When did you realize that you wanted to become a writer? During speaking engagements at various venues including: universities, foster homes, domestic violence & human trafficking shelters. I was asked if I had a book and eventually came to the realization that with a book I could reach more people and inspire others.
Is being an Author all you dreamed of, or did it just happen? It really just happened. As an item on my “Bucket List”, I could not be happier with the way it turned out.
The best and worst thing about writing the book? The best part about the book was my sense of accomplishment and how I went about obtaining it. The worst part about writing a book is waiting for the reviews to roll in. This story is 100% my life and having people critique that leaves you truly vulnerable.
What was the very first thing you ever wrote? I am the queen of double entendres, so I wrote all the packaging and copy forFoot Petals. For the book, I started with creating a timeline using 100 different post-its in 3 colors: pink = good, blue = bad & yellow = lesson learned.
What made you create your book? How did it come to you? I wanted to inspire people from all walks of life to pursue the “American Dream” and pay it forward. This includes investors, women starting over & people in socioeconomically disadvantaged situations. I am a great example of someone who was able to defy the odds and not let a violent past effect my future.
Who is your literary hero? Jane Green, considered a founder of chick-lit and wrote Female Friendship, because she is smart, witty, funny and cool. I must admit I am a chick-lit junkie.
How much of your characters are based on your traits or someone you know personally? This book is 100% me. My family, best friend and business colleagues are exact replicas. I wanted my story to really connect with readers which is why I also included photos throughout.
Describe your main character in six words. It’s me, so: creative, dramatic, funny, hot-tempered, sensitive & compassionate. I learned a lot about myself writing this book.
Describe the world you’ve created in six words. I can do it in two…..Tina Town.
What scene was your favorite to write? The beginning narrative, when I sold my company! That was such an exciting time in my life and for the life of the company. It was really a moment that showed all the hard work had paid off.
What scene was the hardest for you to write? My humiliating past in the chapter A Beautiful Mess was the hardest to write. I had to relive a difficult time when I had to live in-and-out of shelters for victims of domestic violence. I knew it was important to include in the book but felt like I was re-opening a healed wound.
What are you working on now? Launching a new lifestyle brand called Savvy Traveler, a collection of products designed for people on the go. They are made up of different types of travel-size disposable towelettes. The entire line will air on the Home Shopping Network at the beginning of June.
Goals? Accomplishments? Improvements? A personal goal of mine is to fall in love. An accomplishment is when I was able to purchase my home in Laguna Hills. An improvement I am trying to work on would be my bad temper.
What is on your nightstand? My kindle is always on my nightstand with 2000+ downloads to be read. I am a very disciplined person and I read every day, particularly at night before I go to bed. I actually self-educated on a variety of topics through reading- it is an important part of who I am and is also an escape mechanism I use when going through tough times. I’ve become so disciplined that I have the ability to read 5 different books at once.
Are there any authors or books you recommend? Yes, I’m currently reading Gentlewoman by Enitan O. Bereola II, which I recommend all women and young ladies read…twice. I would also recommend, Wherever you go, there you are by Jon Kabat-Zinn & The 4-hour workweek by Timothy Ferriss.
What's your favorite thing to do when you're not writing? Reading, sleeping, shopping & going to the spa (all in that order).