Propelled by Your Own Story with Carrie Severson

What if being the vessel for your own story could propel you to where you want to go? Join publisher Carrie Severson and I as we explore how getting your story into the world can move you into a new place in your life. In this episode you’ll discover:

  • How ignoring your story weighs on you
  • The story that propelled Carrie into launching a publishing house
  • Surviving multiple rejections and accepting who you are
  • Being so present that fear of visibility doesn’t come up
  • The changes that come when you stop apologizing for your voice

Featured Guest

Carrie Severson

CEO of The Unapologetic Voice House

Carrie Severson is the CEO of The Unapologetic Voice House, an independent publishing agency. She has been in the storytelling space for more than 20 years. After being published by an independent publisher herself, she spent five years pitching literary agents in the hopes of being published traditionally. She desperately wanted that traditional publishing deal. After 100 rejections from literary agents, she launched the company that could help women just like her – unapologetic in their story and looking for support.
Now, she has the opportunity to walk the journey of developmental editing, publishing and mentoring aspiring female authors throughout the world.

After spending two decades in the storytelling world, she knows how to get a great book out into the marketplace.


The Circle: three-tiered program to help women start writing, finish writing and publish their book.

episode transcription

Heather Clark  00:01

Welcome to Unshakable Being, the podcast with inspiration and practical tools for purpose led leaders like you to relieve stress, build resilience, and unlock vitality in your life, body and business. I am Dr. Heather Clark, and I’ll be your host.


Heather Clark  00:19

Hello and welcome back to Unshakable Being. Today we have on the show Carrie Severson. She is the CEO of the Unapologetic Voice House, which is an independent publishing agency. She’s been in the storytelling space for more than 20 years. After being published by an independent publisher herself. She spent five years pitching literary agents in the hopes of being published traditionally, she desperately wanted that traditional publishing deal. And after 100 rejections from literary agents, she launched the company that could help women just like her, unapologetic in their story and looking for support. Now she has the opportunity to walk the journey of developmental editing, publishing and mentoring aspiring female authors throughout the world. Carrie, welcome to the show.


Carrie Severson  01:09

Thank you so much, I greatly appreciate it.


Heather Clark  01:12

excited to have you on and I hear your furry little friend in the background. So hello to your dog as well.


Carrie Severson  01:19

Somebody literally just drove by. and Leah likes to pretend that she’s, yeah, she’s the she is the neighborhood watchdog for sure. And she lives in my house.


Heather Clark  01:31

She’s just doing her job.


Carrie Severson  01:33



Heather Clark  01:33

just doing her job. Yeah, I love it. I’m so glad to have you on.


Carrie Severson  01:37

Yes, thanks. Me, too.


Heather Clark  01:38

So there’s so much I want to talk to you about but one of the first things is why get your story into the world, like what does that do for a person to have your story out into the world?


Carrie Severson  01:51

I love it. Well, I’m the people that I’ve worked with over the last 20 something years, I guess, there’s this, when we have a story in an energy in the presence of it sort of doesn’t always live in us, it lives around us. And we become this vessel of it. But it’s this all encompassing, never yielding energy. That is consistencies consistently sort of vibing around us, and when we’re ignoring that presence, it starts to weigh on us.


Carrie Severson  02:38

And the women that I’ve worked with over the last several years, always come to us and always come to me and say, I know I have a story, I just don’t know how to get it out there. And once they’re able to express it and become a vessel for it and let it go. And release it, there seems to be this. Like this exhale, or this relief like this, or like best friend has just gone off to college or something, there’s this exchange that happens in this vacuum that we’re now existing in.


Carrie Severson  03:25

So I always love to talk about the fact that like, the energy that we put into the story is an act of law of attraction. track where no matter how it lands, with the audience, because that’s not our responsibility, or even, we can’t really control how they’re going to respond to it. But we can control how we put it out into the world and the cleanest energy you have and the best energy you have. If you’re doing those things, and you’re putting that out into the world. Something good is going to Boomerang back. Right.


Carrie Severson  04:06

And so I like to encourage people to lean into that big presence that’s vibing all around you, acknowledge it, give gratitude for it and work on being the best vessel you can for it, and then letting it go and watch what the you know, the miracle of being out to the world does to propel you forward, I guess is the long answer to that is to move you into a new place.


Heather Clark  04:38

So it sounds like one of the consequences of leaving your story untold. It’s as if it’s leaving a part of you outside of yourself.


