Monday, July 3, 2017


I am pleased to have Rita Emmett as my guest this week. She is an accomplished author, public speaker, worldwide author, and been interviewed many times even by Katie Couric. 

What inspired you to write your first book?

I used to be the World’s Greatest Procrastinator. I converted. Now I’m a “Recovering Procrastinator”. I have a system that works and wanted to share it with others. So I wrote THE PROCRASTINATOR’S HANDBOOK. It sold 100,000 copies its first year.

What books and authors have most influenced your life?

The Jesuits’ Guide to Almost Everything by James Martin
Infinite Possibilities by Mike Dooley
So many others ….. too many to list.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

In high school the nuns who taught said I should write a book someday. I love writing but a book was out of the question. Then I FINALLY stopped procrastinating, wrote the book and now I send the nuns 10% of all my royalties.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Almost everything I write (Tip Sheet, articles, communications, lists) is written in my office straight from my brain to my computer.
NOT ONE WORD of my 5 books has been written in the office. I’ve written in our backyard, in the living room, at airports and on planes, in doctor’s waiting rooms, by a lake. And the words go from my brain to a pad of paper THEN to the computer.
No, I don’t know why.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

A perfectionist appears in me – editing and tweaking and polishing – till finally I have to force myself to STOP. So none of my writing is perfect because … well… perfection is seldom achievable.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Read the type of book you are writing.
Learn. Learn. Learn. Take webinars, seminars, search YouTube. Really become an expert on what you are writing.
Mark “Time to write” on your calendar. We make time for what is important to us.
Yes, it’s scary to think about people reading (and judging) your writing. Be gutsy and do it scared.

What book are you introducing to us today?

My very first picture book, FARKLE SHARK, YOU ARE NOT STUPID.

How did you come up with the title?

It’s based on a quote attributed to Einstein that is:
Everyone is a genius.
But if a fish is judged by how well it climbs a tree, it will live its entire life feeling stupid
Many families do not allow the use of the word “stupid” so I searched for a different word for the title. But the quote uses the word “stupid” so I took a risk and went with it.

Tell us what you like about the main characters of this book.

It begins with big sister Sparkle Shark mocking and criticizing Farkle. But when she learns he’s being called stupid by the monkeys in his class because he can’t climb trees, she becomes his champion and advocate.
She not only teaches him an attitude-changer; she also instigates an adventure leading Farkle to become a hero with a new sense of self-worth.
Kids “get” that if they make fun of or put down their family, that’s OK. But if an outsider does, that’s not OK.
That change in Sparkle’s behavior generates lots of conversations in families.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

That writing a simple little picture book in 800 words or less is outrageously difficult.

What is the main thing you hope readers remember from this story?

I’ve met so many kids who are not doing well in school but when they talk about computers or super heroes or fish or whatever they are interested in, they are geniuses. So I hope they grow to understand the Einstein quote and remember Sparkles message in the excerpt below.

Please share an excerpt from the book.

Sparkle Shark put on her teaching face and brought out her underwater blackboard and


“Everyone is smart about something …
nobody is smart about everything.”

“Just because you can’t do what they do --- does NOT mean you’re stupid,” she said.

                       Thank you, Rita for sharing about your journey as an author.

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