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Featured Interviews

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1. First, congratulations on your new release, Just Breathe, Book 3 in the Chin Up, Tits Out series! Is this the final book of Hadley’s story, or will there be more?

Thank you! I am thrilled to finally share the final episode of Hadley’s story with the world. The last five years, I have grown as a person, a writer, and a woman, and so has Hadley. Together, we are here to spread the love. There will be more, always! I am conjuring up my second series now and will be starting the research shortly. 

2. Describe the journey from starting Book 1 in the Chin Up, Tits Out series to launching Book 3. What were the best moments? What were some of the challenges?

The best moments are when I stand up in front of my family and friends and get to read part of my story to them. To evoke emotion and to see it come through in my readers’ faces and live in the public eye has been and will always be my highlight. Being an author and a business owner in this industry is hard! There is a ton to learn, and everyone’s journey along the way has been vastly different. I think the biggest challenge I’ve faced is always staying true to who I am and what I am striving for by sharing my stories. There is a lot of outside influence that makes the insecurities spike. 

3. What made you want to write a romantic comedy series like Chin Up, Tits Out, which has been previously compared to Sex in the City?

Real. Life. Experience. Although, I am not and will never be as put-together, chic, or as smooth in high heels as Carrie Bradshaw. I fall up stairs, choke on air, and successfully trip on flat ground. I had a story, and people kept telling me it was wild and didn’t sound true, so I asked myself, ‘Why the heck not?’ Side note: writing your story is also healing as well. It is a wonderful way to process tough scenarios you’ve experienced. 

4. What do you hope readers take away from this series as a whole?

That chin up, tits out is an attitude to hold in life. Take it in everything you do. Each of my titles have meaning to them: Remember, No Matter What; When All Else Fails; and Just Breathe–Chin Up, Tits Out. It is a small, physical change that has the ability to affect so much more if we dedicate that movement to ourselves. Get knocked down seven times, get up eight. Fake it ‘till you make it. Whatever the motto or mantra may be, use it and be consistent with it. 

5. After following Hadley’s story as a main character for three books now, what new lessons does she learn in Just Breathe? Are these lessons also reflective of what you hope readers experience and enjoy after reading all three books?

Yes, all the lessons are 100% reflective of all three books. The lessons, the growth, and the love evolve throughout Hadley’s journey. When she takes us through the remaining years of her twenties post a cancer chapter, post an immigration chapter, and through a mental-illness chapter, we see everything has taken a toll on her (as life does to all of us). Then we see what she does to overcome it and attempt to find success and love within her own life again. 

6. Describe your writing process. Are there any required “must haves” before you sit down to write? Do you have a writing routine with word-count goals, or do you prefer writing what you can, when you can, and building from there?

I have discovered I am a mapper. I don’t think that is officially a term, but I feel like it suits my process. I map out chronologically what I want to happen and who will be part of that. So in essence, I map out my novel and my research as much as I can. Then, when I start to write, I write. When it comes out, it won’t stop until I am done physically, mentally, or actually done-done. I like to set myself tight goals. I feel more confident under pressure, especially if that pressure is from me and not someone else. 

7. Have there been any influential friends, writing peers, family members, role models, or mentors who have helped you through any part of the writing and/or publishing and marketing process with the Chin Up, Tits Out series as a whole? With Just Breathe specifically?

My tribe of folks, which I have learned over time is made of quality and not quantity. The people that are there for me through thick and thin, not passing judgement when we do less than-smart-things, always showing kindness even when stern conversations must be had. Through trauma, triumph, love, and loss, my tribe of folks has evolved into this intricate group of eclectic, hustling, bustling, positive-vibe humans. They lift me up, fuel my soul, and remind me why I do what I do. Just breathe is deeply rooted within the strength of our breath. The respect I have for our breath came from practicing yoga. So I have yoga to thank for influencing me on this third novel too.

8.Where did you get your inspiration for writing Hadley’s story across three books? Did you always know this series would have three books, or did that arise organically?

I originally set out to write my story in one book. But I quickly realized I had too much to say, and too much happened to write it out in one novel (at least, not in one novel that wouldn’t be too daunting to pick up and complete… 10,000 pages later… just kidding). When I realized that, it was easy. Good things happen in threes. Write your story in three books.

9. Because this is our February issue at TopShelf Magazine and you are, in fact, a romantic comedy author, what are your thoughts (if any) on Valentine’s Day? How about Galentine’s Day?

I think you should take any opportunity to celebrate love in all capacities. If you don’t have a spouse or significant other, grab a pal. If you don’t have that, then put your finest clothing on and take your sexy behind out for a little self-love. We are alive, and we should be grateful for every moment and every act of kindness. With that said, I think V-Day is wonderfully fun and very pink! I’ve never had a negative celebration on Feb 14th, but so you know, I have never actually had a traditional Valentine’s Day with a significant other, either. Ever. No flowers, chocolate, fancy dinners, or hot, steamy make-out sessions. Yet I always still try to find love during that day.  

10. Finally, for all of our readers doubling as new writers and/or aspiring authors, what is the single most important piece of advice would you like to offer on writing, getting published, and/or being an author?

If you have a goal, strive for it. It will evolve and change and grow (just like us). Keep that goal in mind, and be open to it molding and changing it into whatever it’s meant to become. Once it is completed, you will feel absolutely fulfilled. 

Thank you so much, Miranda Oh, for joining us this month for an author interview, and congratulations again on your new release!