Meet The Author

Meet The Author: Interview with Sasha Olsen

Legends From Mom-s Closet Full 48HrsBook

Stopping by Authors & Readers Book Corner today is author, Sasha Olsen. Sasha is ten years old and decided to  write a book to help everyone see that we can learn new things in a fun and creative way. When she started sneaking into her mom’s closet to dress up as different legends, it actually helped her realize more about their lives. Sasha believes you can use what’s right in front of you to find out more about topics you love. She hopes her book inspires people to think outside the box!

It’s also really important to her that people see the problem with fast fashion! Instead of buying new things and throwing them away all the time, you can just use your family’s vintage clothes or even buy secondhand. There’s no need to harm the environment! Let’s get to know a little more about Sasha Olsen.

Q & A with Sasha Olsen

In your book, Legends from Mom’s Closet, you share tidbits about and dress up like legendary women you read about during a rainy summer spent indoors. A lot of kids your age would spend a rainy summer watching TV or playing video games. What made you decide to start reading books about famous women?

Well, I actually love to read, especially biographies. I don’t usually spend a lot of time using any devices. I didn’t specifically start reading books about famous women, but I started looking around for books to learn more about legendary people. I just happened to meet these iconic women through their amazing stories and spending a day in their shoes!

Who was your favorite female legend to read about?

My favorite legend to read about was probably Frida Kahlo! I felt like she had a very inspiring story. She had a lot of difficult times in her life, but no matter what, she worked hard to achieve her dreams and become an artist.

What is the biggest lesson you learned from getting to know all of these female legends?

I learned many lessons! Most of all though, I learned that women are super strong. Women work very hard and can get through anything that might stand in their way of achieving their goals. Women are so inspiring!

 What inspired you to use your mom’s clothes and your grandmother’s vintage pieces to recreate all of their iconic looks?

Actually, I just went into my mom’s closet and started trying on her shoes and dresses. This was after I read about Frida Kahlo. So, I just got the idea to try and dress up as her! I thought my mom might be really upset with me for playing with her things, but she loved the idea. If the legend was wearing something like I really couldn’t figure out where to get, I would call my grandma for advice. Most of the time, she had exactly what I needed!

Who was your favorite legend to dress up as and why?

My favorite legend to dress up as was definitely Yayoi Kusama. I love her bright artwork, and I was able to get even more creative to dress up as her!

How did you decide which legends to include in Legends from Mom’s Closet?

I didn’t choose them before. I just started to read about people who I didn’t know much about yet and it ended up being all women! After, I just decided to share them in this book.

Your other passion is the environment. Tell us what you learned about vintage fashion versus fast fashion.

When I was started my movement Iwantmyoceanback and this project, I was doing a lot of research during that time. I wanted to know more about what are the biggest things that pollute our oceans and cause problems for our planet. I found out like clothing is one of the biggest ocean pollutants and some fabrics, like polyester, have plastic in them so it breaks down and hurts our sea animals. After finding this out, I realized that it’s very harmful to buy fast fashion because people just buy the clothes and throw them away soon after. It inspired me to learn more about vintage and how we can buy secondhand instead, and just reuse clothing!

Ultimately, what do you hope your readers take away from your book?

I hope readers learn how important it is to let your creativity run wild! I want other kids to know that we can get inspired and have fun while also learning new things and growing our knowledge. It’s also very important that we learn more about how fast fashion affects our oceans and that we stop it! We need to win the war against fast fashion to help save the planet.

How/where can readers purchase Legends from Mom’s Closet?

Readers can purchase Legends from Mom’s Closet on our website www.legendsfrommomscloset.com, Amazon, Barnes & Noble… and most platforms!

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about the book or what you learned while writing it?

I just want to share that this book project is super special to me! It means a lot to me, and I worked very hard on it. I hope that everyone enjoys my stories and experiences dressing up as these legendary women. Most of all, I hope readers try it themselves and that it inspires them to think outside the box! I learned a lot from reading and getting to know these women, especially that we can do anything if we believe in ourselves.

