BY: ALYSSA MAHADEO
Putting down your deepest most inner thoughts on paper and sharing them with the world is an adventure that takes strength, confidence, and courage. It takes endless hours agonizing over every word, so our voices come across loud and clear, weaving together an unforgettable and empowering story.
From an early age, Ky-Lee Hanson was aware there was power in her words. She aspired to be an author, however, she felt that odds were stacked against her. Creative writing didn’t come easy to her, and there weren’t any classes or training that she could use to hone her craft.
Through her exploration of the art of writing, Ky-Lee discovered she could appreciate the writing process, a place where she was able to exercise her ideas, and potentially create something meaningful.
“I’m self-taught, I wasn’t in a position where I could afford university or pursue a Masters in English or Journalism,” Ky-Lee explains. “I studied courses and programs in business, but there was no training on writing non-fiction or finding your truth and inspiring people through that.”
While she enjoyed writing, she struggled with the idea of not being good enough, or even qualified enough to be considered a writer. She was unsure of where she fit in and for a long time, she doubted her abilities as a writer.
Ky-Lee put the idea of being a writer on the back burner, dedicating her time to other important tasks. She spent time fostering her love of the written word, reading books, learning from the stories shared by others, attending conferences and working on herself to dispel some of the negative beliefs that were holding her back.
“I thought anything you can put your mind to you can achieve,” Ky-Lee says.
Only a few years ago, she found herself coaching people in business and entrepreneurial endeavors, something that she found came very natural to her. She had an aptitude for building and elaborating on business opportunities, and she enjoyed the creative aspect, working towards answering the ultimate question, ‘what if?’
People who were looking for someone with her abilities reached out to her for help with their businesses. Ky-Lee found herself coaching, mentoring and providing advice for many individuals. “I became a support person for a lot of people and the feedback they gave was that they liked how I conveyed my message,” she explains.
“I would help them to get their ideas down on paper, work on creating a mission statement, and naturally people started to tell me that maybe you should write a book,” Ky-Lee says.
As something she always aspired to do, writing a book was definitely on her bucket-list. As fate would have it, Ky-Lee was asked to co-author a book. “It was an amazing experience, and after all was said and done, someone asked me what was next?”
One thing lead to another and Ky-Lee found herself working with some publishers, however, in this new venture, she felt there was something missing from the process. She craved a more intimate connection with her work, she wasn’t getting the feedback, or the opportunity to share her work the way that she desired. “Through my own experience I saw a need, there was an inequality for women in the publishing field,” Ky-Lee says.
That’s when she and some of her publishing partners decided to start their own publishing house. “It was never part of the plan, but sometimes you just end up right where you’re supposed to be,” she shares.
Golden Brick Road Publishing House is a traditional/hybrid independent, female owned and operated publishing house focused on women’s leadership and empowerment. Since being established only a year ago they have helped many people predominantly women, as well as men to develop their voices, capitalize on their strengths, experience and diverse knowledge they have gained throughout their lives.
Their focus is on works of sociology, leadership, women’s empowerment, inequality, diversity, cultural equality and diversity and really shaking up the status quo to make people feel empowered to be themselves and find their unique strengths.
“I started writing as an author only a few years ago, and I noticed that there were services that were missing, how I could empower other people by living through it, being an author, being someone that really had to work hard for their opportunities,” Ky-Lee shares. “With my own company, I wanted to focus on building a community, leveraging off each other, in a place that is supportive of one another, where people can develop their story, get lots of feedback and connect the co-authors with other authors and other services, building friendships and supporting each other.”
Ky-Lee says that leadership plays an important role in the writing process, encouraging authors to really take a hard look at their work, and take the time for introspection to dig deeper instead of putting out the cliche and obvious statements many are used to.
“I want our authors to be raw, test the waters, discuss taboo subjects and really make people feel like even though things haven’t gone according to plan in their lives, they are part of the process leading to something bigger and greater.”
GBR Publishing has grown quickly over the course of a year, with an amazing team and catalogue of books that have been published and so many more coming out this year. Each of the projects that they take on are unique. They begin with a discovery call to find out about the author, to hear where they are in the writing process and if they fit within their imprint.
“We stick within what we know, with editing, and helping an author to develop their book. We are a niche and we make sure they’re a fit for us, and that we are a fit for them too.” Ky-Lee says.
GBR Publishing helps people who have an idea and a passion, whether they are just beginning a book or already have a manuscript ready. “We prefer to work with people who are in beginning stages to help develop the book,” Ky-Lee explains. “I want people to gain confidence and understanding for themselves because that is one of the most beneficial things you can get from writing.”
GBR Publishing was developed to help women in business be heard by sharing and distributing their written word. They teach people how to make a voice for themselves, and then represent their books to help that message reach the world.
“I’ve always felt that really empowering women it would be nice to see more of them in CEO roles in politics just so that we have that happy balance influencing future generations from men and women. Ultimately, we are here to build people up, as a community focused publishing house.”