Published: Feb 1, 2015
Trade paperback, 236 pages
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani
I love reading about people who are leading extraordinary lives because of working hard, persevering, and thinking differently. Marilyn R. Wilson uses her talent of interviewing to bring us the mini-biographies of such ten unique individuals. I enjoyed, learned from, and felt inspired reading these stories!
Although I enjoyed all the stories immensely with Marilyn's easy flowing narrative and progression of each person's life story, I did have my favorites. Ruthie Davis impressed me with her creativity and unique marketing skills as did Geir Ness, whose story cracked me up. He did some fun and innovative things to market his perfume. LOVED it! Patricia Fieldwalker's hard lesson of losing everything and how she rebuilt her company from scratch made me think hard about my own business decisions.
The fact that Lisa-Marie Mazzucco had no formal training in make-up, hair styling or photography and yet made a career of this, reminded me that all of us have hidden skills. Shane Koyzan and William Orlowski's stories touched me deeply as they used sheer determination and bravery to get to where they are today. Julie Salisbury, who I've met twice and clicked with instantly, surprised me with a physical condition I suffer from too.
Really, Life Outside the Box, contains the life stories everyone can relate to. We all need inspiration, motivation and good mentors in our lives. The fact that many of these individuals are Canadian, came from humble beginnings and practice charity and compassion was an added bonus. I know of successful people who are not kind and who practice cutthroat tactics to get to the top. Instead, the individuals featured in Life Outside the Box are people-lovers and they are successful partly because of what they do for others.
If you love to read memoirs, inspirational stories, or just need good roles models in the business world, then Life Outside the Box is ideal for you. It will leave you feeling motivated and thinking, "If they did it, so can I!"
Note: This book is rated G, suitable for all readers.
To read more reviews, please visit Marilyn's page on iRead Book Tours.
MRW: I read in waves – book after book after book for awhile followed by a a period of not reading. Interestingly enough, it seems that people who love to read in general love the tactile feeling of holding a printed book. It doesn't seem to matter whether it's hardback or paperback. I definitely fall in this category. BUT when I travel I always use an e-reader so I can take about 6-10 books with me. I devour books when I'm on holiday in particular. I feel the future of books, though, is in e-pubs. The next generation likes to experience reading very differently. They have grown up accessing the world through phones, tablets and computers.
LCR: What effect has interviewing so many people had on your life?
MRW: I only recently realized how much hearing how others lived and faced success and adversity has changed me. Most of all it has taught me self-acceptance. My journey is unique and I need to quit defining my life in society's terms.
LCR: What draws you to an interview?
MRW: I love a unique story. It can be positive, or full of challenges. The way they embrace life can offer tremendous insight for others. I prefer the person to have a little more life experience under their belt as well – so they are usually at least 40. Someone young is still growing and changing, learning how to face difficulties. A wider perspective that takes time to hone. I usually get goosebumps when I hear someone talking that lets me know to pursue an interview. Sometimes that reaction comes from a simple side statement. I just know.
LCR: What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
MRW: This one is oh so simple – good reviews make my heart sing! So far I haven't faced a bad one, but if it happens I won't be dancing with joy. That said, after 10 years of getting feedback on my articles before publishing both good and bad, I have learned there is a message in there to be embraced. I want to continue to improve, so it's important to listen to what's being said that is positive AND negative. There is always more to learning your craft.
LCR: Well said, Marilyn! Do you have any advice for other writers?
MRW: One of the most important things a friend encouraged me to do was start a blog. I was not really a blog fan at the time, but what it did was get me writing more often and on a wider variety of topics. It really is true – if you want to be a writer you have to write! As often as possible, as much as you can. The other piece of the puzzle was getting great feedback. It was brutal having everyone I wrote about give me their honest opinion, but I would never have improved without understanding where my shortcomings were.
LCR: What are you currently working on?
MRW: With the launch of my first book in February 2015, the last few months have required me to be deeply involved in marketing. But I am hoping shortly to be back to my passion - interviewing and writing. Life Outside the Box is intended to be the first in a series under the brand Real People – Real Lives. At least three are in the planning stages at this time.
LCR: I look forward to reading the next book in this inspiring series. Where do you see publishing going in the future?
MRW: Down-loadable e-books really are the wave of the future. Currently, distribution is based on the old model of print books. That will need to change. The beauty of e-books is that you can get them anywhere you have internet access , any time you like. Writers can access a global readership. They also take up no space. You don't need a large bookshelf, a heavy travel bag, a storage warehouse or distribution trucks. They only require the click of a button. That said, as a writer I still prefer to hold the paper in my hands and hear the rustle when I turn the pages.
In 2007, this goal led the author to co-launch a successful, innovative magazine focused on professionals working in the fashion industry, paired with photography and illustrations by local artists. Now on staff at Raine Magazine (NY/Miami/LA), as well as freelancing for other publications, Wilson has taken her passion to a new audience with the release of her first book.
Connect with Marilyn: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter