Dr. Zoee Bartholomew, affectionately known as Dr. Behave, has dedicated her professional life to supporting individuals with disabilities. She has held many positions within special education, which includes being a Special Education Teacher to now being the Special Education Program Director at Dominican University of California. In addition to her academic endeavors, she also is in private practice serving as an Educational Consultant, who helps parents navigate through the IEP Process.

She is an exceptional Educational Leader whose dissertation on the “Barriers of Meeting The Needs of Special Education Students,” humbly describes the overwhelming challenges found in Special Education Programs. She is hoping to continue advocating for Special Education Reform to ensure all students with any learning difference or disability receive quality supports and services.

1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most? What about being a writer frustrates you the most?

I never knew I was called to write; I just wrote to fill the gap for parents. As a writer, I enjoy the freedom of writing what I believe to be true to support others. The most frustrating part about writing is not having representation as a writer.

2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?

It’s a practical resource guide designed to help families understand challenging behaviors and how to manage support service providers. You can visit my website for more information about me www.drbehave.org and Amazon for more information about my book.

3) Where do you draw your inspiration from for the stories that you manage to weave together and the characters that you create?

My inspiration comes from working with families and attempting to fill the gaps in services for those families.

4) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel? What projects are you currently working on?

I do schedule times to write but I also write when I feel like writing as I find that I will flow better if I’m in the right mindset for writing. I outline all my books using a paper and pen as I like to touch and feel my work. It took me 4 years to finish this first book. I just completed a practical resource guide for parents on how to manage the grief of accepting their child’s diagnosis and I’m working on a textbook for educators to better support special education programs.

5) What’s the first book you ever read that really moved you emotionally? Who is your favorite author to read? What book are you currently reading?

I can recall reading “The Little Engine that Could” by Watty Piper. I appreciated this book because it gave me hope as a child and as an adult today, which is why I always strive to achieve my goals. I’m currently reading “How Successful People Think” by John Maxwell.

6) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?

I completed my first book and self-published because I was tired of searching for a publishing group to take a new author. I hope to be represented through a Literary Agent and have more published works.

7) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career? What is your advice for other writers to better be able to cope or navigate their way through the publishing process, be it traditional or self-publishing?

I deal with rejection through daily self-care. I engage in Mindful Moments, spend time with loved ones, go to the marina, listen to sermons, prayer and I read my bible. My advice is to cut the excuses of life and just regroup to keep moving forward.

8) Do you find it hard to juggle the creative side of being a writer against the business side of being a writer, in terms of marketing and promotion and things of that nature? How hard has it been (or easy) for you to build up your author platform?

I do not find it difficult to deal with the creative and business sides because I am a business owner which allows me to be able to handle various challenges. It’s very challenging to create an author platform.

9) So many writers say that they hate reading their own work. Do you ever enjoy reading your own work back to yourself after it’s out there for the rest of the world?

I will read my book for editing purposes along with making sure I have got my message out for the book. So, in a nutshell, I have no issue with reading it, but I definitely use another set of eyes as I will miss stuff and carry my own bias about my writing.

10) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?

It’s never too late to write or publish; it’s up to the person.

11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?

I’m unique because of how I choose to express myself through practical/foul language. I always want the reader to feel they are speaking directly to me when I write.