Interview with Tamara Branch, author of 'ITGIRL4LIFE' & Win $25 iTunes Gift Card!



Tamara Branch is from New York, born and raised in the Bronx. She is thrilled to share her first book release, ITGIRL4LIFE, kicking off the ITGIRL4LIFE self-esteem movement to empower girls to stand up, stand out and shine bright in the world.

Tamara has worked as a professional model and actor for almost two decades. She strutted down the runway for designers Calvin Klein, Donna Karen and Christian Dior, acted in a few independent films, co-hosted PBS New York’s education series, “What’s up in Technology” and appeared T.V. commercials and print ads for Levi’s, Old Navy, Hershey’s, Colgate, Kellogg’s Special K, Revlon, Hanes, Nike and many others. A Penn State alumnus and lifelong student of personal development, Tamara is deeply passionate about uplifting the human spirit.

After graduating from Institute for Integrative Nutrition, studying under Deepak Chopra, Dr. Andrew Weil and some of the top health and wellness experts in the world, she was inspired to raise the bar on her own ‘self care’ and support others in living more vibrantly. She is an abstract artist and teaches a dynamic dance class, where she gets to fuse her varied background, having trained in everything from jazz, ballet and modern to Afro-Caribbean and Salsa.

Tamara was recently asked to become a Female Visionary Author guest blogger for The Brave Heart Women Global Community.  She's a SAG/AFTRA member since 1998, a member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and is represented by Abrams Artists Agency.

Tamara currently lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband of seven years and offers ITGIRL4LIFE workshops to assist girls on their self empowerment journey.
Her latest book is the YA/self-esteem book, ITGIRL4LIFE.

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About the Book:

Title: ITGIRL4LIFE
Author: Tamara Branch
Publisher: Heart Project Publishing
Pages: 98
Genre: YA/Self-Esteem
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Writer, artist and speaker, Tamara Branch serves up 40 bite-sized chapters on how to build unshakable self-confidence, honor your life, and shine bright in the world, in ITGIRL4LIFE: How to bring out your special something and so much more. Packed with sage advice, life-changing insights and affirmations to help you soar, ITGIRL4LIFE offers ideas, tools and principles that you can reference and build upon, supporting you in becoming your best. Get ready to fall in love with your own wisdom, beauty and strength.

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Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Tamara: I wanted to write a Young Adult book that was packed with the simple yet profound, most important ideas and principles that help you stand tall, while you create the life you desire. I wanted to celebrate the brilliant potential of girls. I wanted to contribute to the self-esteem conversation. When I first got the idea to write ITGIRL4LIFE: How to bring out your special something and so much more, I thought of my own insecurities when I was a teen and what helped me to overcome them. I thought about what I learned from my mistakes, life lessons, experiences, personal study and my life’s exploration. I thought about the not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, tall enough, thin enough epidemic in our society, the media’s influence on how girl’s feel about themselves, the effects of low self-esteem and how it can lead to destructive behaviors, the weight girls carry of other people’s opinions and judgements and the pressure on girls and women to look, act and be a certain way. I wanted to write a book that would help girls tap into their own wisdom, beauty and strength, cultivate genuine self-love inside and out, and build an inner support for themselves that would guide them on their path.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

Tamara: It was hard and it took a long time before it became the book I wanted it to be. I’m a recovering perfectionist. My biggest challenge was that when I started I didn’t have a writing discipline. It took a good long minute to develop the habit and commit to writing daily. I wanted to write a foundation for living an empowered life that was concise, straight-forward, and easily understood. I wrote tons of pages and then carved out the book from the stacks. Not easy but that was my process. Here are some tips that may be helpful to writers starting out. Schedule time to write everyday. Disciple is key. Know your target audience. Be clear about your core message/theme. Work from a strong outline. Celebrate every time you finish a chapter. Stay inspired. Your passion will get you to the finish line.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

Tamara: I chose to self-publish because I wanted to learn the business side of publishing and keep design, editing, and material within my control. I also wanted to avoid the long waiting period in pursuing a book deal.There are pro’s and cons to traditional publishing and self-publishing. You have to research both to determine what’s best for you.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

Tamara: After coming down off the high of becoming an author, I quickly realized that the real work was just beginning. Once you get your book out there, it hits you (there in lies the surprise), that nobody in the Universe knows about it and it’s your job now to create awareness and a platform to market it and that’s an everyday job. My goal for ITGIRL4LIFE is to get this book in the hands of millions of girls globally. I have my work cut out for me.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

Tamara: I am working on my second book now. It will be published in the fall of 2015 and focuses on how to lift yourself out of negative emotional states. The third book comes out in the Spring of 2016 is all about accepting and loving your body and tackles that issue in a fun and enlightening way.

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

Tamara: Trying to cut back but I’d have to say Facebook because a lot of my friends and family are on there.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

Tamara: The message is when you embrace empowering ideas, tools, practices and principles, you create an inner support for yourself and that’s how you create lasting self-esteem and confidence. It is your foundation that keeps you standing and that’s what I wanted to share in this book. Of course like in all areas of life, you expand, you grow but principle does not change. When you establish a strong foundation, it becomes the underpinnings of who you are. There is a reality that hits you as you get older and that is that your life is up to you. What you believe about yourself is everything. When you believe that you are a person of value, extraordinary, beautiful, capable, smart, talented and important, you walk into the room differently, you act differently and you make decisions from a secure and confident place. You have to build yourself up, know who you really are and what you are capable of and do the work to move yourself and your life forward. You never outgrow the need for encouragement. We can all use a self-esteem boost, at times. ITGIRL4LIFE’S message is that loving yourself and empowering yourself comes first and out of that, you can create anything.

Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Tamara: It was my pleasure. Thank you for the opportunity. This book kicks off the ITGIRL4LIFE self-esteem movement empowering girls to stand up, stand out and shine bright in the world. It’s a mission close to my heart. All information regarding workshops and other related activities for ITGIRL4LIFE can be found on my website at www.tamarabranch.com.
 


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