Local Author Chris Palmore Turns Podcaster
Writer / Annette Skaggs
Gratitude is defined as the quality of being thankful, or readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
Do you rise out of bed each morning filled with gratitude, and then immediately grab a pen and paper and jot down your expressions of gratitude? Chances are you don’t have that kind of morning routine, but local author Chris Palmore does, and this sort of exercise was instrumental on the journey to getting his first book published, “Dear Gratitude: An Anthology.”
When talking with Palmore, it is undeniable how much passion and appreciation he has for his past, present and future, and all of the pieces that come together that help serve as a path for his life. Regarding the path for writing his book, it began with saying thank you to his beloved mother via Facebook in celebration of his 35th birthday.
“I am fully aware that I wasn’t always the easiest person to love, but she always made me feel loved,” he says. “I just wanted to tell her all this on my birthday.”
While we typically receive gifts on our birthday, Palmore woke on his birthday morning, turned the table a bit, and gave a gift to his mother. Luckily for Palmore he always had a strong relationship with his mother, and father too, but there was something about the magic of this message to his mother that would lead to a pivotal change in his life. He had moved his mother with a few simple words on the computer screen. Unfortunately, his mother died a few months later, but his gift to her would change his destination.
These words of deep appreciation and gratitude, rooted in love, would form the foundation of Palmore’s new cause – to share the virtues of the expression of gratitude.
Palmore had already been an avid listener of podcasts and programs that dealt with a similar subject, and he began to dig deeper into the medium, eventually getting to know some well-known podcasters and authors of self-help guides and books.
Eventually Palmore tried his hand at his own podcast, “Gratitudespace Radio,” where he serves as a self-proclaimed gratitude creator. Through his podcasts, he and others share stories and practicums for sharing and expressing gratitude. He has a deep well of contributors and friends who offer their thoughts and expertise in gratitude, including author and mentor Thomas Koulopoulos, president and founder of the Boston-based think tank Delphi Group.
As a fan of Koulopoulos, Palmore took a chance and connected with him via Twitter, and got a response. He began a friendship, and a suggestion from Koulopoulos that Palmore write a book prompted him to do just that.
That’s all well and good in theory, but where does one begin, especially when one isn’t really a writer? Lucky for Palmore, he has a wealth of knowledgeable authors at his fingertips.
“Thomas suggested that I write 500 words a day for six months,” Palmore says. “Before I knew it the six months flew by, and at the end I found myself with a document having over 100,000 words.”
Not wanting to write a book about gratitude in the same style as others before him, Palmore set out to find an editor who shared his vision of what the end product would look and feel like. Through a series of connections, such as friend and author Bobby Kuntz, and a little luck, within another six months Palmore found Noosha Ravaghi. Upon reading through Palmore’s rough drafts and notes, Ravaghi knew how the book should be developed and designed.
“She did take the time to read what I had written, and she felt that the book should be around 100 pages long, shareable and digestible,” Palmore says. “Readers like having something that they don’t have to commit to in one sitting. She further suggested that perhaps I have other people contribute their own stories and essays for the book, highlighting their own take on gratitude.”
“Through contacts and outreach, such as asks of popular social media sites like Twitter and LinkedIn, we were able to find 50 people who were willing and excited to share what they were grateful for and their interpretations of gratitude,” Palmore continues. “Gratitude is different for each person, very personal, and we felt that having a wide variety of people’s own accounts and stories would have a wider reach to the audience, assuring that there would be something contained within that would just click and allow the reader to be even more fully engaged in the purpose and character of the book.”
Palmore describes the speed at which the book came together as remarkable.
“From finding my editor to the publishing of the book was a mere four months,” he says. “I believe part of this quick turnaround is because the sharing of gratitude is a quantifiable act. Some expressions are habitual or reflexive, such as opening the door for a person or saying thank you, but it is within the intentional gratitudes, such as the essays found within ‘Dear Gratitude,’ that one can get a feel or insight to the writer’s emotions and feelings.”
What of the success of Palmore’s book?
“We have extended our family of gratitude writers from areas around the world,” he says.
When asked how this was done, Palmore says word of mouth was crucial.
“The book is a way of planting gratitude seeds that will blossom, grow and flourish,” he says. “I consider myself a gratitude catalyst, and I do this by listening to and talking with people. While sometimes we are able to have face-to-face conversations, the anthology is yet another medium for these stories of gratitude and for some it may be a source of healing.”
Palmore says his book provides a resource of encouragement to readers.
“As part of my podcasts I have shared with my audience some best practices as it pertains to the gratitude attitude,” he says. “I believe that this book does something similar, but in a written format.”
What does the author and podcaster do when he is not writing or interviewing a cavalcade of people through a worldwide outreach?
“Well, I am recently married,” he says with a large grin. “Shortly after my mother’s passing in 2016 I took a trip to Mexico to clear my head and figure out what was next. I pretty much lived there for three months. During that time I met Rosio, a resident of Bogotá, Columbia, who happened to be there as a getaway after the passing of her beloved grandfather. We met through a dating application and enjoyed spending time together for the two weeks that she was in Mexico before going back home. I knew that this was a short-term relationship and saw no future in it based on our geographical locations, and didn’t think too much of it until, out of the blue, Rosio reached out to see if I was still in Mexico and if I’d be interested in seeing her again. I was still there and very much wanted to see her again.”
“When we both went our separate ways again, we stayed in contact and would alternate the locales that we would rendezvous at, such as Columbia and the states,” Palmore continues. “When we decided to get married it was a long, arduous process, but luckily our respective governments finally gave the green light and we were married in November 2020.”
A piece of 2020 to be grateful for, to be sure.
We asked Palmore what was next for him, and he bounced with news that the next piece of his anthology, “Dear 2020: Letters to a Year That Changed Everything,” is available for purchase on Amazon now.
Written in a format similar to his first book, Palmore has around 40 stories and submissions from people who share their perspective and take on the events and culture from the year 2020, and how the year has affected their embrace of gratitude. Like before, there was a worldwide and social media-wide ask for stories to be submitted.
“We had so many great stories to read, it was hard to pare it down to the 40 that we do have,” Palmore says.
While some of the contributors also submitted their work in the first book, many of the stories are from new sources, one of them being Rosio.
“As I am excited for this new book, I am always looking for new and exciting ways to create the gratitude space that I enjoy creating,” he says. “Perhaps I’ll have gratitude pop-up booths at weddings, farmers markets or with corporations where I just set up and invite people to share what they are grateful for while I record their stories. These can then be shared with those they love, or given back to them as a reminder to be grateful when we sometimes forget to be. I am always thinking of something and am always eternally grateful.”