Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Guest Post: Cara Alwill Leyba

CLP Blog Tours is currently hosting a tour for the book Sparkle by Cara Alwill Leyba. While I have not read the book (I knew things were going to be crazy busy this week!), I find the idea of it really interesting and I wondered how Cara came up with it. I think you'll really enjoy this guest post, and maybe find it inspiring, too! 

Cara Alwill Leyba
Behind the Scenes of Sparkle: How the Book Came About

Sparkle was a work in progress up to the last minute. When I first wrote my book, it was originally titled The Champagne Diet. It later became The Champagne Diaries, and eventually, it turned into Sparkle.

Let me explain.

The book’s original concept was a humorous weight loss memoir about how I lost “the dead weight” both physically and emotionally after discovering and falling in love with champagne (check out my blog for more on that!). After about a year, many changes took place in my life. My blog readership grew and the things I started to write about evolved. I found myself immersed in motivational topics and spent the bulk of my time writing inspirational pieces for my readers. It was less about food and fitness and more about lifestyle as a whole.

I decided to change the book from a memoir to a narrative nonfiction all about how to live your most effervescent life. Champagne was a huge focus in the book and I included all sorts of chapters from “How to Throw the Perfect Champagne Girl’s Night In” to “The Marvelous Magic of Champagne” which chronicled the numerous health benefits of bubbly.  I got a literary agent and we began working on my proposal. As much as I loved the book, I faced one issue yet again: I was evolving.

During the time that my agent began pitching the book to mainstream publishers, I made a huge decision to become a life coach. I always knew I wanted to work with women one on one to help them live their most sparkling lives, but up until this point it never really extended beyond my writing. When I discovered life coaching, I found a whole new avenue to connect with women. As a trained coach, I could do private coaching, create workshops, and really understand the women who were reading my words.

The Champagne Diaries was not as well received as I had hoped, mainly because publishers were nervous to put out a book with such a heavy emphasis on champagne. I like to think this was a blessing in disguise, because my true book, Sparkle, was within me and would finally have the chance to be born – my way.

Rather than changing things again and pitching the book again as Sparkle, I decided to self-publish - for many reasons. First, the process of traditional publishing can be daunting. I wasn't up for another go-round and I was craving the creative control. I wanted to prove that I could write the book the way I wanted to and it would sell. I wanted to prove that my fans would love it exactly as it was. And they did. To date, I've sold nearly 500 copies of Sparkle in just 12 weeks, and I truly credit that to the creative freedom and enthusiasm that came along with my journey and experiences.

My advice to anyone (a writer or not) is simple: don’t be afraid to grow. Just because you write one genre doesn't mean you can’t try out another. Just because you self-published one book doesn't mean you should turn down (the right) traditional deal. And just because you feel one way about something doesn't mean you can’t change your mind. Freedom is power.

Author Bio:

Cara Alwill Leyba is a best selling author, and certified life and wellness coach from New York City who empowers women to live their most effervescent lives and celebrate themselves. She encourages women to indulge in the things that make them happy, and swears that every woman can live a "champagne life," no matter how busy she is or how tight her budget.

Her blog, The Champagne Diet, boasts a following of thousands of loyal readers and has been featured in Glamour, Shape, Cafe Mom, Daily Mail UK, MSN Australia, AOL UK Lifestyle, and a host of other publications worldwide. Cara's writing has been featured in The Huffington Post, xJane, Mind Body Green, MTV News, and many other sites.

Cara regularly appears on the “Ask Dr. Fritz” radio show on WWRL New York, where she helps host Dr. Fritz answer questions from callers about love, career, family, relationships and more. She also hosts her own lifestyle and wellness show, "Uncork Your Best Self" on Blog Talk Radio.

Cara's first book, SPARKLE, became an immediate #1 bestseller on Amazon in both the Happiness and Self-Esteem categories upon hours of its release. She celebrated the release of her book with a book signing in New York City this past fall.

When she’s not popping bubbly, blogging, or working with her coaching clients, Cara spends her days leading a digital advertising team at MTV Networks. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and dog-child. For more on Cara visit www.LiveCreateSparkle.com

Connect with Cara!

Cara's website: www.LiveCreateSparkle.com
Cara's blog: www.TheChampagneDiet.com
Want to learn how to sparkle? Join Cara's "Sparkling Start" workshop next month and kick off 2013 in glittering, shimmering style! http://www.livecreatesparkle.com/group-workshops.html 

1 comment:

Thanks for stopping by Books Etc.!