How to Get Run Over by a Truck

A 294-page memoir by Katie C. McKenna
3,440 copies sold
Staff pick
514 readers made this book possible
66 Super Readers
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Production Status
Marketer For inkshares Angela Melamud
Production Editor Meghan Meghan Harvey
Art Director Userphoto4 original Paul Barrett
100% Complete
start
Jan 14, 2016
progress:
100%
in bookstores:
Oct 4, 2016
Manuscript Delivered
For inkshares
Feb 11, 2016
Editing and Design Completed
For inkshares
Jun 17, 2016
File Sent to Printer
For inkshares
Aug 8, 2016
Print Book Published
For inkshares
Oct 4, 2016
Ebook Published
For inkshares
Oct 4, 2016
Some of the Bookstores Selling How to Get Run Over by a Truck
A memoir about a body that was crushed by a truck, and a spirit that refused to be.
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McKenna brings terrific humor and soul to her story.
– Newsday
Despite its name, [McKenna's memoir] is a laugh riot voyage through getting run over by a truck, recovering, living, loving...
– Gersh Kuntzman, New York Daily News Columnist
About How to Get Run Over by a Truck

I am Katie McKenna -- writer, sometime comedian and professional fundraiser living in Brooklyn. I got run over by a truck, a big 18-wheeler, and lived to tell the tale.

Most of my earlier writing had been never-ending journals since I was 8 years old and stand-up bits for open mic nights around New York City. Creating something that makes another person smile or laugh gives me joy. I delight in laughing at myself.

This memoir began as a journal entry on a borrowed laptop during my extended hospital stay. I had finally regained use of my hands, and it was the best way to psychologically work through the intensity of my debilitating accident. It felt like my written musings became one long stand-up set -- a way to make light of the terrible, but surprisingly hilarious, things that happened when I was 25 years old and had just been run over by a truck.

Yes, that seriously happened.

For real.

I actually know what someone means when they say, “I feel like I’ve been run over by a truck,” because I was. Twice, if you count the axles (and I do). On the morning of October 2, 2007, I went from being a 25-year-old girl riding my bike before work to a traffic victim with deep tire tracks across my stomach.

After 10 hours of emergency surgery, I woke up horrified. My body was fractured, stuck with tubes, covered in fresh wounds and surgery scars. I looked down at legs that were attached to my body that refused to do what I asked them.

Everyone has had a moment where they feel like they have been run over by a truck. One pivotal moment that breaks apart everything one knows to be true. My truck moment was literal, but others are figurative. We all have a choice: either mourn the life you lived or fight to create a new life so beautiful that you can’t help but fall in love with it. This memoir is a record of that fight.

My new life is here with awkward, hilarious, heartbreaking and amazing details. If Inkshares publishes “How to Get Run Over by a Truck,” I hope to be a source of inspiration and strength for others who have gotten knocked down by life. Those looking for a story that will help them believe that they can get up again.

Read part of How to Get Run Over by a Truck
Chapter 1
a 27 minute read

My first recommendation is to ride a bicycle. This is specifically for their fool factor – every time I saw someone riding a bicycle it seemed so innocuous. It was low-impact exercise that was good for you. Lance Armstrong rode a bicycle and he beat like one million kinds of cancer. Does that not promote the idea of health and well-being in regards to the bicycle?

I live in Brooklyn and all of the hipsters ride bicycles: they have messenger bags and wear vintage glasses and they make riding over the Williamsburg Bridge look cool and sweat free. I thought that if those pasty skinned music lovers could handle riding their bikes in Brooklyn so could I. I mean hello! I was an All County Track Champion in high school, I am completely jacked and awesome. I knew I could own that bicycle. I’m not just talking about owning it in the actual “I purchased it kind of way”—–I mean own it in the frat boy way, e.g., “we totally owned that keg last night.” That was the way I was going to own that bicycle.

I actually did, for almost a year. I rode my bike for errands, I rode my bike to work, I rode my bike to my friends’ apartments in the neighborhood, locking it to stop signs and feeling eco-conscious and thoughtful. In the summer I even took myself on romantic bike rides—and let me tell you that bicycle had moves. Stopping in McCarren Park at twilight made me feel like I was in a foreign film sitting on a park bench drinking wine in a black beret and a scarf, when I was in fact sitting on patchy brown grass, wearing sports shorts and running sneakers and drinking a Bud Light Tall Boy in a brown paper bag.

