Monday, April 4, 2011

Spotlight on Mommy -- Mila Bernadkin, author of The Attitude Girl

This week's Spotlight Mommy is the author of The Attitude Girl, an inspirational book for young adults.  Check back on Friday for my book review and giveaway of Mila's book.  

And, now on to my interview with Mila -- Enjoy!

Name: Mila Bernadkin
Company Name/Product/Service:  The Attitude Girl, YA novel -- inspirational award-winning book.
Company Website: Book's website is  
Facebook URL:
Twitter Handle:!/lbernadkin
Favorite Inspirational Quotes: 
"The here and now is all we have, and if we play it right it's all we'll need." -- Ann Richards
“An aim in life is the only fortune worth finding. And it is not to be found in foreign lands, but in the heart itself.” -- Robert Louis Stevenson
“Shoot for the moon.  Even if you miss, then you’ll land among the stars." -- Les Brown
Favorite Book: All books of Joseph Heller.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.  How many children do you have?  What are their ages? Your hobbies? Etc.:

I was born and raised in Odessa, Ukraine, a beautiful resort city on the Black Sea. I emigrated from the former Soviet Union and came to the United States in 1977. In the USSR, I graduated from the Brest Music College, with a BA-equivalent degree in theory of music and music literature, and accepted a teaching position at a children’s music school. After moving to the States, I became a Senior Programmer-Analyst, working at several of the largest financial institutions in New York City. However, medical reasons forced my early retirement, and I realized my life-long dream of becoming an award-winning published writer.

I reside in Brooklyn, New York, with my daughter, who's 23. She graduated from Brooklyn College with honors and is now a graduate student at NYU, working on her Master’s degree.  I love to travel, listen to music and read.

Briefly explain your business.  How did it come about?:

Writing a book. When I lost my job, due to some medical problems, I took writing classes and started writing a book as part of my assignment. After classes were over, I just kept on writing.

What is a typical work day like?:

I haven't been working since I was fired. My health problems have escalated, and I've been living on Social Security Disability Income. Right now I've been working on publicity and promotion of my book.

What did you do in your past work life?: 

I used to be a teacher in a children's music school in the former Soviet Union. After moving to America, I became a Senior Programmer-Analyst, working at several of the largest financial institutions in New York City.

What have been some of your major successes?: 

In 2008, I submitted my manuscript for The Attitude Girl to the Arizona Authors Association Annual Literary Awards contest, and it became a First-place Winner! That win resulted in a publishing contract with Five Star Publications, Inc., and the book was published in June 2009. Later, the book was named a First-place Winner in the Young Adult/Teenage category at the 2009 London Book Festival, placed as a Finalist of the 2010 National Indie Excellence Awards, was selected as the Best Young Adult Novel of the Year by the 2010 Premier Book Awards, and additionally received four Honorable Mentions in 2009/2010 literary competitions. It sure makes me proud and gives me a sense of achievement and accomplishment!

What have been some of your major challenges?:

When I first came to the United States, it was a big challenge -- a different culture and a different language, starting from scratch and adopting to a new life... Now, every day is a challenge. I fight pain and keep going like there's nothing wrong, and I do it with a big smile -- that's a real challenge.  

On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?:

Knowing that there is no other way. As soon as you give up, you're done!

What is next for your business?:

I'll keep promoting my book and start developing new ideas.

Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business?: 

I don't have a business, but I can say this: If you have a dream, pursue it and never give up!

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