MEET THE AUTHOR

Meet the Author: Mamta Valderrama

We are so excited to welcome Mamta Valderrama into the world of #GozenGirls today. As a new author, Mamta has just launched her debut book – A Girl in Traffick. A story about twelve-year-old Juhi Gupta who loves her simple life in a remote Indian village. She and her mother and father might be poor, but they’re happy. Then one day, everything changes…

Mamta is an author, speaker, and entrepreneur, bringing to light social justice issues, particularly those that impact children. We asked Mamta what he journey into the world of writing has been like and what inspired the book.

DID YOU ALWAYS HAVE A VISION THAT YOU WOULD ONE DAY WRITE A BOOK?

Not always, but yes, for the past 10 years or so, I knew I wanted to write this book. The notion to write a book was particularly strong while I was working for a large dialysis company. I felt like that old phrase – a square peg in a round hole. I was not comfortable in my own skin for a long time forcing myself to be something that I wasn’t. I even said to my boss at one point that I wasn’t meant to be there and that I should be writing. It took me a few years after that to take the leap, and I’m so grateful I did.

SINCE YOU RELEASED A GIRL IN TRAFFICK WHAT HAS LIFE BEEN LIKE FOR YOU?

Happy and busy! I am literally living my dreams. I think about that every day. I don’t know many people who can say that truthfully. How lucky am I?! I stay busy with my speaking tour, both locally in Los Angeles, and elsewhere. I have also started very early research for my next book, but have no idea when I will actually get time to write.
One of the reasons I chose a writing career is for the flexibility. I take care of our 1.5-year-old daughter. She is my number one priority so I only work two days each week while she is in daycare. The other three days, we are together and she is my sole focus. I avoid my phone and computer on those three days unless absolutely necessary.

When I travel for work, I take my daughter with me. I’ll be honest, it’s been a tough transition going from a road warrior who traveled almost every week for work, to now traveling for work with a baby. But we’re making it work, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I wouldn’t be able to focus while on the road if she wasn’t with me. Maybe I will feel differently when she’s older, but for now, as a first time mom, we stick together.

BECAUSE OF HEARTBREAKING STORY BEHIND THE BOOK OF ORGAN TRAFFICKING, WERE YOU WORRIED ABOUT THE BOOKS RECEPTION?

I wasn’t worried about the reception because of the tragic nature of the topic, I was more worried that people wouldn’t like the writing! But the difficult subject matter did drive my decision to write fiction instead of non-fiction. My goal with A Girl In Traffick is to raise awareness about organ trafficking, a type of human trafficking that gets very little media attention. I intentionally wrote it as a thriller to get more people interested, engaged, and educated about this important issue. So far I’m grateful for the very positive reception with, of course, a few exceptions. We can’t please everyone!

WHAT 3 WOMEN INSPIRE YOU ON A DAILY BASIS?

 1) My mom. My mom and I are at the age now where in addition to a mother-daughter relationship, we are also friends. It’s a wonderful place to be and I admire my mom’s strength and perseverance. She was an entrepreneur before she retired, and she is an incredibly gifted public speaker. She started and ran a successful business while raising three children, with no help from extended family. I never heard her complain. If you ask her, she says she was just doing what she had to do.
2) Michelle Obama. This might sound trite, but I think about Michelle Obama’s quote almost daily – “When they go low, we go high.”I think about that when I’m at a crossroads or making decisions. I want to take the high road not only for myself, but to set as an example for my daughter.

3) No one in particular, but several female entrepreneurs who are hustling every day to make their dreams come true. Being an indie author, I’m my own writer, editor, marketing, and PR person. It’s a constant juggle of many different skill sets. I think about all the women who are balancing work, children, and running their households. They inspire me every day, and twice on days when I’m feeling discouraged or exhausted.

WHAT ARE 5 WORDS OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A BUDDING AUTHOR OR WRITER?

Just start writing. Edit later.

PRINT OR E-BOOK?

Print. I love to hold books in my hand, hear the rustle as a I turn the page, and that new book smell.

WHAT ONE BOOK WOULD YOU TAKE WITH YOU TO A DESERT ISLAND?

Just one?! My family album that I made. But that’s not what you’re asking. Probably The Lord Of The Rings or some other epic that I could get lost in and read over and over.

WHAT ONE PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR YOUNGER – SELF?

Listen to your heart and mind and pursue what you’re good at, not what others think you’re good. Don’t let others “should” on you.

WHAT DOES THE NEXT 6MONTHS LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?

Continuing with my speaking tour, immersing more of my time in research for my next book, training for the LA marathon, traveling with my family, and touring preschools.
Look out for our review of A Girl in Traffick coming soon.

My favourite 5 things in life are: My Family, Stationery, My Dog, Tartan and Books. My favourite 5 sweet treats are: Lemon Drizzle, Cherry Bakewell, Almond Croissants, Fruit Scones and Banoffee Pie. My 5 favourite guilty pleasures: My Laptop, Meditation, Paperchase, Lipstick and Cushions. My favourite possession(s): My family, my friends, my love. Top places I dream of visiting: Santorini, New York, Iceland, New Zealand and Bali.