Friday, March 31, 2017

Interview with non-fiction writer Mark Villareal

Today’s special guest is Mark Villareal and we’re talking about his new leadership book, Leadership Lessons from Mom.

Mark Villareal is the author of the International Best Seller Shortcuts Get You Lost! A Leadership Fable of The Dangers of the Blind Leading the Blind. The book reached #1 status in the U.S., Canada, Australia and #12 in the U.K. Mark Villareal has been an established public speaker, presenter, coach and consultant for many years. He has been a guest on The Viki Winterton Radio Show, The Dr. Jo Anne White Radio Show, The Energy Shift with Sonia Bueno de la Torre, The Dare To Dream Show with Debbi Dachinger, and Talenttalk Radio to name a few. He has had multiple articles published in magazines and publications.

Mark Villareal has a passion for developing people in a manner that helps them achieve their goals. Villareal has been helping business leaders succeed for 35 years. Early in his career he realized that the more he focused on others' success, the more his career blossomed as well. It is with a servant’s heart that Villareal has helped employees and managers reach their next level of success. Villareal has had the innate ability to quickly identify high-potential individuals. He mentors them via personal instruction; professional development plans, and focused coaching. He has assisted in developing consultative sales executives, managers, and business leaders. Villareal has a passion for leadership development and has a hunger for continued growth and development. He believes strong leaders pay if forward.

Welcome, Mark. Please tell us about your current release.
My mother I quote was the best leadership coach who chose to be a housewife. The book describes and demonstrates the lessons she taught me throughout my lifetime and how they formed my character and who I am. The book correlates those lessons to business and leadership today.

What inspired you to write this book?
I am amazed by women in leadership and in addition, working mothers, whether single or married at how they balance their life and yet still make a tremendous impact with the raising of their children. I believe that mothers make the most important impact of our future leaders of tomorrow. Many years ago I had the privilege of employing several single mothers that drove my success. It was grown organically as one single mother would recommend another. Their “I cannot fail” attitude drove their own success and drove my overall success. That business won an award for the most outstanding location of that business of over 260 Worldwide. I make it a point to pay it forward. The book is not only a testament to my mother but all women.

Excerpt from Leadership Lessons from Mom:
As the next few years went by, and as I made other choices that would have repercussions, Mom at least wanted me to learn valuable lessons that she believed at some point would bring me through any consequence. No matter if I was going to be a Rocket Scientist or a Restaurant Cook, Mom wanted me prepared to succeed, be the best at what I chose, and have lessons to teach others. That is the true mentorship of a leader. Mom knew that we were at a point where she could not change my direction, so she made me better prepared for the direction I was headed. What a wise woman. I can still remember our conversation and her words, and like Mom, she repeated them many more times throughout my life.

“Marcos, your choices will bring happiness and sadness in your life. Enjoy the good times and treasure them. Keep your head up and have faith in the Lord during the hard times and ask the Lord, “What is it that I am to learn from this”, and then listen. Most of all, never give up. Remember that life is lived in the valleys and you need to attack life to make it through. But those few times that you reach the mountain tops remember, to enjoy the view. It is the view from the mountain tops that will keep you fighting forward in the valley for that next moment on the mountain. Because you have been to the mountain top and you remember the view, you will fight to get back there again.” 

