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Cynthia Brian Author of Be the Star You Are! Interviewed By Andrea Coventry Of Bookpleasures.com
http://www.bookpleasures.com/websitepublisher/articles/1661/1/-Cynthia-Brian-Author-of-Be-the-Star-You-Are-Interviewed-By-Andrea-Coventry-Of-Bookpleasurescom/Page1.html
Andrea Coventry

Reviewer Andrea Coventry: Andrea is a Montessori child - turned educator.  An avid reader and writer, she is published on several websites. Click Here to find a listing of Andrea's sites where you can find many of her writing contributions.



 
By Andrea Coventry
Published on December 8, 2009
 

Author and Editor:  Cynthia Brian
Publisher:  Morgan James Publishing
ISBN:  978-1-60037-632-0


Radio personality Cynthia Brian recently released a collection of essays geared toward helping to empower teens, Be the Star You Are! . Andrea Coventry, one of Bookpleasures' reviewers who reviewed the book interviews Cynthia Brian.



Author and Editor:  Cynthia Brian
Publisher:  Morgan James Publishing
ISBN:  978-1-60037-632-0

Click Here To Purchase Be the Star You Are! for Teens: Simple Gifts for Living, Loving, Laughing, Learning, and Leading

 Today, Andrea Coventry, one of Bookpleasures' reviewers interviews radio personality Cynthia Brian, who recently released a collection of essays geared toward helping to empower teens, Be the Star You Are! 

Andrea: 

Why did you write the Be the Star You Are! series?

Cynthia: 

The first book in the series, Be the Star You Are!-99 Gifts for Living, Loving, Laughing, and Learning to Make a Difference was written to encourage, inspire, inform, and motivate others to be authentic, live in the moment, and be their own unique best selves. Naturally my goal was to have all readers live bigger, love deeply, laugh more often, and give back to society. My goals were similar for the teen book, but with the added bonus of including true stories, exercises, and quotes for teens, by teens, and with teens.

Throughout my years as an acting, presentation, media, and writing coach I've witnessed people of all ages attempting to be someone they are not. I have always believed that our greatest strengths derive from our differences, not from our similarities. In both books I wanted to give the readers permission to be individuals. We are not equal. We are each far better because we are distinctive, exclusive, and inimitable.

Andrea: 

Why did you adapt a volume for teenagers?

Cynthia: 

My area of specialty for coaching for the past three decades has been in working with youth to increase confidence and self-esteem. Teens with poor self-images are more vulnerable to peer pressure, more likely to have depressive reactions, eating disorders, abusive relationships, and low achievement standards. They are at higher risk to abuse alcohol, drugs, and partake in violent activities. Realizing that those who are exposed to positive media, mentoring, and roles models have higher self-worth, I had always wanted to write a book specifically for teens. The moment was right when, after several years of receiving letters, emails, and phone calls from teens asking for a book, a high school freshman point blank asked me when the teen book was going to be written while I was officiating at a youth volunteer opportunity festival. The light bulb went on in my head and my heart and I knew the time was now.

Andrea: 

From where did you get all of your stories?

Cynthia: 

It's important to me to tell stories from my own experiences that are true. Because of my background, I truly believe if I can be successful, anyone can. Hopefully that is inspirational in itself. For all contributed stories the guidelines mandated that all stories must be true. Everyone has a story to tell. We don't have to reinvent the wheel. We can learn from the travels and travails of others.

Andrea: 

What is your background?

Cynthia: 

I grew up the eldest of five children on a farm in Napa County with the greatest parents in the world. We didn't know we were poor because love and family were in abundance. We grew all our own food and every person worked, no matter how young, in the fields. I drove tractor, raised chickens, sheep, picked and cut fruit to raise enough money to finance my college education. Through the 4-H club I learned to sew, speak, and perform. It wasn't until my late 20's that I actually shopped in a store. Before that, I made everything. The chapter The Gift of Abundance in the first book of Be the Star You Are! details my childhood.

Andrea: 

How did you develop your three principles?

Cynthia: 

My three rules/tools for living are Smile, Have Fun, and Be Wild and Wacky. I have always lived by these three principles which I believe I developed in childhood. When I was smiling I couldn't be sad. Who wants to be sad? Therefore I always chose happiness. Having fun meant that life was more playful and I love to play. Because I am always playing, work and play have become synonymous. If I'm on a project and it doesn't feel like playtime, I know it's the wrong project for me. The wild and wacky is the most important of the three principles because it means that every day I take measured risks. I don't want to live in the comfort zone. It's important to always be learning, stretching, growing, glowing. Making mistakes is positive as long as we learn the lessons. Getting it wrong is part of getting right.

