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Monday, April 23, 2018

 

Renee Antonia Launches her book blog tour of I'm Not Okay

...and giveaway!

When she wakes up in the morning, the first thing that goes through Alejandra's head is whether or not she will be forced into another anxiety inducing situation. The struggles of being a young adult living with an anxiety ridden brain becomes too much for Alejandra to deal with. So, with the help of her friends, she forces herself out of the bubble her anxiety has placed her in. She learns to conquer the fears she once thought would destroy her and learns to rely on herself more than she ever has.

Print Length: 203 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Publisher: BookBaby (June 24, 2017)
ISBN-13: 9781483598062

I'm Not Okay is available as an eBook at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and Apple iTunes

Book Giveaway Contest

To win a copy of the book I'm Not Okay by Renee Antonia, please enter using Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post. Giveaway ends on April 29th at 12AM EST. We will announce the winner the next day on the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!

About the Author

Renee Antonia grew up in the Los Angeles area with four siblings and two wonderful parents. Having such a strong support system enabled her to decide who and what she wanted to be. However, this question haunted her for years, because she couldn't quite pinpoint what exactly she saw herself doing for the rest of her life. She began to read a lot, hoping to find inspiration between the pages of a book. It was at this time that  she realized one thing. She loved sharing, reading, and writing. Renee decided that she wanted to be a writer, and since that day, she has taken any steps necessary to achieve that goal.

You can find Renee Antonia at:

Website: www.writingsbyrenee.com

Instagram: Instagram.com/renee_antonia_

Pinterest: Pinterest.com/writingsbyrenee

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16771475.Renee_Antonia 

---- Interview by Nicole Pyles

WOW: First of all, congratulations on your book! What inspired you to write, I'm Not Okay?  

Renee: I started writing I'm Not Okay when my anxiety was at its worst. I was dealing with the pressures of being a young adult, but at the same time dealing with both anxiety and depression.  While I was going through this time in my life, I tried to find something to help me get through the days that seemed impossible, but I couldn't find anything. So, at 19, I decided to write I'm Not Okay for the people who were in the same situation as I was and needed something to help them.

WOW: I think it's incredible you found a way to help others manage their anxiety through your writing and through this book. So, what led you to take the self-publishing route? What tips do did you learn that you can pass along to another writer interested in doing the same? 

Renee: I chose to self-publish because I'm Not Okay was a very personal book. I wanted this book to stay as true to what I wrote as possible. However, that meant I had a lot to learn, and as a 20 year old, it was overwhelming. My biggest tip would be to take your time and hire someone to help edit your manuscript. As I mentioned, I was only 20 when I self- published, and that led me to be very impatient and even though I am extremely proud of my book, I wish I would have taken my time and found someone to edit my book to bring it to the absolute best it could be.

"My biggest tip would be to take your time and hire someone to help edit your manuscript."


WOW: That is a very important tip! You have obviously successfully mastered juggling a full time job and still manage to write at the same time! How did you find the time to write this book? What advice do you have for people who struggle with time management?  

Renee: I wish I can say that managing working and writing is easy, but I cannot lie. It was tough to come home from a long day of work and write for another four or five hours, but that is what I had to do. I stayed up until three or four in the morning writing and then was up at six for work. I even stopped going out with friends as much, just so I could squeeze in a few more hours of writing. I was exhausted, but it was worth it. That's the best advice I can give is to write. Just write even when you don't feel like it. Once you create a habit out of your writing, it becomes easier to find time to write. The 30 minute lunch break you have suddenly turns in to three pages of work. It's as simple/hard as that.

WOW: That is impressive dedication! Well, I absolutely love the cover of your book. Were you involved in the design process at all?  

Renee: I absolutely love my cover as well! I was extremely involved with the design process. I knew I wanted something that was a little more darker so when I approached [book designer] Laura Gordon, I asked her to keep the shades dark. I also asked to have a girl and shattered mirror. Once I gave her the direction on what I wanted, she created a beautiful design that I immediately knew was perfect for I'm Not Okay. I almost shed a tear when I saw it come together so perfectly.

WOW: Your cover truly depicts the battle of mental health issues perfectly. Speaking of which, mental health is a subject close to my heart personally. How does mental health issues impact you personally and how did that inspire into your book and other writings?  