When I woke up early on October 2nd, the day that I got run over by a truck, I won’t tell you that I had a premonition, or that there was a hand on my shoulder that told me to not go out that day – because that would be untrue. But I did get the feeling that someone was trying to tell me something I obviously had no interest in hearing. These were my signs from God: 1. My bike tires were flat; 2. I almost fell down the stairs trying to get my bike out of the apartment; and — most important — 3. I did not wear any underwear.

Most lazy twenty-four-year-old people when faced with the fact that the tires on their bike are flat would say, “Fuck it, I’m not going to bother.” Nope not me, not Katie can-do, I was like, “I’ll fill up my tires and get in a workout – this is going to be the best morning ever!”

Then my bike tried to attack me as I took it down the stairs. We got out of the door just fine, but as we went down the stairs the bike started to bend and fold as if it was trying to fight me to get back into the apartment. I should have seen it as a cry for help. Bob the Bike knew more than I did – he didn’t want to die either. He was trying to stop me, but I wasn’t listening. I wanted to be thin, to get that endorphin rush, and on top of that I wanted to see the sunrise – I wanted it all.

As a child I was told to always wear clean underwear, the...

Discuss How to Get Run Over by a Truck with the Author.
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Wrogers · Reader · added 3 days ago
Katie’s insight into her accident and the challenges of her recovery reveals many of the fears and anxieties that all of us face. Her style in presenting them with her most inner thoughts makes her book a terrific read and valuable in our everyday lives.
Thanks Katie for writing your book.
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Dear Sweethearts,

Happy Wednesday! 365 short days ago, I stared at my Inkshares project page. It was full of the first chapter of the book I had written , why I wanted for this book to become a reality support, and an ask. I asked you all, many of you perfect strangers, to take the worst thing that had ever happened to me, and to help me make it into something beautiful, into something helpful.  I exhaled deeply, I closed my eyes and then clicked submit.

Now, here we are 1 year later. And because of your support, kindness, and willingness to share this story we have sold over 3,400 copies of "How to Get Run Over by a Truck"!!! That has happened in the 3 short months since it has been published! It is being sold online, and in bookstores across the country!!  Not only helped me to break Inkshares sale records, but to help others laugh in the face of tragedy, to feel less alone - you have made my dream come true! 

Isn’t it amazing that you did that! You, beautiful, stunning, generous human being! I hope that you feel proud of creating a miracle - because I am VERY proud of you! 

In the last year, your support has changed my life dramatically.  For the first time I felt like I was actually a good writer, that my story had worth, and that it was a sotry that others might be interested in it. I had the confidence to use my experience and my voice to help others - which is the greatest gift I have ever been given.

I have been invited to speak at colleges, medical schools, financial firms, hospitals, elementary schools, high schools bookstores and bars!  I have been overwhelmed by the response that I have gotten from strangers after these talks. I have been approached by men and women weeping for their own traumas, strangers grabbing my hands telling me that my little story has given them hope, doctors with 20 years of medical experience letting me know that I have changed the way that they see their patients. It has given me more clarity around what I would like to do with my life, a purpose,  and for that I am forever grateful. 

Your support of this effort has been so meaningful to me, and to all of the people who have read this book. I wish that I could send you all of the emails, tweets, posts and whispered thank you’s that I have heard over the last three months (but that would be a lot, and you guys are busy people!) So, instead, I just wanted to reiterate to you that your love and support has had a serious impact on my life, and on the lives of others! 

I have been blown away by the fact that more people need this story than I had ever imagined. I spoke at New York University Hospital’s Grand Rounds a few weeks ago, and I was so moved by their feedback, and how grateful they were for a patients take on how small kindnesses can change their interactions with their patients. I am going to St. Barnubus Hospital in a few weeks to speak to all of the doctors, nurses and EMT’s in their trauma center, to give them insight into their patients experience, so that they can empathize more deeply with the people who come into their care. I have LOVED giving these talks.  Incredibly, the connections to these hospitals have been made by all of you! You saw worth in this book, and shared it with the medical professionals in your life! I cannot tell you how meaningful that has been to me, and I hope that you will keep sharing! 