She hugged me, and left my room.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I am expanding more in my speaking engagements and workshops to help businesses. I am scheduled to speak at several women entrepreneur events. I also mentor several women aspiring to grow into leadership. Of course I have my third book outlined and in the works. The next book is business focused on key points that organizations need to do, or can fail to do for success.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Funny but I have written for a while, almost 20-years, but more for manuals for business process and education. My first book I wrote several years ago and it sat unfinished until I refocused my efforts on its completion over a year and a half ago. It was published in 2016 and became and International Best Seller, which I am humbled by. I write blogs to help share what I consider important messages of learning and education. Hopefully they are motivating as well.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I combine writing with mentoring others, coaching, and consulting. In addition, I do public speaking. So my day starts with exercises assigned by my speaking coach that include breathing, posture and voice exercises. My coach is awesome. I then spend about 2 to 3 hours a day going over my speaking and speech for the next event. I tend to do more writing in the evening. Leadership Lessons From Mom was almost all written at night time.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Not sure if I have an interesting writing quirk. I would state that I have many ideas that come in the middle of the night that wake me up. So I wake up, grab my cell phone, and either text the ideas to myself or email them to myself. It is important I do this as I have at times thought that I would remember the idea and unfortunately I do not. I have found it invaluable to text or email when the idea is fresh and clear.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
As any child I went through a lot of phases, but around the age of 13 I wanted to learn and be in the computer technology industry. I had visited my father’s work and at that time a computer was the size of a refrigerator. Anyway I brought home a computer book from his office and started studying it then. Funny but I was in technology for 20-years.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Yes, to follow up on the question on what I wanted to be when I grew up. I tell the story in my book about how at different times I would tell my parents that I wanted to be an Astronaut, a Police Man, or a Fireman, etc. Each time as a child my parents would encourage me and I believe we as children do this to impress our parents. Finally as I was developing in age my mother stopped me and told me what she wanted me to be. She stated, “Mijo, which means my son, the one thing I want you to be that would put a smile on my face is a good example. If you make sure you are a good example as a son, brother, friend, husband, father, employee, etc. then I will be satisfied. That is what I ask of you. Be a good example.” Hopefully she is smiling from heaven.


Thanks for being here today, Mark.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Interview with authors Susan Hyatt and Lina Lecaro

My special guest today is author Susan Hyatt. We’re talking about the new relationship, self-help book she co-wrote with Lina Lecaro, Never Mind the Rules – The Alternative Dating Guide for Girls Who Wanna Rock!

Susan Hyatt is an American singer/songwriter, former UK talk show host and an NASM certified fitness trainer. Susan is currently enrolled in post-graduate studies in psychology for Master of Marriage and Family Therapy licensing.

She has written and recorded over 150 love songs and published 6 albums for her bands Pillbox, Stimulator, and most recently Sirens of Soho. Dozens of Susan’s songs have been licensed by international brands and TV shows such as Macy’s, Disney, The Bethenny Talk Show, Dawson’s Creek, NBC, and MTV, to name a few.

Susan spent ten years in London, where she hosted a music and lifestyle TV show called The Pulse. She conducted countless personal interviews. Her unique lifestyle of touring, recording, writing, hosting, and training left little time or room to find a suitable life partner.

At age 43, feeling hopeless and addicted to self-help books, she was ready for a change. Susan decided to focus her energy on finding a husband. Having gone through dozens of failed relationships with what turned out to be gay men, married men, and crack addicts, she was like millions of other middle-aged women who were alone, and/or divorced and scared of the horrific “dating scene.” Fast forward five years later, and Susan Hyatt is now a wife, step mom, musician, and runs her own business.

Susan is devoted to empowering women. You could hear her anthemic theme song “Calling All My Girls” daily on the syndicated talk show Bethenny (produced by Ellen De Generes) on the Fox Network. She also trains and motivates women to get in shape through her fitness business and workout DVD Susan Hyatt’s Rockstar Workout. (An Amazon Bestseller).

Lina Lecaro is a published author, journalist, photographer, and web radio personality based in Los Angeles, California. She has been likened to an LA version of both the Candace Bushnell Sex and the City writer/character Carrie Bradshaw and The Village Voice’s sassy scribe Michael Musto.

As the LA Weekly’s nightlife/entertainment columnist (via her first print column, “The Night Ranger” and her current one “Lina in LA”) Lecaro has been LA’s resident expert on the city’s nightlife, music, entertainment, and pop culture for over two decades. As well as authoring her book, Los Angeles’s Best Dive Bars - Drinking & Diving in the City of Angels (Ig Publishing, 2010), she has contributed to several popular Los Angeles city guides and “where to” publications. These include Fodor’s Travel Guides and The Underground Guide to LA.

Lina has written for numerous blogs as well as her own, including the Weekly’s sex, music and arts blog. She has also contributed to countless online and print publications including Playboy, Rolling Stone, LA Times, Los Angeles Magazine, Flaunt, Paper, Billboard, Vice (Noisey), Paste, LAist, Thrillist, Medium, Consequence of Sound, LNTV, and Flavorwire, to name a few. Before she was 21 years old, Lina started snagging bylines while simultaneously earning her BA in Journalism from California State University, Northridge.

