What’s in a name? Well, InterviewHer.com asked the co-author of the book Skinny Bitch, Rory Freedman, just that.
“I hoped the title would be controversial and get attention in order to put the book out there. I’ve always heard there’s no such thing as bad publicity, so even if people were criticizing the title its still publicity, thus creating curiosity,” explains Rory Freedman, a now very successful author, animal activist and all around entrepreneur.
Rory, along with her business partner Kim Barnouin, are the co-authors of the book Skinny Bitch. The original book which started the franchise was released around six years ago. The book shot to fame when Victoria Beckham was pictured holding a copy while prancing down the street. After all, who wouldn’t be curious as to what a super skinny, super famous celeb is doing holding a book entitled Skinny Bitch? Since then the duo has followed up the best seller with a series of “Skinny” books: Skinny Bitch Bun in the Oven, Skinny Bastard, Skinny Bitch in the Kitch and Skinny Bitchin’. Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve heard of the “skinny” revolution.
While the books certainly lend helpful advice and motivation in the never ending battle to be fit and trim. The series delves into much deeper issues, such as nutrition for the body and mind, animal rights, challenges and virtues of upholding a vegan diet, mental health, and lifestyle choices. Rory admitted to InterviweHer.com how her inspiration for the book is not as superficial as the title sounds, “I came to realize that for so many women it was all about being skinny. So, I knew in order for these women to pick up my book [and benefit], I had to make sure they thought it would be all about getting skinny.”
Before finding her voice as an author, Rory spent 5 lucrative years of her life as a top agent at Ford Models in New York. While the job helped pay the bills she was not feeling fulfilled. It’s during this time Rory grew restless; she believed she was put on this planet to do more than promote another pretty face. She found her interest shifting to more spiritual and rewarding pursuits. One of those causes closest to Rory’s heart was her love for animals.
“One day, I was at an animal rights conference and within five minutes of it beginning I decided to quit my job. At the time I was also reading a lot of spiritual books and a quote came to mind, ‘leap and the net will appear.’ I just believed the universe would help me with the path I was meant to be on, so I took the leap!” exclaims Rory. However, she is quick to let InterviewHer.com know the transition was not easy. After leaving Ford, she tried to get hired by non-profit organizations dedicated to preventing the abuse and inhumane treatment of animals, but couldn’t find a single job. Her high hopes suddenly began to sink as she found herself jobless, ending her relationship with her boyfriend, and quickly running out of money.
With hard times knocking and nothing going right, Rory decided to try her hand at teaching, “My thought behind this was, if I’m not going to change the world the way I want then I’ll do it through teaching children everything I’ve learned.” Enter Kim Barnouin. Kim was a friend with a master’s degree in nutrition. Like Rory, Kim believed she had something positive to contribute to the world and felt a desire to be heard. Kim’s and Rory’s collective entrepreneurial spirit led them to collaborating on their first book. Their diverse backgrounds and interests made for the perfect partnership. Kim brought all the nutritional and dietary information to the book, and Rory focused on the animal rights aspects which entailed research on factory farms and slaughterhouses. “You see, the reason the book falls into line with animal rights is because it promotes a vegan diet. I know this might all sound extreme to people because it certainly did to me, but that was before I became vegan. Once I learned what gets done to animals just so I can eat them… it changed my perspective and had the most profound effect on my life,” Rory sates.
Although, it quickly became a hit with readers and it was on the LA Times bestseller list, it was not yet at pop culture icon status. That is, until Victoria Beckham picked up the book and the rest is history. Her thoughts on the books chance encounter with its famous celeb? “We were VERY fortunate,” she expresses.
“Honestly everything was just so easy and so meant to be. I went out to dinner with some friends in NY and while catching up with them I mentioned my idea to write a book called Skinny Bitch. They loved the idea and told me how they just got a book deal. They put me in touch with their literary agent to see if she would be interested in representing me. After that conversation a proposal was quickly put together, presented, and signed.” This is what Rory explained to InterviewHer.com.
Of course the author’s did have to research the nitty-gritty of how to get started and how to present a book when looking for an agent. Rory eagerly shared some advice, “The work part is hard, but for most people the hardest part is just starting. Just taking that first step is so important and don’t look at the entire thing which can seem very daunting. I got a book called Writers Market and it really broke down and details the process. You don’t have to write the entire book; instead I learned to just have the idea, an outline, a proposal and three chapters. With these things hopefully you land an agent. I just decided to take one manageable bite at a time.”
The author’s of Skinny Bitch treated their book project as if it were a child – by raising it from birth. A lot of people can write a book, but the hard part comes in raising and nurturing its readership. After the book was written it remained the authors’ fulltime job to promote it and make sure the public was aware of it. The experience was exhausting and a lot of work for the two women, but it proved more than worth it.
Since the start of the Skinny Bitch book series, Rory and Kim have been able to reach millions of women and even men in their quest to educate people on the benefits to proper nutrition and eating habits. They continue to inform many of the cruelty performed towards animals in order to satisfy ones desires to eat meat. Fans from all over the world write to the authors and expressively tell them of the positive change the book has had on their lives.
Written by: Bridgette Larcada
Edited by: Jenny Ortiz