Connect with Sasha:

Author’s Facebook: LINK, Author’s Instagram: LINK , Author’s Website: LINK

Purchase at copy:

Amazon: LINK,  B&N: LINK

Meet The Author

Meet The Author: Interview with Ruby Walker

Stopping by Authors & Readers Book Corner today is Ruby Walker, an 18-year-old college student, artist and writer. Ruby grew up in Austin, moved down to Buda (TX), dropped out of high school, earned herself full tuition to a private university, and is currently studying art at Trinity University in San Antonio. Advice I Ignored: Stories and Wisdom from a Formerly Depressed Teen is the only book on teenage mental health actually written by a teenager. Ruby talks about her writing and the topic of depression, which is the focus of her book.

Let’s get to know Ruby:

Writing Interview

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? Or what first inspired you to write?

I was always more interested in drawing than writing, really. But when I started my process of recovery, writing became really important to me. I think things get a lot easier to deal with once they’re down on paper. Keeping a journal helped me learn how to turn my experiences into something beautiful, or at least easier to process.

When you are struggling to write, what are some ways that help you find your creative muse again?

Sometimes I just have to be tough with myself: sit down, write something, even if it isn’t perfect. Other times, I’ve really been making an effort to write but the core concept just hasn’t come into my head yet. For times like that, I just try to go about my life in a way that makes space for thinking.  Going on a walk around the neighborhood, eating a quiet meal, taking a bath. Eventually I know I’ll think of something to say.

Is there an overall message or theme in your book that you want readers to grasp?

Change is possible. From moment to moment, the little choices we make about how to live our lives can add up to a total overhaul. Nothing stays the same forever.

What was your greatest challenge in writing this book?

Just doing the work! I think sometimes I procrastinated working on the book because writing something autobiographical about the worst part of my life thus-far involves an uncomfortable amount of vulnerability. But also, sometimes I just wanted to go swimming with my friends or watch the X-files instead.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I spend way too much time on the internet, but I’m actively trying to cut back on that.  I’m trying to read more books. I always tell my friends, “Just because I wrote a book doesn’t mean you can assume I know how to read.” I also like running, movies, gardening, drawing, dancing, and getting involved with local politics. I was on the school Ultimate Frisbee team for a few months, but I sprained my ankle at our first tournament and ended up quitting (oops).

Personal Interview

When did you realize you were depressed? Did you go to a doctor or were you feeling sad all the time?

I wish I had seen a doctor. Things might’ve been easier, or at least less confusing if I had. It sounds silly, but I think I realized something was seriously wrong when I stopped caring about birds. I used to run a blog about birds, I thought about them all the time, drew them, watched them… it was kind of my thing. And then, when I was fifteen, in the middle of a lot of other symptoms that were somehow easier to ignore… I realized I didn’t care about birds anymore. It was like that with everything – all the stuff that used to make me happy just… didn’t.

Is the depression you felt similar to how it’s portrayed in popular media?

Depression really isn’t about being sad all the time. At least for me, it was like a whole world I lived in. I felt fragile. Small things would ruin my day. Everything worried me, everything made me hate myself, and the more I hated myself, the worse I felt. In turn, I blamed myself for how awful I felt, and the cycle spiralled downward.

Do you think our schools are adequately equipped to help teens or kids with depression? What can teachers do or say to a teen who seems to be going through depression?

I don’t think schools are designed with mentally ill kids’ needs in mind at all. I had a very negative experience with public Texas high school myself, which is why I dropped out. I really wish that my teachers had considered why I might be struggling to get work done, rather than just assuming I was lazy because I couldn’t stop doodling in class. I wasn’t lazy, I was in pain.

What can parents do if they believe their teen might be experiencing depression?

Love them. Depression can make people act in unpredictable or unsettling ways. When your kid is acting out, spacing out, staying up, skipping class, snapping, hiding things, and generally being “bad” – that is when they need love and compassion the most. Don’t get them in trouble, offer them help. Let them know that your love is unconditional. That’s the best thing I think all parents should do.

You mention in the book that exercise was helpful in your recovery, what kind of exercise did you do? What if a teen is not “sporty” enough for exercise?

I was never an athletic kid – I had asthma attacks. I walked the mile in P.E. class. When I heard that exercise could be good for mood disorders, I started walking around the neighborhood at sunset every couple of days. Not only did those walks help my brain make more endorphins, they also became my quiet time for reflection. I’d listen to music, feel the grass, watch the clouds, smell the flowers. Spending some time in nature helped me feel more real somehow.

