top of page

Welcome
 

Welcome to my blog! My name is Kim and I write young adult paranormal, mysteries, and thrillers. This blog enables me to share the two things I love: Books and the craft of writing.

Ask the Girl is my debut novel. Murdered in 1925, Kate must seek the help of Lila and her sister to save her from her demon prison.

Do you love thrillers, sci-fi, fantasy, and suspense with a little romance?

Find and support Kim by subscribing below to find your next adventure.

Join our mailing list

Thanks for subscribing!

Discover the Unseen and Forgotten: "The Secrets of the Hidden Workforce" Author Interview & Book Review

Discover the unseen and forgotten, "The Secrets of the Hidden Workforce" by Lisa Toth. This virtual book tour is sponsored by iRead Book Tours. Find Lisa Toth's interview about her writing journey below and don't forget to enter the giveaway!


Book Banner THE SECRETS OF THE HIDDEN WORKFORCE


 

Interview with Lisa Toth


Thank you, Lisa for joining us today and answering some questions about your writing journey.


1. Tell us about yourself and how you became a writer.


I grew up in New Jersey, where the root of my purpose and passion began. I was an avid reader growing up— I even wrote my own short stories. However, if you had asked me then if I was a writer, I would have given you a resounding no. I most identify with the title “writer” in context to the stories that made my book. So, I became a writer the day I met Johnny. Johnny was my neighbor from down the street who lived with Down Syndrome. He and I became great friends before I moved across town, but it was through Johnny I learned the invaluable lesson that anything is possible, regardless of whether one lives with a disability. Little did he know the profound impact and seeds he sowed in me would set the framework of the journey that became my lifelong career. I started my career in direct care services for people who live with different abilities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Then ventured to New Mexico and began my journey as a job coach for this remarkable community. My journey continued as I moved my life to Oklahoma where I currently reside with my wife Shelley and puppy Ted. For the past 10 years, I have owned and operated a boutique staffing agency that provides individuals with different abilities jobs they love and leads them into careers they are genuinely interested in. This is part of my story summed up in a very condensed nutshell. But to answer the question of “when I became a writer” … I still don’t consider myself a writer or an author despite doing the textbook definition of what they do. My writing is Johnny and every experience along the way that led to the fruition of this book. My book wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for them.



2. Where did you get the idea for THE SECRETS OF THE HIDDEN WORKFORCE?


As I mentioned, my book wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the people I’ve met along the way throughout my 30 years of serving and empowering people with different abilities. There are many secrets within the hidden workforce, the most important one being the unseen and unsung gifts, abilities, and talents of people who live with different abilities. How their unique abilities equip them to work and thrive in jobs they can, will, and are able to do. Then there are the other secrets within the hidden workforce— stories, critical points, issues, concerns— the secrets deliberately kept hidden. Yet even these aspects are important to the narrative, and I reveal them all in my book. Recognizing the need to amplify the voices of differently abled individuals within the hidden workforce, I allowed the story to organically unfold through my memories and experiences. These moments served as the inspiration behind my book, shedding light on the challenges and triumphs those with diverse abilities face and my journey through it all.


Your Writing Process


3. How long did it take you to write and edit THE SECRETS OF THE HIDDEN WORKFORCE? 


I underwent a major next surgery that left me out of commission for a few months and it was during this time— more like out of this opportunity— that I started to write my book. It took me about 3 months to write the book and a year and a half of editing to get it to the book we’re reading today. 



4. Why did you choose to write in prose? Do you have any tips or advice to give someone who decides to write in prose?


As you may have noticed in the way I respond to your questions, I write how I speak. It’s what comes most naturally to me. I don’t write novels or stories of other lived experiences- instead, I've poured my own lived experiences into a book. Prose emerged as the most instinctive and authentic choice for me.



5. What were the challenges you faced in writing your book? How did you overcome it?


After pouring my heart and soul onto many pages, sharing my story and passion for getting jobs for and empowering individuals with different abilities, I remember finding myself at a crossroads. I had completed the content of my book, but I needed a lot of TLC to put it all together, along with navigating the uncertainty of the next steps. Attempting to find a solution, I initially opted for a cost-effective online editor and connected with a writer who offered a deal… but that editor ended up being a bust. Quickly recognizing the importance of quality editing, I turned to someone I can always count on, my friend and the Chief Operating Officer at my company Rise Staffing, Chris, who has consistently proven to be an exceptional editor for me. I like to call her my translator or as others know her, the “Lisa whisperer.” In a collaborative effort, we negotiated a personalized arrangement, and she dedicated countless hours with me to organize and edit everything together. I am truly grateful for her invaluable assistance and friendship.


