Author Interview: Tamara Branch, author of ITGIRL4LIFE #selfesteen #teens

Tamara BranchTamara Branch is from New York, born and raised in the Bronx. She is thrilled to share her first book release, ITGIRL4LIFE, kicking off the ITGIRL4LIFE self-esteem movement to empower girls to stand up, stand out and shine bright in the world.

Tamara has worked as a professional model and actor for almost two decades. She strutted down the runway for designers Calvin Klein, Donna Karen and Christian Dior, acted in a few independent films, co-hosted PBS New York’s education series, “What’s up in Technology” and appeared T.V. commercials and print ads for Levi’s, Old Navy, Hershey’s, Colgate, Kellogg’s Special K, Revlon, Hanes, Nike and many others. A Penn State alumnus and lifelong student of personal development, Tamara is deeply passionate about uplifting the human spirit.

After graduating from Institute for Integrative Nutrition, studying under Deepak Chopra, Dr. Andrew Weil and some of the top health and wellness experts in the world, she was inspired to raise the bar on her own ‘self care’ and support others in living more vibrantly. She is an abstract artist and teaches a dynamic dance class, where she gets to fuse her varied background, having trained in everything from jazz, ballet and modern to Afro-Caribbean and Salsa.

Tamara was recently asked to become a Female Visionary Author guest blogger for The Brave Heart Women Global Community.  She’s a SAG/AFTRA member since 1998, a member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and is represented by Abrams Artists Agency.

Tamara currently lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband of seven years and offers ITGIRL4LIFE workshops to assist girls on their self empowerment journey.

Her latest book is the YA/self-esteem book, ITGIRL4LIFE.

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About the Book:

ITGIRL4LIFE 8Writer, artist and speaker, Tamara Branch serves up 40 bite-sized chapters on how to build unshakable self-confidence, honor your life, and shine bright in the world, in ITGIRL4LIFE: How to bring out your special something and so much more. Packed with sage advice, life-changing insights and affirmations to help you soar, ITGIRL4LIFE offers ideas, tools and principles that you can reference and build upon, supporting you in becoming your best. Get ready to fall in love with your own wisdom, beauty and strength.

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What made you decide to become a published author? 

A: Girls and women thriving, knowing their value and worth is a beautiful thing and we don’t see it enough. I had something to share and wanted to contribute to the self-esteem conversation. I wanted to write a book that celebrated girls, that was timely and would inspire girls to make wise choices, believe in themselves, take responsibility for their happiness, be who they are, and use their inner wisdom, gifts, and talents to create lives they love. It takes work to build healthy self-esteem and people don’t really talk about the commitment you have to make to yourself and the efforts you have to put forth to accomplish that.

Would you consider your latest book, ITGIRL4LIFE, to be a one of a kind?  How so?

A: There is no other book on the market quite like this. ITGIRL4LIFE is very different from the self-esteem books in this category. Many of the books available are situational, or share other people’s stories of getting through something or are written for adults and then tailored for a younger audience. ITGIRL4LIFE was written specifically for the girls of the world and is about tapping into your power as a girl, as a young woman and shares how to cultivate genuine self-love inside and out. This book is foundational and provides ideas, tools, and universal principles that support girls in bringing out their best. It tackles the topic of self-worth and self-esteem in a way that truly empowers the individual and reminds them of their wisdom, beauty and strength. If you build a house on shaky ground, it’s going down at some point and after it does, you’ll find that there were lots of cracks in the foundation. ITGIRL4LIFE aims to help girls create a strong foundation from the start, seal up those cracks if they’re there and offers girls a platform to build and expand upon, for life.

Where is your writing sanctuary?

A: I write in my home office — that gives me the freedom to take frequent dance breaks, while singing at the top of my lungs.

What do you believe a writer should not do as far as getting his or her book published?

A: Do not copyedit, edit, or design your own cover or layout unless you are a pro. You want your book to have the best presentation possible. It’s an investment worth making.

What inspires you?

A: People inspire me all the time. I am inspired by the potential we all have to make a difference, by nature, by life.

What is one thing you learned about your book after it was published?

A: After the book was published I learned that people got what I was trying to say. They got it! I am constantly moved by how girls and women have responded to it. I also learned that the work of marketing and creating awareness once book is out there, never stops.

Why do you love to write Young Adult self-esteem books?

A: I’m committed to helping girls and women live more vibrantly. I’m on purpose with my intention. I’m on a mission. I write from the heart. I believe that it is our responsibility to share what we can to inspire others. I feel honored to be in a position to write words that can elevate someone’s life experience.

You’re concocting a recipe for a best selling book.  What’s the first ingredient?

A: It has to be unique, first and foremost — add great content, a lot of heart, a lot of soul, great cover design and a catchy title and you have a winner.

What’s one fun fact about your book people should know?

A: I decided to make ITGIRL4LIFE one word. When I came up with the title, the definition popped into my head right away. An ITGIRL4LIFE loves herself, is authentic, takes charge, and makes a difference. She has IT. IT is the Greatness she was born with.

Did any real life experiences find their way into your book?

A: Yes, most definitely. I am a life-long student of personal development. My approach in writing this book was to sit down and ask myself what are the practices, beliefs, principles, tools, ideas that help me feel great, that pick me up when I need a boost, that support me standing in my truth and my power as a woman. I asked myself what do I want to share with these amazing girls? How can I serve them? What would I want to share with my younger self? What is it that I know for sure now that I wish I knew then? I wrote down my foundation for living an empowered life and ITGIRL4LIFE was born.

Aside from writing, what’s your passion?

A: I love to dance, perform, paint, sing. My list of creative endeavors is endless. Healthy living is a passion of mine and I am big on celebrating the human spirit.

What’s next for you?

A: ITGIRL4LIFE workshops, speaking engagements, and related activities on this self-esteem mission. I want girls and women all over the world to unleash their shine. My intention is to reach millions of girls with ITGIRL4LIFE. I am also working on my second Young Adult self-esteem book which will be out in the fall of this year.


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