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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Top 100 Best-selling List Author, Marie-claire Kuja, Shares Her Story about Her Book, False Labels

 Tell us about yourself, Marie-claire.

I am a mother of two boys, a blogger, a nurse, a speaker an aspiring podcaster and the author of the false label series. I am originally from the African country of Cameroon and reside in New York City.
Tell us about the genre of your work.
It cuts across all ages and gender. My short stories are of a mixed genre, and falls into the categories of  non-fiction Self-Help/ Self-Esteem/Advice & How-to/ Mind, Body & spirit/Teens/Religion & Spirituality , Meditation/women/devotional.
Why did you choose this genre?
I didn’t choose the genre I write in, rather it chose me because I write out of personal experiences, which was  based on the difficulties I faced growing up, and also on the stories of other girls around me. . Most of my writing is centered on women's issues because  I realized when we are faced with certain crisis, we just settle or give-up, or hide those things. We all have trials and tribulations in life but the challenge is not to hide them but to share, because while sharing, you in turn inspire and empower others to know that it’s ok to share those things we all go through.
 If you don’t have a test, you won’t have a testimony
This genre gives me the opportunity to share and testify all the good things God has done for me and in turn empower every woman or young girl to do the same.
There are thirteen short stories in the book and it actually cuts across all the genres I, mentioned above. I think by restricting myself to a particular genre it limits my work. I believe a story should be good enough to stand above any classification.   
How is writing in the genre you write, different than other genre?
It is different, because  among many other things, the book encourages the reader to always embrace their own stories joyfully, completely and with pride, to answer only to the name God calls them instead of what people call them. They also are true stories most of which had to do with personal experiences.
Can you tell us more about your book?
This is my first published book, but I have written and published articles in an online magazine called Ezine:

Finance: Personal Finance Published: May 28, 2009

Women’s Interests Published: March 5, 2009

Self Improvement: Personal Growth Published: February 17, 2009

Self Improvement: Empowerment Published: February 16, 2009

Home and Family: Pregnancy Published: February 12, 2009

Give a short description of this book:

 The book False Labels, teaches us to stop being at war with ourselves, stop dwelling on the past and focus on the future. We are reminded to be thankful to God and celebrate our uniqueness. False Labels further encourages everyone to embrace their own stories joyfully, completely and with pride. Among other things, the reader will learn how important it is to be an original of his or herself instead of an imitation or a look-a-like of someone else.  They will also learn what to do when others call them false names, how to deal with bullies, and to believe that God can use them right where they are, exactly the way they are, use their tongue to build and not to destroy; instead, use their one and only life to impact others and always live by the words of the golden rule “Do unto others what you want them do unto you”.

Title: False Labels: Don’t Let People Label You: 13 Uplifting Short Stories OF Inspiration, Hope, Encouragement and Empowerment

ISBN: 9780985022693 for print (published on Feb;6th 2012)

         9780985022617 for the kindle version (published on Jan 17, 2012)

Please include your website

 Can you give us a synopsis of this book/s?

As children and adults, plenty of us are still trapped inside identities we never asked for, because throughout life people are constantly putting us down with derogatory words. It’s just like they are sticking a label on us. Too short, too old, too tall, too slow, too many mistakes, not talented enough, can never amount to anything, can never do anything right etc. These stories we hear are from the beliefs, attitudes, assumptions and labels that have been bestowed upon us by our scolding parents, our uptight teachers, and our rejecting friends. Unfortunately, negative and demeaning words impact our lives and deliver a crushing blow to our fragile sense of self worth. They leave a lasting scar.

 But how can we combat this? How can we empower our spirits and minds and the generation to come?

False labels which transcends age and gender is packed with inspirational stories which encourage personal empowerment, self esteem and spiritual growth. False labels addresses the virtually universal pain that we are never good enough. Every man, woman, boy or girl is encouraged to embrace their own story joyfully, completely and with pride. In False labels we are further reminded that it is possible to always be exactly who we are and its perfect to bring our own special brand of joy and charm into the world.

False Labels further encourages us:
To believe that we are not who people call us but what God created us to be.
We have the power to choose and believe in our own stories
To believe that God created us for a divine purpose.
That everyone is unique in their own right,
To use our words to build and not to destroy
To be ourselves instead of an imitation of someone else
 To celebrate our uniqueness
 And to believe that there are much better truth if we look beyond false labels.

Where do you get your ideas for writing?
I get my ideas from real life things that happen to people around me.
What is your favorite thing about your book?
The book is written in a very unique style with some words to ponder and a prayer at the end of each story. That is my favorite because it kind of leaves the reader with something to hold on to.
Why and when did you begin writing?
I started writing in 2005 as an act of self cleansing and healing. I was hurting so much but because there was no one to talk to, I turned to writing as a way of venting those feelings. I started writing in my journal. And whenever I felt down and read from my journal, it felt so uplifting. It was amazing how my own words became an inspiration to me. Later that year a school mate had picked up my journal, read it and started tearing up. When asked why, she said that was exactly her life. Then I knew I was not alone. I was not the only one feeling as if the world was closing up on me. Then came the need to have a strong voice in other to share this with other people who are still trapped in their past.
 Is there any one person who had a big influence on you or encouraged you to write?
Yes, Myself. As a matter of fact, lots of family members and friend only knew I wrote a book on the day the kindle version was published. My reason was that I did not want to be discouraged.
What is your writing schedule?  What atmosphere do you need to write?
I don’t have a set schedule or atmosphere for writing. I work at night and get so tired when I come home in the morning, so what I do is I write just a page or two in the afternoon when I am awake. I also scribble something during my break time at work whenever ideas come to my mind.
What projects are you working on now, or plan for the future?
I am working on the next book in the series which will be out in just a few months from now. I am also in the process of starting a foundation. I am also starting podcast interviews this March and hope to be in speaking in churches, school workshops and conferences.
What kind of advice or tips do you have for someone who wants to write and be published?
I have already been asked this question so many times. My take on this is that you don’t need to allocate time else you might end just writing the book in your head. Commit to writing at least a page a day if you are so busy. And nowadays there is no reason not to write and get published. There are so many opportunities especially with self publishing taking over. I believe that everyone has a story, something that only you have to offer the world, something that can change someone else’s life.
Are there any other comments, advice or tips that you would give to beginning writers?
Do a lot of research on your topic. Ask question especially to established authors. Don’t procrastinate, just write at least a page a day.
What do you do when you are not writing?
I go to my regular job as a nurse. I also find some time to blog.
Include anything else you may wish to add.
We are all blessed with something, “That Something which can change the lives of so many.
Don’t underestimate whatever your contribution can be to your community or the world. God has given us something and we all have it in our hands. It could be your talents or skills, ideas, knowledge, education, money and so forth. what are you doing with it?
Regardless of whatever your challenges might have been, you are not alone and not a write –off.
You matter and can make a difference.
What “Made It” moments have you experienced in life?
Even though I have a lot of made it moments, this book is one of the biggest one for me. When I started writing, I had told myself that I didn’t just want to write anything in the name of a book but something that will change someone’s life. I have had emails from people I don’t even know telling me how my book has inspired them. This also is a “made it” moment for me, because it makes me know that truly I am valuable and have something to offer the world. It also makes me finally feel that I am not just existing but living. Also, when my book made the Amazon top 100 best-selling list within just two weeks of release. 

Note from Sylvia: You can visit my other blog at: features a preview to my new book, Traveling a Rocky Road with Love, Faith and Guts.

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