In 2013, Lina’s long-term marriage to her high school sweetheart ended. Thrust into the exciting yet intimidating new world of dating as a single mom, Lina joined Susan Hyatt to co-write Never Mind the Rules as a woman’s how-to-guide, a guide she herself wished existed. She’s been “drinking her own Kool-Aid,” testing Never Mind the Rules’ techniques and principles on a daily basis. Essentially “living” the book, as she and Hyatt wrote it and adapting her advice based on what worked and didn’t work for her. Even after encountering some less than honorable fellows during this process, she remains a passionate advocate of men, romance and relationships. She hopes to pass along this faithful optimism to her daughter as she grows up.

Welcome Susan, please tell us about your current release.
Never Mind the Rules is your alternative to the barrage of cookie-cutter self-help relationship books geared towards a set of rules that are intended to work for ‘everyone.’ This is a frank, honest, sexy and racy dating guide that helps you write YOUR own rules by getting REAL with yourself. It is written with a unique rock n’ roll angle that music fans can enjoy.
While doing the research for Never Mind the Rules, we interviewed reputable therapists, rock star chicks, housewives, journalists, polyamorous couples, swingers, and best-selling author Neil Straus (who wrote the controversial book The Game) who turned out to be a huge inspiration; and lastly even men we dated (gay & straight)!
We reveal personal dating horror stories, successful dating stories, wild and romantic anecdotes, and the world of sexual fetishes. We hope you will laugh and cry with us like we do when we watch Sex & The City, Girls, or Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce.

We navigate dating in a tech-centric world including: online dating, social networking, and texting. We provide a step-by-step guide for you to create your perfect online profile. You will learn how to create your own vision board and write a successful business plan for love. Included are a variety of quizzes and mantras to help you. Our aim is to make you feel as though you are part of a non-judgmental secret girls “club” of sorts, just like you have with your own personal BFFs.

What inspired you to write this book?
I was inspired to write this book for many reasons.

I always had so much drama in my love life. I seemed to go from one disastrous relationship to the next. I would tell my girlfriends my weekly crazy stories and everyone kept telling me to write a book. I would be cracking up laughing at my own misfortune and the ridiculous men I would encounter. So I thought that it was a great idea.

I also have been avid reader of self-help books. Whenever I felt my love life was unmanageable I would turn to books to provide me with answers. So when I finally got married at age 43, and picked the right guy, I wanted to tell the world how I went from the least likely person to be married to the girl with the best marriage ever! I had to share what I had learned. If I could just help one woman with her love life then it would be worth it. I truly feel that Never Mind the Rules is your one stop shop for dating. Lina and I brainstormed and wrote about everything we had learned on our journey.

Excerpt from Never Mind the Rules:
Chapter 2 - Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Romances – That Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Rock ‘n’ roll is about having a badass attitude, great sex, and uninhibited expression. These are ideas we want you to explore as you learn about yourself and what you want from a relationship. Most love songs come from real life, and some of the greatest stuff ever written was inspired by amazing, often tumultuous, rollercoaster romances. Some songs are simply about pure and true adoration. Some are dirty, hot, and wild. Some are sad. Some are angry AND nutty! The music-love connection goes beyond specific compositions or tracks. After all, there is no bigger inspiration than that “crazy little thing called love.”
Think about your love life and the soundtrack that brings it all back. The song playing at the dance or party during your first kiss… or in the car during your first sex encounter. The pop hit that always seemed to be on when you dated that one special boyfriend (and still brings back that warm feeling in your gut when it comes on classic rock stations today). For a lot of us, there’s a certain song that just gets us sweaty or teary every time… its lyrics simply and rather eerily describing our entire relationship and the feelings involved. It’s like we could have written every damn word!
Being a “rockstar” at love is more than just having a rule-breaker spirit. It goes beyond having swagger or sex appeal. Sometimes being a badass is, in fact, about allowing yourself to be vulnerable and putting yourself and your feelings out there. It is ok to screw up. You will make mistakes and you will learn from them with our help. Some of the most successful people in business have made the biggest mistakes in love.
We want you to find your number one fan, the one who will be loyal no matter what! Now imagine yourself fearless, like a rock band taking the stage in an arena filled with thousands of screaming fans, and maybe a few critics too. Let’s set the tone here, and get the rhythm rolling by taking a look at some of our favorite odes to love, music, artists, and the types of relationships that inspired them. Read on and rock on….

