Tiffany made time to chat with me a bit and answer some questions.
Tiffany, thank you for visiting with us. You’re quite the businesswoman. You’ve built up four businesses. You’re involved with a radio talk show and a non-profit organization. What made you decide to give writing a try?
I have always liked to write. But I really begin to write more through my Twitter page from my mayoral campaign. I started with leaving famous quotes and begin to gradually share my thoughts about life for the ambitious.
Is the “writer’s life” what you thought it would be?
No. It definitely a lot more business than I thought. You have to be really hands on and have a strategy to encourage book sales.
What’s something about writing you wish non-writers would understand?
That it’s not as easy as it looks and it is an emotional experience. You are really putting yourself out there, good and bad. You allow yourself to be completely transparent and it can be scary experience.
What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?
Business strategy, marketing and publicity. Each are incredibly important when you building yourself as a brand.
Some Dos and Don’ts. Based on things you’ve learned, what advice would you give an aspiring author? How about one Do and one Don’t?
One do is to be to be strategic about selling your books. Hiring your own publicist may be a good idea to ensure you get your desired response. Don’t assume you’re a major priority just because you have book deal.
One don’t is similar to the do. Don’t wait on the publicity department for your publisher. Don't rely on your publisher for everything. You can miss out many additional revenue streams by waiting on your publisher to act.
What’s the best advice you’ve gotten about the publishing industry? The worst?
The best advice was to hire my own publicist and the worst advice was not worry about digital rights. The digital rights are extremely important and you should try to retain them if you can.
Any thoughts you'd like to share about the business side of writing?
Make sure to set goals for yourself and do your homework to achieve them. If you want to be a on the New York best seller list, then create a strategy to get there. Do not leave your fate in someone else’s hands.
What did you learn while writing this book?
I learned not to take things so personally. Most decisions are based on individual personal ambition. Ambition is never right or wrong; it is the inner drive to have something more in your life. But sometimes your ambition can clash with others. You must not take it personally.
I also learned that having just me is enough because of God’s love. I feel comfortable in my own skin; imperfections in all. I may not be perfect but I am attempting to be a best that I can. And that is enough as long as I try to stay aligned with God.
I like how you have included your life stories in the pages. It makes it easy for the reader to relate to you and your experiences. What has been one of your biggest challenges in life and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge was bouncing back from my failed mayoral bid that was a disappointment on a professional and emotional level. It was completely humiliating because I was marginalized and misunderstood throughout the campaign. I felt like people didn’t get me; they just stereotyped me.
There were many people that I had supported in the past that didn’t return the favor added to the humiliation. I was very disappointed in people that I had respected and loved in every facet of my life. It definitely changed the way I see the world.
How did you deal with the 'humiliation' and disappointment? It had to be a hard pill to swallow.
I was able to overcome it all through forgiveness. God forgives us for all our transgressions and I was forced to do the same. All the inspirational stories I wrote are from perspective of a reader. I wrote what I needed to hear at those desperate, heart wrenching times in my life. I wrote to encourage myself and now decided to share it with others.
What message do you hope your readers will hear?
Never give up on your goals in life but allow God to revise or tweak them into being aligned with his Will. Every failure is not a nightmare and every opportunity is not a blessing.
Some failures can be blessings; some opportunities can be nightmares.
Allow God completely into your heart and watch your life begin to expand in the most amazing ways. I trust God in a completely different way than before because I now have a testimony that I never had before. There is nothing like spectacular fall to truly give you a new relationship with God.
Do you have a favorite section in the book? And why do you like it?
My favorite sections are really the inspirations based upon my personal stories. I like it because it allows me to share a portion of myself with the world.
Was there a section of the book that was personally hard for you to discuss?
The sections related to my personal life because I had to allow myself to be completely transparent. While it was a little uncomfortable, it was definitely freeing.
On a lighter note, what’s something readers would be surprised you do?
I listen to an appalling amount of rap. I listen to very little R&B. I am big fan of Young Jezzy, Jay Z, TI , Kayne and Drake.
If you could be a character from any book you've read, who would you be?
It would be Nico or Victory in Lipstick Jungle by Candace Bushnell. They are such strong woman but are human as well.
Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?
My next book will be a book of prayers. There are some prayers in this book and it was such overwhelming positive response to them via Twitter that the next book will be just prayers.
I also may do a cookbook but that depends on my schedule during the holiday to do the legwork.
I wish you the best in your writing career, Tiffany! Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with me. I can see you truly put into practice the idea of being the master of your own destiny.
Readers: If you have any questions for Tiffany, she will be popping in and out today and she will try to answer them. She's also offering an autographed copy of her book to a commenter, so don't be shy. :-)
Back cover Blurb:
There are many times in life when you are overwhelmed and frustrated with life and need some inspiration. Now more than ever, as the world becomes increasingly complex, you need to find meaning in chaos, disappointment, difficult family relationships, and work stress.
Daily Reflections: A Book of Affirmations for the Ambitious can provide encouraging and motivational words for contemporary Christians while in this race called life.
This book will provide daily tools to endure storms while dealing with haters and toxic friends all while grindin’ to get to the next level of your life. Daily Reflections: A Book of Affirmations for the Ambitious consists of a series of 365 daily passages or “teachings” to help give you an inspirational boost to your day. While it is possible to read the passages straight through as you would a novel, think of the book as a collection of individual stories, each of which tells its own tale and can be approached one at a time. Excerpt