…we, as a society, are complaining for too little, finding excuses why we can not have a certain life or a certain love, when actually everything is possible! Just believe in it and don’t ever victimize yourself !
I had the pleasure to interview Angela Martini. Angela was born in Shkodër, Albania, but moved to Switzerland at the age of 10 before transplanting to the States. At 18 Angela signed with major modeling agencies, NEXT and Elite, walking in NYFW shows and landing herself in the 2008 edition of Sports Illustrated. Flash forward to 2010 where Angela competed in the Trump’s Miss Universe Pageant in Las Vegas, NV. And wound up placing sixth, missing the top 5 by fractions of a point. She currently holds the record for highest placing contestant representing Albania in the Pageant. Currently Angela is expanding her reach in the beauty & lifestyle space as an influencer, and is set to debut as a published author. The as-yet-untitled book will chronicle the hardships her mother endured in her native Albania, escaping communism and re-establishing herself as a successful woman in Switzerland where Angela was raised.
Thank you so much for joining us Angela! Can you share a story about what brought you to this particular career path?
Thank you so much for having me! Right after I met my husband (at that time — my boyfriend ), after many years of modeling, I remember I was feeling incomplete and unhappy because I didn’t know what exactly my calling was. It took me more than a year to find my direction. One night, very late — around 2am, I was feeling very sad and hopeless and I started crying because I was still unsure of how to move forward in my career. My husband started to question me about what I am passionate about, what kind of career would fulfill me, what I think would make me satisfied. I realized that I like studying the psychology of people and helping women. I am a girl’s girl — and I love to share real life stories in every conversation or opportunity I have. It was the moment when I realized that I have an amazing true story to share, coming from the closest person in my life, my mother — the story that I was telling as an example in almost every conversation trying to help women that were feeling down, overwhelmed by problems in love, career and life in general! This need to express myself in this way manifested in writing my new book.
Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career ?
I was in Switzerland, where I grew up, watching a reality tv show on MTV about models in Miami. My biggest dream was to be a model in the US, especially in New York. People would always tell me that I am “just a dreamer”, and had many people telling me that I wasn’t ready, and that I needed to build my portfolio. While watching that show, I decided in that moment to just leave Switzerland and to go to Miami, where I can prepare my portfolio with my ultimate goal of getting to New York. Just three days after that, I landed in Miami, booked one night at a hotel in Miami, had no agency appointment, barely speaking any English and I just went directly to one of the biggest agencies in Miami saying,“Hi, I am Angela Martini and I want to be a model!”. They were absolutely surprised by my approach, but reacted very nice! They said, “ We like you, we want you in our agency, but you need to go back to Switzerland until we can apply for your working visa.” I said, “No, I am staying here, not going nowhere and here is the deal: I will stay here in the model apartment , building my portfolio, working for free, you don’t have to pay me anything until I get my working visa!” That was the moment when everything in my life changed. My modeling career launched in NYC, which lead to being scouted to compete as the highest placing Miss Albania in the Miss Universe pageant, which has now lead me to where I am now, working on my first book! After living in the US for 11 years, I am excited more than ever to introduce my next chapter to the world!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that ?
Being that I have just begun my writing career, I haven’t yet come across any funny mistakes, I tend to take my work quite seriously, although I am sure they are bound to happen soon! Although now that I think about it, I had a situation recently where I lost a few chapters of my book because I misplaced my laptop. Now I’ve learned the valuable lesson of backing up my work.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
The most interesting project I am working on is my second book. It’s a self help book about relationships, based on my understanding of love and study of psychology. I am also producing two short films, with two unique messages I want to share with the world. One is about the philosophical idea of immortality, inspired by the Sumerians , the first great human civilization. The second film is about human trafficking, specifically women who are victims of human trafficking.
What is the one habit you believe contributed the most to you becoming a great writer? (i.e. perseverance, discipline, play, craft study). Can you share a story or example?
As I mentioned before, I guess my habit of studying people’s psychology and sharing stories contributed the most in my pursuing writing. My desire to help women during times of hardship also pushed me and inspired me to continue writing. I always say perseverance and discipline are the ingredients to achieving my goals.
Can you share the most interesting story that you shared in your book?
