Erica Nelson writes about happiness, and how you can get there. She wrote her first book of poems at the age of twelve and her first self-help book, Prospect When You Are Happy, in 2007. Erica’s latest book, Happiness Quotations, has just been released.
Hi Erica, Welcome to Literature & Fiction. Please tell everyone a little about yourself.
Erica: I was born in Sausalito, California just a hop across the bay from San Francisco. Born to parents who published newspapers, I was writing as soon as I could read. I remember my mom had sandpaper letters that I traced as a child to learn the alphabet. Later we moved a lot, almost every other year, and I spent a lot of time in libraries. As soon as we moved to a new city, I would learn where the library was located, and walk there often, carting books home. Love of reading was born inside me, and has never left. My first book was published in 2007, Prospect When You Are Happy, created for the conscious business person to create prosperity from a happy place inside. This new book Happiness Quotations: Gentle Reminders of Your Preciousness is my first book for a general audience, although many of my readers seem to be women.
When did the writing bug bite, and in what genre(s)?
Erica: I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write. I would carry my journal around with me as I rode my bike and walked in elementary school. In middle school and high school, I wrote songs and wrote for the school newspaper and yearbook. Then in college, I wrote concert reviews, dance reviews, and feature stories on dance and music for the college newspaper. Straight out of college, I became a journalist and I still write a weekly column that runs in seven San Francisco Bay Area newspapers in the education section of the papers.
When you started writing, what goals did you want to accomplish? Is there a message you want readers to grasp?
Erica: When I started writing, I didn’t have goals. I just wrote. I have boxes and boxes of journals. I have clippings dating back to the 1980s. I interviewed Jay Leno once, before he was famous. That sounds like such a long time ago! I guess I had one goal once, “I want to be able to support myself writing in any city anywhere, wherever I want to live.” Later, as I got in tune with my spirit and soul, I wanted to write about being happy and experiencing happiness in difficult situations. That’s where my new book comes in.
Briefly tell us about your latest book. Is it part of a series or stand-alone?
Erica: The vision for this book is to be one of many, as a series of passages that show up for me and then I share these visions, concepts, situations where you can navigate rough waters with more clarity, more poise, more loving approaches, more joy, more of all that good stuff and less of the drama, less sorrow, less poverty, less spiritual abandonment and more connectivity to source energy.
What’s the hook for the book?
Erica: Everyone needs to be reminded of their own preciousness. Some days it is easier than others.
Do you have a specific writing style or preferred POV?
Erica: I write as though I know everything, and that’s kind of funny. I write from a place of connectivity to source energy, the all-knowing being within us. I’m not like this 24 hours a day, some parts of the day I am not the “me” that shows up as all-knowing author. When I speak for audiences, they can be surprised at my humility. In my books, I come across as powerful, intense, insightful and wise, or that is the feedback I have been given.
How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?
Erica: I write every day, and have for about 35 years. I don’t even feel like I am old enough to say that, inside I feel quite young. My upbringing shapes me, in that both my parents wrote all the time. I have early memories of my dad hitting the typewriter keys at 5 a.m. pounding out fictional accounts of his life that never were published, although he has published several textbooks on journalism. My mom was a published novelist before her passing. This environment of “the word” being the main venue of expression is reflected in all that I do, all the time.
Share the best review (or a portion) that you’ve ever had.
Erica: Happiness Quotations: Gentle Reminders of Your Preciousness
“Happiness Quotations” belongs in every home. Each of its pages carries an uplifting, practical message that is perfect for today’s troubled world. And each message is well-written,to the point, easy for anyone to read and understand, and joyously simple to put into practice. For instance, “Trust Your Gut Instinct”, #43, consists of advice that anyone can use in their daily life. #52 tells the reader to “journal your wins’, a inspired thought, easy for anyone to apply. Author Nelson has created a self-help book that truly will enable the reader get themselves out of sadness and depression in a realistic and do-able way. This book should be at the everyone’s list of presents to give for birthdays and holidays. It is spiritual but will offend no one while helping everyone.
5.0 out of 5 stars
Alice M. Dinizo (Toms River, New Jersey)
What are your current projects?
Erica: Every day, I update my Facebook fan page with a new quotation, so that’s ongoing. My latest and greatest project is a 70-days to happiness course that I am writing. It started out as 21 days, then bumped up to 60 days, and finally is emerging as 70 days. In 10 weeks, the student will take one concept each week and have daily instructions to shift into positivity. I’m thinking of calling it Positivity Training, although it’s really a handbook to happiness. This summer will be all about the book tour for Happiness Quotations.
Where can folks learn more about your books and events?
Erica: At www.HappinessQuotations.com, you can read about upcoming radio interviews, in-person book readings, as well as news on new classes and course offerings that are always virtual and work internationally. On www. Facebook.com/HappinessQuotations you can always get a daily hit of happiness.