Could you talk a bit about why hope is such an important aspect of your story?

When I was sixteen, after a very long and emotionally eventful year in recovery, I was happy with a vengeance. And honestly I could be a little annoying about it – I wore a lot of yellow because I only wanted to wear black before, and I laughed all the time – because it was easy to laugh again and I almost couldn’t believe it. It was the kind of joy you can only feel after a lot of misery. But I think…When it comes to books and movies and TV that deals with depressed teenagers, especially gay teenagers like me, I was only seeing the misery. In things like Thirteen Reasons Why and Dear Evan Hansen, the characters I related most to were always the ones that ended up dying. You never see them getting better. Of course those stories are real, the bad ones. They’re important to tell. But my story exists too. And I want to say: there’s always hope. I lived, here’s what happened, here’s my story.

If you could give your 14 year old self some advice, what would you say?

It’s bad enough now. I know you keep waiting for a big sign, a rock-bottom that will force you to get better. Well, it’s bad enough now. You can’t keep waiting for it to get worse. When you give up on the idea that there will be some kind of overnight solution and say, “I’m going to heal. Even if it’s hard, even if it’s pointless, even if I feel like giving up,” that is when you’ll start to see progress. It’s going to be the little things that save you.

To have Ruby talk at your event or for an interview visit her on the web at https://rubywalker.com/ or Twitter https://twitter.com/rubyirl.

About The Book

When Ruby Walker was 15 going on 16, she went from a numb, silent, miserable high school dropout to a joyous loudmouth in one year flat. Advice I Ignored answers the question everyone’s been asking her since: What happened?

Full of stories, honest advice, fierce hope, and over 100 hand-inked illustrations, Advice I Ignored is an important resource for teens suffering from depression (which has reached epidemic proportions), parents who have one, and educators who want to help. Applicable for adults suffering too!

Buy links:

Amazon/B&N

Meet The Author

Meet The Author: Interview with Judy Gaman

Stopping by Authors & Readers Book Corner today is the award winning author, public speaker, and CEO of Executive Medicine of Texas, Judy Gaman. She’s spent nearly a decade offering advice on longevity and vitality as a voice of The Staying Young Radio Show, which was nationally syndicated on 58 stations.

When not working on the podcast Stay Young America!, she serves as a healthy living expert for Fox News and other media outlets. Judy is a five-time author and has appeared on Fox News Radio, Good Morning Texas and San Diego Living, among numerous other outlets.

Judy also tours as a public speaker, and has been entertaining audiences of all sizes for years. She crafts her presentations around engaging and easy-to-understand concepts including longevity, vitality, and healthy living. Her presentations touch on topics like curing workaholism and burnout, while still being a strong leader.

Let’s get to know Judy Gaman:

 

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? Or what first inspired you to write?

I never dreamed I could be a writer because I was always a slow reader as a child. It wasn’t until my own daughter was diagnosed with dyslexia that I realized I had had dyslexia my whole life. After putting into practice the things she was learning, and thanks to Chromagen lenses (for dyslexia) the world of reading and writing was opened up to me. Now I just can’t seem to get enough.

Where/When do you best like to write?

At home, it’s my 3rd story office. It’s quiet and cozy. When I need a change of scenery, I head to the coffee shop around the corner.

Do you have any interesting writing habits or superstitions?

Most people write one thing at a time, but I tend to skip around from articles to books and back again.

When you are struggling to write/have writer’s block, what are some ways that help you find your creative muse again?

Sometimes I just have to get away. I’ve been known to check myself into a hotel and not check out until I have met my writing goal.

What do you think makes a good story?

One that is real and raw. I don’t like to read stories that waste words, taking forever to get to the point. However, words that paint a picture of the scene or the character are never wasted.

What inspired your story?

My true and genuine friendship with Lucille Fleming. Who knew someone over 100 years old would have such a profound impact on my life!

How does a new story idea come to you?

I believe all my writing comes from above. I can’t explain it, but if I pray to have inspiration, it finds me. When I get too busy and my spiritual life is off, so is my writing. Everytime!