Road to Publication


7. So are you Self-Published, Hybrid Published or Traditionally Published? Why did you choose this route of publication?


I opted to pursue a hybrid publishing route. Navigating the next steps in the publishing and marketing process of my book was initially overwhelming. Fortunately, a friend of mine recommended Yorkshire Publishing, a local company in Tulsa, Oklahoma— the place I call home. Through this connection, I discovered a team that did an exceptional job and equipped me with everything necessary to best prepare my book for the market.


An aspect I appreciated about the hybrid route was the autonomy I had in choosing who I got to collaborate with to get my book ready for publishing and the market. I’m also a new author growing my name and brand and felt like the partners I chose to work with would best help promote the name and brand recognition of my book to a broader audience as well.



8. What tips, tricks, or secrets can you give a person about the type of publishing (self, hybrid, traditional) you did? 


I would highly encourage a hybrid or traditional publishing route. It is worth every penny and every moment you spend working on polishing and refining your book to the best it can be with a strong team you either build or have provided for you in whichever route you choose. By no means is it impossible to self-publish, but especially for new authors, I think working with a team is very helpful. 


It's also great to opt for working with local publishers you can meet with in person as opposed to online publishers you can’t. I spent a lot of time and money that was wasted on poor-quality assistance through virtual options. From my experience, a local, professional publishing company was the best option to work with. They also helped reinforce I wasn’t alone in my publishing journey and because of them, I’m here today able to give this interview with my book on the shelves of virtual as well as brick-and-mortar stores.



9. How do you market your book? Did you have a marketing plan? If so, what is it? 

 

My team at Yorkshire Publishing introduced me to Expound Publicity. Expound Publicity is a full-service book marketing agency that specializes in custom-integrated marketing campaigns. Their team consists of award-winning authors and experienced marketers who provide services to both new and seasoned authors, regardless of their publication route. They helped establish my marketing plan of action for my book. Currently, I am embarking on a virtual book tour that anyone can follow at: https://www.ireadbooktours.com/blog---current-tours/book-tour-the-secrets-of-the-hidden-workforce-by-lisa-toth.



Just Wanting to Know…


10. I have several Picture Book writers who follow my blog and are looking for inspiration and publication. What advice or inspiration could you give these writers?


Hello Picture book writers! I, as well as a large demographic of people, are greatly inspired by stories and subject matter exploring different abilities. I have a dream, and I believe your talent could bring it to life. Include and embrace characters who live with disabilities in your narratives. We’re talking about characters who are seamlessly woven into the fabric of society, not portrayed as “special,” but naturally included. By fostering acceptance in your narratives, your books have the potential to dismantle ableist discrimination and cultivate understanding among children as well as the many audiences who will read what you produce. Let’s work together to pave the way for a more inclusive and accepting future, one page at a time!


Thank you for joining us and I loved your book! Having a son with ASD, this book gave me hope for my son's future.

 

My Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


"The Secrets of the Hidden Workforce" by Lisa Toth is a beacon of hope for families facing the challenges of mental disorders. As a concerned parent of a child with ASD, I found this book to be a source of immense inspiration and reassurance. Lisa Toth, a radio show host turned entrepreneur, shares her remarkable journey of creating a staffing agency tailored for the developmentally disabled population.


What immediately captured my attention was the structure of the book, which is intelligently divided into easily navigable chapters. This feature allowed me to explore specific topics I was interested in without constantly searching through pages. As a busy parent looking for practical advice, I found this very helpful.


Through a collection of heartwarming anecdotes and candid reflections, Toth paints a vivid picture of her mission to empower individuals with disabilities to find meaningful employment. The stories shared within these pages are not merely tales of triumph; they are testaments to the resilience and potential of individuals who often go unnoticed by mainstream society.


Toth's agency has facilitated the employment of thousands of individuals, matching their unique strengths with opportunities that not only provide financial stability but also a sense of purpose and fulfillment. What sets this book apart is Toth's unwavering honesty about the challenges she and her clients have faced. From navigating bureaucratic hurdles to confronting societal prejudices, the journey has been far from easy. Yet, it's precisely these challenges that make the victories all the more poignant.


As a parent, I found solace in Toth's pragmatic approach and her emphasis on celebrating incremental successes. She doesn't sugarcoat the realities of living with mental disorder but offers practical strategies for navigating the complexities of the job market and fostering independence.


"The Secrets of the Hidden Workforce" is not just a book; it's a roadmap for families like mine who grapple with uncertainty about their loved one's future. It's a reminder that with the right support and mindset, individuals with disabilities can not only find their place in the workforce, but also thrive.


In conclusion, Lisa Toth's book is a must-read for anyone seeking hope and guidance in navigating the world of mental disabilities and employment. It's a testament to the transformative power of compassion, perseverance, and unwavering belief in the potential of every individual, regardless of their abilities.


 


Comments


bottom of page