I am a Washington, DC based writer. I write freelance for local newspapers. I have published 3 books and recently created branded training curriculum for teen entrepreneurs.
1. Tell us about your latest book.
Indeed that is a loaded question because avid writers often have multiple projects in the works. I have 3 books in final production (back from editor in layout and 1 book I am writing.
- And Zen Again, 52 Thought Provoking Affirmations for Adults in Rhyme just came back from the editor. I originally wanted to call it ‘The Seuss Shall Set You Free’ but it was too difficult to get permission to use Seuss in the name.
- Chocolate Moose It is a children’s book that I released in early 2000. Highly disappointed with the final production of the first book, I hired a new illustrator and expanded the storyline so it can be published in a hardback version.
- Building Blocks of Wonder: This is actually a 60-page coloring book. It will be bundled in a kid’s club package for a high profile individual in Washington, DC. I wrote the storyline and also created the kids club package for them so that they can reach the youth market.
The book I am currently writing is called 365: Infinite Expedition. It will be a collection of 365 inspirational stories from teen CEO’s who share the obstacles they have overcome as a teen CEO. It will also feature 12 stories from high profile CEO’s who got the entrepreneurial bug in their teens. ‘365’ represent the days of the year. I am actually collecting 730 stories because I am doing a U.S. and International version. I have allotted 2 years for this project.
2. How did you get started as a writer?
When I was 8 years old my 3rd grade teacher, Ms. Lamboly, told me that I did such a marvelous job on the creative writing exercises that she thought that when I grew up I would be an author. I had no idea what that meant. She told me to write everyday. Although I wrote in that journal for years, well into my teens and early 20’s I never considered writing as a profession. In the early 90’s in the process of being dumped I wrote a letter to the prospective dumper to ‘argue’ my side of the story. After reading the letter he thought that I plagiarized it, lol. Then he said that I was definitely a keeper because I was masterful with words which he believed was an incredible gift and he thought that I should definitely pursue writing seriously and professionally. So I did.
3. What does a typical day look like for you?
I can find inspiration in everyone and everything around me so I move with my internal compass. As I do not have children, I have lots of ‘open time’. At any given point in the day I might be motivated to go out and explore the city, catch up with a local friend, volunteer for a few hours or take a mini multi day trip to the beach.
4. Describe your desk/workspace.
I live in a ‘small’ row house so you have to be really ‘creative’ with use of space. My office is at the top level of my house and essentially shares the ‘landing pad’ of the spiral staircase. The landing pad is a 10 x 10 glass floor with a small wooden extension and my desk fits perfectly on the wooden extension. The interior walls of my house are glass and the separating walls of my house are brick. There is a huge light tunnel on the roof. So it feels like you are outside. The ceilings are 13’ tall and natural light shines through the house from all directions so it is very inspirational for writing. As for my desk it is crammed with piles of things to do, huge notepads to write ideas, mini recorders and a cup of tea is always nearby. My favorite thing about my desk is my chair that is like a vintage wooden chair from probably the late 60’s or early 70’s with some really offbeat green color fabric and leather. It is a bit eccentric and quirky…kinda like me 🙂
5. Favorite books (especially for writers)
My favorite book is Slowing Down to the Speed of Life by Dr. Richard Carlson. It is my annual read and brings me so much personal and professional growth each year.
I also enjoy reading Dr. Seuss books. They are fast to read, have timely but timeless life lessons and always spark new ideas for me.
In terms of writing related books I tend to use reference books like The Writer’s Market or Grammar Girl’s tips and techniques on improving my writing. I am not sure how much it helps though as I write fast and usually don’t feel like going back through and checking behind myself because I just want to get stuff done and out of the way. So my editor always has a field day.
6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you
· I have not owned a TV since 1990….yes, I realize that I have missed life changing television series like Friends, Seinfeld and Sex in the City.
· I am an avid volunteer. My mother got me started in volunteering when I was 12 years old and these days I volunteer more than 25 hours a month. I attribute volunteering with many life changing experiences including finding my purpose. In 2008 I did something volunteer related every single week and so did my significant other even though our interests are completely different.
· I do not have a sense of smell (never had one) and people always think that is the strangest thing ever. I am still trying to figure out what other sense improved since I am without that one ;- )
6. Favorite quote
“The Earth’s most precious natural resource is truly a rare find. As it changes by the second it is that of our time.”
I made up that quote because the time I spend with others and myself is extremely valued.
7. Best and worst part of being a writer
The best part about being a writer is your exact words can be shared over and over again and every person who reads them will experience and feel something different. It is also the best all natural therapy that no money can buy.
The worst part of being a writer is the more you write the more ideas you come up with. So then you start to feel frustrated that there will never be enough time to say everything that you really want to say.
8. Advice for other writers
Think Elvis! Copyright and publish your work even if you don’t plan on marketing it. Print on demand and self-publishing have simplified the publishing process and removed the barriers to entry. You don’t need to expend all your resources and time trying to get a huge advance and earn millions of dollars from book sales. However, you do need to get credit for your intellectual property and your original creations. If you can make enough money to supplement your income then that’s an added bonus. You never know how in the future, perhaps long after you are gone that something you create will come into play and earn licensing fees or royalties for your children, grandchildren or a charitable cause you feel strongly about. www.createspace.com is a very inexpensive and relatively easy way to get your work published and out there.
9. Tell us a story about your writing experience.
In 2005 completely by a very random set of circumstance I started volunteering with teen entrepreneurs. Three years later while still working with them, a book idea popped in my head. The book idea was on a holistic theme in entrepreneurship that I thought was badly needed but missing in the industry. So I sat down and wrote the entire book in 12 days (36,000 words, 143 pages and no writers block).
Where can people buy your books?
My books are available on Amazon.com
Teen Entrepreneur Success Secrets: The Essential Guide to Starting and Growing a Business
Double Click on This, Preschoolers and Computers: How to Go Beyond Sit and Giggle
My blog is www.renegadeceos.com