Q&A: 'The Mirror Said You're Be-You-Tiful' by Austiage & Win $25 Amazon Gift Card @austiage


Austiage is a former national-level champion fencer who was born in Washington, DC. She speaks seven languages, attended American University, and is the founder of the Star Individuality Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports youths in developing their unique individuality. Her book The Mirror Said, “You’re Be-You-Tiful” explores the societal pressures that many people are faced with today and offers a game plan for nurturing individuality and owning one’s beauty.
You can visit Austiage’s website at https://www.austiage.com/.

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?  When did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Let’s start from the beginning shall we. It all began on September 13th, 2013 I was visiting the Children’s hospitals I’ve always been passionate about visiting and supporting Children’s hospitals, so it was no surprise that I was yet again visiting the children passing out little trinkets and supplies that would keep them amused. I came to this lovely girl’s bedside and she randomly blurted out a question to me “Does the mirror tell you you’re ugly?” Words cannot still fully explain how my heart dropped when Julianne asked me this, for someone anyone to feel like looking in the mirror brings them sadness or shame is nothing anyone should ever feel. I remember right away responding with the remark “No of course not, the mirror always tells you you’re beautiful.” And Julianne just looked at me and shook her head not making direct eye contact with me and said no it doesn’t when I look in the mirror it tells me I’m ugly. And I remember in that instant I just couldn’t walk away I didn’t think I had it in me to change her view point, but I wasn’t about to abandon someone who felt this way. I sat down and began speaking with her, and I shared for the first time in a long time my own life experiences the victorious ones and the failures. Julianne and I’s conversation was so raw and inspiring and I will never forget hours later when our conversation ended her asking me for a mirror. I handed her the compact I always kept on me and she looked in it and took a look in the tiny mirror took a deep breath and looked up at me and said, “You’re right the mirror does say you’re beautiful.” In that moment and still to say I feel privileged to know that my words and little wisdom had created such an impact even if for one person. Julianne’s statement at the end the mirror does say you’re beautiful is what instantly inspired the title The Mirror Said You’re BeYouTiful , but instead of spelling beautiful the traditional way I chose to spell it as beyoutiful to represent that beauty is felt only when you be yourself whoever that may be. Soon after my meeting Julianne I started to figure out how to apply that warmth and rawness of our conversation to writing, and from there the writing process began, 5 months later the manuscript was complete and here I am today telling you all about it!

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?

I think that everyone’s writing process differs from another’s it’s like fingerprints no two are alike. I personally have always had this little trick that I use when it comes to writing, and that is I don’t write anything until I have completely planned it inside my brain and almost spoken it to myself multiple times. This is almost my way of outlining my thoughts except I do them in my head instead of on paper. This for me made the writing of this whole book much easier. I also am a firm believer in reaching out and asking and accepting for help when you feel like you need it. In my case I knew that I had the content to bring to this book but grammar was never a strength of mine so I reached out to my incredible editor and ghost writer who stepped in and helped where I needed a bit of help. I think that for so many young authors they feel like they need to prove themselves to others or in fact prove others wrong, but I am a firm believer that if you feel the need to prove people wrong you currently believe they are right and this should never be the case. This I think is something that no author should be ashamed of reaching out for help when necessary, and most importantly not doubting your own abilities believe in yourself because this is an industry where you can only convince others of your ability, unless you yourself currently believe in them.

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

My publishing journey so to call it was a rather odd one. Initially I thought I was going to take the traditional route I would query and get a literary agent and everything would go happily ever after. However, this was not the case for me most agents would say they were interested in the book and as soon as we would sit down for a meeting they would start asking me to change every aspect of the book. For me this book was something that symbolized so much not only to me, but also to lovely Julianne who inspired this whole thing. Therefore, I was not about to change what I believed in and my tribute to Julianne so much I refused many of the offers which would have resulted in me changing the story. Then word got around that I had a completed manuscript and I was waiting to figure out how to publish that Amazon reached out to me and offered to publish my book for me and promised me that through their Create Space platform that they would print my book that it would be my manuscript and my vision in every aspect of it. But I will admit I was fearful of being published under the Create Space name, I was fearful that the public would disapprove or think of my book as less than. Having had published my first book with Create Space I saw that the reaction of the public was just as supportive and amazing as it would have been with any other publishing house.  Therefore, I did have a very unique and different publishing experience than most, but now being here having seen all the incredible moments and reactions the Mirror Said You’re BeYouTiful has created I wouldn’t have chosen to publish any other way. 