Andrea: 

Tell us about your Be the Star You Are! charity.

Cynthia: 

It was my desire to help people enhance their quality of living and experience life's joy that motivated me to found Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3 in 1999. I am very passionate about making sure that everyone has access to positive words, messages, and media, despite their economic situation. I'm pasting in the information so that readers will know exactly who we are and what we do. We like to say we are small, yet mighty!

Be the Star You Are! is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation whose mission is to empower women, families, and youth through improved literacy, tools for living, and positive media.

Be the Star You Are! collects, distributes, and promotes books and other positive media to women, families, and youth at risk as a way to increase literacy, decrease violence, raise life skills, self worth, and self esteem. This media ranges from education and advisement to inspiration and guidance and covers every aspect of life, from abuse through money management.

Be the Star You Are! promotes the creed, "Read, Lead, Succeed!"

Be the Star You Are! saves trees through its book recycling programs by rescuing and redistributing many of the millions of unsold or damaged books that are shredded and burned each year. Being a conscientious steward of the earth is important to the organization.

PROGRAMS

Be the Star You Are! offers a number of focused literacy and empowerment programs including Be the Star You Are! radio program which is syndicated and podcast in several markets around the world showcasing experts, authors and selected books to encourage literacy, self-worth, and a positive life style. The official radio station of the charity is World Talk Radio/Voice America. (http://www.bethestaryouareradio.com) Through the Be the Star You Are! Amazon bookstore, the charity offers books from interviewed authors at the least expensive price possible. Reading SPELLS Success is the audio book program whereby volunteer voice actors read children's books for podcasts. In addition, Be the Star You Are! employs a volunteer Star Teen Book Review Team that read and review books for children and teens. These reviews are published at The Reading Tub to aid parents, teachers, and librarians in making informed decisions on what books will entertain and educate children and teens. The annual National Essay Contest offers aspiring writers an opportunity to get published and to express their ideas to a global community through a radio interview. Paint-a-pot and plant-a-seed (a metaphor for planting the seeds of literacy) is a signature outreach project for kids utilized at community events by volunteers. The StarSearcher's Express newsletter is sent monthly to over 81,000 subscribers with news, inspirational quotes, tips, and spotlight on the volunteers.

Be the Star You Are! also mobilizes for disaster relief shipping thousands of books, media, videos, and other resources under its "Operation" series of programs. To date, families who were victims of 9/11 were assisted through Operation Ground Hero, Hurricane Katrina and Rita victims received aid through Operation Hurricane Relief, and children who lost their homes in the Southern California fires received holiday books with Operation Fire Relief.

Be the Star You Are! is a volunteer organization that operates through contributions, in-kind donations, and proceeds from fund-raising events. Be the Star You Are! does not receive state or federal funding and is solely dependent on contributions from the community and corporations.

Be the Star You Are! supports all ethnicity's and has no religious or political agendas or affiliations.

Be the Star You Are!® is a registered trademark.

Andrea: 

What are your hopes for this book?

Cynthia: 

It is my hope that teens will buy the book for one another as well as for their parents, coaches, grandparents, and others who interact with them. And vice versa, I hope that parents, teachers, coaches, mentors buy it for themselves and for the young people in their lives. Although the title says for TEENS, this is a terrific book for tweens, teens, and twenties. From the feedback we are receiving, adults love the book because they are reconnecting with their inner teens. This is a timeless book which we hope will always be on bookshelves or tucked in baskets. Of course, we would like to sell a million so that the charity could survive!

Andrea: 

How would you like educators to use your book?

Cynthia: 

Because the book doesn't have to be read cover to cover in one sitting, we would like educators to take a topic to use as a curriculum for a week. Get students to write their own stories, complete with exercises, quotes, and discussions. Again, we all can learn from one another.

Andrea: 

How would you like families to use your book?

Cynthia: 

What families are telling us they are doing is reading a story aloud on a Sunday evening or other prescribed time. What we recommend is to draw straws on who will open the book. Wherever the page falls, that is the chapter to be read and discussed. This method seems to be opening the dialog.

Andrea: 

What other types of organizations (e.g. churches) would benefit from using your book? 

