An unkind professor and distaste for the word “no” turned Christina DeMara into a self-published and internationally appreciated author, at least according to her own account.
She has written Christian interactive journals, a guide for Lent season filled with scriptures and reflections, an “Early Life Leadership” series for youth, and in March will release a forgiveness journal titled “Peace is Mine.”
DeMara will host a book signing at the Barnes & Noble located at Palms Crossing in McAllen at 3 p.m. Saturday, coinciding with her birthday.
“What’s the best way to spend your birthday,” she asked and answered, “with your books and people that support you.”
The Mission resident grew up in San Diego, dropped out of high school at the age of 15 and carved her own path to success.
From then on she threw herself into work and often worked several jobs at a time.
“I didn’t really know anybody that went to college, so it was never really an option for us,” she said.
Throughout her struggles her faith remained strong, and when things got hard she turned to God.
Now a mother and entrepreneur, DeMara holds three master’s degrees.
After returning to school, DeMara decided to pursue nursing and was discouraged by a professor who she said was unkind.
“I went home and I was crying and I told my mom, ‘If I was a teacher, I’d never treat my students like that,’” she said.
This is when her mother suggested she become a teacher.
By switching her major to focus on education and in picking up writing, DeMara instructs others how to work toward becoming a Christian leader. She considers her books her “humble attempt” to make the world a little better.
“We tend to pick up leadership skills from people that have led us,” she said. “But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right. When you are a Christian leader… you try to lead from the eyes of your faith. Try to listen and understand. (Be) slow to anger. Lead with integrity; lead together.”
Within the year, she will be releasing at least another four books. Her writing process was described as a “cycle constantly turning.” When feeling uninspired, she’ll put it down and resume or get started with another idea.
DeMara writes intentionally for a diverse audience. She said her interactive journals are suitable for anyone looking to nurture their leadership capabilities, self-reflect and strengthen their relationship with God and can be purchased through Barnes & Noble or amazon.com.
With e-books available, downloads have come from India, Canada, Japan and Australia.
A portion of the proceeds from her book sales from the signing will go toward the nonprofit Global Family Visions, which provides grants to provide clothing, GED classes and more to children in need.
For more information, visit christinademara.com.