Teen author REAGAN B. NEVELS shares her insights and experiences in writing and publishing a motivational book. Get ready to be impressed by this young woman!
Motivation for Writing a Book for Kids and Teenagers
Reagan: I really wanted to stress the point of “not waiting” to my generation. A lot of kids have this idea in their minds that society has planted that says you must follow a certain guideline to be successful in life. In reality, the majority of kids could start reaching for their dreams and goals now without having to worry about the responsibilities of adulthood.
Learning Lessons and Overcoming Challenges in Reagan’s Second Book
Simon: This is your second book as a teen author. At the age of 12, you authored your first book called Vision Collison, Think. Write. Believe. Achieve. Were there any lessons you learned from the first book that made the second book easier?
Reagan: While I intentionally wrote this book for kids and teens my age, it was also equally important for me to make sure that anyone of any age could pick up this book and receive the message as well.
Simon: Were there any unique challenges associated with writing your second book? How did you overcome these challenges?
Reagan: One of the only challenges was making sure I wasn’t repetitive. Although Why Wait? Your Time is Now! is an extension of Vision Collision, I wanted to introduce an entirely new side of “Think. Write. Believe. Achieve.” to ensure the reader has an understanding of my 4-step process.
Simon: Writing a book is such a journey. what is one thing that you learned about yourself during the process of writing this book?
Reagan: One thing I learned about myself is that I write in sort of a story-like format. I tend to explain or provide examples to make sure people understand what I am saying before I move on. I’ve come to appreciate that about my style and I think readers appreciate it, too.
Writing in an Authentic Tone of Voice
Simon: You write in a very engaging and informal voice. It seems very natural for you. How did you find your voice as a teen author?
Reagan: To be honest, this is the voice that I have always had. Knowing that what I say could change someone’s life, I want to be as authentic as possible. I never want it to appear as though I am higher than anyone else, I simply have information I want to share to help people unlock the potential within them.
Incorporating Personal Stories and Being Vulnerable
Simon: You have very positive and inspirational content throughout your book, Why Wait? Your Time is Now! For example, you add your personal story of transitioning from traditional school to home school. What advice would you give authors, including teen authors, on how to weave in their own personal stories to help inspire readers?
Reagan: I definitely feel as though vulnerability is a big part of what enables people to relate to what they read. Telling your story is what helps people really connect with you and understand that you are the same as them. So, my advice to other authors is to embrace your story and be proud of it because it will positively influence how people receive what you have to say.
Writing for Your Target Audience
Reagan: My primary audience is my generation: teenagers and kids. I want them to realize they don’t have to wait to accomplish their dreams and goals, that they can accomplish them right now.
Simon: You wrote this book for teenagers. What is one tip that you have for authors who are hoping for their book to appeal to teenagers?
Reagan: Being a teenager is definitely a huge benefit when it comes to speaking to teenagers because I know what they are interested in and what they might be going through. But anyone can speak to teenagers. So, one tip would be to show them what you’ve gone through. Give examples and tell them stories about your experiences and what you’ve learned from them. Take them on a journey because teenagers love the ride.
Key Writing Habits for Completing the Book
Simon: What are some of your writing habits that helped you make consistent progress in writing this book?
Reagan: You have to be disciplined and authentic. One thing that really helped me was getting away from the world. And I am so thankful for my mom for helping me with this. She would take me to the library and encourage me to stay all day just to write.
Simon: In Why Wait? Your Time is Now!, you introduce a process called Think. Write. Believe. Achieve. How did you come up with this process?
Reagan: Actually, TWBA derived from my first book, Vision Collision. It is the process I use to accomplish everything I do in life, I just hadn’t realized it yet. So, I sat down and asked myself, what process do I have to go through to help my dreams become my reality? And that was it.
Reagan’s Favorite Chapter of Why Wait? Your Time is Now!
Simon: What is your favorite chapter of Why Wait? Your Time is Now! Why is it your favorite?
Reagan: My favorite chapter by far is Chapter 4, “Prioritizing Your Life,” because it is so encouraging! I love the positive ‘I am’ affirmations at the end and just the fact that it is so real, deep, and relatable.
Deciding on The Order of Chapters
Simon: You have written some inspirational chapters, from accountability, to prioritizing your life, to rejecting mediocrity. How did you decide the order for the various chapters?
Reagan: This is the order I feel as though people should follow because this is what I use to accomplish my dreams and goals, and I can only help people using my own experience.
Simon: Can you tell me a little bit about your marketing strategy and how you plan to reach your readers?
Reagan: I mainly market myself through Instagram, but there have been times when I have sent out press kits to different schools, churches, businesses, etc. I have also put my books into local bookstores where I live.
The Publication Experience
Simon: You published this book with Premier Publishing, LLC. How did the people in this organization help you realize your dreams of publishing your second book? Can you share a bit about the publishing process?
Reagan: They helped me realize that I had more to say. I wasn’t and I’m still not done. The whole team was just fantabulous, brilliant, and patient with me throughout the entire process.
Reagan B. Nevels Award-winning Author and Motivational Speaker
Reagan B. Nevels is a 15-year-old inspiration influencer on a mission to help others discover and access their dreams. She is a motivational speaker who, at the age of 12, authored her first book, Vision Collision. Her second book, Why Wait? Your Time Is Now!, is a 2021 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards’ Winner – Teen Nonfiction. In it, she inspires teenagers to recognize the greatness within themselves and walks them through her four-step process – Think. Write. Believe. Achieve. – to success. Why Wait? Your Time Is Now! will have you bursting with positivity and new possibilities for your life. Reagan is also an entrepreneur, a youth leader, and a Sunday school teacher from Canfield, Ohio. She is a ‘dream big’ kind of girl who speaks at school assemblies, graduations, children’s events, conferences, and to youth organizations throughout the United States