Freshman tells all about self-published book “Her Naked Mind”

Reza Moreno, Features Editor

After sitting down and meeting with freshman Julia Kotaev for the first time, I could tell from the way she spoke exactly how passionate she is about writing.

For being 19-years-old, and living in New York City for the first time, Kotaev has a lot of experience in the writing field. From New Jersey native, she found herself all the way in New York to live her dreams out.

One of her main accomplishments is her book, “Her Naked Mind.” The self-published book is a collection of poems that Kotaev has kept and wrote throughout the years. The book includes poems about love, adventure and other life experiences.

“It’s just my bare mind, it’s real and that is why I chose ‘Her Naked Mind,’” Kotaev said.

It took her about one year to get the book ready for publishing so by the time she was 19, she would have her first book published.

When she first started out, Kotaev actually did not read much poetry. She didn’t want to feel like she was taking on other poet’s writing styles. She wanted to find her own.

The book was not edited by anyone, she did most of the work, she said. However, her older twin brother helped her with the cover which shows a hand writing on a thought bubble with rain drops falling on them to show her thoughts. “I’ve been writing since I was very young,” Kotaev said. “I wrote my first story when I was eight years-old.”

She would come home from school and write everything she could think about down onto Microsoft Word.

“I would just always write stories so one day I just printed them all out and gave them to my teacher from elementary, who is now the councilwoman of my town now,” said Kotaev.

The teacher told her that her work was beautiful and that she should keep writing, and that stuck with Kotaev ever since. Kotaev is a writer currently for the Torch, but that is not all.

She doesn’t have writers that inspire her, instead it is the people and things that surround her that do.

“I have a poem in here when I was eating a granola bar,” said Kotaev. “It was a chocolate pretzel granola bar, so I made a comparison about how love is sweet and salty.”

Since the book is about poems from her own experiences throughout high school, she received a lot of attention on her poems. But that didn’t stop her. People such as friends from school would try to connect the dots between people in her life and the poems.

“I just really wanted to share my writing with the world,” Kotaev said.

On the second day of the book being published, it sold in multiple countries, such as France, Mexico, Australia and Germany. Her book is available across international online bookstores and Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Walmart.

She even had a few celebrities that said they would buy the book such as one actor, Raymond Ablack, from Degrassi who plays Sav. It was all about marketing for Kotaev, she was able to market her book really well. By interacting with people.

Kotaev gets inspired quickly; each poem is about people or what they said.

Her favorite poem in it is called “Ironic,” which is about falling in love with a writer.

As of right now she wants to focus on writing and loves to plan things. Her planner is her life. On top of writing her other passion is marketing, which works well with her major, public relations. It has helped her decide that she wants to be a PR specialist.

Kotaev takes her writing capabilities to the max by joining groups such as The Odyssey, Her Campus, Food for Thought and LinkedIn. She received 2,000 views for her article about social media marketing on LinkedIn Pulse.

For Kotaev, her book is not about the money, it is for herself and to get her name out there. She believes anything is possible.

She loves living in New York City, because people here are not afraid to express themselves. She loves how she can be creative and express herself the way she wants through words.

“My roommate, she reads some of my love poems and she could relate them to her life, and that is so amazing that people can find a connection with my words,” she said.

Now she is currently writing a chapter book based on real life experiences that will be more for the romantics. Kotaev, as of now, sees herself with her chapter book finished before she is 20. Her dream is to be a New York Times Best-Seller. And she’s on the right path just for that.

She encourages others to not be afraid and just share their writings with others and believes self-publishing is an easy way to express oneself.

“It is so great to see someone’s writing, you get to see a part of them,” she said.