‘Meet the Author’ with Danielle Vincent
The Union sat down with local author Danielle Vincent to talk about her book, “YOU-NICORN: 30 days to find your inner unicorn and live the life you love.” What follows is our Q&A with Vincent about her life and her book on finding the illusive inner unicorn.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
All my life, I never really felt like I “fit in” anywhere. Even though I had skills that made me ultimately very employable in a traditional sense (writing, coding, project management), the corporate environment wasn’t quite my thing.
Five years ago, I left my corporate job at Oprah to start a small soap company (Outlaw Soaps, based here in Grass Valley) with my husband Russ. Through the experience of struggling in the early years, I started embarking on an educational journey that would ultimately lead to my first book, “YOU-NICORN: 30 days to find your inner unicorn and live the life you love.”
What brought you to this area?
Russ and I have always loved this area. We used to drive out here whenever we could spare a weekend. It was always our goal to move out to somewhere like Grass Valley, which was why we started the soap business.
How did you get into writing?
I’ve always been a writer. Since I was able to put crayon to paper, I have been composing the family Christmas letters, creating newsletters for my friends about what restaurants and clubs were coming up, and keeping sporadic blogs over the years.
I have written many articles for online and print publications and was even the editor of my college newspaper for a year.
A couple years ago, I had the idea that I could really help a lot of people at transitional points (where I was several years prior) get through those periods with the tools that I learned (meditation, forgiveness, and a healthier relationship with wine, to name a few), so I started thinking about a book.
My friend and sister-in-law is a publisher, so she helped me formulate the ideas and ended up publishing the book.
What is your favorite book or who is your favorite author?
I think probably the book that most impacted me and my life was “You are a Badass,” by Jen Sincero. Though the book isn’t for everyone, it really helped something “click” in me that opened up the realization that I really could help people by sharing my experience.
My favorite author is, and will always be, Hunter S. Thompson. His use of the language to convey emotions and concepts (despite his questionable journalistic integrity) is unparalleled.
What is your book about?
It’s a practical, step-by-step program for self-improvement for people who are justifiably skeptical about the whole self-help genre. It’s a very no-nonsense, hands-on process that relies on real stories and experience, combined with medical studies in places, to build best practices for a healthy, wealthy, and wise life.
I haven’t met anyone who didn’t get something out of the process of going through the book. It helps people get clear on what they want out of life, and then helps them find the path to make it happen.
It’s written in a frank and funny way, with illustrations, so even the process of self-improvement becomes fun.
What inspired you to write this book?
As I mentioned earlier, I really wanted to make a resource for people at transitional points in their lives, so they could really avoid some of the zero-gravity, “search for meaning” struggles I faced when I was making my major life transition of starting Outlaw Soaps and leaving the corporate world.
A couple years ago, I recorded some online course just so I could help share some of my knowledge and answer common questions (mostly online marketing questions, since that’s something I know a lot about).
When I made the platform, I decided to also record a video workshop to help people write their goals. People found this so helpful (literally life-changing, I have heard many times) that I decided to commit some of my life lessons to paper.
What do you find most challenging about writing a book?
It takes SO DAMN LONG. On one hand, it’s just a matter of putting a certain number of sentences in the appropriate order, which is an arduous — but not impossible — task. On the other hand, you’re actually an octopus, so not only don’t you have hands, you have seven other arms and everything is sucky.
All joking aside, it’s a very difficult process. I had to hire a writing coach to get through it. I decided to hire her when I was stuck in one part of the book and I just couldn’t get any further (the editing process is long and grueling).
She said, “Well, you’re at the point that’s a little like the middle of cleaning out a closet. You’re looking around wondering if you’ve made a terrible mistake, and how everything can possibly fit back in the closet. But just keep going, and you’ll have a great book.”
So I kept going, and now the book is out and helping people. So it was ultimately very rewarding.
What is your key takeaway or message you hope readers find in your book?
Anything is possible, you just need to grow into the person who can do it. And that might be difficult, but it’s also very worth it.
Where can people find your book?
Locally at the Cult of Gemini in Grass Valley, or it’s available in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook on Amazon.
I’m also working with Foothills Fitness to plan a workshop in July. If you’re interested in signing up, go to you-nicorn.com/grassvalley.
How would you describe your own perfect day?
Pretty much every day is its own perfect day. I just feel very lucky to be here enjoying it.
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