Thursday, December 3, 2015

Author Spotlight: Win Charles - Writer, Teacher, Speaker, Podcaster, TriAthlete, Jewelry Designer

Today’s spotlight guest is a young author who reached out to me for an interview on her podcast “Win’s Women of Wisdom.” When I checked out Win Charles I was impressed with her for many reasons, most notably because of her many accomplishments in spite of having cerebral palsy. I grew up with a brother who has cerebral palsy, and he has also achieved more than he was thought capable of, so I know there is no reason to expect anything less from someone labeled disabled or with CP than you would from anyone else. In her short life, 28 years, Win has published three books, started her own jewelry company, speaks to audiences nationwide, competes as a triathlete, and runs her own podcast. She also hopes to one day become a New York Times best-selling author. Today, incidentally, is Disability Day, or the International Day of People with Disability, which makes it the perfect time to spotlight this inspirational author. Welcome to Adventures in Publishing Win! Please tell us a little about yourself

Thanks for inviting me to speak with your readers, Marianne. I have a physical disability but I don't let that stop me. I'm on a quest to get my PhD in special education. I teach through my books and I teach preschoolers.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
At age 23. My family inspired me to write my first book, I,Win: My Journey with Cerebral Palsy Living in a Non-disabled World, my autobiography.

Please tell us more about this book.

At age 24 I decided to tell my story. Writing this autobiography gave me the opportunity to pay tribute to family members who are passionate about life and have instilled this passion in me. My parents' extraordinary support, encouragement, and pure love were my foundation as I navigated life, overcame obstacles, and achieved successes as a young woman with cerebral palsy. I have to pay full tribute to my mother, who died in August 2010. From her I learned to listen to my own voice as a guide to making life choices. She taught me to always expect the best from myself. My hope is that this book will provide insight into the extraordinary possibilities that those who live with disabilities have. I also hope that those without disabilities– rather than putting a focus on our differences – will come to understand what we all have in common. This book is for my mom, with love.

I hear you have a new release.
Yes. My latest book is The View from My Heart with Yoga:Power of Love (The View from My Heels, Book 5) released on Kindle, November 27, 2015. In this book I draw on my own life experience living with physical challenges and my brilliant talent of jewelry design. The main character, Kelly, has a passion for bringing jewelry, fashion, and make up that is easy to use to those with physical challenges. Inner and outer beauty are equally valued. Kelly freely admonishes that “We can't be beautiful on the outside if we aren't beautiful on the inside”. This belief is echoed in the tagline for her friend's organic make up line, “Your outer beauty sparkles within you.” Kelly and her friends are passionate about bringing the disabled the best options for living an independent, whole, and beautiful life. Kelly has a line of designer jewelry that the disabled can easily put on and take off. Her fashion designer friend, JT, who was partially paralyzed in a car accident now offers stylish clothing that is easy for those with limited mobility to wear. Cynthia, JT's sister, introduces an organic make up line that is safe for everyone, including the disabled and kids who love to play dress up.

Do you have a specific writing style?
I use Apple dictation.

Is there a message in your books that you want readers to grasp?
I teach about diversity.

About Win Charles
Born with Cerebral Palsy, Win Charles has defied the odds by becoming an author. Her memoir I, Win is an amazing story of how she remembers her life through the years of having a condition called “CP”. As a competitor in the Kona IronMan Triathlon, CEO of her own jewelry design company, and motivational speaker, Win truly is an inspiration to many. Today, Win tours the country, speaking to schools and institutions to raise awareness about cerebral palsy and living a full life no matter what holds you back. She is also an advocate of veterans across the world. 

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