the way. If they do not support your dreams, they will bring your ambitions down.

4. You must develop a follower or email base.It is all about the numbers. If you want to sell books, you must be connecting with people. My social media platform numbers had an impact on obtaining a deal with Simon & Schuster.

5. Collaborate. Reach out to colleagues and experts in your field. I included advice from Wendy Young, LMSW, BCD on the topic of helping grieving children and Dr. DiNatale, PsyD shared her tips from her experience as a school psychologist on the School Threat Assessment and Response Team in my Stress Free Kidsbook.

What are you most excited to work on next?

I am still enjoying the rush of completing two of the most exciting projects in my writing career. While creating Angry Octopus Color Me Happy, Color Me Calmcoloring book I had the opportunity to co-create with my son. Writing with my son brought my life story full circle. I created my first story A Boy and a Bear for him as I tucked him into bed. And now 20 years later he was working on a story with me. I will never forget those hours together.

I am not sure what my next project will be, but I have learned that surprises are around every corner and every social media post. Having my just-released title Stay Cool at School published with Scholastic was a career highlight. Each time think of it, I feel pure bliss. I am pampering myself by allowing myself to revel in this moment.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

I want to inspire every classroom and every parent to include stress management as part of their daily curriculum. My titles and Stress Free Kids curriculum make it easy for any parent or teacher to introduce these life skills to children.

Anything else you’d like to add? 

Communicate from your heart. When you speak and write from your heart, people listen.

Thank you so much for these great insights!


  • 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.