Fox News anchor and Miss America pageant winner, Gretchen Carlson, is our feature CBC Author Interview this week.
Congratulations Ms. Carlson on your new book, Getting Real! Can you give us an overview of your book, and what was your inspiration in writing it?
People only see part of my life when they watch me on TV. I wanted to let them know the real me behind the scenes. The child who was a concert violinist from the age of six. The young woman who took on the challenge to compete in the Miss America Pageant. The television journalist for twenty-five years. The mother of two who, just like most women, struggles to balance work and family. The battles I’ve fought. How I’ve come back from failure and disappointment.
Thanks to my upbringing, I always believed in myself and worked as hard as I could to get where I wanted to be. Nothing was ever handed to me. My hope is that when people read my story, it will inspire them to reach for their goals and not give up. The real story is this: if I can do it, you can too!
What three takeaways would you like readers to leave with after reading your book?
1.) Always speak up for yourself. You are your best advocate and no one is ever going to fight as hard for you — as you.
2.) Make the most of your talents, I’m a big believer in the fact that we are all born with some special talent but it takes parents or ourselves to figure out what it is and cultivate it! That means discipline and hard work — but through that hard work we realize we get better at things and that builds self-esteem we will use for the rest of our lives!
3.) Build your self-esteem from the inside out. I grew up a fat kid and was teased relentlessly. Luckily I didn’t care that much and in retrospect being fat was a blessing — because I built my self-esteem from the inside out — from my soul and through my gift of music. That was something no one could take away from me no matter what.
You talk about your rise from your Minnesota childhood, to violin prodigy, to winning the Miss America pageant, to hosting your own Fox News show, The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson. What motivates you, and what or who do you give credit to for helping to get where you are today?
I give credit to my family. My grandparents for showing me perseverance and for a religious foundation. My grandfather was a Lutheran minister and grew our church from 800 members to 8500, so he was determined!
My mom would tell me every night when she put me to bed after prayers that I could be anything I wanted to be in life! That was so important! I don’t tell my kids now that they might get lucky! I tell them that they need work hard and make the most of their talents and always give back.
And the third thing is that — how important it is to give back. The last chapter of my book is “To Whom Much Is Given, Much Is Expected”. My family taught me this life lesson, and I am passing it along to my kids too.
As a host for Fox News, why do you think Fox News is, and continues to be, the #1 rated cable news channel in the country overwhelmingly?
I think people love Fox because we choose to tell stories that the mainstream media sometimes ignores, and we give credit to patriotism and the American Dream. I am also one of the few national news anchors to speak openly about my Christian faith and the blogs love to hate me for that!
Since turning 40 I don’t really give a rip about what people say or think about me. I’ve always been one to stand up for what I believe in.
I loved working on Fox and Friends! And I used to call Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade my work husbands because I used to see them more than my own husband every week! Lol.
We had so many great moments – but one of the best was when Brian decided to release a cobra snake with Jack Hanna on our set from its basket. We all ran for the hills including Jack Hanna! He could have killed us all… Every day was a new adventure!
What books, authors, or conservative-themed books, influenced your political philosophy and outlook on life?
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