The Booktopia Book Guru asks
author of Unlock Your Style
Ten Terrifying Questions
1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?
I was born, raised and schooled in regional Queensland – Maryborough – a town once famous for having the most pubs per capita in Queensland and now famous for being the birthplace of Mary Poppins’ author P.L. Travers.
2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?
12: A teacher. I’m from a family of teachers. It was pretty much all I knew.
18: A journalist. I was in my first year of uni and studying journalism. My school guidance officer had told me since I was good at English that I should give it a go. Something I did give a go for 20 years.
30: A magazine editor. It had always been a dream but life had taken me a different way. I was lucky that new opportunities at the newspaper where I worked came my way and I edited a weekly glossy magazine.
3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?
I believed that you went into the profession that you trained/studied for and stayed there. Today I’ve proved that’s not the case and this and the next generation of professionals will show us that life will be a series of career chapters.
4. What were three big events – in the family circle or on the world stage or in your reading life, for example – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced you in your career path?
1. I grew up in a family that treasured books and encouraged us to read. My Dad was head of English at my high school and he always said to me, “it doesn’t matter what you read as long as you read something”. Words – reading and writing them – were always valued.
2. Leaving the country town in which I grew up and heading to Brisbane to go to university will always be a defining moment in my life. Meeting life-long friends, learning that the world really is a big one – there for the taking – and embracing my journalism degree have had an effect to this day.
3. Deciding in 2008 to leave my relatively secure job as a journalist when the first of the media redundancies started was a big, big move on my part. I’d always played it safe. Instead I decided to back myself and start my own business. I’m so glad I did.
5. Considering the innumerable electronic media avenues open to you – blogs, online newspapers, TV, radio, etc – why have you chosen to write a book? Aren’t they obsolete?
My book has come about because of my blog so I think they sit well together. Unlock Your Style started as a series on my blog, became a self-published e-book and was then picked up by Hachette and expanded into a book form. My readers were excited about that – they told me they love reading my blog every day but also haven’t lost the love of holding a physical book.
6. Please tell us about your latest book…
Busy women are crying out for help in creating or re-discovering their personal style. I know this from the thousands who read my blog each month and the number of emails I receive asking for advice. It’s more than just clothes and lippy. How we present ourselves for any particular day or occasion can affect our confidence levels.
My aim with Unlock Your Style is to take women on a simple process to find a confidence that will help them take on whatever the day throws at them. The format is part workbook, part stories (embarrassing style stories included) and part visual.
7. If your work could change one thing in this world – what would it be?
If just one woman feels more confident returning to the workforce, leaving to become a mum, going on a first date after a broken relationship or just in the every day by reading Unlock Your Style, then my job is done. The ripple effect of that confidence will spill over into her family and community life.
8. Whom do you most admire and why?
My girlfriends who are in business always inspire me. We support each other in times of stress and celebrate in times of victory. Without them this would be a very lonely business journey.
My goal every day is to be able to combine my work with my family life in a way that’s flexible but still exciting and challenging for me. If I’m meeting that then I’m ready for any opportunities that might come my way. I plan out my weeks and months but I don’t have a five-year-plan. What I’m doing now as a full-time blogger (and now author) didn’t exist as an opportunity five years ago. Who knows what the next five years will bring?
10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?
Start a blog. Don’t wait for someone to publish you. Publish yourself. The very act of writing on daily basis will improve the way you write and by building a community around your blog you’ll be more attractive to a potential publisher.
Nikki, thank you for playing.