Is there a message/theme in your book that you want readers to grasp?

Each chapter has a message or a lesson that I learned from Lucille. The ending is the single most important lesson of them all, but I can’t spoil it here.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

That when you think you’re done, you never are. There is always more you could or should write.

What was your greatest challenge in writing this book?

Doing justice to such an amazing friendship.

On a Friday night, what are you most likely to be doing?

Recovering from my week. Thursday night is date night and Friday night is recovery night. Then Saturday is writing and family time.

What’s the best writing advice you have ever received?

When you write a memoir, be kind. In the moments you have to describe an unpleasant situation in your life, do it with grace. Never publish anything you wrote out of anger because you can never take it back.

What is the one book no writer should be without?

Story Genius

Visit and connect with Judy Gaman via Social Media:

Author Website: https://www.judygaman.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/judy.gaman.9

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JudyGaman

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/judy-g..

About The Book

Uncovering the Secrets to a Long and Meaningful Life

 An unlikely friendship with a spirited centenarian culminates into valuable lessons for personal growth, love, true friendship, and balancing work and family.

As a determined professional in her forties, Judy Gaman didn’t realize that she was trapped in an unrelenting and all-too-common cycle of workaholism, something she inherited from both her parents. She spent so much time keeping her head down and pursuing her professional dreams that she lost sight of the little things in life that really matter.

While writing a book about longevity, Judy met centenarian (100+ yrs in age) Lucille Fleming in Dallas. Lucille was larger than life, and what was supposed to be a short meeting turned into an inseparable friendship. The two bonded and through their shared stories, they learned that true friendship knows no age. They also discovered that the human experience, regardless of generation, has similar milestones that shape our lives and make us who we become.

Lucille’s lessons would ultimately help Judy break free from the chains of workaholism. But, it wasn’t until Lucille’s death that Judy realized the importance of the first lesson Lucille ever taught her. Love, Life, & Lucille highlights the core of Lucille’s secret to a long and meaningful life.

Buy links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Life-Lucille-Lessons-Centenarian/dp/1631528823/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2B2HTQUSR27S3&keywords=love+life+and+lucille+judy+gaman&qid=1579281316&sprefix=love+life+and+luci%2Caps%2C188&sr=8-1

B&N:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-life-and-lucille-judy-gaman/1132648492?ean=9781631528828

Meet The Author

Meet The Author: Interview with Ryan Maule, Author of I Am Awesome

Stopping by Authors & Readers Book Corner today is author Ryan Maule. Ryan is a nationally recognized and highly sought-after motivational speaker, host of the popular Expect Awesome Podcast, and the president of Integrity Doctors, the world’s largest chiropractic business organization. Over the last 15 years Ryan has traveled the world spreading the message of expecting awesome and building a stronger self-image in order to gain a God-powered confidence. Ryan is happily married to his awesome wife Amber and they live in Florida with their two awesome kids, Summer Grace and Nolan Zeal.

Let’s get to know more about his new book.

Your new children’s book, I Am Awesome!, aims to teach children about confidence and self-esteem in a Godly way. What inspired you to write a book series for children around this topic?

For the last five years, I’ve traveled the country speaking on the importance of having a God-powered confidence! I felt like I was not only talking the talk, I was walking the walk! But that was until I was blindsided by my daughter’s kindergarten teacher and counselor. At a school counseling meeting I was informed that my daughter was suffering from low self-esteem. Not only was this affecting her learning, it was impacting her ability to make friends. I quickly realized that while I was awesome at explaining confidence to adults, I was failing at communicating self-worth to my own children.

That wasn’t my only problem. I was then faced with the question of how to take an hour-long talk on self-worth and building a God-powered confidence and teach that to a six-year-old. I can barely get her to sit through a movie, let alone an hour-long class! I needed a simpler way to communicate the same message in a format that she could understand and relate to. I needed to connect with her on her level and create a story that didn’t talk down to her as an adult. She needed to see a character like her that also needed help with self-worth.

The books are beautifully illustrated. Why was it important for this to be a picture book?

Thank you! Actually, this book was never really a book in the first place. It was a short story that I wrote in order to try and help my daughter understand where confidence comes from and to teach her how easy it is to become confident!

