While attempting to sell herself to Penguin Random House, Amalia Andrade told executives to believe in her because she’s “going to be the Beyonce’ of books”. And just like Beyonce’, after spending an evening listening to her speak about  life, heartbreak, and art - we are officially best friends in my head. (Hey Amalia! Brunch on Sunday?!)

Repping theGIRLMOB set, I had the pleasure of attending an intimate evening at Buzzfeed HQ on Jan 24th to celebrate the release of Amalia’s bestselling book in English, “You Always Change the Love of Your Life (For Another Love or Another Life)”. This follows the success of the original Spanish version plus her two previous works: “COSAS QUE PIENSAS CUANDO TE MUERDES LAS UNAS/Things You Think When You Bite Your Nails”, a book about fear and anxiety, and “TAROT MAGICOMISTICO DE ESTRELLAS (POP)/Magical-mystic Tarot of Pop Stars”, which dives into the magic and healing world of Tarot.

Highly recommend. 5/5 stars.

Highly recommend. 5/5 stars.

Amalia was born in the small city of Cali in the Valle del Cauca department of Colombia, and jokingly made the reference that if we’ve heard of it at all it’s probably because of Netflix & Chilling to Narcos. This is where her love of writing took hold at a young age. She spoke about the stories her mother would tell her about how she always wanted to be a journalist -- but was told that journalism wasn’t a “woman’s job”. Because of this, La Mamma (her mother) nurtured her passion for writing; encouraging her to chase all her dreams by any means necessary.

I arrived that evening expecting to meet an author who had written a book about the soul sucking pits of hell that is heartache. I was not prepared, however, to form an emotional connection with someone I’d never met. Writers tend to think of one another as kindred spirits. But Amalia’s humor and authenticity struck a chord with(in) me. The multiple rounds of Prosecco probably didn’t help either. By the end of the night I had laughed, cried, hugged, shared, asked, received, and best of all, left revitalized.

A few takeaways from Amalia’s interview:

  • You can never please everyone. After hearing the “Beyonce’ of books” affirmation, one of her initial critics described Amalia and her work as “very ambitious...but after you read the book it turns out she definitely is not. Beyonce’ has everything figured out and Amalia clearly doesn’t” (the room erupted in laughter at this, myself included). If Amalia had listened, she would not be the bestselling author she is now. So don’t give too much of a shit about people who are less than kind about your work or just don’t get it at all. Because there are, and will be, so many others that will feel loved and touched by it.

  • We (aka society) need to renounce the idea of romantic love that we’ve been taught. And reconstruct it. Collectively, we truly don’t know how to love. Amalia says it’s not our fault - that the Little Mermaid is to blame lol. Ariel gave up economic stability and her most cherished talent for some idiot she met once on a beach. How is that romantic? How is that love? She spoke about the relationship that prompted this book, and how checking into a rehab center after the breakup because of all the  pain was life changing. How she called and told them she needed help - that she didn’t think going to a therapist one day a week and then pretending things were okay was going to work. Begrudgingly, they took her in, not because of a drug addiction or alcoholism...but for heartache. Her time in the center helped her understand how we relate to each other, and that we truly have no idea how to love. She talked about needing less math in schools, and more on “how to deal with emotions”. Her book discusses in detail how scientific research has shown that a devastating break up cause similar responses in the heart and mind as that of a heart attack. Whew.

  • Best love advice: “It ain’t over til it’s over” - Lenny Kravitz. But when it’s over, let it be.

Conclusion: this book is for everyone. And I mean EVERY ONE. Buy it if you let the love of your life go and are like what the fuck did I just do. If you were born with a broken heart. If you broke up with your best friend. If you lost your cat, dog, or the person you were dating in your head started dating someone else in real life. If you’ve broken your own heart. If you just need a laugh. Trust me. Your healing matters. Your feelings matter. And, if you’re a self-deprecating writer like me finding your place in the world, your voice matters too.

Lisa Holmes is a writer and regular contributor for theGIRLMOB. Stay tuned for more of her pieces!