Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Women Who Rock Wednesday: The Ladies of Living Your Five

This is a very special Women Who Rock Wednesday. It's my first ever group interview. I've actually got four women who rock here today and they have united in their awesomeness to create the website livingyourfive.com. What is Living Your Five? Well, you can find out at the website of course, which I hope you will do as soon as you are done reading these interviews, but for now, let's hear all about it from the women of Living Your Five.

The founder is Kay Cassidy, author of the forthcoming book, The Cinderella Society:

Q: Tell us about how you got the idea for Living Your Five?

Kay: In late 2008, I created the concept of Living Your Five as a way to help me focus my energy on the parts of my world that were most important to me. I was being pulled in a million different directions, as most of us are, and felt like the things that were most important to me (beyond family, friends and career) were always getting pushed to the wayside. So I sat down and chose my Five, the five areas in which I wanted to make a personal difference in the world.

It was such a profound change for me that, in early 2009, I wanted to create an online community where lots of people could create their own Five and cheer each other on to making a difference in their own pieces of the world too. I'm very lucky to have wonderful author friends who are very passionate about making a difference too. So I shared the Living Your Five concept with Tera Lynn Childs, Alyson Noel and Becca Fitzpatrick and invited them to join forces with me to launch a group Living Your Five web project. They all enthusiastically climbed aboard for the adventure, and the rest is history!

Q: I have two questions that I always ask my Women Who Rock, the first is a two-parter. What was the first album you bought and the first concert you attended? Be honest, we don't judge, we like to see the roots of our women who rock!

Kay: Oh gosh, that's a hard one. I don't know if I remember the very first album I bought, but one of my earliest record player memories (yep, giving away my age there) was of me playing the 45 of Diana Ross's Upside Down. That must have been... the early 80s? And the first concert I ever went to was ELO (Electric Light Orchestra) when I was six. I loved ELO. So, naturally, I fell asleep halfway through the concert. It was an indoor concert - how could anyone possibly sleep through it? No idea. You'd have to ask six year old me.

Q: Tell us about your biggest rock star moment, perhaps it's a moment of real success in your career, a time when you met someone super cool and had that Wayne's World "I'm not worthy" moment, or just a time where you felt like you got the rock star treatment. I get a huge variety of answers for the questions, so it's pretty much whatever "rock star moment" means to you!

Kay: Okay, keep in mind that my debut novel doesn't hit shelves until April 2010, so I'm still in that lull between first sale and first release. I was at the ALA national conference in Chicago this summer and had a woman in one of the booths see me and say "I just read your book!" It took me several seconds to realize that she was actually talking to ME. She said she saw my name tag that said "Kay Cassidy, The Cinderella Society" and the thought raced through her mind that the society was real and they'd sent someone to ALA. She was kidding, of course, but I got such a kick out of that. :-) And, of course, having that very first teen early reader send me an email saying how much she loved The Cinderella Society was definitely right up there as well. If email didn't look so goofy when printed, I'd frame that one.

Next up, we have Becca Fitzpatrick, author of Hush, Hush:


Q: Why did you decide to get involved with Living Your Five?

Becca: Making a positive difference has always been something I've tried to do – I can't remember a time in my life when I haven't been motivated to make the world a better place – but as life gets busier and busier, I've found my personal goals getting sidelined. And if there's one thing I've learned in life, it's that nothing gets accomplished without goals. I was drawn to Living Your Five's philosophy: choose five ways you can make a difference in your everyday life. Now that I know my goals, I'm finding that opportunities to fulfill them are popping up everywhere. It feels great to be a part of something bigger than myself and having a way I can show my gratitude for having such a beautiful world to live in.

Q: I have two questions that I always ask my Women Who Rock, the first is a two-parter. What was the first album you bought and the first concert you attended? Be honest, we don't judge, we like to see the roots of our women who rock!

Becca: The first album I bought was Debbie Gibson's Out of the Blue (I LOVED “Foolish Beat”). I remember spending many sleepovers where my friends and I sprayed ourselves with Electric Youth perfume and lip-synced all the songs on Out of the Blue. The first concert I attended was Sawyer Brown – I grew up in Nebraska, and we love our country music!

Q: Tell us about your biggest rock star moment, perhaps it's a moment of real success in your career, a time when you met someone super cool and had that Wayne's World "I'm not worthy" moment, or just a time where you felt like you got the rock star treatment. I get a huge variety of answers for the questions, so it's pretty much whatever "rock star moment" means to you!