After writing it, I read it to her one day in my office and although she said she liked it, I could tell that she didn’t get it. Mainly she just couldn’t sit still through it, like all the children’s books we had read before bedtime. The words were nice, but she always connected with the pictures! I realized if this were going to work, I had to take it to the next level and turn this story into an actual book.

So, I started contacting publishers and reaching out to illustrators whom I thought could pull off my vision so that my daughter could finally not only hear the story but see it and enjoy it. And that decision has made all the difference in the world for her. Now she connects with it and asks questions about it! The illustrations help trigger the thoughts that lead to comprehension and understanding. Without the pictures there’s no connection or relation.

The book uses robots as main characters. Why did you decide to use robots?

As a dad who’s read lots of children’s books, most stories are either about other children, monsters, or animals. I didn’t want this to be like other stories and wanted there to be representation of God in the book without there being a direct mentioning of God. In other words, I wanted kids to be able to easily enjoy a fun and magical story while allowing parents the ability to recognize the Biblical truths used through these characters that are sometimes hard to explain to their children.

In modern times, robots or the idea of robots is the only thing that I thought could illustrate this. A robot isn’t born, it’s invented by an Inventor! Inventors create all kinds of amazing things and kids can easily understand creation through the eyes of an inventor. Talking animals and monsters are cute, but I needed something that could be invented and still be relatable to any child. And after all, what kids doesn’t think robots are cool?

Why do you emphasize being awesome in this book?

I want everyone to be and experience the best version of themselves possible since most of the time it’s much easier to settle for less! It’s easy to go about hoping for a good day or even bumping it up to a great day, but what if you chose to embrace having an awesome day? Awesome is on another level as a grander exaggeration to words like good and great.

If you’re going to start your day and improve your self-worth, attitude, and situation, it’s always best to start from the highest possible point, which is awesome! Choosing awesome means starting your best day ever each and every day. This way when things don’t go the way you planned or life comes at you or attacks in ways you didn’t expect, you are sure to come out stronger and more positive than if you’d started at a lower level.

So, if you simply start on a good day, it doesn’t take long to drop to a bad day. Starting at great could drop you to good before things go bad, but awesome starts at a level that has to pass both great and good. We should all start at the highest level in all aspects of our life in order to have the most awesome lives possible!

What advice do you have for parents interested in having these discussions about confidence and self-esteem with their children?

The best way to start a dialogue between you and your children about self-esteem and confidence is to help them see and understand their own awesome first. It’s hard to choose awesome and start believing in yourself without understanding what it feels like inside to actually be awesome.

So, the biggest and most important step is to build them up by communicating how awesome you think they are. As parents, we find no trouble in providing constant and continuous love for our children. We say I love you, give kisses and hugs, but a lot of time we spend so much time communicating affection that we forget to communicate recognition. Your child can’t believe they are awesome until they believe that YOU think they’re awesome first!

Your children need to be told “I’m proud of you,” “you did an awesome job,” “you are the most awesome boy/girl I know.” You may be surprised at the responses and even the questions that come up with these statements, which will help you realize how important and profound these moments really are. If you don’t tell them how awesome they really are, then who will?

Why is it important to start these talks with your children at a young age?

Peer judgement may feel like it was invented in middle school but it actually starts much earlier. As your child starts to explore their newly discovered world, social interactions become extremely important early on. From daycare to preschool and then onto kindergarten, social interactions, clicks, and judgement all start to appear and become important as children discover and meet other kids. Whether your child is quiet, to themselves, outgoing, or even so social they don’t know what a stranger is, their social skills are not a direct reflection of their self-worth. We want our kids to put their best foot forward and in order to thrive in social situations when meeting either other children or adults, they need confidence to navigate these new relationships!

How do you think being confident at a young age helps children as they grow into adulthood?

Confidence is the turbo boost to all life experience! By building up a stronger confidence in your children, you are increasing the likelihood in success of all things. Children with more confidence are shown to be more willing to try new things and get things done because they believe in themselves. Confidence relates to volunteering to go up on stage, raising a hand to ask a question or offer up an answer to a question, trying out for sports or a dance solo, taking on new experiences and trying new hobbies.

