It's always exciting to talk to writers who finally get their first book published. You can see the excitement on their faces. Jackie Viramontez is one of those people. She just got her book published Can't Believe I Dated Him: The Art of Knowing When to Break Up, When to Stay Single, and When You've Met the One. Her enthusiasm for life and relationships have given her the background to write about it.
1. Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Jackie Viramontez and I I coach women through relationship and career transitions. As of a few weeks ago, I became a published author! Over the past few years I’ve written a weekly blog called The Shine Collective with the intention of writing something more cohesive. Besides that, I’m a not-so-secret advocate for women’s rights and all things freedom.
2. How long did it take to write I Can't Believe I Dated Him: The Art of Knowing When to Break Up, When to Stay Single and When You've Met the One ?
My heart starts to palpitate just thinking about this. From start to finish the book took three months to grow from vague idea, to outline, to manuscript, to Amazon. The actual writing process itself took six weeks. My editor had me on a tight schedule, which I loved. I’ve literally been telling everyone, “Just do it! You’ll surprise yourself.”
3. Where did you get the idea to write "I Can't Believe I Dated Him"?
The idea had been floating in my mind since college, and became more tangible when I started my coaching practice. Growing up, I had severe anxiety until about 16. I used perfectionism, people pleasing and the safety of relationships to cope: Not the best idea!
When I sought advice, people would tell me how to “get rid” of my fears, insecurities and doubts. No one told me why these emotions were showing up in the first place. This became my starting topic for the book: the reason for “negative” emotions and how to work with them instead of against them.
When I brought this broad idea to my publisher she shut it down immediately, but not entirely. She said I needed to apply that concept to something specific if I wanted to make a difference. It was a no brainer for me to focus on relationships. All aspects of life are a relationship. If we can bring freedom to our relationships, we can bring freedom to our entire life. Also, most of my clients come to me in relationship limbos, asking “Am I supposed to leave him? Is there anything better? Why didn’t I see through him? Why did I go back with him? Am I going to have to settle?” Each chapter answers these questions, and gives simple tools to use the corresponding emotions of fear, doubt, jealousy and uncertainty as helpful messages from the body.
And the title, that is something I have thought, said and heard clients say again
4. What was the process like in finding agent/publisher to publish book?
The whole process was blessing after blessing. First, my mentor inspired me because she had recently published a book. She put me in contact with her writing coach and publisher, Angela Lauria. Her publishing house, The Difference Press, took care of editing, proofing, marketing and publishing my book on Amazon. The surprise blessing I wasn’t ready for was that Angela connected me with Morgan James Publishing, a bigger New York publisher who carries non fiction and memoirs. I just signed with them and they will be getting my book into stores this Fall.
5. Do you have any special moments from the book that you'd like to talk about?
Yes, the writing process itself was healing.
In the chapter on insecurity, I describe what I call the “cupcake metaphor.” The concept is that when you know you are “delicious,” you don’t take it personally when someone rejects you. I wrote,
“You stop wishing you were vanilla and let people love you for being chocolate.”
Looking back, I needed to hear those words more than write them. I spent most of my life as a slave to others’ opinions, and putting my work out there in a bigger way broke those chains. It was incredibly freeing.
6. Who are some writers/authors are you inspired by?
Martha Beck, for her unapologetic approach to self care.
Barbara Kingsolver, for never confining herself. She has written fiction, non-fiction, historical fiction and all of it reads like poetry.
Hafiz, a Rumi-era poet who is way ahead of his time.
7. What's your perfect writing space look like?
Quiet. Breezy. Good speakers if I need music or a meditation. Close to a hiking path if I need to clear my mind. A hot tea at arms length.
8. What advice do you have for someone starting out trying to publish?
You are enough. Your voice is enough. Your style is enough. Your experience is enough. Your skill-set is enough. The time you have to write is enough. I repeat, you are enough.
When your mind tells you every reason to not write a book, do it anyway. In fact, use that as evidence that you should write the book now. And once you finish it, don’t compare it to any other book because the people who need your book need your voice, not someone else’s voice.
1. If you could meet anyone living or dead who would it be?
My older brother! I already met him but he passed when I was a kid. I’d love to see him again and take him out for a drink.
2. If you were stuck on an island what 5 things would you want with you?
kale seeds(so i can plant them of course!)
3. If you could travel back into time where would you go?
7AD - Native Americans living in current Yellowstone National Park
4. What is your favorite kind of drink to order at Starbucks or a coffee shop?