Our interview today is with Marquita Herald. Thank you Marquita for being here today and for agreeing to do this interview.
Answer: I write nonfiction, more specifically personal transformation and resilience. Fear was a recurring theme in my family so from a young age I became fascinated by the way people respond differently to adversity – how it is that two people can suffer the same type of crisis, and while one becomes mired in negativity and feelings of helplessness, the other bounces back stronger than ever. That ability is called resilience and while we are each born with some level of this trait, to make full use of the characteristic it needs to be strengthened much like a muscle. It’s not difficult, but it does require intentional action and time. I first began working with this concept as a small business coach, and later when I launched my personal growth blog. The positive feedback from my readers is what inspired me to write my first book, Stepping Stones to Greater Resilience.
Question: Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction?
Answer: I’ve always been big on participating in community outreach programs and at one time or another have served on the board for most of the major nonprofits in my area. I love to travel, doesn’t matter if it’s a road trip across the country, a trek on the Bullet Train across Japan, or poking around ancient ruins in Pompeii. Otherwise, I’m voracious reader; enjoy spending quiet time with close friends and hiking with my dog Lucy.
Question: Have you done anything writing-related, besides your books that seemed to get a lot of positive response? Something that encouraged you?
Answer: Every employer I ever worked for quickly found use for my writing skills so I’ve written all manner of things over the years from film scripts to public relations materials to population profile studies for hotel development projects. But the work that held the most meaning for me was sharing my respect and appreciation for the Hawaiian culture. I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to write about and develop cultural education programs and have worked with many of the most respected Hawaiian kupuna (elders).
Question: What is the “message” of your writing?
Answer: I am pretty single minded in my passion about personal freedom and accepting the power and authority we each have to create our own best life, so this is the central theme in all of my writing.
Question: Tell us one place you visited or person you met, that made a big impression on you, and why.
Answer: I really had to think about this question because there are so many wonderful people who have influenced me, but there is one person who stands out. His name is Michael White and he is the General Manager of the Kaꞌanapali Beach Hotel where I worked for ten years. KBH is known as “The Most Hawaiian Hotel” but unlike many other Island businesses, this is not a marketing tagline. The business is managed by Hawaiian values and employees learn about the culture and language and even volunteer on company time. I learned to dance hula, speak the Hawaiian language and – maybe most important of all – I learned from Mike that one person can make a difference.
Question: Share something that’s amazing, touching, or that makes you angry.
Answer: What has always been a hot button for me is lumping people together under convenient labels, it doesn’t matter if it’s based on the way they look, the color of their skin or their personal preferences in life. This again plays a big role in the things that I write about. Each of us are unique and should be valued as such because there will never be another person exactly like you – ever.
Question: What’s the most trouble you ever had getting a book written?
Answer: As a new author I spent a fair amount of time connecting with other writers in online forums and groups. After seeing the same questions posted time and time again my coaching background kicked in and I decided to write a book answering the questions and issues I saw new authors struggling with, and a lot of that had to do with online book marketing. Less than a week after publishing the book Amazon announced a major change in their affiliate policies which sent the whole process of online book marketing into a tail spin. Most of the book promotion sites changed their policies and some sites closed all together. I ended up having to pull the book until the dust settled before I could begin the arduous task of completing an extensive rewrite and then relaunch the book.
Question: Tell us about your newest book. Make us want to read it.
Answer: My newest book is The Resilient Writer: Insight and Inspiration on the Writing Life and the Business of Being an Author. I’ve wanted to do this book for over a year, but struggled with the question “does the world really need another quote book?!” But this book is a hybrid and my inspiration for the model was Steve Jobs. If you think about the entire collection of Steve Jobs’ brilliant quotes they read like a mini MBA course. That’s what I wanted to shoot for with this book. The quotations are primarily from contemporary writers who are on the front line of what it takes to achieve some level of success as author today. There is some inspiration and encouragement to be sure, but there is also a wealth of advice in the form of snippets on everything from character development to overcoming writer’s block, publishing and book marketing to growing a platform through social media and even a section on making time for it all.
Answer: I have published 8 books; 5 with personal transformation and resilience themes and 3 about the business of being an author.
Question: What are your future projects?
Answer: I tend to get bored easily so I like to keep multiple projects going so I’m researching a new book on personal transformation and just about finished with a major rewrite of my first book about resilience based on all the new research I’ve done over the past year. I’m also in the process of developing a special edition podcast under the Resilient Writer theme for my business of being an author series.
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