Reny is featured in Stone in the Surf Press

Reny Ryan is featured in Indie Website

“Reny is an amazing woman with an incredibly captivating Brazilian accent and glowing personality that makes you want to sit and listen to her stories for hours.  I wasn’t sure what to expect from the book.  Yes, it is about the good, the bad, and the sometimes not so pleasant art of waxing, but it is far more than that.  Reny gives us a peek into the lives of a broad cross section of people and cultures and opens our eyes (I said eyes!) to how a simple change in one’s exterior appearance can create a significant change in one’s self perception.  I admire her courage for writing this book and wish her the best of success.  I see an HBO series in her future.  Please support a wonderful indie!”


Stones in the Surf

Story about the Story

Soon after I began my skin care practice, I realized a few things.  First, I love waxing and the great look that results from it.  Because I’m personable, enthusiastic and supportive to my waxing clients, they soon become comfortable enough with me to share stories about themselves.   And because waxing private areas is closely associated with peoples’ sex lives, I hear stories that even therapists won’t be told.  What people will say when they are in half-naked, compromising positions having hot wax applied to their private areas can be hilarious.

The same clients who provided me with the stories encouraged me for over a decade to put them into a book.  I was very reluctant because I never considered myself a writer.  But the idea grew on me and, further, I thought it would be fun to educate readers about the Brazilian culture, and the origins of Brazilian waxing to my joyful, sun-worshipping and body-celebrating country.

What I initially thought might be a one to two year, part-time process took five painstaking years from first drafts to publication.

Why you chose to go “indie”

I decided to self publish because I was inexperienced and intimidated.  I felt overwhelmed by the whole process of finding an agent.  Because English is my second language, I knew I needed editing help to give my stories credibility before presenting them to “professionals” to develop and market.  I was also intimidated because the topic of waxing male and female private areas makes many people uncomfortable.  One Midwest agent told me “This is America, not Brazil. You’ll never succeed trying to tell these risqué stories to the American public. Throw your manuscript in the garbage.”

In addition, I refused to use clinical terminology for the word “pussy” (which in my Brazilian accent comes out more like “poosie”).  My clients and I feel that this is a cute and endearing term that breaks down mental barriers for them to become comfortable with and proud of their bodies.  Another agent tried to dissuade me from using the term “poosie”.  She insisted that “female genitalia” or “vulva” would be more appropriate.  I was very discouraged by feedback like this, but my gut feeling to continue writing my stories persisted.  As time went by and Brazilian waxing became more mainstream in American culture, I figured were ready to know more about “poosie waxing”.

Biggest mistake(s)

I knew that the waxing stories themselves were great raw material.  However, I knew making them into easy reading “vignettes” in a book form would take some combination of professional ghostwriting and editing.  My biggest mistakes were have the wrong people help me in these areas.  I had friends and family who volunteered their efforts knowing I had a low budget, and professional writers who returned drafts that looked technically correct but put me to sleep.  I wanted the stories to retain my own voice and feeling as much as possible, but the more help I got, the less the stories sounded like me.  At one point, some drafts had the fingerprints of several editors on them.  This was costly, frustrating and time-consuming.  Only by trial and error did I find the editor who had the right combination of technical skill, tone and voice to clean up the stories get them ready for publication.

Best thing(s) that happened

I’ve been invited to book signings, book clubs and amateur storytelling events.  Telling an audience that, “I wax ‘poosies’ for a living” always seems to put everyone in the right mood and allows me to develop my storyteller side.  Overall, the people I’ve met along the way, and the friendships that have blossomed are to me the biggest rewards of all.

Word of encouragement to other upcoming “indie’s”

DO NOT allow anyone to discourage you.  Trust yourself and be persistent.  It may take a while but sooner or later you’ll be rewarded.

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