I have another book event coming up at one of my favorite bookstores, Northshire Bookstore in Manchester VT! It is going to be on January 20, at 7:00. If you are in the area I would love to see you there and give you a BIG hug! If you’re able to join us, please RSVP here! Bonus: my amazing parents, Art and Margo will be there, and they are even better in person than they are on paper :) 

Also, you all have been SO amazing about leaving Amazon reviews! We are at 77 reviews as of this morning, and apparently, if the book get to 100 reviews it shifts the way that Amazon markets the book online! We are only 23 reviews away from that goal! So, if you have 5 minutes and haven’t reviewed it yet, I would be so grateful for your feedback

Finally, I wanted to offer up something special to you all - recently, some friends who have chosen How to Get Run Over by a Truck as their book club pick, have invited me to join a portion of their book club meeting to answer questions, or to chat about the book, or to just allow me to step into a small beautiful sliver of their worlds as they talk about their own challenges and trauma’s. If that is something that you would be interested in having me Skype, or FaceTime into - please feel free to contact me via Inkshares or the Facebook page for How to Get Run Over by a Truck

I sincerely cannot thank you enough for your love, kindness, and support of this book over this last year. I am unsure of what I did to deserve so much love, but I promise that I will keep doing it.  Thank you for everything that you have done for me in the last 365 days, it has meant more to me than you know! 

Sending you love, hope and gratitude on this rainy Brooklyn morning! 

Heart,

Katie 

 

 

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Dear Sweethearts,

 I hope that you are doing well and that you are having a lovely Tuesday! I wanted to reach out to you to give you a few updates and also to ask you for one small favor. So I want to share the coolest update first - we have sold over 3,000 copies of this book!! Can you believe it?!  I know that I couldn’t! I sat staring at my computer blinking long and hard to make sure I was seeing the numbers correctly! You all made this possible, so thank you so much! 

Recently “How to Get Run Over by a Truck" was reviewed by Her Agenda. The reviewer was kind enough to  say: ”The memoir is beautiful—it’s shocking, heartbreaking, funny, dark, and brutally honest. It’s a must read for everyone.”  Which was so incredible to hear! I also recently wrote an article for Amendo Magazine entitled “What Not to Say to Someone Who Has Been Through a Trauma", I was delighted that they asked me to write this piece, and I am so hopeful that it will be helpful for others when finding the right words can be really challenging. 

 In publishing news two awesome things have happened: the audiobook of “How to Get Run Over by a Truck” has just been published by Audible! I was so excited when I found out that they were going to let me be the voice actor for the audiobook, but I couldn’t have imagined what a meaningful experience it was going to be. Reading the entire memoir aloud made me relive the experience in a way that I didn’t when I just read in the book. While I was reading I was humbled by all of the love and support that had brought me to this beautiful and unlikely place. Here I was sitting in a recording studio, reading a book that I wrote, that only came into being because of all of your love and support! We had to stop the recording like 10 times because of my spontaneous weeping (I am the consummate professional!) You can listen to a snippet of it here, and if you are so inclined, you can buy it and hear me talk to you for over 8 hours ☺ The other awesome thing that has happened is that the short story that I wrote “The Gift of Hope” has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Angels and Miracles Edition, which is such an honor! 

 I also have a small favor to ask you all – so many of you have been kind enough to reach out and let me know your thoughts about the book, what you liked, what made you laugh, what made you cry – and it has been one of the best experiences of my life to know that something I wrote made you feel something! I was wondering if I could ask you to take that feedback one step further, and write a short review on Amazon. I currently have about 34 reviews, which is awesome! But I recently learned that if I was able to get over 100 reviews of “How to Get Run Over by a Truck”, it would increase the visibility of the book on the site dramatically, and bring more potential readers to the book! Which would be so amazing. It doesn’t have to be a super long review, just a few sentences would be so helpful! And a huge thank you to those of you who have already written reviews – you are wonderful!  

Also, if you are in the New York City area and are free on Monday night, I am going to be doing a book event for "How to Get Run Over by a Truck" on Monday November 21 at the Cobra Club in Brooklyn! All of the information you’ll need is here. I would love to see you there for hugs, a reading, some storytelling and also Q & A where I would be happy to answer any questions you might have! I hope to see you there! 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and for being incredible people. I am so grateful for you! 