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

There have been so many surprises by getting my first book published. By far the most memorable surprise was getting all the emails and seeing the reactions people have had to the book. There is no word to describe the amount of pride, and privilege you feel when someone tells you that your book has changed their life! The Mirror Said You’re BeYouTiful having been my first book I never would have envisioned the positive reaction that this book has gotten, and the fact that people are buying the book and have asked for it signed is beyond anything I could have ever imagined!



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

I’m a firm believer that deadlines are the enemy of creativity. Although I am currently working on my next two books I will not be setting publishing date until later in the future.


Q: What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

A fact that would surprise people about The Mirror Said You’re BeYouTiful is that took only 5 months to write from start to finish!

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

Ultimately, I wish for my book to bring people joy and confidence.

For people to be able to wear their skin with pride and love what they see in the mirror. I believe that everyone deserves to be able to love themselves and those around them, and it is my hope that through reading my book it will make the readers life just a bit or a lot better.
  
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Thank you so much for interviewing me it’s been an honor! Finally, I would just like to thank everyone for the kindness, and support they have shown me and The Mirror Said You’re BeYouTiful I hope everyone enjoys reading it. And lastly, I would like to leave you all with this live your life with your heart open, embrace the positives and the negatives. Never stop experiencing moments, be present, be light, and share love with all of those you meet for today there is nothing we require more than light hearts and love. So, dance and cheers and live a life that brings you joy and only then will you bring those around you joy. Thank you! 

About the Book:

Title: THE MIRROR SAID YOU’RE BE-YOU-TIFUL
Author: Austiage
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 212
Genre: Self-Help
BOOK BLURB:
In her motivational self-help book, THE MIRROR SAID, “YOU’RE BE-YOU-TIFUL, former elite athlete Austiage offers readers a foundation for embracing their unique beauty in a world that doesn’t always value diversity and individuality. Writing in a welcoming, conversational style, Austiage outlines a plan for embracing a positive self-image that develops from the inside out.
An unexpected question (“Does the mirror make you feel ugly?”) was the spark that led Austiage to pen THE MIRROR SAID, “YOU’RE BE-YOU-TIFUL.” She met the young girl, Julianne, who posed the question while donating supplies to a children’s hospital. After talking with the girl about beauty and what it means, the author felt moved to share her thoughts with others on this delicate subject, which many people—young and old, male and female—frequently struggle with. The book has a powerful message that begins by focusing on the individual.
Austiage asserts that beauty is much more than aesthetic. She emphasizes that character is an essential component of beauty and encourages readers to bolster their character by being positive and kind to themselves and others. The author repeatedly stresses the importance of having a strong belief in one’s self and explains how this belief affects how people see themselves, the type of people they invite into their lives, and the manner in which they take care of themselves and pursue their goals.
THE MIRROR SAID, “YOU’RE BE-YOU-TIFUL” takes an in-depth look at the necessity of self-care including eating well without foregoing pleasure, incorporating fitness and relaxation in one’s daily life, using makeup to highlight and enhance one’s beauty, discarding fear and doubt to follow opportunities to find one’s passion, and reevaluating relationships to make conscious decisions about the people in one’s life.
Austiage says, “In my point of view, my book is about helping those who are at the point in their lives that they want to feel better about themselves. I think my book will help people understand that they aren’t the only contributing factor in feeling good or bad about themselves. Rather, the everyday lifestyle choices they make, the people they surround themselves with, and the words they use all merge to develop a feeling unique to how they feel about their identity. Learning how to break down different aspects of daily life and to reevaluate them will dramatically change the way they perceive themselves.” Austiage wrote THE MIRROR SAID, “YOU’RE BE-YOU-TIFUL” “to help everyone understand that they have the ability to feel beautiful. Ultimately, I want readers to step away from my book feeling happiness, beauty, and pride from the inside out.”

ORDER YOUR COPY:

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