Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Straight Talk

Today, I interviewed Daylle Schwartz. She talks about her journey from "Recovering Doormat," to music executive, to author and speaker. She also tells us how her new book, "Straight Talk with Gay Guys," which she describes as advice for straight women, fit into her journey. Questions for Daylle? Post them in the comments section.

Tell us about yourself.
I’m a speaker, self-empowerment counselor and music industry consultant and author of 9 books, including Start & Run Your Own Record Label (Billboard), All Men Are Jerks until Proven Otherwise, How to Please a Woman In & Out of Bed and Straight Talk with Gay Guys. After being a People Pleaser due to low self-image, I reinvented myself into a dual career. I began as a teacher and took a dare from students who said a white woman couldn’t rap. That led to me being the first white female rapper and one of the first women to start a record label. Now my music business books are some of the top sellers in the world. My music industry fans buy my self-empowerment books and subscribe to my Self-Empowerment newsletter and blog. Since starting, I’ve been on hundreds of TV and radio shows, including Oprah, Howard Stern and Good Morning America.

Tell us about your book, "Straight Talk With Gay Guys."
I interviewed 33 fabulous gay men—from gossip columnist Michael Musto to PETA activist Dan Mathews (also known as Pamela Anderson’s gay husband) to hairstylists from top salons—to advise women about straight men and self-empowerment. Their advice is very insightful and practical, presented with a mixture of humor and honesty.

Tell us how you developed two distinctive platforms in writing.
After recovering from DoorMat Syndrome and getting divorced (I married at 20), I vowed to never do anything I didn’t love again and burned my teaching license. I began teaching music business seminars that I put together myself. While running my record label I learned some good techniques for navigating the male dominated music industry and getting taken seriously without having to be tough and loudly assertive. My self-esteem increased dramatically as I worked on me. Women kept asking me how I was able to succeed the way I did. So I began my Nice Girls on Top workshop, and then one for guys. My platforms cross over. Women in the music industry see me as a role model as I’m one of the few females to reach my level in my field. The music business is about building relationships. I bring the lessons of one side of my career into the other. It works well for me, even though it gets a little confusing at times.

Fascinating. How did you come up with an idea for gay guys and what made you think this book was needed?
When I first left my husband, I had good professional confidence but was still a wimp with men—the old need a man to complete me mentality. So I let men get away with a lot, until my gay friends straightened me out. Their advice was much better than my girlfriends, who often spoke from the same point of desperation that I felt so they encouraged me to hang in, or were jealous and encouraged me to dump him so I’d be free to go out wit them. My gay friends pointed out my worth and taught me to value myself. I got a life and since then feel in control of myself with men. I wanted to share that kind of advice with more women so I wrote the book.

What were some of the challenges of writing a book for gay guys from the perspective of a straight woman?
It’s the other way around. For women. It was a totally delightful experience. I fell in love with each guy’s charm, and wished they were straight. They were so caring. You can see some of them in the videos for the book. ttp://www.youtube.com/wryterdds I wanted to bring the book to life because the guys have such great personalities. It’s one of the most viewed book videos. The music side of my career taught me about YouTube. I interviewed their marketing manager, who convinced me to do the videos.

How did you research your book? I asked around to find gay guys who women recommended and called hair salons, asking the women who worked there if they could recommend guys. Then I interviewed all 33 of them and wove their advice in with mine.

Your business is a mix of writing, consulting, speaking and teaching. How do you determine what falls into your business plan?
Every month is a crap shoot. I tell people that faith gets my bills paid. I never know where my income will come from but it always comes. I just got a speaking agent for the higher level gigs so I’ll see if that proves lucrative. I love it all so I keep my options open. I do book doctoring for others too and also write for magazines when I have time.

What kinds of things do you like to read?
I rarely have time to read books as when I do, I tend to keep reading till I’m finished and time doesn’t often allow for that. I love historical fiction and also Clive Cussler types of mystery action novels. But mainly I read magazines – a lot of health and fitness ones. For me, part of self-empowerment is nurturing your well-being. I read everything I can about how to be healthy. I sometimes write articles about alternative medicine.

Do you have one quirky writing habit that no one knows about you (yet?)
I love to sit propped up in my bed with my laptop and write. And I like to take my laptop out to diners for brunch and to coffee shops. The noise and energy motivate, not distract me.

What's next for you and how do we find your book?
I’m putting a lot of energy into my blog, Lessons from a Recovering DoorMat http://www.lessonsfromarecoveringdoormat.com/ and I greatly enjoy writing it. I make observations about things in every day life and about celebrities and others in the news that are examples of self-empowerment boosters or busters. I also talk about things I learned on the road to self-empowerment and give constructive advice. I’m writing my next book, Nice Girls on Top and researching another music business book. All my books are in stores or they can be ordered from my website. http://www.daylle.com/


Blogger Daylle Deanna Schwartz said...

Hi Kerri,

Thanks for including me on your blog. I created a post about it on mine. http://www.lessonsfromarecoveringdoormat.com/

Good luck with this great resource for writers!

12:01 PM CDT  

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