What is your book about?
Don’t Stop Now: Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life has been written for women age 50 and beyond. More often than not, this demographic is faced with challenges as careers end, kids grow, and relationships change. We address a diversity of issues that are of concern to our readers, including physical wellness, emotional health, finances, relationships, behaviors, appearance, life-long learning, and giving back. The book helps women determine ways to continue to grow—bringing vital, creative contributions to their worlds and expanding the definition of age-appropriate.
What makes Don’t Stop Now different from other self-help books for women?
Don’t Stop Now is an interactive book. Each chapter begins with a personal assessment on a particular area of life. The reader is encouraged to think about each statement that is presented for her review, then rate it on a scale of 1 to 10. A rating of 1 means “Alas, this isn’t even remotely true” and 10 means “OMG! It’s like you know me!” Each chapter ends with a series of action steps designed to inspire and motivate. The very end of the book includes twelve forms that allow the reader to write down her individual action plan each month for a year.
What inspired you to write this book?
We are our target audience. We are both at a point in our lives where we’re questioning where to go from here, and since many of our friends have the same concerns, we decided to bring it all to light. We talked to dozens of women from various backgrounds to find out how they deal with life’s transitions, rise to challenges, and overcome obstacles. We interviewed experts to get their advice. The result is a comprehensive picture of how to make the rest of your life the best of your life.
What were some of your more interesting interviews?
For our chapter on appearance, we interviewed a dermatologist who provides a wealth of information on skin care—information that would otherwise require several consults and a hefty sum of money. We also gathered beauty tips from a few renowned LA makeup artists—another great freebie for our readers. There’s a hypnotherapist who’s helping to change bad habits in days instead of years. A woman who lost her husband to cancer and ended up rekindling a romance with her high-school boyfriend (spoiler alert: they’re engaged!). A woman who lost her job as a result of the dot.com crash and ended up in the business of renting and selling mannequins. And a woman who started an organization to serve homeless and marginalized individuals after the drug-related deaths of her son and daughter-in-law.
What do you find most challenging about writing a book?
In this case, it wasn’t really a challenge. Both of us have written previous books, so we knew upfront what the process entails. We’re also really good friends, so finding our writing stride was easy. We wrote some chapters together and some individually, but we made sure the voice was always the same: friendly, conversational, and a tad irreverent.
Tell us a bit about your professional background.
Elle: I’ve been a writer my entire career—first as an advertising copywriter and later as a writer of nonfiction. I also work as a collaborative author, ghostwriter, and developmental editor, and several of my books have been written under the name L.G. Mansfield. The genres I’ve worked in include lifestyle, fashion, interior design, self-help, adoption, memoir, and food.
Jan: I started my career as a corporate scriptwriter and instructional designer, and I was occasionally called upon to write articles, sales collateral, white papers, and web copy. About ten years ago, I wrote my first book, an adoption memoir. I’ve also been a regular contributor to VietNow National Magazine, and for a year, I had a column in the Nevada County newspaper. Currently, I teach aspiring authors how to bring their books to life through workshops.
What made you decide to self-publish?
Having been published before, we know that traditional publishers look for three things: platform, platform, platform. We don’t have degrees in gerontology. We aren’t experts in the aging process. We don’t have a TV talk show. What we do have is personal experience with the aging process, and that made us feel enormously qualified to take off on our own, do the research, and find some answers and solutions to help other women just like us.
What is the key takeaway you hope readers find in your book?
We want our readers to know that life doesn’t stop at 50. There are so many ways to keep things exciting, fulfilling, and rewarding. Don’t Stop Now is meant to inspire and motivate women to keep reaching higher, to be their best selves, and to maintain vitality in any way they can.
Where can people find your book?
Don’t Stop Now: Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life is available on Amazon.