Heart, 

Katie   

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Good Morning Sweethearts!

I hope that you all are doing well and that you’re having a lovely Friday! The last two weeks since the book has launched has been such a dream. I have been so touched that so many of you have texted or emailed me pictures of the books as they arrived at your homes, sent me photos of your children with the books, and also have given me your feedback on "How to Get Run Over by a Truck" It has been so wonderful to hear from you, and I am incredibly grateful to you for sharing your experience with me! 

A few really wonderful things have happened that I wanted to share with you! I have done a couple of interviews about the book, and about my experience that I wanted to share with you. 

In this interview I spoke about the day of the accident, and what it is like to be aware of the fact that you might lose your life in this Arrvls Podcast entitled "40 Blinks" 

I spoke with Brooklyn Paper Radio about being a cyclist in Brooklyn, about what happened to the Truck driver, and they also asked me some tough questions about Warren. It was awesome and overwhelming all at the same time!  

I also spoke with my best friend Leah Bonvissuto on this Storycorp interview, where we talked about how important it is to use your voice and to tell your story. It was an incredible interview with one of my favorite people in the world! 

There was also some buzz about the book recently, which was unexpected and amazing! Jaime King, the beautiful and talented actress sent out an Instagram picture of the books that she’s reading right now to her 1 million followers, and "How to Get Run Over by a Truck" was on the top of the pile! It was such a happy surprise!

Also, New York Magazine listed "How to Get Run Over by a Truck" as one of the 13 Books We’re Reading Right Now! Which is mind blowing, because #1 its an amazing magazine and #2 because New York Magazine is my favorite magazine of all time! I can’t even believe that this is all happening! 

I want to share with you all a really touching thing that has happened just yesterday - my insanely talented friend Arian Saleh, composed a score for the book for his musical project entitled The Libretto Project. It is so beautiful that I can’t help but I weep every time I hear it. On his site are all of the books that he has created scores for, and they are stunning! I am so honored to be a part of that list! 

So, that’s what’s been happening in my world sweethearts! Thank you for making all of this possible! I am so incredibly grateful for your love and support! 

Heart,

Katie 

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Dear Sweethearts,

I got up yesterday morning at 5 am to workout. As I dressed in the gray morning light, it reminded me of the years that I would force myself to get up at 5 am and drag myself to my computer to bang out bits and pieces of my memoir for the 2 hours I had before commuting into work. It was the quietest that my Brooklyn neighborhood was all day. It felt like I was the only person awake in the world. It was lonely, but it felt right.

I struggled to put my feelings into words. I wanted to be honest with myself about who I was, how I felt and who I was trying to be. I did my best not to flinch about my ugly feelings, to stare deeply into my own mortality, fragility and also to dive in deeper past the negativity, to the beautiful hidden places where joy lived. 

 I spent my lunch hours tucked out of sight in unused cubicles in the back of the open trading desk where I worked - editing, crying, laughing. My evenings would bring me back to the same spot at the little desk in my bedroom, eating pretzels sipping tea and trying to get all of my memories out, writing with the fervor of a dying woman who didn’t want her life to get lost to time. 

I wrote to make the pain more comprehensible, I wrote for old Katie because her story deserved to be told, and I wrote for the the stranger living somewhere in the world who might need a story like this, when they are feeling particularly hopeless. I wanted to tell them that the impossible happens all the time, we just don’t talk about it. It’s ok to be scared, it’s ok to laugh, it’s ok to cry - I usually do those three things in tandem. Even though I was writing this at my little desk by myself in Williamsburg - I wanted for the stranger to know, that they aren’t alone.  I’ve been there too. 

I tried to make this book possible by myself, I sent it out to 75 agents across the country, I received their rejections, their emails and letters that told me that I wasn’t a good enough writer that the story wasn’t compelling enough, that no one would ever buy this book, I should hire a ghost writer. I took it to heart and I swallowed the rejection alone. 