Carrie Severson  04:47

Yeah. I have, um, I can I can testify to that too. I guess the book that I’m currently working on is one that I started writing in my burnout. recovery of 2014. And I mean, that’s a long time ago. I’ve changed tremendously since then. And yeah, I couldn’t. It was almost like a guilt. I felt like, I know, I’m supposed to pull this. And I know I’m supposed to bring this forward. And I just sort of abandoned it and left it. And I had a bunch of reasons for doing that. And so finally, coming into this year, feeling as solid as I do, and as long as I’m on such firm foundation, I was like, you know, I acknowledge you, I love you. And I’m going to do everything I can to release you. And so there’s this like, excitement and peace, I feel at the same time with it.


Heather Clark  05:59

That’s really interesting. And have you noticed that for other people, because it sounds like it’s as if leaving the story behind, which a lot of us kind of sometimes would prefer to do, created some issues. So bringing it along, and it’s almost as if it was a full processing allowed you to bring all parts of yourself into it.


Carrie Severson  06:20

Yeah. So this, this particular story is the one that actually propelled me to launch the publishing house. And it’s gone through so many versions, and I think my relationship with it. I’m not sure if it’s like this for everybody. But when I wrote the first draft, it was about recovering from burnout. And it was who I was at the time. And that’s when I started pitching agents, and started going to conferences, and coming up against the same thing that a lot of people do, expecting that we’ve gone through this tremendous traumatic thing, and I didn’t just survive it, I thrived it and I’m able to stand on the side of it and share it. And I have so much I can teach other people going through it.


Carrie Severson  07:06

And we, a lot of times authors will think because we’ve done this huge thing. Surely, it’s going to be this gigantic seller, and an agent is going to pick us up and we’re going to get this gigantic deal and meet like Gabby Bernstein and all this stuff, right. Um, and that didn’t happen. And so I was rejected about 80 times 100 times, I can’t remember. And I decided to go back to the drawing board and, and rewrite it thinking, well, being a spiritual, intuitive person, because it wasn’t accepted. Clearly, it wasn’t the right book. And so I rewrote it. And I tried it again, and again, met with the same, you don’t have a big enough following. You know, Brene Brown is selling out Netflix specials. I can’t sell it, right. That’s what a lot of agents said.


Carrie Severson  08:01

And so I landed in the place that is now which is a combination of me accepting who I am without professional accolades. And it was accepting who I was without a romantic partner, and really a deep understanding of who I am at my soul level. And so when I look at my relationship with the book and how it’s changed, the title has changed. But the tone and the writing was never it that itself, and once I landed in the final version, which I finalized and wrote and finished in 2017, I’m so proud of that work that has not evolved.


Carrie Severson  08:45

When I look at it, and I read it I’m, I feel as represented, and who I am today is who I was then. And so when I go back and I look at I’m like, holy cow, this is phenomenal writing, there is this sense of, I can hear it in my voice right now we’ve been talking about it like it’s not shame or guilt or embarrassment of not having ever pulled it in since. But if I it’s such good work. I would feel bad if I didn’t set it free. Because it in itself, that energy that I was present to as its vessel. It’s strong, it’s beautiful. It’s powerful. It deserves to be out. I don’t know if other people have that same reaction though. I know that that’s my journey as a writer.


Heather Clark  09:41

How have things shifted for you as a result of bringing this story into the world?


Carrie Severson  09:50

well Well, that’s in its current version of being super. I don’t want to it’s vulnerable, right? I’m a nonfiction writer. And so all writing for me is wonderful. And I’m reading it aloud to my husband, I wrote it before I met him. It and seen how much I changed in the course of it, sharing intimate pieces about what happened to my body, having gone through a couple of failed fertility, I call them experiments, because I did IVF twice, and my immune system broke and I got really, really ill on top of it actually didn’t end up with anything tangible.


Carrie Severson  10:46

In the end of those experiments, who I was, at the end of the book, was definitely not the person I was in the beginning. So I’m acknowledging that growth personally, feels, I’m just, so it’s like this big mirror, I’m consistently holding up being like, you did this, remember, this is something you’ve gone through. So changing as an author in the beginning of your writing experience versus the end, there, it is, an acknowledgement of your own personal growth. We don’t need anyone else to tell us, congratulations, you did a phenomenal job. Just in its in its finished product, is the acknowledgement. So I’ve grown tremendously definitely, personally. And, professionally, it is by far the best thing I’ve written. And I’ve, I’ve been published a lot, I’ve written a lot. And this is by far my favorite. So I’m excited to you know, move it forward.


Heather Clark  11:59

How wonderful I love that. Um, cuz there’s a lot of really great places that we can go with that, I’m just gonna bring that in, take it in for a second.


Heather Clark  12:10

One of the themes that I heard was, it wasn’t what I want to say simply the writing of it because writing a book is no small feat. But simply the writing of it. It as you’re sharing it, it really has a vibe, like it’s allowing it to exist, allowing it to move through you, allowing you to see the story, have it reflected back to you and allowing that to change you sharing it with the person who would then become your husband and just bringing it into the world and allowing the evolution to continue?


