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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Conversation with Germany Kent: The Bestselling Author Talks About Persistence and Staying Power


The award-winning ‘You Are What You Tweet’ writer has some proven advice for aspiring authors.


Let’s address the elephant in the room: You Are What You Tweet.

If you have been paying attention, it's easy to see why a book of this nature, on this subject matter, is meaningful in this day and time. Lucky for her, it has received a lot of buzz and garnered international attention and some powerful reviews, including favorable reports from The Dallas Morning News and Hartford Business Journal. 

Germany Kent is the award-winning writer behind You Are What You Tweet: Harness the Power of Twitter to Create a Happier, Healthier Life. Kent’s work is notable for her conversational use of language and ability to blend literary and real-life examples and resources which reveal realistic plans of action to the reader. Over the course of her career, Kent has written articles on business ethics, social media etiquette, social media tips and tactics, and business marketing strategies. 

The Los Angeles-based writer has been featured as a visiting author to multiple online outlets, like Business 2 Community, Business Know How, Monster.com, AOL.com and Yahoo! News (to name but a few). She's also published nine collections of hope books, The Hope Handbook Series, with The Hope Handbook being a #1 Bestseller. Her wide range of interests are showcased throughout her writing, along with her extended history of humanitarian efforts, informing it all with fascinating flashbacks and an incredibly generous, wise voice.

Kent’s newest book, You Are What You Tweet, is a cheerfully optimistic book filled with humor and strategies that will help you become Twitter-savvy. This inspiring book, filled with social media marketing strategies, serves as far more than a guide to finding your niche on Twitter. It also gives you the tools you need to master this remarkable communication tool and connect with intriguing people all around the world, while on your journey to personal self discovery. 

The motivational guru took some time to chat with us and set the record straight about people who have influenced her, future plans and a few surprises in this exclusive interview with Dr. Angela Chester, iHeartRadio host of Modern Living with Dr. Angela and Founder of New Life Pastoral Counseling.

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What makes this book different from other self-help books?
There are very few self-help books that address the mind, body, and spirit as it relates to internet use. You Are What You Tweet was a joy to write and has a lot of true-to-life points and will help you think about what messages you are sharing about yourself online, perfect your messages and teach you how to grow an audience on social media. Make no mistake about it, the book is a personal growth blueprint through and through.

In your opinion, what makes a great book?
A captivating title and summary are key elements that will make me stop and take a peek. Afterwards, I really value quotes, bullet points and author recaps where they have taken time to pull out points they want the reader to remember. The author needs to be able to keep the reader’s attention, and make them want to explore the material further. I think the key difference between a good book and a great book is the ability of the author to bring in humor and statistics, especially when it comes to really serious subject matters where people may be a bit uncomfortable initially. A great book is not only going to have a good presentation, but it is going to leave you with something well after you have put it down.

What inspires you as a writer?
I find interesting take-a-ways and inspiration from many sources. Sometimes those little things that most people take for granted inspire me. I gain inspiration from life and the world around me throughout the day from those little observances of others going about their day. I find writing to be deeply satisfying, enriching and quite relaxing. When I was younger I loved writing poetry and making up news stories so I guess it's something very deeply rooted in me that I carry from childhood. I keep a notepad in my SUV, scratch paper throughout the house, a journal bedside and always sit on ready to record notes when the inspiration to jot-something-down hits. It doesn't take much to spark my imagination. Being alive and finding humor in adversity are also key motivators for my writing.

Do you consider writing a job or a hobby?
Both. If you're not making money - it is a hobby, and in that stage is when you have to explain to your parents, and or spouse that you do have a real job. When you're first starting out, you may have to write editorials or be a contributor for free. You must be willing to pay your dues in this business. That too shall pass. Besides, if you love writing it will be a compliment to have your work featured - just look at it like it's your gift to the literary community. Once you start making a living as a writer, it becomes a pleasure and very rewarding because you are getting paid to do work that you love.

Looking back, what did you do right that helped you break in?
I took a lot of risks and I wasn't afraid to fail. I always tell myself that I have nothing to loose. Often times, I risk more than others think is safe. I'm also one to dream more than others think is practical and to that degree, I think big and try to sync up with others who think and dream big. I believe having that mindset helped me to advance and prosper. I am very resourceful and rarely take no for an answer. Audacity and persistence will take you very far in this business.

Were there any teachers who influenced you?
Undoubtedly, my strongest influences in high school were my DECA teacher, Martha Brown, and my guidance counselor - who also doubled - as the newspaper advisor, Thomas Toney. I also had more people in the community who influenced and supported me and gave me great strength through their encouragement. I had a lot of drive and ambition and they had the power to provide me with the resources I needed to reach the next level. In college, I had too many to name. But, I would not be where I am today without all of them. Several of whom provided blurbs for my latest book.

You've been recognized for both your leadership on social media and your writing. Which comes more naturally to you, and share with us how you have been able to make one platform compliment the other?
To some extent, they are one in the same. I feel like you only have a small window to make a difference on twitter, so for me its about lifting lives 140 characters at a time. The emphasis is on making a difference. I feel as though we all have a social responsibility for the things we post online. When at all possible, we should use our social platforms to spread messages of hope and motivation to those who may be reading. Likewise with my writing, I have tried to use it as a vessel to reach people in a positive way and provide them with valuable resources and inspiration. Online and in print, my goal is to always give the reader some nuggets.

What is something personal about you people may be surprised to know?
I always wanted to be a fashion designer. After being accepted into the Art Institute of Atlanta, after high school I moved to Atlanta that summer before the fall semester began and realized that my passion was really journalism. So, I told my parents I was coming home and that's how I ended up at a community college my first year out of high school. I never looked back. That's why when I tell people to follow their passion, its not just words - I've been there, at that crossroad, and you should always, always, always follow your passion.

What do you see yourself doing in the near future?
I will probably be anchoring a news magazine. I'm a news junkie, always have been - always will be. I have always wanted to teach at a college, and now with the social media ethics epidemic in our society, I hope to make that happen sooner rather than later to foster the discussion on social media 101 to students. And of course, I will continue to promote volunteerism and charity - my loves.
                                                              
Any advice for aspiring authors?                                                                                   Research. Read. Learn the game. Be open to changing your title and or subtitle, if necessary. Basically, don't be so set in your ways. Reach out to several literacy coaches and allow them to guide you so that your work has clarity and charm. Always strive to be relevant and add something fresh, which will give you staying power. Be proactive and whatever you do - don't give up, your voice matters and deserves to be heard.   


Kent's long-term ambition is to make a global impact. It could be argued she's already made it.


÷ ÷ ÷

Germany Kent is the bestselling and award–winning author of You Are What You Tweet  and The Hope Handbook Series. She has had a successful career as an entertainment journalist, producer, model, and commercial actress. She has been named one of the Top 100 people to follow on Twitter and ranked as a Top 100 social media marketing influencer. She’s also a dynamic public speaker and in-demand coach and consultant. She volunteers a great deal of her time and energy to charity, and is a noted philanthropist.

You can learn more about You Are What You Tweet here http://whatyoutweet.com/about-the-book

You can follow Germany @germanykent or learn more about her at www.germanykent.com









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