Cynthia: 

This a book that is perfect for all youth organizations including 4-H, Girl and Boy Scouts, Girls and Boys Clubs, Cub Scouts, etc. Since it is non-denominational, church, temples, synagogues could use the materials within. We've had ministers adapt a chapter for a Sunday sermon, and youth leaders use a story as an opening for a project. We offer case discounts to all schools, organizations, charities, and causes. The book can be used as a fundraising tool. It's a win win win.

Andrea: 

Which story touched you the most?

Cynthia: 

Every story touched me profoundly because all are about overcoming challenges, finding the positive, taking the high road, and beating depression. The letter that was printed as The Gift of Appreciation affected me emotionally in a very big way because it is evidence that we never know how we are impacting others. We all have a responsibility to live in a manner that enhances life, empowers, and encourages others, even when we are having a bad day. Thus, smile, have fun, be wild and wacky!

Andrea: 

Tell us more about your radio show.

Cynthia: 

We began the radio show, Starstyle-Be the Star You Are! as the foundation outreach program for the charity in 1998, although we didn't get our 501c3 status for Be the Star You Are!® until 1999. I have been broadcasting live since 1998 interviewing authors and experts on a variety of topics. The purpose of the show is to bring books to the attention of audiences around the world. We began on one AM station of Personal Achievement Radio in San Francisco and now broadcast to over 82 countries and 5.5 million listeners every week on World Talk Radio/Voice America. My daughter, and a teen co-founder of the charity, Heather Brittany, co-hosts a segment called T42-A Mother/Daughter Brew discussing issues important to the generations. It's been a labor of love and obviously it has become a popular program syndicated to a dozen networks. Listen live every Thursday from 3-4pm PT/6=7pm ET at http://wtr.radiopilot.net/worldtalkradio/vshow.aspx?sid=76  or to the archives on our own web site at www.StarstyleRadio.com.

Listeners can download MP3's for free or CD's of specific programs may be purchased.

For guest guidelines and to buy CD's, email me at Cynthia!@Bethestaryouare.com.

Andrea: 

What are your previous works?

Cynthia: 

My books include Chicken Soup for the Gardener's Soul; Be the Star You Are! 99 Gifts for Living, Loving,Laughing, and Learning to Make a Difference; The Business of Show Business, Miracle Moments®, and The Blessings of Love and Relationships. I've also created several learning tools in CD and DVD form including Beating Business Burnout, A Pirate's Life for Me, and many others. All books and other resources can be purchased through the charity as a donation, or from my Starstyle® Store at http://www.star-style.com/store/index.htm.

When ordering, please let me know who to autograph the resources to. I'll also include photos and other free goodies.

Andrea: 

Do you have any upcoming projects?

Cynthia: 

I've been contracted to write a gardening book which I'm very excited about and I have four other books in various stages of production. I do hope to pen the third in the Be the Star You Are!® series called For Women. When the time comes, I'll solicit stories from women around the world. My time is so valuable that I don't dare provide release dates.

I also write a full page gardening column for newspapers called Digging Deep-Gardening with Cynthia which is a combination of the soul of nature plus how to make your garden thrive. I grow people.

Keep up with me on Facebook, Twitter or sign up for the newsletter to get more information.

FACEBOOK http://www.facebook.com/Cynthia.brian

TWITTER http://twitter.com/cynthiabrian

Andrea: 

What other causes are dear to your heart?

Cynthia: 

Besides empowering women, families, and youth, I have always adopted abandoned and abused animals. We have a large barnyard filled with adopted and well loved goats, pigs, chickens, ducks, geese, rabbits, birds, etc. I love animals and learn so much from them. In addition, I am an avid gardener, garden writer, and garden enthusiast believing in the power of Mother Nature. It's critical to be careful stewards of our world.

Andrea: 

How can parents best help their teens?

Cynthia: 

My best advice is LISTEN. Teens don't want to be judged or criticized. They want to be heard. Show up, be there, care, share, and be fair. Buy Be the Star You Are!® for TEENS and you'll understand completely.

Andrea: 

How can teens best help their peers?

Cynthia: 

Again, listen, be honest, be true, care, share, and be fair. In order to have a friend, one must be a friend. Friends are hard to come by. Treasure them and count them on your fingers, not on a calculator.

Andrea: 

How do the proceeds from the book benefit the charity?