Carrie Severson  12:46

mm hmm


Heather Clark  12:47

That’s so delicious. And, and I know that you do a lot of work with other writers with your publishing house. Do you find that people are having the same experience? Or is there perhaps the timeline is a little longer. And, you know, maybe that happens later, I don’t know, just to share with me what you’ve noticed, perhaps with some of the people you work with, as well.


Carrie Severson  13:13

So they can, others will come in with having if they’re if they haven’t written it, well, let me back up. If they have written it, they’ve they present a final product with us. I find that most of my coaching during that, that journey of getting them published has to do with me, helping them move through the fear of visibility. It’s almost as if the finished product is here, and then they’re handing it over.


Carrie Severson  13:44

And suddenly it becomes super real, even though we’ve gone through a month of getting to know each other. And there’s a license agreement that’s taken place, and there’s an investment and, you know, there’s long conversations, but before by the time somebody, I meet somebody and somebody pitches us to, okay, let’s do this. And then suddenly, when we get the book and we move it into an editing stage, and they get their edits back, it’s like, oh my gosh, um, there’s several things that happen in that click that little transition, it’s almost as if we have to remind them that, you know, it’s okay, this is a marathon.


Carrie Severson  14:28

This is just one step of the process. We’re just helping you get this, you know, mold this beautiful piece you created into a more vibrant shape. So everyone comes in with a different mindset or, and my job is to keep it clear. And if I see something that’s a little rougher on the edges, finesse said, and so I do I do find the fear of visibility being a big thing, if they’re coming to me, and they haven’t written it, and I’m helping them write it, the first thing I do is help them create a container where they’re creating a relationship with the book itself and the energy of it.


Carrie Severson  15:12

And I have several exercises that we go through, where you’re acknowledging, every time we start, we work on your book, we sit at a table, and there’s this essence that comes in. And I’m currently working on with one other woman right now. And we’re writing her memoir. And we’ve been working together for four months. And just this month, this is the month that I sort of clicked where, who she is, as a writer, the start has already shifted, and the story has already shifted.


Carrie Severson  15:45

And so I haven’t seen the fear visibility pop up yet, and the writing of it, because the energy of the actual book itself is so present with us that her relationship with it has already shifted. So I would say, yeah, people, if you’re doing it in a way, if you’re reading your, if you’re writing this work with the mindset that you are the vessel, this isn’t something that you’re forcing to come out, and you’re honoring that relationship of the book being an energy in itself, then yes, the energy is going to start to take over and you’re showing up to serve it. And that’ll change.


Heather Clark  16:32

I’m just very present to how there are a lot of opportunities for people to get, you know, a little nutty during the process.


Carrie Severson  16:40



Heather Clark  16:41

But like, and I mean that in a really loving way. But the whole Oh, holy crap. Oh, yeah, I’m, like, super visible here. Like, Oh, no, this is the story that’s come out. And in a really like, the experience of having the relationship to the story shift, even in the middle of telling the story. Cuz I, I’m just trying to think I have written some chapters for a book. And as it was, like, a year after that, I was like, Oh, no. That was great. And everything, but I’m in such a different place.


Carrie Severson  17:17



Heather Clark  17:18

Yeah. And it really took a lot of processing, like, that’s okay, everybody changes, it’s gonna be fine. And if it’s not fine, what are you gonna do at any way? We are. But I really like how the process shifts as you go along. And some practical things, is there a temptation to rewrite everything that you’ve done so far? Is there a temptation to almost redo the entire book? Because now four months later, oh, wait, it’s a whole different entity or like, and how does one process that on a go forward basis.


Carrie Severson  17:53

So fascinating, because, okay, so if someone comes to me, and they’re like, help me write this book, get it out of my head onto paper, the agreement that I have with them is, you know, we’re going to create this container, we’re going to do this work. This is how I honor the book showing up through you.


Carrie Severson  18:11

As you’re writing chapters, I’m going to go in and start editing so that by the time you’re done, you don’t, you don’t have to wait months for me to edit. So the agreement here is you’re not going to watch me edit while you’re still writing. So you continue doing your thing. I’m going to be over here, editing behind you. And if there is something that clicks for me, that is going to change the book. I’ll address it as we go. Because of that perfectionism thing that happens with writers is so it runs so deep, and it’s so true. That we will, we could you could spend. I know I spent years writing my book. And I say this all the time that I did a Ctrl Alt Delete on 50,000 words at least three times.


