# Please introduce yourself and your book?
My name is Lauren Fernandez. I am the author of “Talk Back Barbie: The Secret Service Edition.” I graduated from Virginia Tech with my degree in Political Science: Legal Studies. Right after college I went to work for the Secret Service in Washington, D.C. I trained at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) and the James J. Rowley Training Center (JJRTC) for six months. After leaving the White House, I utilized my Top Secret: SCI/Full Scope Polygraph and accepted a job with a consulting firm in McLean, Virginia working with the Department of State, CIA, National Counterterrorism Center, and other Intelligence communities. I currently work for an energy company in Milton, Georgia while promoting my book on podcasts, radio shows, tv shows, and book signings. My life motto is: “If you trip and fall, laugh first, then get up and keep going! Because the only way you fail is to never get up.”
# Where are you from?
# What is the real-life story behind your book?
Me! I wrote “Talk Back Barbie” to share my personal experiences working for the Secret Service, while making people laugh at (or with) me. Think Legally Blonde meets Miss Congeniality and you get a feel for what Talk Back Barbie is all about. There are so many take-aways from “Talk Back Barbie.” First, how to thrive in a male-dominated career. Second, how hard work and dedication pay off in the end. Third, why not to judge a book (or a person) by its (their) cover. Fourth, how to work hard and achieve your dreams. And lastly, live, laugh, and learn through every obstacle, mistake, trial, and success in your life!
# In a few words tell us what “Talk Back Barbie” is all about?
“Talk Back Barbie” is about a sassy, ambitious, Southern blonde debutante who can’t keep her mouth shut. She joins the Secret Service and stirs up enough trouble and chaos that she becomes a White House legend—the one and only “Talk Back Barbie.”
# Why did you name the book “Talk Back Barbie?”
The title wasn’t hard to come up with since it was literally my nickname in the Secret Service. I have never been good at keeping my mouth shut or following orders. Yet, I thought it was a good idea to go into a military environment with a personality trait like that! What was I thinking? I always have an opinion on a matter. Whether you want to hear it or not that is up to you, but it won’t stop me from expressing it. While I was in training for the Secret Service, there was an incident where the Mean Technician screamed, spit, and yelled in my face so loudly that the team half a mile away could hear him. After he was done yelling, I kept asking questions because what he was yelling about didn’t add up to me. He was livid that I wouldn’t shut my mouth, so he sent me away. After that, my whole class called me “Talk Back Barbie.” And boy did it stick!
# How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you?
Thank goodness I haven’t had many bad reviews. But I don’t let negativity stick around. Understanding from the start that not everyone is going to like your book helps. Everyone is different and that is what makes us unique from one another. Lastly, focus on the good not the bad. Learn from the bad reviews and don’t take it personally.
# What were the best, worst, and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book?
Let’s start with the bad and work our way to the good things about writing. First, writing is hard. It takes a lot of personal time. Making sure you convey the characters and story just right was stressful for me. I wanted my readers to love it, feel like they were there with me during training, and laugh. This being my first book, I had a huge learning curve on how to write and describe situations just right.
The best thing I did was hire a professional editor to bring in a whole new perspective and light to the book. I edited what he edited, but we worked together really well. Getting a book out there on Amazon, Barnes and Noble (coming soon), and my website for people to buy was the most amazing feeling of accomplishment and success I could ask for!
The most surprising things about writing a book was probably how I remembered and came up with enough content to write a whole book. I thought I wouldn’t have enough stories, but I surprised myself with the content and how much I actually remembered!
# Tell us something quirky about yourself?
I usually answer this question by telling people I was in the Secret Service, but since that cool fact is already out there, I’ll go a different route. I absolutely love animals. I would have a million if I could, but for now I will stick with my three dogs and cat. I love wine and health. I live for my morning workouts. And I play tennis in my spare time. Our team just won the City Championship here in Georgia! I also run a book club because what writer doesn’t like to read? I love staying busy and working hard!
# What are your plans for another book?
I have some ideas for a second book. I will probably work with the same editor I used for Talk Back Barbie. The book will be a work of fiction, but nonetheless about Talk Back Barbie!
Author website: www.talkbackbarbie.com
Barnes and Noble: Coming Soon
Email: [email protected]