Hollywood Wolfpack With Kaia Alexander
So you want to write a book? Talking strategy with publishing industry insider Claudia Boutote—from creating your concept to development to publication and everything in between.
“Writing is the act of purposeful communication. It can feel audacious to put your ideas onto the page or in whatever artistic medium you choose. Persevering in your writing quest is about articulating your vision, doing the work with intention, and taking sheer joy in the creative process as it unfolds. Focus your energy on making the things that matter, not on the outcome. I come alongside you as a thought partner, dream setter and guide. Together we believe in your success.” —Claudia Boutote
Give Your Soul a Voice
How can you visualize what is possible? How can you find and express your authentic voice?
“Finding one’s voice is the most important act we can do—whether it manifests on the page, in relationships or in any other kind of creative endeavor. I love working with experts, authors, creatives and organizations who I can believe in, see your magic, and help your light to shine.” —Claudia Boutote
Here are a few highlights from the podcast:
Robyn + Karen: Claudia, you are truly following your bliss by helping people find their voices. Why is this the cornerstone of your work?
Claudia Boutote: I think that finding one’s voice in this lifetime is the most important act we can do. Whether it manifests on the page or in relationships, or in any other kind of creative endeavor in your life. And I love working with experts, authors, creatives, who I can really believe in, see their magic and help their light shine.
R+K: Can you share a bit about your journey into the publishing world?
Claudia: I had my nose in a book ever since I can remember. To me the magic of weaving words together spoke to my soul and it transported me to different places.
After college, I went to New York City. To me that was the place where people dreaming of big things go. My first job was at the publishing house of Ernest Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald on Fifth Avenue. It was really inspirational. My journey was learning and being connected to writing and the people who wrote [the classics].
I had the wonderful opportunity to be at different publishing houses and I worked on almost every kind of book while I was in the New York publishing environment, but something was still calling to me at that deeper level. As much as I liked all the bright and shiny, my heart and my soul was looking for that deeper spirit.
R+K: Ah yes, “the calling…” We know that well! It’s what leads you on the next step towards your purpose. Where did it take you?
Claudia: Yes! That’s when I was drawn to a division of HarperCollins that was the Mind, Body, Spirit part of the publishing house. When I learned about those authors, I realized, “Wow, that book of theirs is on my bookshelf. And that book too!” I got to work with those amazing people, and it truly changed my life.
I had the opportunity to see not only what goes into the work, but what it took to really make that work go out into the world in a way that could be heard. So after all of that experience, I got to this point where I thought, “what is it that I want to do when I grow up? What’s next?”
And I realized that I love working with the writers. I love being what I might call “the wind beneath their wings.” I loved that I could come alongside a writer and help them bring their voice, their message, their legacy, their impact to the world with them. And so that’s really what I do at Red Raven Studio.
R+K: So tell us more about the Red Raven symbology?
Claudia: The reason I channeled Ravens was because I wanted to convey that it is an alchemical process to write. It’s a magical process. It’s a courageous process. It’s an audacious process. It takes everything about your soul to do it. And it’s also] a transformative process. And Ravens signify that they embody that process.
But there is no such thing as a red raven. They’re all black. The reason I picked red was that you stand out from the crowd as a red raven. And that’s what I want my authors to do.
R+K: It is such a gift that you have, Claudia! When you work alongside that writer and you are helping them express their story, is there something you intuitively feel that helps you guide them?
Claudia: Oh, thank you! I feel like it is a calling for me. I think it is a gift from the divine to have it. When I begin with any author, I do a lot of listening. I have my process that I’ve developed and one of my roles is “the end is the beginning.”
I like to start with hearing the end. Meaning, what does that person want to express?
I don’t want to see what’s on the page. I want to hear what it is that they’re imagining that this work is going to do, what is this going to convey?. What is it that they want to say on a stage five years from now?
I call it “dream setting” because that helps me intuit the expression of that. I think knowing the goal helps us put our arms around where to begin.
R+K: Claudia, thank you for being a guide for all of those authors out there who are looking to share their voice with the world.