Carrie Severson  19:16

And I don’t want that for everybody. So yeah, there has to be an agreement that the perfectionism in you has to die in order for the book to survive. Because if you’re writing it too, if you’re writing it and you’re so in your head about it, first of all, the material itself is going to fall flat because readers are going to know they have to feel it right and that’s not a headspace thing. That’s a hard thing. And perfectionism doesn’t have to live there. So


Heather Clark  19:48

well. It’s It’s as if you want the story and the book and the process to be smooth enough to consume, but not so smooth that there are no handles for people to grab on to like if it’s too perfect. It’s like Well, you know, good job, but nobody can relate to it anymore.


Carrie Severson  20:04

Mm hmm. Totally. Yeah, there are the imperfections not necessarily in the grammar or in the, in the editing components but in the realness and the rawness in sometimes when authors get vulnerable, they’ll question Is it too much? Is there something else I’m supposed to be saying.


Carrie Severson  20:28

And if you allow yourself to perfection, to perfection eyes, or to make those types of nuggets, the pieces that you’re going to obsess over, it loses its essence. So a lot of times, especially particularly for nonfiction writers, they want to add in journal entries almost to prove, this is the real rawness of me. And the rest of this is just narrative. And those are the components that you know, when I send it off to my editors. And I work with editors that have had a ton of experience with big New York City houses Random House, Penguin, St. Martin’s Press. And they have a really hard time with the journal entry pieces. Because the journal entries are this like token where it’s like, see, this is what I this is who I really am behind the scenes and your whole book should be like that.


Heather Clark  21:29

Agreed, like, yeah, purchase personally, we don’t know each other that well. But you’ve probably already guessed like I don’t if you want to add something to prove it. Maybe no. Maybe that’s not the way to go here. Maybe proving energy isn’t really what you want here. Why don’t you simply be that? And then how could it not come out in your book? But I wonder if that is a slightly different way of hiding. It’s a way of telling yourself No, no, I’m open here. I’m vulnerable. Look at this journal entry. Right. But really, it’s like, I’m only sort of vulnerable because I’m not willing to bring it in and simply express that. Yep. And I really like Telly. Oh, go ahead.


Carrie Severson  22:11

No, I was gonna say it’s like you’re telling the story within the story. And there’s two things that are happening. And it just gets a little too complicated. And the hiding pieces, something I I hadn’t landed on. But that makes a lot of sense. It’s always set a little bit like sideways for me, where? Yeah, you’re either going to read the narrative, or you’re going to read the journals.


Heather Clark  22:43

And like, and how does including that serve the whole story, and, and all of that. And I really love your process. It’s as if you’re, I don’t know, if helping people Shepherd the book is exactly the metaphor. It’s a little bit midwifing. But it is, it’s just, I don’t know, insert appropriate metaphor here. But I’m really loving the vibe of this. And what I like is that with you, and your entire publishing house, you’re not telling people go off and do your thing. Bring it on back, and we’ll edit it, which when some people talk about editing work, it has a vibe, like there and I will sit in judgment and correct your errors. But when you talk about editing, it’s like, No, no, I’m simply here to help you polish. I am simply here to help you see what’s truly important. Because I don’t know about you. But for myself and the people in my life, sometimes we’re a little too close to our own stories.


Carrie Severson  23:37



Heather Clark  23:38

And, and I don’t know that this is as much a thing now as it was a few years ago. But especially in the coaching industry, a lot of coaches would simply would preface what they were going to say with. And now this is a vulnerable share. I’m like, just share it or don’t Oh my god, do you want extra points for this?


Heather Clark  23:58

But now it’s about I don’t know, why are you telling me? Like what, what’s the nugget here? And what’s the transformation? Honestly, what’s the transformation for me for listening to the story? And what I’m deeply interested in? What’s the transformation for you for having lived the story and for continuing to share the story?


Carrie Severson  24:21

I love that. Yeah, there’s almost like there’s a need. And this is something I’ve learned as a businesswoman and as a publisher. I launched the Unapologetic Voice House in May of 2019. How I got there’s a story in itself, but first, what I’ve learned is that there, there really needs to be and this is something I’m currently working on doing. It’s almost like that concept of shepherding. It’s almost like it’s um I don’t know, I get the sense of like a basket. It’s this container that has to happen to massage you into support you through all these different transitions that you’ll find as an author, this fear of visibility, this vulnerability of like being completely exposed and how you’re going to respond to that all the way over to how do you form a consistent relationship with it, so that it’s not like we make a splash when you launch, and then you’re just out here treading water for the rest of your life, having a consistent understanding of what you have to do to bring it in and hold it under the umbrella of your business is something that is required, it’s a, you know, you put something out into the world, and then it’s consistently attached to you. Even if you don’t acknowledge it, it’s there staring at you, either, you know, on page 874, of Amazon, or, you know, to, so how you’re going to respond to it is really your choice. And I, that’s the kind of work that I have to find a way as a publisher, so I started creating different ways to do that for my authors. But


Heather Clark  26:14

that is deeply fascinating. Because sometimes it feels like a book is just I don’t know, that’s just the thing I did, and I’m passing it. And if you want to buy it, you totally can. But this is not only making a book, a part of your business or a part of your platform, it’s how does this book fit into your life? And not now that you’ve done it? Now you have to, but especially when you’ve brought it into the world, in a beautiful container, allowed it to shape and transform you, why not allow it to support you as well? Instead of Oh, you need to write a book like Well, okay, but Yeah, why? These are some really great answers to that.


