Today, I would like to fire-up some random and some not-so-random questions to Paula Renaye, the author of Living the Life You Love. So, here we go:
How did you know you should become an author?
I couldn't not. It was really an inner drive. I was in high school when I discovered I liked to write--news stories and such not tied to a classroom assignment. There was a freedom and creativity there that I loved. However, as my answer above clearly illustrates, everything was secondary to the marriage thing. So, I closed the door on my journalism career when I got married at 18 and it took a crisis about 15 years later to re-awaken that passion. And it came out in the strangest way--I started hearing songs in my head and wrote them down. Wanting more, I joined a writers group and people there were writing novels. Well, I'd read about five thousand of those while I was trying to distract and suppress my own creative urge, so I decided I'd write a book. And I did. With only three chapters written, I won a contest and I was hooked. It took another life crisis a decade after that for all the lessons from the crises to turn into the personal development book I have today. A winding road from there to here, but one I apparently had to go down!
What is one book everyone should read?
Well, as "bad" as it may sound, I'm going to go out on a limb and say my new one--Living the Life You Love. Yes, I know that seems self-serving, but that's not my point at all--it's not about me, it's about the message. Right now, it seems everyone is feeling pushed in one way or another. Time is on fast forward and we know we need to make changes, we just don't know what or how. We need someone--or something--to be that tough love best friend who will tell us what we need to hear even if we don't like it so we can get moving. We need something to jolt us out of our complacency and give us practical tools to get out of limbo and start being our authentic selves--to stop dreaming and start doing.
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
Because it will wake you up enough--or make you mad enough--that you'll actually do something about your problems and, of course, give you what you need to do it.
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
There are just no words for how it feels to have people write to me or come up after a talk and tell me how their lives have transformed because they took the tools I offered and put them to work. Recently, a woman told me she'd heard me speak a few weeks before, and it had hit her hard. It has also knocked her out of complacency and her comfort zone, and into action. She told how she'd been afraid to go for the job she really wanted because she didn't want to be thought of as pushy or tooting her own horn and such. However, something she heard caused a switch to flip and she went back to work on a mission. She was determined the job was hers--and it was, in less than a month. I get stories like that all time. Rewarding isn't nearly a strong enough word for what I feel!
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
I have a lot of things in the works! I am developing a certification program for Living the Live You Love that trains facilitators how to use the book and supplemental materials in their own study groups and workshops. I am also working with some nonprofit organizations to utilize the program for their clients. Very exciting! And, in my spare time, I'm also writing my fourth Jolene Jackson Mystery, Killer Moves. It might sound totally weird, but it works for me. The mysteries are wildly eccentric and they're my way of relaxing. I know, sounds crazy, but it's what I do for fun. Well, actually pretty much everything I do is for fun!
What's your favorite season/weather?
I love spring. I lived in Colorado for 20 years--most of that in high altitude--and there was more winter than anything. I moved to Arkansas about eight years ago and that is the one thing I have loved--the seasons. This year, things started popping out in February. We have many months of beautiful flowering trees and bushes that I really enjoy. As I write this, it is in the middle of summer and it is HOT. Hopping in the pool or the lake is sounding really good about now!
I am pretty good at fixing up things around the house. I bought a condo several years ago--my re-starter and therapy home--and did most of the work myself, including electrical, plumbing, carpentry and such. It took me a while, but it turned out really nice. I wasn't just renovating the house, I was also renovating me.
Wishing all success to Paula Renaye,