Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Author Interview


Author Interview

Welcome, readers, to the world of writing with another author interview! We love doing these. Today we are featuring Deborah Olson, who was introduced to us via Sue Canfield (of Social Media Book Marketing Services: Ausoma.com). Deborah is a women’s emotional health specialist who offers hands-on solutions to positively enhance life in meaningful and purposeful ways. She is here today to share her experiences in writing and publishing her book: The Healing Power of Girlfriends: How to Create Your Best Life Through Female Connection. She also invites you to visit her website: https://deborah-olson.com and drop by to visit on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDeborahOlson/


Q: Hi Deborah! Let's start by getting you to share a little about yourself so our readers can see who you really are. How would a good friend describe you?

A: My female friends have shared with me some of the traits they feel define me and how I am viewed in our friendships. They have said that I am fiercely loyal— a trait I see as critical to a friendship and at the very core of the relationship. If you are my friend, I will always have your back no matter what! I am loyal in every way, every day! I will be happy for my friend’s successes and will share in their joy! I will grieve with them when things happen and they are enduring loss.

I am also very genuine, and authentic. I don’t play games; I am who you see. I have been told by my closest circle of BFF’s that I am the “real deal”— which I love to hear because that is what I really try to be! And, I am trust-worthy. If someone shares a confidential secret or prayer request, I will hold that close to my heart and will keep that in confidence. 
My friends would also say that I am generous and thoughtful. I remember birthdays and special occasions and love to give my dear friends gifts and cards and flowers.

Q: A little research on you revealed that you have attained a bachelor's degree in psychology and a masters degree in clinical psychology from two different universities. You then became the owner of Galleria Area Counselling (Houston Texas), and reach out as a speaker and participant in seminars. With all of this going on, you also wrote the award winning book The Healing Power of Girlfriends. With all of this in mind I'm curious as to how you balance work life with family and friends - especially after the release of and promotion activities for your new book. How do your friends and family feel about your writing venture in general? 

A: My friends and family members have been elated and very proud of my first book (published March 2019). Everyone has been super supportive and excited for the publication to finally happen after my years of writing and working on my book! 

They have attended my book events around the country and many of my girlfriends have even planned and hosted book signings for me in their states throughout the U.S. 

I have been extremely blessed with a loyal tribe of friends who have gone the extra mile to show their love and support to get my book’s message on female friendship out into the masses in the real world!


Q: You seem very driven by purpose and your passion to make a difference is evident - could you take a little time to share what your goals are and what motivates you?

A: My professional life started in nursing after high school as I became an R.N. and worked in OB/GYN, and High-risk OB— prenatal care. I loved my work to help women and enjoyed working in labor and delivery, postpartum, newborn nursery and special care nursery. 

Many years later I went on to attain two more degrees, a bachelors and then a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology to enable me to assist women in emotional health issues. In my clinical practice as Women’s Emotional Health Specialist I am able to make a difference in women’s lives in a life-changing, enriching and lasting way. My life’s passion has always been to help women and this has been the focus of my work as a Licensed Professional Counsellor for nearly two decades. 

My book was written to also make an impact on women’s health and promote the benefit we receive as women physically, mentally, and emotionally when we connect regularly with our girlfriends.


Q: Would you tell us a little about the behind-the-scenes activities involved in completing a manuscript and getting it ready for publication?

A: I started writing my outline in 2015 and began actually writing the manuscript in 2016. In 2017, I decided to also take an online writing course which also explained the process of finding an editor and the publishing process. It was a very helpful online course and when I finished it, I finished my book and found an editor. I continued to work in 2018 to finish my edits and work with my editor to get the book into publication. 

My husband was also having serious health issues at this same time, which slowed my progress for sure, but I was determined to get my book out and not let anything keep me from my
ultimate goal to become an author and get my book published!

In March of 2019, on International Women’s Day, my dream to become a published author came true! It was surreal to see my book on Amazon for the first time, and really took my breath away! My perseverance and stubbornness to not let anything get in the way of this dream, finally paid off! 

This book is a unique culmination of my years of professional experience as a R.N. and a Counsellor specializing in women’s health, as well as my own original research and the current research on female connection, plus my own decades of female friendship stories.


Q: What professional successes has your current book brought you?

A: Since my book was published, I have been on an international book tour to Mexico, California, Arizona, Nebraska, Florida and all over Texas! It has been wonderful and so fun to meet so many wonderful women who have read my book and love my message! As I have traveled around the U.S. and met lots of amazing ladies of all ages, they have shared with me that my book spoke to them. Whether it was a widow who had suddenly found herself in a new chapter of life and seeking healing through female friendship, or a woman who had just learned how to let go of a toxic friendship that had been pulling her down for decades through reading my book’s advice on handling that situation, women in all parts of the country have shared their personal stories with me at my book events and each one has warmed my heart and validated my life’s work.

I have also been fortunate to be on a TV show here in Texas, The Great Day Houston Show on August 1st, 2019, for National Girlfriends Day with host Deborah Duncan. And, I have done numerous radio shows, with hosts in America and Australia, Podcasts, internet TV shows, and Facebook LIVE shows. I have also been featured in the National Blog written at the corporate headquarters of NextDoor with Shannon Tolivar. And, have been a guest blogger on Thrive Global, The Chicago Tribune, The Houston Chronicle, and numerous others. Recently my book was given a Bronze Award by the Nonfiction Author’s Association and was featured by Publisher’s Weekly magazine. Finally, I have done numerous speaking engagements throughout Texas, and the was the keynote speaker for my Nursing College Alumni Annual Banquet in June 2019.


Q: Wow! that is a lot of professional success as a published author! Travel and promotions, speaking engagements, working with publishers and agents... it can be exhausting. You've already spoken a little about the passion you have for the work you do and this must help balance out the hours you put in. On a personal level, how do you determine or evaluate success?

A: For me, success is measured in touching lives and making a contribution to humanity. When we can honestly feel that our work has made an impact on people’s lives for the better and in some way enhanced their health and well-being, then we know we have been successful. 
What keeps me going every day is a burning desire to help women live their best lives, emotionally, mentally, and physically.

If I can spread my message of healing and hope to women everywhere so that they can live their longest and best lives, then my mission has been a success! When ladies come up to me at my book events and tell me how helpful my advice was, and how it got them through a rough time in their life, it really validates why I wrote this book and why I pushed through personal struggles with my husband’s health to get my book out into the world!


Q: What do you do to unwind and relax?

A: I am a water lover, so I love to go to the beach and sit under an umbrella and read a good book! I love to gather seashells and I have a large collection of them in my home! 

My husband and I live on a small canal that flows into a large lake and on into Galveston Bay, so one of my passions is to watch for the many species of coastal birds that pass by us in our area. 

I find my soul at the water and for me, relaxing and unwinding happens at the water’s edge. I feel that nature truly refuels me and there is no place more perfect for that than the salty air of the ocean!


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