The book is full of interesting stories and I find it difficult to choose just one, I’ll share two examples:
The first story I can highlight is basically the main story of the book; the amazing story of a strong woman — my mother, Nexhi. She was born in the communist country of Albania, as one of six children in a very poor family, married four times (twice to the same man), having two children, finding true love at 47 years old, moving to Switzerland and learning German in few months, becoming a German teacher there, leading a humanitarian project for helping women for more than 20 years and eventually winning a UNESCO prize for this project, and facing difficulties with people trying to stop her from succeeding. It was through the sheer will of my mother that we were able to reconnect. We faced huge obstacles from the political system and from our own family as well.
The second story I want to share is a separate chapter from the book, the story of my Grandfather Muho when he was supposed to get killed in a Nazi prison Camp.
One day, all the prisoners from the Camp were lined up by the German officers. They marked every third man in the line for execution. Everyone was absolutely terrified. They started counting: Eins, Zwei, Drei! A deadly shot rang out! Boom!! The first man got shot in his head. Again, Eins, Zwei, Drei!! Boom!! The second man got shot again. Everybody started praying, mumbling, crying. It was a gruesome scene. Again, Eins, Zwei, Drei — Boom! The third man shot in his head. The prisoners started to count by themselves, to see which one was next in the line to be executed. My grandfather was supposed to be the second one to die. He closed his eyes thinking about his family. He accepted his death in silence. “Eventually we are all gonna die”, he was thinking. “It wasn’t meant for me to live!“ With his eyes closed, he was waiting for his execution. Suddenly, he heard a scream and a big agitation! The one that was supposed to be executed before him started to run from the line, in despair, hoping to not be shot. In cold blood, the officer aimed and shot him in the back, before shooting him in the head! The line of prisoners was reassembled, and they started again. Eins. Zwei, Drei, Boom!! My Grandfather didn’t count this time. He understood that for him, life has come to an end and he already accepted it, with amazing dignity. With his eyes closed, he heard near him: Eins, Zwei, Drei — Boom! He opened his eyes and he saw that his best friend fell near him, he was shot point blank in the head. He was shocked, crying in silence, narrowly missing being shot, while the officer was continued to execute 20 other prisoners. Truly a horrifying, but brave tale from my grandfather.
I was floored by this story my mother told me, and I understood the value of the life we are given. I realized that if that prisoner did not end up trying to escape and getting shot, my grandfather would not have been spared, and I wouldn’t even exist on this earth. It makes me so grateful and thankful that his courage, and through sheer chance that I was given the ability to share his story with the world.
What is the main empowering lesson you want your readers to take away after finishing your book?
The first one is that we as a society, are complaining for too little, finding excuses why we can not have a certain life or a certain love, when actually everything is possible! Just believe in it and don’t ever victimize yourself !
The second one — Love and live each time like you’ve never been hurt before!
What was the biggest challenge you faced in your journey to becoming a bestselling author? How did you overcome it? Can you share a story about that other aspiring writers can learn from?
The challenges I faced in my journey becoming a writer are the same as in anything you really want to do in life following your passion! The advice I would give to anyone is the same old fashioned advice that works for everything : Never give up!
Which literature do you draw inspiration from? Why?
I like to approach everything in my life from a spiritual perspective. In the books I am writing or I plan to write, I want to incorporate spiritual elements. The authors that really inspired me are Rudolf Steiner, Paramahansa Yogananda, Eckhart Tolle and Khaled Hosseini. Each of them touched my heart and my soul in a different way!
How do you think your writing makes an impact in the world?
My biggest wish is that the messages I want to send to the world from my writing…will touch as many souls as possible! If this can happen, even with only one person, I know that this can trigger a domino-effect and many people can pass through life’s difficulties easier and with more courage. I pray that my writings can give them more hope and strength in finding their true love, which is something I promote as much as I can. Giving love, before one can receive it.
What advice would you give to someone considering becoming an author like you?
To listen to their calling, to listen to their soul and to be honest with themselves!
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
I don’t have such things or maybe I don’t see it yet, or maybe I am just very lucky! I think everybody has a different journey and different experiences. And this is the beauty of life!
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
My idea about creating a movement in order to bring the most amount of good for the most amount of people, would be something having as its base ideas: truth, justice and fairness!
My way of seeing life is deeply connected with these concepts which I really believe in, as being the source of good.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
You can find me on Instagram @angela_martini and Facebook at Officialangelamartini. Looking forward to meeting them there!