Then, I found Inkshares, and suddenly other writers were telling me that this book was something they thought was worth reading. From there, I found all of you, and I heard you saying "We believe in you. We’ll make this happen - we can do it together." And just like that, I wasn’t alone any more.  How to Get Run Over by a Truck stopped being just my story - it became all of ours. 

I know that it is an imperfect piece of art, but it is a reflection of me and all of the pieces I tried to fit back together.  I love you for opening up your hearts to this story, to this book, and to me. There is no other way I could imagine bringing this book into the world today. Thank you for standing with me. To me, you are perfection. 

Thank you for making this book possible. Yesterday was one of the proudest days of my life. I saw the book I have worked so hard on for years in the hands of people that I love, I got to read from the book in front of over 100 people who packed themselves into the KGB Bar on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. I cried and I laughed with people I knew, and with strangers. It was incredible.  Thank you for being a part of this amazing journey. I hope that you are enjoying your books! If you are, if you’d be willing to take a moment to leave a short review here on amazon.com’s website, I would be SO grateful! It will direct new people to the book, and hopefully get it into the hands of more people who need to hear this kind of a story! 

I will be forever grateful for your kindness and for your support - thank you for changing the course of my life

Heart,
Katie 
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Dear Sweethearts,

Happy Tuesday! I am writing you from a very comfortable seat on an Amtrak train on my way from New York up to Boston. I was asked to speak at the Wentworth Institute of Technology, to college students about How to Get Run Over by a Truck and the importance of resiliency, and I have been staring out the window during this whole trip trying really hard not to cry.  I am failing miserably. 

I’m crying because I cannot believe that this is my life. Gratitude sometimes spills out of me via tears - which in this particular case makes people very unlikely to take the seat next to me!  

Right now, some of you are already reading the ebook of this memoir, many of you will be receiving the hard copy of the book in a few days, in one week it will be in bookstores and in five days I will go with my family, my boyfriend and few friends to the corner where I was run over by a truck and I will drink champagne, I will cry, I will laugh and I will pour out some champagne for old Katie. Its going to be a full week :) 

Thank you again for being a part of this process, and for joining me on this incredible journey. I cannot believe that just 9 months ago I went from being told that no one would be interested in reading this book, to having over 2,600 copies sold before its release date! You are the people who made this dream a reality.  Without you, it would’ve stayed in the bottom drawer of my desk,collecting dust. You let it  come into the light. 

I hope that I will see many of you who are in the New York City area on October 4th at KGB Bar for the Book Launch party.  I would love to hug you and thank you in person for believing in me and in this project!

I’ll be thinking of you on October 2nd, with gratitude in my heart, and champagne in my hand.  Thank you for making my life a celebration. 

Heart,

Katie 

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Happy Friday Sweethearts!

I hope that you all are doing well and that you are having a beautiful day so far! I wanted to send you a quick email to let you know some exciting news, and also to invite you to an event! 

I recently found out that a story that I wrote, "The Gift of Hope" that is a story based on "How to Get Run Over by a Truck, is going to be featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Angels and Miracles Edition! This book will be coming out in November, and I am honored and so incredibly excited!

Also, I would like to invite all of you who are in Long Island and NY area to come to a reading that I am going to be having at The Dolphin Bookstore on October 13th, in Port Washington, New York! 

Here are the details:
October 13th
7:00 pm 
Dolphin Bookstore 
299 Main St
Port Washington NY 11050


You can find more information here, and you can also RSVP! It would be so wonderful to see you in person, and to thank you for pre-ordering this book and making my dream into a reality! 

I hope that you all have lovely weekends! 

Heart,
Katie 
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Hello Sweethearts! 

I hope that you are doing well and that you’re having an exceptional day! I am sorry to be emailing you twice in one week, but this update was one that I couldn’t wait to share with you.

We have decided to update the cover of the book! The team at Inkshares thought that having a brighter and lighter cover would be more in the spirit of the book itself, so they updated it. I was just emailed the image moments ago, and I had to send it to you all immediately.

I didn’t think that I could love a cover more than the original cover, but I am so over the moon about this new version!  I hope that you like it too! 

Heart,

Katie 


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Good Morning Sweethearts! 

I hope that you all are doing well and that you are having a wonderful summer!  I have a few exciting updates that I wanted to share with you all as the publication date gets closer and closer! 

