Monday, February 12, 2018

Meet The Author: Actress Comedienne Author Rhonda Shear @rhondashear


Actress. Comedian. Award-winning entrepreneur. Builder of a $100 million apparel brand. Television star. Former Miss Louisiana. Candidate for elected office. Philanthropist. And now, author. There aren’t many hats that Rhonda Shear hasn’t tried on, and she’s worn them all with style, moxie, southern charm, and a persistent will to be the best.

A New Orleans native, Rhonda started her journey to the spotlight by dominating local, state, and national beauty pageants from the time she was sixteen—including three turns as Miss Louisiana. In 1976, in the wake of a Playboy modeling scandal that cost her a coveted crown, she became the youngest person ever to run for office in Louisiana, losing her fight for a New Orleans post by only 135 votes.

After that, Hollywood called, and she quickly moved from Bob Hope specials to guest appearances on hundreds of television shows, from Happy Days and Married With Children to appearing on classic Chuck Barris camp-fests like The Gong Show and the $1.98 Beauty Show. Rhonda’s big break came in 1991 when she became the sultry-smart hostess of late-night movie show USA: Up All Night, a gig that lasted until 1999 and made her nationally famous.

After Up All Night ended, Rhonda pursued her love of comedy and quickly became a headliner in Las Vegas and at top comedy clubs like The Laugh Factory and the Improv. At the same time, she reconnected with her childhood sweetheart, Van Fagan, who she hadn’t seen in twenty-five years. After a whirlwind, storybook courtship, they married in 2001.

Rhonda’s latest chapter began when she appeared on the Home Shopping Network to sell women’s intimates. Her appearance was a sensation, and she and Van quickly started a company, Shear Enterprises, LLC, to design, manufacture and sell Rhonda’s own line of women’s intimate wear. Today, that company has grown to more than $100 million in annual sales, and Rhonda has won numerous entrepreneurship awards—though she still refers to herself as a “bimbopreneur.”

Today, Rhonda and Van live in a magnificent house in St. Petersburg, Florida, where she engages in many philanthropic projects, supports numerous charities for women, and works on new books.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | YOUTUBE CHANNEL



About the Book:

Title: UP ALL NIGHT
Author: Rhonda Shear
Publisher: Mascot Books
Pages: 275
Genre: Memoir/Women’s Self-Help

BOOK BLURB:
Up All Night combines memoir and self-help to follow Rhonda Shear’s incredible journey from modest New Orleans girl to bold, brassy, beautiful entrepreneur and owner of a $100 million Florida lingerie company.

Along the way, Rhonda has been a beauty queen, a groundbreaking candidate for office, a Playboy model, a working actress, a late-night TV star and sex symbol, a headlining standup comedian, an award-winning “bimbopreneur” and a philanthropist who uses her success to help women of all ages be their best and appreciate their true beauty.

Up All Night is also a love story. Rhonda reconnected with her first love, Van Fagan, after 25 years apart, and after a whirlwind romance in The Big Easy, they married in 2001. Now they share a fantasy life of luxury—but it hasn't come easily. In this book, Rhonda shares the lessons she’s learned along the way: never let anyone else define you or tell you what you can’t do, make your own luck, and do what you love.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble



What first inspired you to write or who inspired you?

I started writing a lot when I started working as an actress in Hollywood in the 1970s. I worked with a wonderful performer, comic and singer named Kenny Ellis, and we wrote a lot of our own material. So I suppose you could say that Kenny was my first inspiration as a writer.

At what age did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I didn’t know that I wanted to be a writer, honestly. I wanted to be a performer. First, I thought I would be a news anchor in my native New Orleans. Then I went on to win beauty pageants, act on TV and in movies, host USA: Up All Night for seven years, be a headlining standup comic, and start my own company. But it wasn’t until a few years ago that I really thought about writing my memoir.

Do you take notes when reading or watching a movie?

No, but as a lifelong performer, you see the classic points of a good novel or screenplay: the turning points, the point of no return for the main character, the dark night of the soul, all that.

Do you have a day job?  What do you do?

I run my own very successful business, Shear Enterprises, LLC. We design and sell intimatewear for women. I love helping women feel beautiful no matter what their body type. 

Can you name three writing tips to pass on to aspiring authors?

Yes. First, just start. I had so many false starts in writing my book. Just write and don’t worry about it being perfect. Second, if you’re not sure how to handle part of your story, ask for help. I talked to some veteran writers about how to tell my story and got some great advice. Websites like Quora are wonderful for that sort of thing. Finally, don’t try to imitate someone else’s style. Be yourself.

Do you let unimportant things get in the way of your writing?

Well, I have a very busy life, so probably! I have my company, lots of charitable causes and fundraising parties that I’m always putting on, I travel a fair amount, and of course I have my 5 dogs—my babies. So yes, it’s hard for me to be disciplined. That’s why I think it’s vital to set aside time to write when you can.

What hours do you write best?

Usually in the evening. I’m not a morning person. I’m at my best after the sun goes down.

What are you currently working on?

I’m starting work on my next book, which will be about women and their body images and how to feel beautiful no matter what your age or size. It will also talk about lingerie and other products that can help women feel sexy. The working title is “Unmentionables.”

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