Renee: Since I started high school, I have struggled with both anxiety and depression. Trying to go through high school with these mental health issues was one of the hardest things I have ever had to go through. For a very long time, I was super ashamed of what I was dealing with and because of that shame, I had very low confidence. Everything that I was going through kind of created this perfect storm of opportunity. Because there was constantly something going on in my head, I decided to start writing. Then, once I realized that my anxiety and depression was nothing to be ashamed of, I started to write about it and share my stories. I'm Not Okay really helped me sort through my feelings and pushed me to learn more about my anxiety and how I can help myself get better. 


"Once I realized that my anxiety and depression was nothing to be ashamed of, I started to write about it and share my stories."


WOW: I second that as well! There is nothing to be ashamed of at all if you struggle with a mental health issue or mental illness of any kind! So, what is next for you? Will you be writing a sequel to I'm Not Okay

Renee: As of right now I have no plans for a sequel, but the amazing thing about I'm Not Okay is that Alejandra's story never truly ends. As she matures, her outlook on both life and her anxiety will change, and I think documenting that change is a real possibility. Right now, I am in the process of writing a duology that centers around a boy who lives in the Underground City in Seattle.

WOW: I can't wait to see what you come up with next. Finally, who do you hope reads I'm Not Okay and what do you want them to take away from the book?  

Renee: I hope that anyone, boy or girl, who is struggling with mental health in any capacity reads this book and understands that they are not alone. Anxiety and depression can make people, especially young adults, feel so crazy and isolated, and I want them to know that they are not. There are so many resources out there to help people struggling, and I hope that I'm Not Okay helps people understand that utilizing those resources does not make them any less of a person. If one person can read this book and seek the help they need, then all of the late nights and stressful hours of writing would be more than worth it.

WOW: Thank you so much for a powerful message for our readers and what a perfect time for that message to be conveyed. We can't wait to read the reviews when they come in.

---- Blog Tour Dates

April 23rd (Today) @ The Muffin
What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Come by Women on Writing's blog The Muffin and read our interview with Renee Antonia and enter to win a copy of the book I'm Not Okay. 
http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/

April 24th @ The World of My Imagination
Flex that imagination muscle when you come by Nicole's book and writing blog to read her opinion on Renee Antonia's book.
http://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com

April 25th @ Bring on Lemons
Get out that lemonade, when you check out Crystal's blog today and see what she thought about I'm Not Okay by Renee Antonia.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

April 26th @ Madeline Sharples Blog
Renee Antonia will be a guest writer today at Madeline Sharples' blog and will be talking about mental health, a very timely and important subject.
http://madelinesharples.com/

April 27th @ Lori's Reading Corner
Plant yourself into your reading corner while you read Lori's blog, where you'll have a chance to read another guest post by Renee Antonia.
www.lorisreadingcorner.com

April 28th @ Bookworm Blog
If you can't get enough books, come by Anjanette's bookworm blog to find out Renee Antonia's thoughts on mental health.
http://bookworm66.wordpress.com/

April 29th @ The Page Turner
Kayla over at her blog The Page Turner will be hosting Renee Antonia, who will be sharing her thoughts on short stories.
http://www.thepageturner.org/blog

April 30th @ The Nerdy Bookcase
Come by Molly's blog The Nerdy Bookcase to read her thoughts on Renee Antonia's book I'm Not Okay. 
https://thenerdybookcase.blogspot.com/

May 1st @ Mari's #WriteON!Journaling Blog
Make sure you visit Mari's blog where you can read another guest post by Renee Antonia on the poignant subject of mental health.
http://www.createwritenow.com/journal-writing-blog

May 2nd @ Coffee with Lacey
Drink coffee and read Lacey's blog today where you can catch Renee Antonia's thoughts on the books she is currently reading. You can also find out what Lacey had to say about Renee Antonia’s book, I’m Not Okay.
http://www.coffeewithlacey.wordpress.com/

May 3rd @ Write  Like Crazy
Today's blog post will want to make you read like crazy when you catch Renee Antonia's thoughts on short stories over at Mary Jo's blog.
writelikecrazy.com