Becca: Right before the 1996 Atlanta Games, the Olympic torch relay was scheduled to pass through my hometown of North Platte, Nebraska. North Platte is a teeny tiny town, and the torch was a big deal to us. A handful of great individuals from across the state were selected to carry the torch in the relay. My high school selected two students to escort the torch runners, and when I found out I was one of them, I was honored and ecstatic. During the relay, as I ran beside one of the torch-bearers, he reached over and handed me the torch, letting me run it through town, cheering crowds bracketing me on both sides. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life, partly because I was carrying an Olympic torch, but also because this man showed me what it means to be generous and to think beyond myself. Total rock star moment!

And now let's hear from Tera Lynn Childs, author of Oh.My.Gods and Goddess Bootcamp:


Q: What are your five and how is living them going so far?

Tera: My Five are, in a nutshell: Living a greener life, supporting subsistence/self-sustained living, preserving architectural heritage, disaster relief, and mentoring aspiring writers. The baby steps have begun, and we'll have to wait and see how the results snowball.

Q: What was the first album you bought and the first concert you attended?

Tera: The first album I can remember buying is UB40. I don't even remember which album, just that it was the one with "Red Red Wine" on it. And I only remember buying it because my parents got mad that I wanted to throw away my entire allowance on the cassette.

The first concert I attended was (be prepared to be entirely appalled) was New Kids on the Block. It was summer 1989 and they were playing at the Minnesota State Fair. (Yes, really.) My mom had called in a favor and got me, my cousin, and both our parents seats in the fifth row. The opening acts were Tommy Page and Tiffany. (Yes, really.)

Q: Tell us about your biggest rock star moment, perhaps it's a moment of real success in your career, a time when you met someone super cool and had that Wayne's World "I'm not worthy" moment, or just a time where you felt like you got the rock star treatment.

Tera: My biggest rock star moment was definitely winning the RITA award for Best First Book at this summers Romance Writers of America conference. They announced my name (in the second-to-last category, no less) and I had to climb up on stage in my gold stilettos and my golden dress and give an acceptance speech to a ballroom full of, like, two thousand people. All while jumbo screens projected my image on either side of the stage and hanging in the middle of the room (where I could see myself if I looked up--which is probably why I didn't look up much). It was ... truly overwhelming. And as people texted me and called me and came up to me to say, "Congratulations!" all night, I definitely felt like a rock star.

Last, but not least, we have Alyson Noël, whose most recent books are Evermore and Blue Moon in the Immortals series:


Q: What do you hope Living Your Five will accomplish?

Alyson: I hope it will inspire people (myself included!) to live more consciously in the world, to focus on what’s truly important—our relationship to each other and our planet—and not get caught up in perceived dramas du jour, which are really no more than a distracting time suck. I hope more people will discover that a positive attitude really is life changing, that a random act of kindness can live on—reverberating in ways you may have never considered, that you don’t need deep pockets to commit a random act of charity that can change someone’s life for the better, and I really, really hope it will get people to pause before they hit send on a not-so-nice e-mail message or scathing blog post. Our words have the power to harm or heal, so why not use them to foster some good in the world?

Q: I have two questions that I always ask my Women Who Rock, the first is a two-parter. What was the first album you bought and the first concert you attended? Be honest, we don't judge, we like to see the roots of our women who rock!

Alyson: Since I answered this one last time I was here (Aerosmith Rocks for the album—still love that one!—and Foreigner for the concert), I’ll tell you my seconds which were Led Zeppelin’s Untitled 4th album—the one with Stairway to Heaven (still love, love, love that one!) and for the concert, it was Bow Wow Wow and Missing Persons. Annabella Lwin was crazy/good with the Mohawk and the dancing and still only a teenager at the time!

Q: Tell us about your biggest rock star moment, perhaps it's a moment of real success in your career, a time when you met someone super cool and had that Wayne's World "I'm not worthy" moment, or just a time where you felt like you got the rock star treatment. I get a huge variety of answers for the questions, so it's pretty much whatever "rock star moment" means to you!

Alyson: My Wayne’s World moment was the day Steven Tyler of Aerosmith fame walked onto my flight (I was a flight attendant at the time) and I got to serve him (squee!!!!) and he was really nice! But, since I also answered that one last time around, my second was when Richard Branson (I’ve had a crush on him forever!) hugged me. Twice. Right inside the Virgin Megastore. He’s a really good hugger!

