Monday, May 7, 2012

World of Writing

-- Conscious Living Event --

May 7 - 11

IFAT Entsorga 2012

Location: Muich Germany

World of Writing --

It is time for another Q&A World of Writing interview ! Today we have the pleasure of featuring:

Nicky Van Valkenburgh is the author of Train Your Brain, Transform Your Life: Conquer Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in 60 Days, Without Ritalin – which was was voted Best Self Improvement Book of 2011 by the Mom’s Choice Awards and “Best Motivational Book” by Reader’s Favorites Awards.
Nicky is a motivational writer with 20 years’ experience writing for various publications, and is currently a contributing writer for Upstate Parent, Low Country Parent and Palmetto Parent magazines, which are published in South Carolina, with a circulation of a quarter million people. Nicky is kept busy with her work as the Director of - based in South Carolina, USA - where people can find a 60-day brain training program for ADHD. 

Q: Nicky, what was your path to publication? 

A: When my first child was born, I realized that wanted to work at home. I wanted to write about self-help, nutrition or natural health. I started looking online, and met a psychologist who had written motivational books, We started emailing each other, and I asked him if there was anything that I could do for him. He asked me to look at his notes and turn them into a book. Ultimately, he mailed me 700 pages of notes and I turned it into a book in two months.  I became his official ghostwriter. After that, I developed a website to sell the psychologist’s products online as an affiliate. Eventually, I decided to write my own book and venture out to create my own platform.

Q: How did you get started as a writer? 

A: My first job was working as a movie reviewer. I did that for about five years, and then I got married and started a family. When my son was born, I had to re-invent myself in order to work from home. I took a writing course from the Institute for Children’s Literature. It’s a year-long correspondence course where you’re assigned to a published author who becomes your mentor. You have ten assignments, you complete them one at a time, and mail them

Q: What are the biggest surprises you’ve encountered in your career as a writer?

A: I learned a lot by going to the library and reading every single book that I could find on self-publishing and writing a book. 

Q: What is your proudest writer moment?

A: I was beaming when I won my first book award.  Funny story—I received an email, and I figured it was a rejection letter. But I opened it, and it was from one of the judges, Dr Bob Rose. He is a retired psychology professor and Huffington Post columnist. Dr Rose asked me to be on his radio show, Rewiring the Brain. I was so excited that I almost jumped out of my skin!

Q: What’s the best advice you were given about writing? 

A: Don’t be afraid to inject your personality into your writing. My writing coach told me that after she read the first chapter of my book. She asked me to go back and re-write it. She told me to share my personal experience.  I felt like my personal story was embarrassing. It made me cringe, but my  coach was correct—opening up and sharing my personality helps my readers identify with me. It makes me venerable but it also shows that I have walked in their shoes.

Q: What is your most embarrassing writer moment? 

A: Sharing my personal story of having Attention Deficit Disorder. My parents read my book and were shocked that I’d taken Ritalin. They had no idea! 

Q: What business challenges have you faced as a writer? 

A: Online marketers have ripped me off; the services I chose were over-promised and under-delivered. One guru promised to write the Foreword for my book, but when the time came, he told me to write it myself and he’d maybe consider it. Not exactly what he promised! Here I’d plunked down $2,500 for his course. Next time, I hope that I will be wiser!

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