Carrie Severson  26:52

Thank you. Yeah, I am. Again, I have like, it’s almost as if I feel the energy of the books as much as I do the energy of the authors. And the energies of the book, are just, they’re excited, they’re vibrant, they’re, I don’t know, big and bold, and to exist for simply a merit, or to call yourself an author, those I don’t recognize that I don’t, that falls flat for me, the people that I love to work with and the authors that we find. No, it was this, it was this. It’s not just a mission. It’s not just a mission, it’s a responsibility. It’s an assignment. It’s a quest, that is never ending.


Carrie Severson  27:49

You change as you know, you evolve. Your book, once it’s published will never change. It’s there as this foundation. However, you know, when when I say this a lot now, a year ago, when George Floyd died, books that had been on the market for years, suddenly found their way to New York Times bestselling lists. One of the books that I read was, I’m still here by Austin Channing Brown. And she had published that years before, I think, in 2018, with an indie independent house. And she was on the New York Times bestseller list for months and got picked up by New York City publishing house, I think HarperCollins picked it up. And that’s a great example of what happens with the longevity of a book, it’s there. And then something happens in the world. To bring that back into its existence, it’s to bring it back into the spotlight, and your responsibility as an author is to find a way to honor it. So anyway, I can talk forever about this stuff.


Heather Clark  29:06

Which is great.


Heather Clark  29:08

Because I can listen forever to this stuff. I love it. I’ll circle back to this because what I really like to know is I am dying to hear some of this origin story. What is your origin story and tell us a little bit about how you came to be doing this work.


Carrie Severson  29:27

So I’ve always been in storytelling. When I was a kid, I was bullied and I always went to writing as a form of expression. And I got into journalism when I was 19 and started writing for the Arizona State press. And I thought, you know if I could create a magazine, like the old magazine, if I could create something as big as that to change where the spotlight landed, so that women related better to women and girls related better to girls, we would Have a more cohesive, peaceful environment.


Carrie Severson  30:02

So I had this big notion when I was in college, to get into the community and the industry that really marked where us as women were looking. So I’ve, I’ve been writing for magazines and newspapers for more than two decades. Along the way, I moved my way over into like public relations, became the person that was pitching the story, and then eventually found my way back into this mission that I was given when I was 19. about changing the way or the spotlight landed, and helping girls relate better to girls.


Carrie Severson  30:44

And I created this organization in 2011. It was called sibberson sisters. And its mission was to help girls with empathy skills, and I created this bullying solutions program. I sold that around the country. And eventually, independent publisher came to me and said, Hey, you should really make this after school program into a series of workbooks, and I’ll publish them. And so I did. And that caught on fire, we created a train the trainer program sold out across the country, and I was suddenly in the spotlight being written about.


Carrie Severson  31:24

And so I have all these like aspects of storytelling around me. I burned out and had to go back to my roots of storytelling, which is where this book originated from. And like most things in my professional life, when I, when I do something that I feel really called to do, and I take action on it, something really big takes place for me. So here I am recovering from burnout, going back to my roots of storytelling, taking care of myself.


Carrie Severson  31:57

And I found myself in Santa Monica baby cat sitting for girlfriend. And she was like, hey, there’s this party going on, you should go check it out. And I happened to meet like the senior living editor at the Huffington Post at the time. And in conversation, whenever an editor is like, hey, pitch me something. What do you got? What would you write about? You take that chance you pitch. So before I knew it was coming out of my mouth, I said, Oh, I’m in recovery from burnout, I should start writing about burnout. And she’s like, Arianna Huffington is a recovered burnout, you should write about that. And so I did.


Carrie Severson  32:39

And that led to stories on stage. And more work all over the place. I was writing for like Redbook and Marie Claire, and Cosmo and I had women coming out of the woodwork saying, Hey, can you help me do what you’re doing? Can you help me get on stage? Can you help me get published? And I said, Yes. And I did that for years, I held this container for women to be able to take really painful parts of themselves, and figure out a way to make it lighter, and absorbable. And I helped women get published all over the place.


