Monday, July 6, 2015

Interview with self help and inspirational non-fiction writer Allison Carmen

Allison Carmen is kicking the week off. She’s the author of the self-help, inspirational non-fiction book, The Gift of Maybe.

During her virtual book tour, Allison will be awarding an autographed copy of The Gift of Maybe to a lucky winner. And she’s going to give another lucky winner, a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card. To be entered for either giveaway, use the form below. And to increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and entere there, too!

Bio:
After fifteen years of working as an attorney overwhelmed with anxiety about the future, Allison Carmen found hope and freedom when she discovered the Philosophy of Maybe. Today, Allison is a business consultant, life coach, and the author of the Amazon best seller, The Gift of Maybe, a book offering hope and possibility in uncertain times.

Allison is also a blogger for Huffington Post, Psychology Today, Mind Body Green, and Inc.com. Allison’s work has also been featured in Success Magazine, Psychcentral.com, InnerSelf.com, LifeHacker.com, and examiner.com. She is an active speaker and lives in New York City.

Welcome, Allison. Please tell us about your current release.
The Gift of Maybe is a great book for anyone that worries or is anxious about the future. Sometimes it is hard to calm our minds when we are concerned about job security, our relationships, the well being of our children or the state of the world. With our minds filled with constant thoughts of worry, it is hard to see how life will change and what possibilities are still available for us. The Gift of Maybe shares my journey of being addicted to certainty and how the simple word of MAYBE became a tool to alleviate my stress and worry and find more hope and opportunity in my life. The book also shares experiences of my clients, as well as tools and techniques that can liberate us from the pain of the unknown and help us find more joy and opportunity. It comes down to one simple word and MAYBE it changes everything!

What inspired you to write this book?
It all started in the self-help section in a Barnes & Noble in Manhattan about five years ago. I was early for a meeting down the block and I thought I could escape the rain and read for a bit. I pulled a book off the shelf written by one of my favorite authors and started to read it. As I was reading, I did not feel very inspired and then by accident, I sneezed in the book. For five minutes, I went back and forth trying to decide the proper etiquette for what I should do. I thought to myself, “Do I actually need to buy this book that is not inspiring me just because I sneezed in it?” Of course I bought the book. But as I left the store, I thought to myself, “I bet if I wrote a book about Maybe and someone sneezed in it at Barnes & Noble, they would be more than happy to buy it!” I gave myself a good laugh and left the store, but the seed was planted. A few months later at a business lunch, a publisher made me an offer to write the book. That deal did not work out, but as I started to write, I realized how many people I could help by publishing a book about the mindset of Maybe. For me, it has always been about helping people alleviate their suffering and I think this book has some great tools to do just that.

Excerpt from The Gift of Maybe:
How Can Maybe Help You?

You may be wondering how something as easy as thinking or saying the word “Maybe” can have the kind of impact I am describing. That is precisely the beauty of Maybe. The idea of Maybe is so easy to apply, and at the same time it can have a profound effect on whatever part of your life you choose to apply it to. Whether you have been recently laid off from your job or you are having health concerns or money problems, whether you are looking for love or success or just looking to live life with less emotional pain, the philosophy of Maybe provides you with a tool to help you find your way. It helps you alleviate stress or worry, helps you embrace the uncertainty in your life as an opportunity, helps you enjoy the present, and helps you live with less emotional suffering. It is a mind-set that can influence all aspects of your life, a strategy you can use when life throws you an unexpected curveball.

As you experience the mind-set of Maybe, it will take on a meaning unique to you. Maybe creates a space where so much more is possible. Maybe becomes the constant that never lets you down.

Maybe is not a plan or a story; it is the offer of an unfolding experience. Embracing Maybe is a process, one that evolves and will continue to improve your life in new and
exciting ways. For this reason, the true power and nuance of Maybe will come to you outside the pages of this book, when you experience your first moment of joy and vigor in the face of uncertainty.

Maybe is just one change of perspective, but it is one that can change the very direction of your life. So, let’s take a journey together into the land of Maybe, and may we all find  a life of peace, happiness, hope, and success. Just Maybe!


What exciting story are you working on next?
I am writing a book about using the philosophy of Maybe in parenting. Maybe has enabled me to parent with less stress and more ease. I am able to recognize that my children’s lives often are not determined by one moment and, even during tough times, Maybe everything will still be okay. Of course there are imperative moments when our kids must listen to us, like taking a particular medicine if they are sick or mandatory safety provisions during certain activities. Yet much of what we believe is 
”imperative” is a story that we are writing in our minds making us believe that there is only one way for our children to have joyful and successful lives. As we embrace Maybe, we remember parenting is a long road and our children’s well-being and futures are always filled with more opportunities and possibilities even when we can’t see them in the moment.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I am still adapting to calling myself a writer. It is much easier for me to speak to people than to sit down and write a blog or a book. However, writing my book and blogs has been an amazing tool for me to spread my ideas and help people alleviate their emotional suffering. MAYBE over time I will get more comfortable with my new occupation!

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I do not write full-time. I am the parent of two girls that keep me quite busy and I have many clients who I work with to help them deal with the uncertainties of growing their businesses, parenting or other common life issues. I try to write a few hours every day for my blog or other publications and also try to spend some time working on my new book.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I need to read my work out loud in order to edit it.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An attorney

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
The idea of Maybe is so simple and I challenge each of you to try it in your life. The first time you are able to alleviate some of your stress and worry with this one simple word, you will find it truly liberating. It will help you feel less emotional pain every day and allow you to feel more joy and seek new opportunities in your life.

Links:

Thank you, Allison!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


12 comments:

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Mai T. said...

Is there a certain type of scene that's harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?

Book PR Girl said...

This is a great post and I'm so happy you are working with Allison Carmen. THE GIFT OF MAYBE has changed my life.

Patricia said...

I added the book to my Amazon wish list!

Question for author: how did your education and experiences as an attorney affect your perspective on life?

Victoria Alexander said...

Great interview, thanks for sharing! I love reading about authors :)

Allison Carmen said...

Hello Everyone! Lisa thank you so much for interviewing me for your blog! I am so excited to share my experiences and thoughts with your readers.

Mai T, Since I only write in the self-help genre, it would be very difficult for me to write a racy or action scene!!! However, I love to write about love. The kind of love that makes us more giving and kind to one another.

Patricia, I think my education and experiences as an attorney helps me with my clients when they have business issues or conflicts. It also made me see how addicted I was to certainty. You can never know how a legal conflict or case will work out. Since I could not deal well with the uncertainty, my stress level was extremely high and it was hard to manage every day life. With the mindset of Maybe it all changed. I use my knowledge of the law quite often, but I don't have the same experience because I am not locked into how a situation will work out. I am more flexible and fluid with the unknown and believe in an unlimited field of possibilities.

Rita said...

Great excerpt, thank you.

Allison Carmen said...

Rita, I am glad you like the excerpt. I hope you try it. It reminds us the life always has MAYBE!

bn100 said...

nice interview

Betty Woodrum said...

Great interview! Sounds like an amazing book and I love the cover! Thank you for sharing!

angela smith said...

i enjoyed the excerpt and the interview

Kate F. said...

Thanks for the great giveaway!