Camille Nagasaki talks about finding your Fabulous, Exquisite, Wonderful YOU.

My debut novel, Riches & Rags is a modern day fairy-tale but instead of Prince Charming swooping in to save the day, Lane saves herself. Now, I don’t know about you, but I love a good fairy-tale, and I’m a hopeless romantic when it comes to just about any story. But, I’ve become a bit jaded by the whole hero notion. Haven’t we all? We can’t turn the corner or turn on the TV without some proclamation by a beautiful, shiny and idealistic ‘hero’ selling you on being happier, being thinner, and being richer — if only you buy their product. There are Band-Aid solutions and temporary fixes everywhere, just look to the pharmaceutical industry. At some point, enough is enough, which is why I love the idea of my heroine becoming her own hero.

camille_nagasaki-360Lane Carson isn’t perfect. She’s spoiled in the worst of ways and her attitude is off the charts. Lane has never held a real job and, though it seems as if her cup of confidence runneth over, Lane has an undercurrent of insecurities. Lane proves to be resilient though after being tested in the most challenging ways; losing the family fortune, truly experiencing motherhood for the first time, and finding her own footing career-wise.

We all have inherent and unique talents, some of them quirky. For me, I have an elephant-like memory. I can easily recall feeling colicky as a baby, the joy of taking my first steps and dancing on stage in Mexico at the age of 3. I worked at a cafe as a teen, and sometimes I pass former customers on the street. They would be baffled and probably somewhat freaked if I recited what they used to order in exact detail or how they took their coffee. For me, this quirk of a talent has leant itself beautifully to writing my novel, as most of the acting scenes and many others are based on first-hand experiences. What are your talents, and are you putting them to use in your day-to-day life? I truly believe we are all born with these inherent gifts and we need to nurture them on a regular basis — the act of doing so will foster true joy. Sometimes we need to dig deep. What makes you, you, and why are you drawn to certain ideas but not others?

For Lane, her passion is interior design, though she has no formal training as a designer. Her childhood best friend, Juliet, is thrilled when she realizes that’s what Lane can do — design. Lane is quick to point out she can’t exactly begin a career in design without going to school, and school is not a possibility — not when her bank account is dwindling in the most dismal of ways and she needs a job right NOW. After some deliberation, though, Lane does stumble upon a niche in the design market by taking a different angle and then never looking back. Lane discovers that she is infinitely stronger and smarter than she ever gave herself credit for; it’s the silver lining of her struggle, and of yours, and of mine.

Maybe you’re experiencing challenges or adversity in your own life. Maybe you’re stuck in a dead-end job wondering how to get out. In this day and age, we’ll most-likely have numerous careers over the span of our lives. This is where your hero comes in, and it comes from within. Start small, baby steps. Explore some of those quirky talents you have and the passions that move you, and commit to fostering these ideas to plan your exit strategy. Or maybe your challenge isn’t your job. Maybe it’s a relationship that has become more trying than joyful and you’re struggling to move forward. Again, this is when you dig deep for the strength you need to become independent and to soar. Whatever trial or hardship, you have those unique gifts already. Don’t wait for the hero, just look in the mirror and you’ll find fabulous, exquisite and wonderful YOU.

riches-rags-ebook-cover-final3256Lane Carson is used to getting her own way — apart from throwing hissy fits and pulling outrageous stunts to attract her workaholic husband’s attention, Lane lives a seemingly perfect life. But things are seldom as they seem…

Lane is blindsided and her charmed and pampered existence uprooted, when her shattered husband, Micky Capello, breaks the devastating news: he’s lost the family fortune and is leaving on a quest to “find himself.” The most daunting part is they’re losing the nannies — and the children Lane barely knows will live with her.

Without the leisure to wallow in misery and self-pity, Lane is catapulted into an adventure of a lifetime that’s filled with outlandish and often emotionally charged escapades of trial and error, all with her über supportive — albeit dysfunctional — family in tow.

Camille Nagasaki is a Toronto-born Canadian author, film/TV actress, and entrepreneur. Having always had a tremendous fascination with the written word, Camille became an avid reader at a young age and has written creatively and for business for many years. After leaving the corporate world to be home with her kids, Camille earned a professional designation in her field, launched a new business and began a three-year labour of love writing Riches & Rags. Camille lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and children.

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