Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am a mom and small business owner. I have written 2 books for my children. The first one [MBA Before College] was to teach them MBA (Master of Business Management) principles I learned at business school, and I encourage them to start their own business and manage their own fate as early as possible and when they are ready. I think the word “job” as we know it will be outdated for their generation. The second book [Habits for Better Vision] is based on our 5-year journey to help my son to reverse his nearsightedness and improve eyesight without glasses naturally and holistically.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
5 years ago, when my son was 9 years old, the ophthalmologist told him he needed prescription glasses for his nearsightedness (myopia). My son was sad, he thought he’d be teased by others and his “tennis career” would be over. I had faced career challenges in 2012-2013, I was guilty of neglecting my son. With my biomedical engineering education and my husband’s ophthalmologist background, we were determined to heal my son’s eyesight. I read medical books and published scientific studies, collected many anecdotal stories, bought programs by natural vision coaches. Together, we tried new habits and routines in managing stress, doing eye exercises, improving nutrition, involving outdoor and indoor changes, the right way using electronic devices… I started to have other parents asking me these questions. I also see the alarming statistics in my research: 5 billion world population will be myopia in 2050; America: 42% of myopic people; in some developed Asian countries: youth myopia is 80-96.5%. So I decided to write this book to empower more and more people to take care of their eyes and vision.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I writes whenever I have a slot of 20 minutes or more, I usually don’t have the luxury to write several hours at a time, so I use the tomato-timer-way to write. I found when I have a bigger mission than just myself, I am motivated to write.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I am so grateful for so many authors, they all influenced me very much in mind, body and spirit. I love reading, I read a couple of books a week. I love Dr. Wayne Dyer and Louise Hay. But recently, the book stuck in my mind was Anne Lamott’s book “Bird by Bird” which was published in 1995. When I feel overwhelmed in my work, writing, family obligations, and book marketing, I just tell myself, “bird by bird, Aileen, bird by bird.” – Which means even facing the tightest deadline, I just need to start doing one thing at a time. And being present. The same is for book writing, it start with writing one word at a time.)
What are you working on now?
I want to share my parenting journey. I had high profile career before having children in my mid-30s. When career and family conflict, I went through pain, loss and transformation. It is a journey of self-discovery, self-improvement, as now I see raising children is also raising myself. A journey I started with confusion, but now with peace, joy and appreciation. I am very grateful that my children gave me the patience and love to allow me to grow into my better self.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Speaking is the most effective way to connect and sell, because the audience can hear your story that comes from your heart. I spoke at 3 events last week, a mom from the audience told me I was the messenger to bring answers to her prayers. Her 9-year-old son was also told to wear glasses for the rest of his life, she didn’t know what to do. She said, “I didn’t know why I came to this meeting, now I know you are the reason. You brought the answer to my prayers” There are many lifelong myopic adults told me how liberating my message was, and I answered their questions on myopic headache, contact lens problems, surgery dilemma, nutrition etc. Although time consuming, it is very rewarding. I hope I have a bigger stage to speak to more people.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Readers want two things: entertainment or problem solving. If you write from those two motivations, it’s just a matter of time that you see the reward.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
“Forget about fame; write what’s worth writing”.
What are you reading now?
I read old and new and different ones for different mood:
1. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
2. Capital in the Twenty-First Century
3. The life-changing magic of tidying up: the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing
4. Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease
What’s next for you as a writer?
I love writing, I will continue to write every day. I also want to be a speaker to make a difference in the world.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
1. Tao Te Ching
2. Power vs. Force
3. The Lord of the Rings / Harry Potter series (for entertainment)