Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed author Tia Graham about her work in happiness, what inspires her, and the creative writing process behind her new book, Be A Happy Leader.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
Tia Graham is a Chief Happiness Officer and the Founder of Arrive At Happy. She has worked with dozens of global companies such as Goldman Sachs, Hilton Hotels, American Heart Association and Four Seasons to elevate engagement and drive bottom line results. With multiple certifications in neuroscience, positive psychology, leadership coaching, and employee morale she has supported leaders for four years at Arrive At Happy.
Tia is also the host of the Arrive At Happy leaders show available on Spotify and iTunes. Prior to running AAH!, she led sales & marketing teams at luxury hotels in the United States and Turkey for brands such as W Hotels, Westin, and The London. She has a Business Degree in Tourism from The University of Hawaii.
She is widely regarded by the corporate happiness community and is a speaker at the annual World Happiness Summit. Her insights have been featured in national publications like CNN, Forbes, The Los Angeles Times, Thrive Global, and Well + Good. Her book, Be A Happy Leader, will be published January 2022 with Morgan James Publishing.
Tia is Canadian/American, a wife and mom of two daughters. She is also an avid traveler, snowboarder and Yogi.
When did you first WANT to write a book?
Around 2010 when I was thinking of creating a happiness company and wanted to help as many people as I could.
When did you take a step to start writing?
I started writing the book in spring of 2020 and partnered with a writing coach. I spent five weeks researching, planning and strategizing for the book, and wrote the entire manuscript in seven weeks. Then I moved on to the editing piece.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
I began in April 2020 and the book will launch on January 18, 2022, with Morgan James Publishing.
What made you want to write Be A Happy Leader?
My experience of being a leader of teams for 14 years in hotels and working with dozens of other companies, along with my science of happiness and happiness at work research. Leaders have a tremendous effect on their teams and their team’s families. I want work to be a source of happiness for leaders and people. There are so many toxic and disengaged leaders negatively affecting people and I wanted to show there’s another way.
What were your biggest challenges with writing Be A Happy Leader?
Clearly differentiating my book with other books in the marketplace.
What was your research process for Be A Happy Leader?
Ideal reader research; competitive titles research; studies and work research that I wanted in my book.
How did you plan the structure of Be A Happy Leader?
I used my writing coach’s story arc and planning tools, and this made the planning process very stress free. LOTS of work, but stress free. I also had a 25-page outline that I used before I even sat down to write.
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did Be A Happy Leader need?
My book writing coach did my first round of editing. I also hired a professional editor and proofreader. It needed editing throughout, and I was so happy to have the support and feedback. Some chapters and sections needed more than others.
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a book?
Hire an awesome writing coach!
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
A little hint – I will write a book about happiness and parenting.
And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
Pop all your book, website and social media links here so the readers can find you:
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