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Make-up Artist Bobbi Brown on "The Book that Changed My Life"

Make-up Artist Bobbi Brown on "The Book that Changed My Life"

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Published by Amy Holman Edelman
Check out April's The Indie Reader with contributions by Bobbi Brown, Seth Godin and more!
Check out April's The Indie Reader with contributions by Bobbi Brown, Seth Godin and more!

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: Amy Holman Edelman on Apr 06, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Book That Changed My Life
Bobbi Brown Founder of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics
What is the name of the book?
At the time, it didn’t have a name, as they were stories that my father created and wouldtell my siblings and me. Now the stories have been published by Scholastic into a booktitled “The Flights of Marceau: Race to the Rescue.”
How old were you when you read it?
I was about 4 or 5 years old when my dad began telling me stories about Marceau.
What character did you most identify with?
The main character is a man named Marceau, and I didn’t identify with him, per se, but Icame to love him because he always took the children on great adventures and taughtthem valuable lessons.
What was your favorite part?
That the good guys always won and the bad guys always lost.
Did you read it more than once?
My dad had so many stories featuring Marceau, and we read most of them more thanonce.
Why/How did it affect you?
Because I started listening to these stories when I was younger, I learned from my father how important it was to use your imagination and therefore developed a sense of creativity at a young age.
Did you pass it on to anyone?
My sons.
What are you reading now?
The Biography of Sam Walton.
Suggested Cross Sells for TBTCML
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Plan B
By Kia DuPree
I was in the eighth grade when I wrote my first book. It was about a girl who dropped outof college after she became pregnant during her freshman year. What did I know aboutcollege or being pregnant at thirteen? Not a thing. But the story was so real to me in myhead. The characters I created reminded me of real people I knew. My homeroomteacher noticed how committed I was to finishing it, and she asked if she could take apeek. After reading my ratty notebook, she volunteered to edit and submit it into a localwriting contest. I agreed and I won twenty-five dollars for honorable mention. I couldn’tbelieve it! Winning an award was confirmation that I just might be a good writer. Maybe, just maybe, I could write for the rest of my life like Judy Blume.Years later, when I finally realized getting a deal by just sending in my “magnificentmanuscript” to a publishing house was the equivalent of me flying to the moon, I knewthat there had to be another way. A good friend Paul Saunders, an entrepreneur in hisown right, asked me how much my dream was worth. I was totally confused by hisquestion. “Is your dream worth more than two thousand dollars?” Paul asked. “Yeah,” Isaid. “Then take two thousand dollars and publish your own book. Trust me. You’ll morethan double your money, if it’s any good.”Paul was right, so Plan B was initiated. I took two thousand dollars from my savingsaccount and found a printer who would print my novel
Robbing Peter 
, a novel aboutthree fatherless families. I never knew just how much work it would be after the twenty-five boxes of books arrived at my doorstep. I instantly became a publicist, a marketer, asales associate, a financial manager, an executive, you name it. I sold
Robbing Peter 
atwork, to friends and family, online, at the grocery store, hair salons and night clubs.Everywhere. It was a lot of work. To my surprise, it went on to win an honor book awardfrom the Black Caucus of the American Library Association in 2005. It was the first self-published novel to do so.Self-publishing taught me a lot about myself. I learned just how passionate I was aboutcreative writing. I’ve met people from all walks of life. Self-publishing also taught me howto be creative, multifaceted and resourceful. I attended the NYU Summer PublishingInstitute to learn more about the publishing industry and to meet influential people.Although, Robbing Peter didn’t get picked up, I learned a lot that helped sharpen mywriting skills and my approach to the industry. I began devouring books off of the NewYork Times best seller’s list, and then writing until I knew I had something special.

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