What exciting story are you working on next?
I definitely am planning on writing more books. I’m currently enrolled in Graduate School, and in the process of getting my Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. I look forward to writing more books as a licensed psychologist.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I was always a writer. I was the Editor in Chief for my High School’s first magazine, I wrote for the UCLA’s Daily Bruin and I was a journalist and TV host for a live music chat show called The Pulse in London. I have written stories for several blogs, including best selling author Neil Strauss’ (The Game) website.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?

I have my own vocal coaching business in Nashville, and I am going to graduate school. Writing is a passion of mine, so everything flows naturally. I don’t make time, it just happens. I have to write, otherwise I will be tortured with my thoughts and ideas. You always find the time when you care about something.

My co-author Lina Lecaro is a full-time writer, she has been the LA Weekly’s nightlife/entertainment columnist for over two decades. She is also the author of the Los Angeles‘s Best Dive Bars - Drinking & Diving in the City of Angels.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
My writing is a direct reflection of my personality. I’m direct and no nonsense. I love reading stuff that makes you go “ wait what did she say??” I love shock rockers like Marilyn Manson so I think sometimes my stories sound crude and uncouth. Lina is the total opposite. Her writing is colorful and fun and that’s what makes us great writing partners.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a Rockstar. I definitely got a taste of it. My band Stimulator was the support act for my childhood heroes Duran Duran. I got to play Madison Square Garden and we had some success. But soon I realized that a real rockstar is a person who lives an authentic and enriching life with someone they deeply love. I was just looking for love and I thought I had to be famous to get it!

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Yes, read the book! You will laugh, you may cry, you will walk away learning something I guarantee it. And if you have a dating story that tops mine, please get in touch with me so I can include you in our next edition.


Thanks for being here today, Susan.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Interview with non-fiction writer Diana Sims

Today’s guest is Diana Sims. We’re chatting about her new non-fiction, self-help book, Forever King: Surviving the loss of my unborn child.

Diana is committed to humanitarian services whether in her field or position. She worked for many years helping customers keep their homes from foreclosure during the economic fall in 2008. Currently, she is assisting physicians and patients as a Patient Liaison. Diana is a California native and resides in Southern California with her loving husband Cory Sims, and three handsome Kings in training: Isaiah, Solomon, and Anthony Sims.

Welcome, Diana. Please tell us about your current release.
I felt compelled to share my journey regarding the loss of my own son, and the miracle that took place after his passing. I simply want to let other women, who have lost children, know that there is still light at the end of the tunnel.

What inspired you to write this book?
Losing my innocent baby. My son who I never got to see his eyes, feel his heart beating in my arms. I carried him 36 weeks, I had never heard of anyone losing a child that late in a pregnancy. As a result, my passion is to help other women, who have had similar experiences of losing a child, whether through early pregnancy, miscarriage or stillbirth, to have hope.

Excerpt from Forever King: Surviving the loss of my unborn child:
I looked at her in total disbelief. This was a dream, a nightmare, a sick joke. This could not be happening to me. I am a child of God. I serve at my church, I was on the prayer team and in the choir, I attended services, and I was faithful with my tithes and offerings. I attended all conferences. I was a good person. I wanted my son!

What exciting story are you working on next?
Currently, I am just excited about the upcoming book and can’t wait to see what the book unfolds and the lives it will touch.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I did not consider myself to be a writer, I’ve dabbled in poetry since I was a child. I’ve always loved reading growing up and still do as an adult. This was actually a leap of faith becoming an Author to convey the imprint this journey has left on my heart.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
No, I currently work as a Patient Liaison working with Physicians and patients. I also bake delicious cupcakes! For this project, I wrote late at night into the early hours of the morning. If you are committed to making this happen, it will happen.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
For me, it’s the truth. Currently we live in a world where there is so much dishonesty. No connection to reality and the truth is the only thing than bring balance, security, and hope.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a teacher. I would line up my dolls, and teddy bears and would read out loud to them. I have always been a leader who wanted to help people.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Keep the faith, all things are possible to those that believe! Turn your pain into passion. Help others and never give up!


Thanks for being here today, Diana.