A lack of confidence fosters feelings that all parents fear. Not wanting to be involved in group activities, never trying new things, doesn’t play well with others, would rather be alone. These perceived character flaws can’t be fixed or turned around without your child understanding how awesome they are and how awesome you think they are! They need the foundation of a strong self-esteem and self-worth to help push them to stand out from the crowd and try new things.

What makes you an expert on confidence?

I’m an expert on confidence because it’s something I am continually working on! In fact, I didn’t grow up extremely confident. My confidence rose and fell with each passing year. From being bullied as a young boy for being the “four-eyed fat kid” with glasses to making the varsity football team as a junior and discovering peer popularity, I experienced all the highs and the lows.

I left college very confident, got married young, and started what I thought was my dream life.  Then in my early thirties I experienced my lowest point. I was in a failed marriage and filing for divorce. I had stopped going to church and bottled up so much anger, I felt I was going to burst at any moment. I can honestly say that I had no confidence. I was a single dad trying to figure out life with a career that had stalled due to my own lack of self-worth and I needed answers.

At my parents’ request, I attended a Wednesday evening church service on my own called Worship Wednesday after avoiding church for a few years. It was the turning point I needed. I sat on the third row and just cried, no sobbed, the entire service. I asked God to give me the strength I needed to get myself back and I believe he spoke to me. He told me he loved me and that I needed to use him as my fuel to get my life back.

I am an expert because I’ve lived with confidence and without confidence. I know what it’s like on both sides and God has given me a gift to communicate that to the world! Shortly after, I created a speech called “Becoming Awesome” which became the foundation of my entire career. It connected with people and allowed me to share to steps I had been taking to embrace my newly founded God-powered confidence! Five years later with thousands of people reached worldwide and now I want to impact a new generation. I now want everyone to experience the confidence that God has given me. I couldn’t be where I am now or know what I know without Him. It’s his strength that powers me and guides me to be awesome!

Where does your confidence come from?

My confidence truly comes from God! I know a lot of people have a hard time understanding that, but it’s true. The problem is that most people confuse confidence and cockiness or see confidence as a fine line that ultimately leads to cockiness, and let’s face it, no one enjoys being around cocky people.

My secret is defining the two and understanding the difference. Confidence is when you believe that you are awesome, everyone you know is awesome, everything around you is awesome and life is going to be awesome. Cockiness on the other hand is when you believe you are more awesome than anyone else, your life is better than others, you are more awesome than anyone else could be, and you’re never impressed with anything because it can’t live up to your hype or standard. Cockiness thrives on tearing others down so that you can build yourself up, while confidence thrives on making everyone feel better.

Now where is the God connection? Phillipians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Do you know someone who believes they can do all things? I’m betting if you do, you’d call them confident. The Bible says we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Not some, not most, it says “all.” All things can be done by any one of us. But don’t miss the main point – that confidence doesn’t come from a book or just by choice, it comes from Christ! God is the strength and the muscle that takes us from our natural nervous state and powers us to be confident in everything that we do. All we have to do is recognize it and turn to Him and we too can all experience a God-powered confidence!

Ultimately, what do you hope parents and children take away from I Am Awesome!?

I want everyone who reads this book to realize that not only is confidence a good thing, it’s what God intended! God created each and every one of us with a specific purpose and a plan that is fueled by His awesomeness. It’s up to us to tap into that awesomeness to see life through a totally different set of eyes.

Imagine how much better you would feel if every time someone asked you how you were doing and you made a point to say, “I am awesome!” Imagine how much more you would enjoy life if you thought everything was awesome! Imagine how much better you would do in school, at work, and as a parent if you believed you were an awesome student, staff member, or parent. Experiencing an awesome life is as simple as accepting that when God made you, he created someone made of nothing less than awesome!

Learn more about Ryan and I Am Awesome! at www.ryankmaule.com and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About The Book

I Am Awesome!  tells the story of two robots named Grace and Zeal who live in Goodland, a land created by an Inventor where everyone and everything is Good. When Grace and Zeal meet a new invention who claims to be Awesome and not just Good they set off for the Inventor’s workshop to get some answers. There they discover the truth – that they are worth more than they ever realized.

I Am Awesome! is available on Amazon