May 4th @ Phytallic Blog
May the 4th be with you today when you visit Phytallic's blog and read her opinion on the book I'm Not Okay. 
https://phytallic.wordpress.com/

May 5th @ Bookworm Blog
Can't get enough books? Well come by Anjanette's blog today when she shares her thoughts on the book I'm Not Okay and interviews the author Renee Antonia.
http://bookworm66.wordpress.com/

May 6th @ Slightly Off the Mark
Stop by Mark Hunter's blog to find out Renee Antonia's thoughts on writing while working full time. Also, Mark interviews the author to tell us more about this incredible writer.
markrhunter.blogspot.com

May 7th @ A New Look on Books
Take a new look today when you stop by Rae's blog A New Look on Books when author Renee Antonia shares her thoughts on short stories.
http://anewlookonbooks.com/

May 8th @ The Page Turner
Kayla over at her blog The Page Turner will be sharing her thoughts on Renee Antonia’s book I’m Not Okay.
http://www.thepageturner.org/blog

May 10th @ Write Like Crazy
You'll want to read today's post over at Mary's blog Write Like Crazy when she shares her thoughts on Renee Antonia's moving young adult fiction book, I'm Not Okay. You can also enter to win a copy of the book too!
writelikecrazy.com

May 11th @ The Faerie Review
Come by Lily's blog at The Faerie Review to find out her thoughts on Renee Antonia's book, I'm Not Okay. 
http://www.thefaeriereview.com/

May 11th @ Chasing White Rabbits
Come by Faith's blog Chasing White Rabbits to read her interview with Renee Antonia.
https://www.chasingwhiterabbits.me/blog

May 12th @ The Faerie Review
Stop by The Faerie Review again when blogger Lily interviews Renee Antonia about her book. See what this young adult fiction author had to say!
http://www.thefaeriereview.com/

May 18th @ Strength4Spouses
Renee Antonia will be over at Wendi's blog Strength4Spouses and will discuss mental health. Maybe this will give you strength to talk about this subject with those closest to you.
https://strength4spouses.blog/

May 20th @ And So She Thinks
Come by Francesca's blog to read her interview with Renee Antonia, author of I'm Not Okay
http://www.andsoshethinks.co.uk/

May 21st @ Strength 4 Spouses
The last stop on the tour is over at Wendi's blog Strength4Spouses when she shares her thoughts on Renee Antonia's book I'm Not Okay. 
https://strength4spouses.blog/

Keep up with more stops on this tour on Twitter @WOWBlogTour

*****BOOK GIVEAWAY*****

To win a copy of the ebook I'm Not Okay by Renee Antonia, please enter using Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post. Giveaway ends on April 29th at 12 AM EST. We will announce the winner the same day on the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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8 Comments:

Anonymous Annie said...

Great blog post and congrats on writing about this topic!

8:08 AM  
Blogger Crystal Otto said...

Such a lovely author and book - thank you ladies for this interview as well! Can't wait to read more throughout the tour!

8:27 AM  
Blogger Renee Antonia said...

Thank You! I can't wait for the rest of the tour!

10:18 AM  
Blogger Alejandra Castro said...

Hi Renee,

I stumbled onto your blog post and feel like it was meant to be and couldn't have come at a better time for me
My name ia also Alejandra and I grew up in Southern California.
I recently discovered that I had anxiety - I just didn't know the name to it before.
I can't wait to read the book and look forward to more to come!

7:42 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

What an inspiring interview! :)

Renee, I can't believe you wrote your book at 19 and self-published at 20. You are a go getter! Hang on to that, it will take you far.

I admire you for writing about your struggles with anxiety and depression, and I'm sure it'll help others who are going through the same thing.

Good luck on the rest of your tour! :)

10:49 AM  
Blogger Renee Antonia said...

Thank you so much for your kind words! I hoped that this book would be there for anyone who needed it. Anxiety can be so isolating, so I hope that I'm not Okay helps people understand that they are not alone! There is such a huge community of people ready to be there with you!

12:37 PM  
Blogger Buddy Garrett said...

Thanks for having the courage to share your story. I'm sure reading your book will help a lot of people.

5:55 PM  
Blogger Mary Horner said...

Congratulations on your book, can't wait to read it!

7:25 PM  

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