Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein is represented by the interviewer's Pump Up Your Book Promotion, a public relations agency specializing in online book promotion.
Written by a ten-year-old girl as a diary, Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein’s latest book, The Truth (I’m a Girl, I’m Smart and I know Everything), embeds lots of positive truths that we all need to remember and live by, regardless of age. We interviewed Dr. Holstein to find out more about her new book and her life as a published author.
Thank you for this interview, Dr. Holstein. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
I am a positive psychologist in private practice in Long Branch, New Jersey. I’ve also been a teacher, a school psychologist and a learning consultant. I’ve been writing since I kept a diary in the fourth grade. As far as writing books that have been published, I’ve been writing for the past 18 years. My first book, The Enchanted Self, A Positive Therapy was about five years in the making. I wrote several earlier drafts that have never been published, and also conducted research. My last book, The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) was published in 2008 and was also the outgrowth of a draft that has never been published. This book took about four years to move from a first draft, to an edition for women, entitled, The Truth, I’m ten, I’m smart and I know everything, to the final book for girls, tweens, teens and their moms.
Do you write full-time?
No, I write part-time. I usually write late at night or in the morning. I dictated my first book, but have used the computer to directly write The Truth – both versions.
At what point in your life did you make up your mind you were going to become a published author?
I think that happened around the age of 30. I remember writing a secret list of what I wanted to accomplish and that was one of the items. However, at that time I had no idea as to what I would eventually write. I had to practice psychology for many years before I realized that I had a mission in the field of positive psychology to help women, and girls, to hold on to the best of themselves and not sell out to anyone!
What was your favorite book to read as a child?
I loved many books as a child, but I really loved Nancy Drew mystery books. They incorporated all of my dreams. The protagonist, Nancy, was bright. She had wonderful adventures. She had great friends and a boyfriend. She had a nice father and a wonderful maid. She solved all the mysteries. I wanted to be just like her!
Can you tell us a little about your latest book?
The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) is a diary written by a ten-year-old girl. She speaks the truth clearly and has an innate wisdom that we all had as children. She reinforces for children how special and talented they really are. And she reminds parents that it is important to honor the best in ourselves and not get caught up in nonsense. She makes promises to herself about growing up that help all of us focus once again on what is most important in life.
Everyone falls in love with the girl. It is easy to be drawn to her as she is reawakening the best in yourself. Her problems are universal. Her solutions are engaging and startle us in their wisdom. This is a great book as a fictional read, yet also a great book for discussion with your daughter. The girl helps both kids and moms and dads have a way to talk about lots of subjects: growing up, bullies, fighting, being resilient, having a crush, having to move. And there are great questions in the back of the book to further enhance discussion and to engage further thinking about growing up issues.
What was the inspiration behind your book? Why did you feel a need to write it?
My inspiration was my awareness as a psychologist to how hard it is for girls to hold on to the best of themselves as they go through the struggles of adolescence. This is a critical age range for girls. I want them to realize that they don’t have to be overwhelmed by the tween and teen years. If they identify their strengths, talents and potential and realize how special they are, than they can find solutions to stay true to themselves, just as the girl in The Truth finds solutions.
What kind of research did you have to conduct to write your book?
My research was case study research compiled over 25 years working with kids, moms, women and of course dads. Also, I am aware of the research literature in this area.
What message are you trying to convey with this book?
Recognize your own talents. Don’t let anyone deny you your true self. Hold on to your dreams. Have fun. Be proud of what you are good at. Be ingenious and think outside of the box. Be nice to people. Be nice to animals. Let yourself be excited by lots of things in the world.
Do you blog? If so, what can you tell my readers about the advantages of blogging as a useful tool in book promotion?
I do have a blog for The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything). The blog helps me to stay on the ball to know I need to keep putting up blog entries. It is too new a blog to know exactly what it will lead to. But please come and put a response and that will help me on my adventure with the book. I will greatly appreciate hearing from you.
Do you have a website? Do you manage it yourself or do you have someone run it for you?
My website was the first self-help psychology website for women, and has been up about 12 years. I have someone help me. She is a virtual assistant.
Thank you for this interview, Dr. Holstein. Do you have any final words you’d like to share with my readers?
Never let go of your passions and what is your mission in life. Being true to yourself will fill you with energy and vigor! That is a good place to be. And that’s the truth!
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