Carrie Severson  33:17

While I was writing this book, I couldn’t get picked up by a traditional agent. I was told I didn’t have a big enough platform. So I spent years growing this platform. And then finally, one day, I woke up, and I heard and felt this overwhelming. Voice and I said be the house. And I was like eff you. No way. I don’t that I know what this is. I know what this is. You want me to create something to be a movement for everyone else to come funneling through.


Carrie Severson  33:54

And I mean, while I like just met the guy that I knew I was gonna marry. I was so close to turning 40. And I just couldn’t, I just couldn’t. And so this, this is probably 2018. I just finished reading this book, just my Gavin. And I spent nine months avoiding that voice. And meanwhile, like my business was dried up. I wasn’t getting any money. There’s no clients coming in. And, you know, I know that story too. So I was like, fine, I’ll look at this.


Carrie Severson  34:33

At first I was very, you know, like by that I had to be pulled into it because I didn’t want to just create another coaching business. If I’m going to do this, I’m going to create an agency or a house. For women with really good stories to come through. I wanted it to be as good to represent me. I wanted to be a client I wanted to create something that I felt good about as a client. So I’m I spent months researching, how do you want an independent publishing house? How do you do this? I was introduced to independent Publishing Group, which is our distributor.


Carrie Severson  35:13

And I had ongoing conversations with the president at the time. And he was like, you know, I’ve done research on you, your starter, you’re an entrepreneur, I know, you’re gonna do phenomenal things with this. I don’t find freshmen houses, though. And so I have, I have some rules that you have to follow. If I’m going to sign you, you can’t find children’s books for two years. You can’t find cookbooks for two years until you understand what you’re doing. You have to bring 10 books a year. And if you’re able to do those, I’ll find you. And again, before I knew it was coming on my face, I was like, Yeah, I can do that.


Carrie Severson  35:52

So I launched it with like, a lead page. And I went to like, a networking group. And I stood up and I was like, I’m the CEO of the unapologetic boys house, this is what we’re doing. And I walked out of there with a client. So it was like, Okay, this is clearly what I’m supposed to do now. And it’s a combination of everything I’ve ever done in my career. And I think next week, April 6, we publish, I think it’s our 17th or 18th book. I launched it in May of 2019. We have like, I don’t know, we represent like 40 authors right now. It’s um, it’s a blessing. So I became the house.


Heather Clark  36:44

And I love how, like the universe was tapped on the shoulder real gently,


Heather Clark  36:51

this be great.


Heather Clark  36:54

And then resisted it for nine months in the universe, like, Okay, cool. But all this other stuff, right?


Heather Clark  36:58

Just saying.


Carrie Severson  37:02

I know. Yeah, when those big things happen. They’re overwhelming. And the idea of being in a relationship, knowing I was in the relationship that was going to change my life, and then trying to start a business at the same time, I was like, That’s too much. I can’t ever just have one or the other. Right? It was like here, we’re just going to give you go deal with all of this at the same time, figure all of it out.


Carrie Severson  37:31

And I did so the next book is definitely my current book that I’m having edited that I’ll publish next year. In 2022. It ends with me putting a 90 day soul contract together with my heart, I called it my ch o chief heart officer. And I was like, I give you permission to rule my love life. I is curious, I will show up, blah, blah, blah. And these are things that I used to do all the time for personal growth. And I met Gavin, I want to say like, maybe two weeks after that 90 days ended. And so I end the bug basically, with that with like, you know, in walks Gavin with his three kids and his really hyper golden doodle. And I knew my life changed. So the second book is definitely going to be what happened after all that, because it really hasn’t stopped. It hasn’t slowed down. But, yeah, oh,


Heather Clark  38:32

I love that. I especially love the part of the story, where you open your mouth, and this big thing comes out. And that kind of things happened to me. I hear myself say so it’s like, Wow, well, that sounds cool. But I could find out Whoa, okay, well, here we go.


Carrie Severson  38:50

I know. And I remember distinctly being at the party in Santa Monica. And I was like, Oh, I’m gonna write about burnout. And I didn’t even I knew what burnout was. Because I was in it. I was recovering from it. I was very conscientious of it. But I had never really thought to write about it. And I wrote about it for the Huffington Post, I want to say in 2014 and it’s not even looking back on it. It’s okay. I mean, it’s an okay piece.