Over the last few months we have seen independent, as well as corporate bookstores purchasing copies of How to Get Run Over by a Truck. With this push from these bookstores (as of today) we have pre-sold 2,450 books! Which is unbelievable! So unbelievable in fact, that when I got the email saying that over 2,000 books had been sold I threw my phone across the table at my friend Tommy and immediately started to cry (are we sensing a theme with how I handle good news?!)  

We have also seen more reviews of the book start to come in that I would love to share with you: 

"Katie McKenna has written an incredibly moving and insightful journey through her horrific medical trauma and painful rehabilitation. In courageously confronting her brokenness she reminds us of the inestimable value of faith, family, friends and a remarkable sense of humor. Her narrative emerges as a constant reminder that compassionately listening to the patient is the primary instrument of healing. This book should be required reading for all professionals who work in the field of medical trauma and rehabilitation."

Leo J. Shea III, Ph.D. Clinical Associate Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine NYU-Langone Medical Center

"Gripping, honest and full of humor, I couldn’t put Katie McKenna’s How to Get Run Over by a Truck down. At times I felt like I was listening to Katie recount her story as we shared a glass of wine, as it was incredibly personal and very real. Her clever blend of honesty and humor encourage the reader to reflect on their own approach to overcome challenges in their own life. She gives you perspective and strength by sharing her story." 

Sarah Lowell Harmon, LMHC, Wentworth Institute of Technology 

"How to Get Run Over by a Truck is one of the funniest, bravest memoirs I’ve ever read. I think we all wonder what would happen if we had to start over. Here is how one woman did it -- rebuilding her body and life by force of will and personality. It reminded me how humor truly is an act of grace."

  --John Freeman, editor of "Freeman’s" and author of "How to Read a Novelist." 

I cannot tell you how honored I am to have such incredible people take the time to read this book, and to  have such lovely things to say about it! 

The final piece of news that I have is that the book launch party for "How to Get Run Over by a Truck" will be on October 4th from 7:00 - 9:00, and I would be delighted if you could join us! Here are the details: 

KGB Bar 

85 East 4th Street

New York, NY 10003

There will be readings, a brief Q& A with me, and some time to talk afterwards! I hope that you can join us! 

Thank you again for your incredible support! None of this would have been possible without you!

Heart,

Katie 



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Hello Sweethearts! 

I hope that you all are doing well and that your summer has been full of popsicles, time spent with people you love and lots of sunshine! Things have been progressing really well with How to Get Run Over by a Truck. We have been editing the manuscript itself, finalizing the cover, and sending out galley copies (the promotional copies of the book - not the final ones you’ll be getting :) to book reviewers and to bookstores! In some really fantastic news, the book has gotten a few really wonderful reviews that I’d love to share with you: 

"Katie McKenna’s beautiful, wrenching memoir reduced me to actual tears—and then, slowly, left me with a broad smile and a growing sense of wonder. This book starts out as the story of an accident, but it becomes a meditation on the preciousness of life, and the long road we all travel to become ourselves." —Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of She’s Not There and Stuck in the Middle with You 

 "At times visceral and horrifying, at times heartbreaking and healing, and at times hilarious, McKenna’s memoir is a testament to the incredible resilience of the human spirit coming up against a crushing blow." —Hilary Angus, Managing Editor of Momentum Mag

 "...Unflinchingly honest, at times dark, and yet surprisingly funny — a delight to read." —Michael J. O’Loughlin, author of The Tweetable Pope: A Spiritual Revolution in 140 Characters 

I am over the moon that some of the people who have read it have really enjoyed it, and I CAN’T WAIT to share it with you! 

Also, another bit of exciting news is that we have recently sold the audiobook rights  Audible! The release date of the audio book is TBD, but I am so delighted about this opportunity, and so grateful to Inkshares for making this happen!

And lastly, I was recently featured in a podcast by the start-up company SpareMin! They  interviewed me about my memoir, and my experience writing it, how I wrote the book that I needed to read, and what the feedback has been: 

https://www.sparemin.com/category/the-spare-minute/

The conversation with me starts at about 10:40, but listen to the whole podcast - its really great! 

Thank you all again for your incredible support and kindness, none of this would have happened without you!! You are too wonderful for words. 

Heart,

Katie McKenna