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He left a successful sales career to write a book and now he’s a bestselling science fiction author

Idaho Falls

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Paul Kotter with his book. | Courtesy Paul Kotter

IDAHO FALLS – When Paul Kotter left a successful marketing and sales career two years ago, he never imagined he’d be a bestselling author.

His book “Gifted” launched on on Tuesday and quickly rose to No. 1 in the Religious Science Fiction & Fantasy genre.

“I laughed when I saw the religious thing because it’s not a religious book. But for some reason, Amazon put it in that category,” Kotter tells “It was quite a thrill logging into Amazon (Wednesday morning) and seeing the ‘No. 1 bestseller’ icon next to my book.”

Fiction is the largest book category on Amazon, Kotter says, and so the site has many subcategories to target the book to the right audience.

Kotter began writing the book while he was sales manager at Broadway Ford. When the company was sold two years ago, he decided to pursue something else. Rather than another job prospect, he became deeply involved in writing the book.

“We just hit it really hard and finished it and did it,” Kotter says.

The premise

Courtesy Paul Kotter

“Gifted” tells the story of six high school students who each receives a life-altering gift. They are then thrown into an adventure of discovery where they have to figure out how to use the gift to help them work their way out of predicaments and find their way home.

One of the characters, for instance, has the gift of perception. He has a spyglass that allows him to see things completely different from everyone else in the group.

The book addresses the six faculties of the mind, including imagination, intuition, memory, reason, will and perception. The premise stems from something Kotter learned in a coaching program he attended.

“It’s all about mindset and deciding what you want, thinking about what you want and moving forward and accomplishing things,” Kotter says. “We wrote this book to illustrate these principles, that you really can do whatever you (decide to do). When obstacles come your way, you can figure out a way to get around them.”

Though the book is an adventure story on the surface, Kotter says there are layers you can peel back and apply to your life.

“I really believe that when you decide what you want and you’re focused on it and you believe that you can do it no matter what, you can do it,” he says. “You just have to keep going every single day and do something daily to move towards it.”

The next chapter

“Gifted” is the first in a series. Kotter is already working on the next book, but its release date is not even part of his thought process right now.

“We know the premise of the second one, but we had to put all of that aside to focus on getting this one out. There’s no reason for a sequel if we don’t get this one out,” he says.

Kotter co-authored the book with Kim Griffith and worked with a team of people for the book’s production. He says the collaborative process with others was invaluable, and he is grateful for those who have mentored him throughout this process.

If you’re a person living with an unrealized dream, Kotter’s advice is to do it.

“It’s a lot easier than you would think to do something like this,” he says. “We have everything available to us online. Whatever you want to do, you can find someone who’s done it. Eventually, you’ll find someone who will help you. That’s what we did, and we love the result.”

In addition to becoming a bestseller in the religious science fiction category, “Gifted” also hit the No. 2 spot in the mystery category and No. 6 in the mythology category. The book also became the No. 2 bestseller in Canada in the literature section.

“The publisher sent us a new mock-up for the cover because now we can say we’re a bestseller and an international bestseller. It’s pretty surreal,” says Kotter. “Just two years ago, before all of this, I never would’ve even dreamed it.”

“Gifted” is available in paperback or digital form on Amazon. To buy a copy, click here. Visit the website to learn more.

Kotter’s favorite illustration from the book. | Courtesy Paul Kotter