So those are the women behind Living Your Five. Which I hope you will all go visit now in fact by visiting it, you'll have the opportunity to get an entry into today's contest.

Today's Contest:

We've got one big swag pack for today's contest. Alyson, Tera, Becca, and Kay have all donated things such as bookmarks, postcards, buttons, bookplates and yes, a lot of this stuff is signed!!! Kay even threw in a beautiful glass slipper bookmark, the likes of which she gave out during my Cyber Launch Party. And since I think Living Your Five is such an important site to spread the word about, I'm throwing in bookmarks and signed coverflats for both of my books.

As usual, to enter you just leave a comment, perhaps about what your five would be. Then you can gain additional entries by:

+1 for blogging or tweeting about today's Women Who Rock Wednesday blog
+1 for blogging or tweeting about Living Your Five
+1 for visiting Living Your Five and leaving a comment on at least one of the entries there.
+1 for becoming a follower of Living Your Five

Please note your email address and your additional entries in your comment!

I will draw a winner at random next week when author Sara Zarr will be hear to talk about her new book Once Was Lost!

14 comments:

Melanie said...

Living Your Five is such a great idea! I'm really enjoying following their journeys, and I'm currently brainstorming of what my own 5 will be.

+1 for visiting Living Your Five and leaving a comment.

+1http://twitter.com/MelaniesMusings/status/4319220513

Just Your Typical Book Blog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Just Your Typical Book Blog said...

I love the idea of Living Your Five, but shamefully haven't caught up with the last couple posts. But I will be doing it now!

(And to Tera, there is no shame in some NKOTB love.)

+1 tweeted about Women Who Rock Wednesday (@JYTBB)

Amber
justyourtypicalbookblog(at)hotmail(dot)com

+1 follow the Fivers blog

Wendy said...

Love the idea behind Living Your Five and maybe I'll even get to do mine one of these days!

+ 1 Following Living Your Five. :)

- Wendy (omgitswendy at gmail dot com)

CassandraBelikov440 said...

+1 commenting living yor 5 is great!

+1 posted about this and the fivers website
http://irishprincess440.blogspot.com/

+1 visited Living Your Five and left a comment

+1 follower of Living Your Five




cassy133@yahoo.com
cassandra

Victoria said...

I just learned about Living Your Five and am working on what mine will be.

Erica said...

Living Your Five is such a great idea! I think that's so fabulous and I'm still working on my own five - one will defaintely be about a greener life - I'm always working on ways to green up my life and treatment for animals though I'm not sure that qualifies.

+1 follower of Living Your Five

:) Erica
thebookcellar@wi.rr.com

Keri Mikulski said...

Great interview!!!! Love this idea. :)

Cari said...

Small things add up. You just have to find out what it is you would like to add up! I have a lot of things rolling around in my head. I haven't quite picked out the 5 yet. :)

+1 I tweeted the blog.
+1 I tweeted Living Your Five.
+1 I already follow Living Your Five.

Thanks!
Cari
neohippy10 hotmail

Suzette said...

i like the idea about living ur five its cool

all of the authors books seem very good!! want to read them

soccer_chick.11@hotmail.com
hope i win

+1 for commenting here
+1 for commenting at living your five

hope i win,
suzette

YA Vampire Books said...

Great blog post! I think living your five is a great idea, there's so much stuff you can do to make the world a little bit better.


+1 for visiting Living Your Five and leaving a comment on at least one of the entries there.
+1 for being a follower of Living Your Five


sara
sosarora_11(AT)hotmail(DOT)com

Steph Su said...

Man, I love those wonderful ladies for this inspiring idea. I'm really gonna crack down soon and come up with my five, then work hard to do them!

I put a link to this post in my sidebar. I'm already a follower of Living Your Five, and I've left a comment there. Thanks for the great giveaway!

stephxsu at gmail dot com

Lori T said...

Living Your Five is a great idea and I will really have to work on list.

+1 for visiting Living Your Five and leaving a comment.

Kate at Read This Book! said...

Fantastic contest! :)

+1 tweeted: http://twitter.com/readingthisbook/status/4473147144

+1 for visiting Living Your Five and leaving a comment.

kate.readthisbook [at] gmail [dot] com