10 Questions With Hollywood Actress and Author Mirtha Michelle 10 Questions With Hollywood Actress And Author Mirtha Michelle Hollywood actress and author Mirtha Michelle spoke with SWAAY this week, to discuss the launch of her new book “Letters, To Women Like Me.” Mirtha’s life in Hollywood has earned her a roster of figures for her books as she has also built up a significant circle of influence, including close friends like Selena Gomez and Zendaya. This third book, follows two very successful love poem compilations that have earned her considerable praise and respect amongst other contemporary poets. Below she discusses love, life, loss and how poetry has pervaded her entire life. 1. What drew you to write poetry? Poetry has been a natural passion of mine since I was a child. It’s part of my life, like a sport is to an athlete. 2. What are some of your childhood memories that inspire your writing? Love is always a muse but my first inspirations came from missing my native country of Dominican Republic. I was born by the ocean, so my first works always had hints of the ocean. 3. Which of your current life moments keep inspiring your poetry? Love, life and loss. Maybe, not the painful immigrant story but more like the loss of people in my life. I am woman who believes and walks in love; a woman who continues to hope for a better future for myself and my family; a woman who dresses in strength and gets up after any failure. 4. Your new book is titled “Letters to Women Like Me” – How would you describe the woman “like you”? Who is the woman you are addressing? I am a woman who turned a negative experience into a positive. I am woman who believes and walks in love; a woman who continues to hope for a better future for myself and my family; a woman who dresses in strength and gets up after any failure. I think there are many women who are like me, but sometimes need reminding. This book can serve as a reminder. It’s a very relatable book. 5. What is your biggest goal with this new book? What is the overall message behind the Letters, to women like me? My biggest goal with the book aside from empowering and uniting women is to provoke anyone who reads it to understand themselves. We take so much time getting to know other people that we don’t always take the time to build a relationship with ourselves. In this book I share many questions that led me to get to know myself better. The moment I built a strong sense of self I was able to confidently pursue my dreams and happiness. 6. What has been your biggest career challenge thus far? How did you overcome it? I think I’ve encountered many challenges but I’ve learned that my mind will always be the biggest challenge. Overcoming pessimistic thoughts and replacing them with positive thoughts of myself has made a huge difference; and that takes work. 7. As a woman in Hollywood, how do you approach personal growth and self-development to always stay confident in your own skin? I’ve never been afraid of making mistakes. I can’t live passionately and expect not to make mistakes. I believe mistakes always teach me valuable lessons which help my growth. But overall you have to program your mind to think positive thoughts. That helps your confidence at all times. 8. What is the process of self-publishing? What’s the advantage of being self-published vs. going through a publisher? The advantage is the control you have and always owning the rights to your work. The disadvantage is the amount of work that goes in to a project. Being my own publisher I have to rely on free-lancers, word of mouth and my own marketing efforts. 9. What has been your most efficient strategy to market your books and build up such a loyal readership? I’d say social media has been an essential help. I think it helps the word of mouth efforts because people can easily check your work out by clicking on a hashtag. 10. What are your top 3 advice pieces for the young women looking up to you and hoping to rise to the spotlight one day? Firstly, I’d say to learn yourself and place yourself first. Especially when you’re young, because so many times young people dedicate so much time to a significant other that their identity gets lost. Secondly, don’t share your aspirations with everyone. Not everyone will be supportive of your dreams, listening to other peoples’ opinions can cause confusion and lack of confidence. Thirdly, be assertive and have genuine conviction. In a world in which people lack authenticity, stand up for the things you believe in and be proud of who you are, where you come from, and where you want to go. Listen to the full interview with Mirtha on Entrepreneurs En Vogue Podcast. Iman Oubou Aside from being the founder and Editor-In-Chief of SWAAY Media, Iman is also Miss New York US, a philanthropist, a champion of Women Entrepreneurs, a Scientist and a Fashionista. She is the host of the popular podcast Entrepreneurs En Vogue, powered by SWAAY.