Carrie Severson  39:15

But it caught on fire, I want to say started with like, Hi, my name is Carrie and I’m a recovering burnout. And I that piece did. It had so many legs to it. I had folks around the world reaching out to me talking to me about burnout. And within a matter of, I don’t know, maybe three months I was in New York City on stage for speaking events. And then the next year I had a new business where I was helping people all over the world do this. And I that’s a God thing that’s like Spirit speaking through me where my brain was not activated. I have no idea where that came from. And I love those moments, that story speaking through you. You know, it’s just being a vessel, it’s being a vessel, but


Heather Clark  40:09

you allowed it to be a vessel. You’re creating your life in such a way where you can be a vessel for that where you can allow that to come through. Without Oh, wait, I didn’t mean that and like, damping out the embers before it has the chance to catch on fire. Do you have as you’re thinking back to your consciously have a sense when that happens? Or have you just been able to roll with it? Or because there are people listening to this, like, well, maybe I’ve done that once in a while, but then they immediately Oh, well, you know, maybe not. And then they create the distance, and then it can’t, it can’t get the legs that yours has got.


Carrie Severson  40:50

Yeah. I went to my first business, the nonprofit that I ended up burning out from I used to call it there, like, it was my threshold, I was like, butterflies were dancing across my chest. And almost like it was spirit moving me from my, my heart moving me through this thing I couldn’t see. And now when it happens to me, like, even in this conversation, there’s this thing happening in my throat, where I’m speaking my truth. And I know, it’s, I know it’s gonna land. And something is going to click because of this.


Carrie Severson  41:29

And it’s me being present, too, I voice vibration, because there’s something behind it. And so it’s a physical sensation for me, and where in my body it lands is different. Now, before I go into, I mean, I was at a party, I had no idea who was going to meet. And now when I am asked questions, or when I go into meetings, presentations, interviews, I just I say an intention that I allow spirit to actually speak through me. And I’ve been doing this for so long that I trust the right things are coming forward to meet the right people.


Carrie Severson  42:18

So I would say, you know, allowing your body creating a connection with your body, so it gives you a physical sensation, wherever it is that you feel your most sensitive at the time. And when you acknowledge that and feel that lean into it, if it’s guiding you in, hey, go talk to this person, see what they’re going to say. Yeah, when I was talking to the president of IPG when he was like, I don’t sign freshmen houses, but you seem like a go getter and an entrepreneur. And I’m going to say yes, on these conditions.


Carrie Severson  42:54

I remember I was at Gavin’s house when that conversation happened. And I was pacing. And as soon as he said, but I’m going to sign you on these conditions. I remember stopping where I was, and having to take big deep belly breaths, because I was aware that I was no longer breathing.


Carrie Severson  43:17

Yeah, and then I was like, I can do that. And then I got off the phone, and I was like, holy cow, this is going to work. And then the panic set in where I’m like, I owe him 10 bucks a year, where and the 80 double hockey sticks. I gotta get that. I guess at the time I hadn’t. I hadn’t had I didn’t have any. I was like, yeah, sure, I’ll go do that. 10 Easy peasy. But what’s fascinating is, here we are. end of March, April 6, I’ll have my eighth book published of 2021 by April six.


Heather Clark  43:54

What Wait a minute, your eighth book of 2021?


Carrie Severson  43:58



Heather Clark  44:01



Carrie Severson  44:04

I know.


Heather Clark  44:05

Yeah. One thing I really present to, is the themes that you’re sharing. It’s themes of vulnerability, presence, and empathy. And then using those to allow relationships to be changed the relationship of the writer to their story, the relationship of women to women, the relationship of people being bullied of relationship to yourself to to your success that keeps calling and I just love this so much. I like I enjoy you immensely. And this is really, really wonderful, really wonderful. And I’m and it’s super impressive that your eight books in just 2021 and it’s at the time of this recording. It is not quite April. So that’s great. I think I want to shift gears slightly, because I’m very curious to see. And perhaps it’s too soon to know. But in my coaching practice, what I’ve become aware of is that how we relate to the world, pre 2021 is very different than post 2020.


Heather Clark  45:19

Like, let me say this in a different way. So sales pages, for instance, used to be super long. And now if it’s more than a few bullet points, I don’t want to hear it. Though. Emails when they come, people are like, yeah, if you’re not using subheadings, and bolding and a few bullet points, like what do you even want here? And people aren’t consuming it? Are you seeing that as yet that people are changing their consumption habits and what they’re really looking for?


Carrie Severson  45:50

Hmm, well, so COVID definitely change 2020 shifted the publishing business for sure. And ebooks became audio books became something that people went to first. When COVID first hit, the genres and what people were consuming, changed, not necessarily, and how they changed it, but not necessarily in that way where it was.


Carrie Severson  46:17

People were looking for coping mechanisms, they were looking for stress relievers, they were looking for things that they could take intangible, but not necessarily in short, so nonfiction, I would say a sweet spot is still, you know, 150 pages, I have, then again, you know, the book that we we just shared as a pre release, or pre sale today is close to 300. So it has to do with the actual content, audio books are doing really well.


