I read and reviewed author Amberly Lago’s book, True Grit and Grace in the summer of 2018. For those who may be seeking an inspirational read which explores the power of positive thinking and depth of the human spirit…this is the book for you! That is why she is one of my favorite authors and has earned a position on my Author Spotlight page! Please see her interview and information below!
- What inspired you to write a book?
The moment I realized my story could uplift others, act as a beacon of hope, and inspire others to share their stories, I knew I had to take my story from one-on-one conversations to the world. I started sharing my story of hope and inspiration to small-assembled crowds and then before I knew it, I was being asked to speak at conferences, schools, and institutions. My heart was instantly filled with joy the more I shared my story and made connections with others. Although I had never written a book before, I was passionate about writing my story in hopes of giving others a shift in their perspective and to leave them believing in themselves a little bit more. I wrote True Grit and Grace: Turning Tragedy Into Triumph and it was published earlier this year by Morgan James Publishing and launched on the Megyn Kelly TODAY Show.
- What does your typical writing day look like?
A typical day of writing was inspired by an incredible teacher named Jack Grapes and his writing process called, “Method Writing.” Method Writing is an organic approach to the creative process, a way of finding your deep, authentic voice. The Method does not take the traditional approach, which emphasizes structure and form; instead it focuses on truth and organic process. Method Writing deals with the inner voice and how it can be used to create unique works of art, true to your own voice and style, true to your own vision and point view, and true to your own life experience—whether writing a book, poem, recipe, Instagram post, or ransom note.
So along with writing every day in my journal, I made an outline for my book, and used Jack Grapes Method Writing class as a way to start writing. I wrote every day, even if it was just a page, and it took two years. I had to find the time to write between working, being a mom, being a wife, and trying to have any kind of social life. There were a lot of days I just wanted to keep pushing the snooze button, but I would wake up at 4:30 every morning to get my writing in before my day officially started.
- Do you have a favorite book you have written?
I have only written one so far which is True Grit and Grace but I can see other titles in the future!
- What advice would you give to a new writer just starting out?
Write how you speak—straight from the heart. Sometimes I will read a post I have written for social media and I think to myself, what was I thinking writing that?? But it is how I was feeling at the time. I have found when you own your story and accept where you are on your journey it strengthens your resilience and allows you to make meaningful connections with others. Plus, it’s much easier to write when you are just keeping it real and letting the words flow.
I think as new writers there is so much pressure for new writers to sound a certain way and try to emulate a specific style. I tell all new writers the most valuable time they can spend is time getting to know and express their own authentic voice because that is what readers will connect with and remember.
- Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you?
Yes! All of my social media outlets are a daily inspiration party where I talk about living an inspirational life and I invite anyone who wants to join! You can connect with me here:
- How do you handle literary criticism?
I look at criticism as valuable information. I am always interested in how I can do things better and have an open mind to hearing constructive feedback. Sometimes it can be hard to not take it personal, but at the end of the day criticism is information and I can choose what I want to do with that information. In this busy world, I am grateful for the time someone takes to share their experience with my writing!
- Who is your own favorite author? Dead or alive.
One of my favorite authors is Brene Brown and I love her book The Gifts of Imperfection. I start my day by reading several of my favorite spiritual books to center me before my day gets crazy. Some of those books include Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Mediations for Women, published by Hazelden; I’ve Been Thinking: Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life by Maria Shriver, and The Wisdom of Sundays by Oprah Winfrey.
- What is the most helpful thing to you in this industry?
The most helpful thing to me has been support. It is impossible to do anything worth doing by yourself. You need the love and support of your friends, family, and people who are the yin to your yang in terms of strengths and expertise. Team works makes the dream work!
- If you had to describe yourself in 3 words…what would they be?
Resilient, Positive, Loving
I am launching an online inspirational fitness course soon, and my dream is to do SuperSoul Podcast with Oprah AND a TED Talk— Maybe even a TV show! Hey-I always say if your dreams don’t scare you, then they aren’t big enough!
I always announce my latest adventures in my weekly newsletter which you can sign up for at www.amberlylago.com
Amberly started her speaking career after her life was deeply altered and her world was completely changed in May 2010. While riding her motorcycle in Woodland Hills, CA, she was hit by a SUV and thrown thirty feet down a busy street. Her right leg took the brunt of the impact and was crushed almost beyond repair.
Despite an arduous recovery process, being a former professional dancer and athlete she was determined to walk again and return to work as a fitness trainer. After a lengthy hospital stay and 34 surgeries, doctors were able to fuse her leg together and repair her severed femoral artery despite the initial recommendation to amputate. However, Lago was diagnosed with a nerve disease called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (formerly known as RSD) and deals with chronic pain daily. This chronic pain has led her to develop positive, healthy ways of coping with pain and all the emotions that come along with it, and pass it on to others in any kind of pain.
This life altering experience inspires Lago to communicate how you can turn tragedy into triumph. She demonstrates how you can hit rock bottom and still find the strength to get back up. She instills hope to keep moving forward by sharing different tools and strategies that have worked for her.
Her keynotes focus on transformation, inspiration, and team building. Whether speaking to business groups, young people or anyone who has gone through a serious accident, injury or illness, Lago empowers people to achieve whatever goal they have in mind, both personally and professionally. And by sharing her own experience, she demonstrates how to get the most out of life with acceptance, a strong mental attitude and teamwork.
She has contributed to magazines such as Shape and Fit Pregnancy and her book True Grit and Grace launched in 2017. She resides in Woodland Hills, CA with her husband, Johnny, and daughters Savanna and Ruby.