Featured Authors Talk About It
ATAI: Tell us a little about you.
Jacqui: My name is Jacqui Letran. I’m an author, speaker, and teen confidence expert. I have 17 years of experience working with teens in both the medical setting as a Nurse Practitioner and the holistic setting as a Teen Confidence Expert and Success Coach.
My passion for working with teens started as a result of my own experiences as a teenager. I struggled so much with trying to find my own identity and my place in the world, and I had moderate anxiety and depression. Along my journey I discovered something so simple, yet so profound, “change your thoughts, change your life!” This little nugget of wisdom changed everything for me. I knew I had to share it with others.
I love being able to connect with my readers and teach them how to take charge of their lives by taking control of their thoughts, feelings, and actions. I feel so fortunate to be able to do what I do, and spreading my message world-wide through my books and my online practice, Teen Confidence Academy.
ATAI: How long have you been writing?
Jacqui: I started writing professionally in 2014.
ATAI: What was your most recent release?
Jacqui: My most recent release was the 2nd edition of my first book, 5 Simple Questions to Reclaim Your Happiness! in June 2017. I had a lot of wonderful feedback from readers that I incorporated into the 2nd edition to make it even more relevant and impactful. Readers requested more case studies, so I added in several more. Also, I’m making part of this edition a workbook so readers can follow along and use the questions and other tools I provide to quickly reclaim their happiness. After the revision, this book was awarded a Gold Medal from Literary Classics in the category of Young Adult Self-Help.
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ATAI: What do you love most about writing?
Jacqui: I love being able to express myself and knowing that my work will reach so many teens, who often need some extra support and insight to understand how they can feel good about themselves and be confident in life.
ATAI: What do you find most challenging?
Jacqui: English is my second language so grammar is a challenge for me. In my native language, we do not pluralize nouns. So it’s one banana, two banana, twenty banana. In addition, we do not use tenses the same way. So for us, it’s, “I go today.” “I go tomorrow.” “I go yesterday.” You can imagine how confusing it might be for me to figure out where which words need an “s” at the end, and what the appropriate tense should be. Thank goodness there are editors for that work.
ATAI: Where do your ideas come from?
Jacqui: I never entertained the idea of being an author until my clients kept requesting that I share my work in writing. I am blessed to have a private practice helping people improve their lives by taking control of their minds. I really enjoy helping people overcome big problems and emotional challenges by giving them the tools to be their own source of strength and power. So with each client, I would teach them about their mind and how to take control of it. There is a lot of information to digest so my clients would ask me for a written summary. After repeatedly hearing this request, the most logical thing to do was write a book.
As the book evolved, I became more excited. I realized how important books were to me when I was a teen in need of help, and here was my chance to pay it forward! Although the content in my book applies to anyone, whether young or old, I wrote the book specifically to help teens. I hope that my work can reach teens who need some extra support. I want the book to help them feel less alone, give them some insights, as well as practical tools, so they can go after what they want to get out of life.
ATAI: What is your writing process?
Jacqui: I remember sitting down at my computer to type out my book. The first several attempts were horrible! I would type, delete, type, delete, type and delete some more. I had to make every single sentence perfect. After hours of hard work, I only had a few paragraphs to show for it.
It was so frustrating. I knew my topic very well and I can teach it in my sleep, yet, I couldn’t articulate it on the word processor. I knew that if I continued this way, it would take years to complete my book, and I did not want to wait that long. That was when I decided to write everything out by hand. I would go to a local coffee shop or to the beach and write as if I were teaching a client. I wrote freely; no re-reading, and no editing. I spent two to three hours writing each day, and within seven weeks, I completed the first book. It took several days for me to type up everything and then the first round of editing started. I learned it takes many rounds of editing, but the core messages of the book flowed from the tip of my pen without the distraction of real-time editing of each sentence!
ATAI: Do your characters (or message) ever seem to have a life of their own or an agenda of their own?
Jacqui: I’m sure this has happened through the development process, but I’m not aware of a specific example. When readers connect with me, they often share stories with me about how my books helped them to understand themselves and others better. They also tell me that it is easier to have a positive attitude when they use try some of the tools I’ve given them.
ATAI: What’s your favorite part of your book (or one of your books)?
Jacqui: My favorite of I would, but my DAMN MIND won’t let me! is the 60-Second Reader, which is a brief summary of each chapter. I have heard from many readers that they enjoy the concise recap of the chapters and often use that as a quick reference to take control of their emotions.
ATAI: What are you working on next?
Jacqui: I’m currently working on the third book in my Words of Wisdom for Teens series. It is called, How to Unleash Your Inner Super Powers and Destroy Anxiety and Self-Doubt. This is the third book in my Words of Wisdom for Teen Series and the most fun to write so far. I’m working toward a late November release, just in time to help teens start the next year with increased confidence, having learned about their own Inner Super Powers.
ATAI: Where can people find you online?
Jacqui: I love connecting with readers and reading their feedback on my books. Readers can find me at:
ATAI: Thank you for sharing with us and our audience.
Jacqui: Thank you so much for this wonderful interview. I have one more thing I would like to share with your readers. One of the most powerful lessons I have learned is, “change your thoughts, change your life.” It sounds simple, but it is very powerful because whatever you focus on grows bigger. Your thoughts are like color-tinted goggles. Whatever color your lenses are, you will experience the entire world around you through that “filter”. Whatever your thoughts are about your situation become the experiences you have in life. Your thoughts are also like a giant magnet, pulling to you more of the same. If you have negative thoughts, you’ll attract more negativity into your life. Conversely, if you have positive thoughts, you’ll attract more positivity into your life. So, if you are having an experience you don’t like, challenge yourself to change your thoughts into more empowering ones and get prepared to be amazed at how your world changes!
*NOTE: ATAI does not edit the responses of the authors.
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