Carrie Severson  46:50

And so people in their cars or, you know, on their phones, and in busy spaces where everyone’s in the same space, maybe you don’t necessarily have a privacy to read with your eyes. So you’re meditating and listening. So that’s shifted, not necessarily the length, which I’m grateful for, because I’m short books, you know, under 100 pages are really hard to print, the tent, the technicalities of it, that the width of the spine, all of those things that you don’t even want to think about when you’re writing are a little bit better with some meat.


Carrie Severson  47:38

And so if we have a short book, I’ll ask, Hey, do you feel like this needs a glossary? Do you feel like it needs a journal because anything we can do, to give the reader a sense of ownership does help.


Heather Clark  48:00

That’s really interesting. Um, I hadn’t occurred to me at the technical challenges, but I love one way of overcoming the technical challenges are, what would be of service to this project, such that the reader is more intimately involved with it and really take on takes ownership because again, that’s allowing that author story not only to change them as a result of being told it allows it to change people and change them as a result of being received and consumed. That is really interesting.


Heather Clark  48:36

Oh, I love that. Really cool.


Heather Clark  48:38

super helpful. So Carrie, what does it mean to you to be unshakable?


Carrie Severson  48:52

Wow, I just got like goosebumps everywhere. I’m unshakable man, that is like a deeply rooted sense of the concept that term ownership is coming to mind not in anything materialistic but in owning who I am. And being unapologetic in me. And so it’s very very rooted in trusting my voice allowing those pieces that make me me to shine without feeling apologetic about it.


Heather Clark  49:43

Yes, I adore that so much. And I especially love the unapologetic aspect, the whole Nope, this is me feel about it and how you want to a person can get to that place. It really allows you to hook within you Instead of Oh, well, do they like me or not? Am I accepted here or not? It’s more like, Okay, well, this is how I am. And that’s fine.


Heather Clark  50:09

So I love that. Thank you


Carrie Severson  50:12

the concept of the unapologetic voice actually came to me right before I turned 40. And it was this realization that like, I’m one of those people that was always felt like I was too much. I was told I was too much I shared too much, because I’ve always been this way. And it got to the point where I was like, I’m tired of apologizing for being me. And I wouldn’t allow my voice to speak for me without apologizing for it. And so this like, unapologetic voice came through and when be the house came in. I was like, Well, what am I going to call it? And I was like, Oh, yeah, yeah. unapologetic voice. So I love it. I love it.


Heather Clark  50:58

What changes Did you notice in your life when you consciously said, Look, I’m done apologizing? This is my voice.


Carrie Severson  51:06

Well, I came to me when I met Gavin in March 2018, and he was recently divorced. And then he freaked out that we, you know, connected so well, so fast. And so he was like, I need some space. And again, that concept of, um, too much came in, and I was like, You know what, no, I know who he is in my life, he’s gonna figure out his crap.


Carrie Severson  51:34

And he’s, you know, going to come back and that dead. So me standing true in my, this unapologetic voice allowed me to stay in the vision of the relationship I knew was happening. gave me permission to launch my third business while all you know, my personal life was changing. And truthfully gave me this connection with my body. Where I’m like, I’m five, nine. I’ve, I’ve I’ve been five nine since I was like 10 years old. And it took me until like, I was 40 to be like, I’m okay with that. This is it. You know, this is who I am. This is who God created. So honestly, everything changed for me. Probably in ways, and now I get to publish the book that I wrote when I did it.


Heather Clark  52:31

And you get to not only share, but allow it to continue to change you and allow it to welcome it into your life and integrate it. It’s just so lovely. So lovely. You are an absolute delight. And I have so enjoyed having you on the show.


Carrie Severson  52:50

Thank you. I love it. You’re amazing. I I’m so grateful that we connected. This is beautiful.


Heather Clark  52:57

Thank you. I’ll just take that on. And for those who are listening and can’t see any video, I’m just blushing. That’s fine. Carrie, where can people find you? Because I bet there are people like where is this publishing house? I need to know all about these books because I can feel and I think the listeners can feel to the magic that you’re bringing into the world. So where can we find you?


Carrie Severson  53:23

Well our website is the unapologetic voice house calm and we are on Instagram and Facebook. However if you’re if you’ve written a book and you’re looking for a publisher, you can submit it right on our homepage. If you’re looking for help writing a book, you can reach out to me on Instagram or Facebook. Same thing the unapologetic boys house


Heather Clark  53:44

Beautiful. Beautiful. Thank you so much. This has been an absolute delight.


Carrie Severson  53:51

Yes, I agree.


Heather Clark  53:55

Thanks so much for listening. I’d love to hear from you. Go to and submit your question, comment, or topic request. May you be unshakable, unstoppable, and vibrant again. Until next time.