Cynthia: 

Be the Star You Are!® charity distributes books and resources to other charities and organizations in need. It costs money to pack and ship books, plus maintain an office, computer, phones, internet connections, buy supplies, etc. Proceeds from the book help Be the Star You Are!® stay alive to support literacy programs. We also have a program whereby when someone donates $99 to Be the Star You Are!® charity, we'll donate in their name a case of brand new books from our library valued at $500-600 to any school, cause, organization, or charity of their choice. Again, another win win. We can take checks (Be the Star You Are!®, PO Box 376, Moraga, Ca. 94556) Visa, Mastercard, Discover (call us at 925-377-STAR) or even Paypal.

Andrea: 

How can your book help teens?

Cynthia: 

The book is being heralded as survival guide for the teenage years. Within the pages are topics that are most pressing for young people today. When a teen is in crisis, we hope he/she will find some guidance within the pages and reach out for more help. Again, we give kids permission to be honest.

Andrea: 

What makes this book unique?

Cynthia: 

The book is written for teens, by teens, and with teens in SHORT chapters of 600 words or less. All the stories are true, the exercises are original, and the quotes help plant a seed of hope for the day.

It's a book that is great for all ages packed with information that sheds a light on the inner feelings and angst of youth. Best of all, each chapter can be read in just a few minutes which gives the reader a sense of accomplishment in reading.

Andrea: 

Why is this book so important today?

Cynthia: 

Teens have been given a bad wrap in the media. We tend to focus on all the negative behavior of some teens as opposed to celebrating the greatness of the majority. This book is truly an escape from sermons and rules. It will help anyone focus on what they want, determine their skills, abilities, and strengths to help them find their purpose and passion. We all want to live our dreams and be successful. Why not start as a teen. This book is a simple road map to happiness and success. It is a gift to yourself.

Andrea: 

How should teens use this book?

Cynthia: 

Open the book anywhere. It's probably what you need for the day. Read the chapter, practice the exercises, discuss it with a friend or trusted family member. If you are seeking a particular subject, check out the Table of Contents and find your answers.

Andrea: 

How can teens contribute locally to communities?

Cynthia: 

Teens have so much to offer. Whatever your skills, there is a charity or organization who could use your help. Volunteer your services. If it's not a fit for you, find a non profit that utilizes your strengths while building on your weaknesses. Every person makes a difference and by volunteering you are building your resume, your responsibility, and your accountability quotient.

I also suggest saving a bit of your money to donate to your favorite cause on a regular basis. By making a financial contribution, you'll develop a sense of satisfaction in knowing that the more we give, the more we get. Generosity is the paradox of life.

Andrea: 

What is the best way to convince a teen to read this book?

Cynthia: 

Never attempt to convince, only suggest. We all have to make our own decisions. Buy the book as a gift for a teen inscribed with a personal message. Teens contact me every day to say how much the book has changed their lives for the better. They are very appreciative of this book and even ask when the next one is coming.

Andrea: 

What other resources do you recommend?

Cynthia: 

Listen to our radio show, Starstyle-Be the Star You Are! to find out about other inspiring authors and books. Go to seminars, take classes, volunteer, get involved in school, communities, and clubs. Spend time with family. Find a mentor and coach who will guide you. Say "YES" to life.

Be the Star You Are!® charity maintains a large on-line store of excellent books at the deepest discount available. Many of the books are from the authors we feature on the radio. All the books are new, some are autographed. Check it out. We have a 100% satisfaction rating and five stars. Buy your books from Be the Star You Are!® and you are making a donation to the charity. http://www.amazon.com/shops/be_the_star_you_are_charity

Sign up for the StarSearcher's Express newsletter. We are always showcasing good works, good books, and other resources for positive living. www.bethestaryouare.org.

I am always available as a consultant and coach on an hourly basis, by the month, or year. My goal is to help you discover your highest potential and live a life of meaning. Email Cynthia@Bethestaryouare.com.

Andrea: 

Where can readers find out more about you?

Cynthia: 

There are several web sites to visit.

The book web site is www.bethestaryouare.com

My web site is www.star-style.com and www.starstyleproductions.com

The charity web site is www.bethestaryouare.org

The radio web site is www.StarstyleRadio.com

You can watch lots of videos at http://www.youtube.com/Bethestaryouare

Andrea: Cynthia, thank you so much for your time!

Click Here To Purchase Be the Star You Are! for Teens: Simple Gifts for Living, Loving, Laughing, Learning, and Leading