Kristy Sweetland


Award-winning author of Stark Raving Zen and transpersonal growth coach

Kristy Sweetland is a writer, teacher and coach of transpersonal growth and transformation. She holds a master’s degree in psychology and is professionally credentialed as a transformational life coach. Kristy writes exclusively on the subjects of freeing the human spirit and healing and growth through creative expression. She considers Mother Nature to be one of her greatest teachers and utilizes ecopsychology, animism and feminine mythology in much of her work.

Kristy has a private practice in northern New Mexico where she assists others through their own spiritual transformations. When not writing, teaching or coaching, she can be found with her husband and cherished dogs, hiking the gorgeous canyons around her home, day-tripping to the glorious Sangre de Cristo mountain range, weekending to the Colorado Rockies, or scrambling around Ancestral Puebloan ruins in the Jemez Mountains. She also shares her life, if not her hiking adventures, with two magnificent indoor felines who appreciate being mentioned.

Read our review of her memoir, Stark Raving Zen, here. For more information about Kristy, visit her website.

Your biggest literary influences: 

Leslie Marmon Silko, Glennon Doyle, Elizabeth Gilbert, Joy Harjo, Alice Walker, Carlos Castaneda  

Last book read: 

The Overstory by Richard Powers 

The book that changed your life:

I Will Not Die an Unlived Life by Dawna Markova  

This book changed my life because it caused an awakening within me. After watching my mother die at a young age, I suffered from a crippling fear of death. When I stumbled upon this book and devoured it in one sitting, I had a revelation that it wasn’t death I feared; it was living a life devoid of meaning. I completely changed the course of my life that day.   

Your favorite literary character:

Alice (of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)  

Alice has been walking by my side my entire life, as I’ve navigated paranormal, metaphysical, and other experiences I don’t even know how to categorize. From a very young age, seeing spirits and having unexplainable visionary experiences I was too afraid to talk about, I quietly used her as a guide. I would tell myself that if Alice could handle it, so could I.    

Currently working on:

The untitled sequel to Stark Raving Zen

Words to live by:

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” — Howard Thurman  

Advice for aspiring authors:  

It’s the oldest cliche: “Just sit your butt in the chair and write.” Don’t concern yourself with the quality of your first draft; they’re meant to be terrible. Just feel the freedom of your own expression, uncensored and alive. The energy generated by that momentum will create a power inside of you that will drive the process. Care nothing about “what people will think” or “how this makes you look.” Just let yourself out of the cage, and flow with it. 

Articles and Reviews:

Born Viral Reviews

Readers’ Favorite

Kirkus Reviews

Publishers Weekly


“Sweetland writes of feeling released from shackles. Stark Raving Zen has the same effect on readers, permitting us to face our own demons, releasing us from unseen chains, and inviting us to join the author in becoming our full, unadulterated, authentic selves.”
— Tom Glaser, Psychologist and author of Full Heart Living: Conversations With the Happiest People I Know  

“When you read the pages of this extraordinary book, expect to take a journey unlike one you’ve ever imagined. Kristy’s vivid life experiences and her deft ability to express them with vulnerability, insight and a mastery of language is a raw and beneficent revelation that leaves the reader awed, shell-shocked and renewed.”
— Stephanie Himango, Emmy-winning Producer and Writer, Podcaster, author of
Get In The Ring: The Tale of Bruno the Boxer    

“Regardless of one’s belief in the supernatural, Stark Raving Zen is a real page-turner. Readers will travel every step of this journey with Kristy — thrilled by the fearsome beauty of the Southwestern landscape, comforted by the calm presence of her angel dog, Arya, hearts beating double-time in anticipation of whatever new challenge will present itself just around the next curve in the road.”
— Valentine McKay-Riddell, PhD, Publisher, Winds of Change Press