It’s Practical Glamour (RLD Publications, 2010), an all-in-one grooming, style and manner guide. I wanted to create a comprehensive book on how to optimize yourself no matter where you are in terms of age, budget or position.
What inspired you to write this book?
Too many women walk around each day with their heads down and dressed in some drab something or other. For whatever reason, they are not realizing their glitterball potential.
I wanted to give women specific steps not found in magazines or other beauty books to tap their natural-born glamour and have a better life as a result.
PS. It’s not hard, and it doesn’t take wads of cash.
Tell us something about yourself. Why the topic and why now?
Presentation is such a multifaceted topic. On one hand there are the tangibles like the way you wear your hair, the makeup colors you choose or the clothes you pick out. Then there are the less tangibles, the habits and mannerisms you’ve lived with for years, like the way you move, speak and interact with others.
In the end, though, they all add up to you–the way you feel about yourself and the way others perceive you when you walk in the door.
I was a freelance lifestyle writer for years, but waited to cultivate a complete understanding across all of these areas, along with how they interact, before putting out a book. When you write a book you are creating a definitive statement on your body of knowledge in a given topic or subject area, so you need to have been there and back, and then some. Plus have something new to bring to the table. I did everything, from model shoes to work in a garment workshop, make natural cosmetics, work for a hair care company, do voiceovers, you name it. I wrapped it up with a masters degree in communication a few years ago.
How did you choose the title, Practical Glamour?
These two words seem to fit together hand-in-hand, and explain exactly this practice of architecting your best self.
Being practical means using your head in the sassiest way possible. It’s about being smart, selective and treating your resources wisely. Glamour is that sheen, that natural spark in each woman that has, in many cases, been buried, muffled or was never mined in the first place.
The practice of practical glamour means bringing that glamour center stage in a way that makes it sustainable to your looks, body and purse, plus authentic to who you are today.
Sure you can afford that hideous green $900 Fendi Crocheted Chef Bag that fad-following lemmings everywhere are panting over. But why would you bother when you know of at least four other bags that will better amplify your personal style, look way more suave and last a hell of a lot longer. Plus, the hundreds you save will look much more glamorous growing in your bank or stock account than frittered away in the wind.
Do you have any writing rituals?
No music, no interruptions and a clear desk. To get the right rhythm of words on paper you can’t have another song playing in your head.
I’ve always been interested in writers who said they wrote drunk, or with music blasting in the background. How is that possible? I can spend hours struggling over a single paragraph while sitting stone-cold sober in a silent office with no distractions whatsoever.
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?
Being an author these days means you only get to spend about 10-15% of your time actually writing.
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
Start marketing way before your book comes out. Hit the ground as early as you can.
And don’t rely too much on having your book reviewed by traditional review outlets for publicity. I found that chasing these was often a waste of time. Few reviewed; but almost all went ahead and sold my review copies online anyway. You lose twice.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
While promoting Practical Glamour I’ve been able to canvas readers and find other areas where I could help readers be more smart and resourceful. I’m writing a book on how to make your glamour quotient bloom even bigger in other related areas, like entertaining and relationships.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Beyond knowing the technical craft of writing and editing, you must keep abreast of what is happening in the book business, even if you’ve had an amazing contract from a major publishing house dropped on your lap. (Does that even happen anymore?)
Since the rules of the game have changed, there are more people than ever putting out books. But it reminds me of acting, where, since the requirements to enter are few, tons of people move to LA or NY and call themselves actors.
The downside of writing, like acting, is that the probability of success is low, low, low. And, like acting, commercial success is not always based on merit, as a peek at the local movie theater will attest.
Your chance of success becomes greater if you are knowledgeable and realistic about the book industry as it is, instead of how it should be or how you would like it to be.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
Women in their late teens to adulthood looking to take what they have to its most positive hilt, maintain it or simply change up what they’ve got.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
PracticalGlamour.org is a good place to start.
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