Longtime friends, actress Kathy Kinney and veteran publishing executive Cindy Ratzlaff, wrote an inspiring women’s book that has turned into a social media phenomenon! QUEEN OF YOUR OWN LIFE: The Grown-Up Woman’s Guide to Claiming Happiness and Getting the Life you Deserve is a light-hearted guide to owning your authentic self. No matter what our ages, we can transform our thoughts, fill our lives with joy and finally proclaim:
I am fabulous, just the way I am!
How did the two of you meet and what inspired you to become “Queens of Your Own Life?”
We met one very hot, humid Wisconsin summer while working on the children’s play George and the Dragon. We have been friends now for over 35 years! During our time spent living in New York pursuing acting careers and the resulting myriad of survival jobs, including Director and Membership Director of the American Psychiatric Association; Assistant to the Head of Finance and Publicist Liaison for the Muppets at WCBS-TV – as well as producing, directing and starring in a number of improvisational comedy groups, we had created a half a life time of shared memories and exciting adventures. Queen of Your Own Life was inspired by our realization that we were entering the second half of our lives and our belief that with all the knowledge we had gained and hard battles we had fought this would be by far the best half.
What’s your mission?
We realized that the only thing it took to be Queen of Your Own Life was simply to say it is so and then live it – but it really helped to have a trusted agenda-free friend to support you. Everything that we have created was meant to give ourselves, and every woman we came in contact with, permission to be our authentic selves, beautiful with our warts and all. We wanted every woman to see that we are all more alike than different and that we are not alone.
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Your book was published in 2010. What can you share about the response to its release? What’s happening with the book today, five years later?
When the book was published we were overwhelmed by the response. When we had talked with our friends about the idea of giving yourself permission to be the Queen of your own life and throwing yourself a Crowning Party to celebrate accepting that you were a powerful woman, they were all for it. We hoped other women would like the idea but we had no idea how many women were searching for a way to give themselves permission to see their lives as an exciting adventure and to understand that they were the strong Queen of their own life who could and would survive anything that came their way. The book is still being sold on Amazon and we meet women everywhere we go who have bought it for themselves or as a gift and they always thank us for inspiring them and for offering comfort.
Since the book’s release, you’ve become a social media phenomenon with over 300,000 Facebook fans! Why is your message resonating with women?
We started the Facebook page as a place for women to come and support each other and to talk about the idea of being Queen of Your Own Life. We never imagined it would develop such a large following nor how much inspiration and comfort we would receive from the women who post there.
Tell us about Queenisms™-‐-‐what are they and how did you come up with the idea?
We began by blogging on our website and Facebook page but we soon realized that neither we, nor the women who followed us, had the time to read a full blog. We wanted to post a quick, positive affirmation that would be something that could change your thoughts about yourself and the direction of your day. We came up with the idea of a Queenism. We wanted to post it with a universal image that was
copyright free so we began to use photos from our own collections of fun vintage images. They became so successful that everyone began asking for a book of them and that’s why we wrote and published; Queenisms, 101 Jolts of Inspiration. It’s also available on Amazon.
Will you each share one of your favorite Queenisms?
We love these two because the first is a photo of Kathy’s mom and the second is Cindy’s mom.
I’m sure you’ve received feedback and stories from fans about the impact you made on their lives. Is there one story that stands out that you can share?
We had met a woman soon after we wrote Queen of Your Own Life. She was feeling bad because she hadn’t fulfilled any of the dreams that she’s had when she was younger. We told her we believed it was never too late to be the kind of woman you wanted to be. We talked to her about walking through her fears one tiny step at a time. We both were wearing small rhinestone brooches shaped like a crown. We gave her one of the brooches and told her we had confidence in her. A number of years later her daughter wrote and told us that her mother had passed away and they had buried her with her beloved crown brooch pinned on. She told us that her mother had never stopped talking about the day we met her and the advice we had offered her. Her mother had felt that on that day her life began to change for the better. It moved us more than you can imagine.
How have your fans’ responses impacted both of you?
We write the Queenisms because they are things that we need to hear but the responses of the women who follow us inspire us even more. These women share their stories and offer their experiences freely. It’s like having 300,000 wise, trusted, agenda free friends. We are filled with gratitude for this gift.
Most of our readers are moms of special needs kids, in particular children on the autism spectrum. What inspirational message do you have just for them?
It isn’t just Policemen and Fireman who are courageous. Courage is the woman who gets up everyday, puts a smile on her face and shows up for life – no matter what. If we could we would give every woman we know a medal to remind them of their bravery.
What’s on the horizon for Queen of Your Own Life?
We are very excited because we just licensed the contents of our Facebook page and all of our Queenisms for page-a-day calendars as well as gift books which will be available everywhere in September of 2015.
Is there anything else that you’d like to share?
Isn’t life more enjoyable when you know you’re not alone on the adventure?
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Find out more about their inspiring women’s book and Queenisms on: