My review of “Life Outside the Box: The extraordinary journeys of 10 unique individuals” By: Marilyn R. Wilson

I wanted to share my review about this book written by Marilyn R. Wilson:



Life Outside the Box

Life Outside the Box

About the Book:

Get inspired to step out of your box and into a world full of potential. From the corporate world, to the arts, to working with the disenfranchised – the message is clear. There is no such thing as a normal way to live your life and no one right solution to any problem. Selected from amongst over 100 interviews, the stories shared here open a window on the journeys of seven women and three men who have charted their own path, including Ruthie Davis – top U.S. luxury shoe designer and the winner of the 2014 AAFA Footwear Designer of the Year award – and Geir Ness whose perfume is a staple in Nordstrom, Disney World and on Disney Cruise Lines. Enjoy a glimpse behind the scenes into the unique ways these individuals chose to deal with life’s challenges and how they define success in their careers

About the author:

Marilyn R. Wilson is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for interviewing. Whether a random encounter on the New York subway or a one-on-one with an internationally recognized artist, the goal is the same – to share the unique journeys of inspiring individuals. These are the stories that will define our times. In 2007, this led the author to co-launch a successful, innovative magazine focused on professionals working the fashion industry paired with photography and illustrations by local artists. Now on staff at Raine Magazine – NY/Miami/LA –  as well as freelancing for other publications, Wilson has taken this passion to a new audience with the release of her first book.


My Thoughts:

First I’m gonna say that I absolutely love reading books about individuals who have worked so hard and seeing how their hard work truly paid off! For those of us who ‘dream’ of doing something with our life, or feel that maybe we just don’t have what it takes to realize our dreams and passions, then you must read this book!

Wilson brilliantly takes us through 10 inspirational journeys of individuals who had the courage to follow their heart. Their journey certainly didn’t come without hard work, in fact each had their own issues to deal with.

Davis had an eye for designing a winning shoe and Soucie was truly innovative in her field, Ness’ tenacity and a ‘I-won’t-take-no-for-an- answer’ attitude are but a few of the stories you will read about. Koyczan had his own issues to overcome while Orlowski’s story including the death in his family touched me deeply. From beginning to end I was glued to this book! In fact, when I was done with one story (interview) I didn’t think the next one could beat what I had just read and yet each one was just incredible in its own way! All different and yet all amazing.

One thing, they all had in common, however, was that each had their own challenges to contend with before finding success. I don’t want to spoil it by giving it all away, but I will say that if you need some inspiration and motivation of your own or just love reading and sharing in other’s successes through hard work, courage and dedication then I highly recommend this book.

You will not be disappointed at all!

Interview with Marilyn R. Wilson:

When and why did you begin writing?

My kids were teenagers and didn’t need as much of my time, so I was looking for a new challenge. I went onto Craigslist to see if there was anything of interest and saw an ad from a New York magazine. I always did well in English and thought – why not? Two of my three submissions were accepted. After my first interview I was hooked! Writing great articles, however, took time to perfect. My ten year journey in interviewing and writing has had incredible highs and terrible lows – but I wouldn’t trade a single day of it.

What is it about interviewing people on their live journey that fascinates you?

Looking back, I was just always intensely curious about people, their pain, their thoughts, their lives. It wasn’t until I was doing my first interview that it hit me – this was my passion, this was my journey. I had goosebumps! That is still true 10 years later. I feel very privileged to do what I do.

What unique challenges writing in this genre?

A couple of challenges arise. First is making sure you truly understand exactly what the interviewees have shared with you. This is more difficult than you think and the reason since day one, I have always sent a draft to the person interviewed for feedback. The question – is the picture I painted in words right? The second challenge in a book like Life Outside the Box is trying to channel each unique voice so the reader feels the difference with each chapter. No two should read the same.

Each chapter in Life Outside the box opens with a quote. Do you have a favorite?

I love every quote as I chose each of them for a reason. But I want to offer one that I think speaks to those of us who struggle with confidence and self-worth. It’s opens the chapter on Shane Koyczan – “If you can’t see something beautiful in yourself, get a better mirror, look a little closer, stare a little longer.”

Have you ever hated something you wrote?

Of course. Every writer faces that. Fortunately, it really is true that almost everything can be fixed in editing. THANK YOU WORD PROCESSING. Cut, paste, move, delete, add… it just takes time. I think I have only given up and started over twice when I just felt I needed a clean slate.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

One of the most important things a friend encouraged me to do was start a blog. I’m not really a blog person, but what it did was get me writing more often on a wide variety of topics. It really is true – if you want to be a writer you have to write! As often as possible, as much as you can. The other piece of the puzzle is getting great feedback. It was brutal having everyone I wrote about give me feedback, but I would never have improved without understanding what needed improvement.

After interviewing over 150 people, what was the biggest personal lesson you walked away with?

The sheer uniqueness of every journey took a big weight off my shoulders. It allowed me to open my mind to possibilities rather than looking at roadblocks. The checklist I was given growing up as to what my life should look like was not good enough. My goals and my definition of success should be relevant to me alone.


You can find the link to Amazon here:



  1. Marilyn R. Wilson

    May 28, 2015

    Thanks so much for that wonderful review and the opportunity through a Q and A to share a bit more of my story. I actually got goosebumps reading what you wrote and that is exactly why I chose to share these stories with the world. After almost 10 years of interviews, the stories brought so much inspiration and change to my life I wanted to pass it on. Have a great day and can’t wait to explore your fabulous lifestyle blog a bit more.


      Nuccia Ardagna

      May 28, 2015

      I absolutely loved it Marilyn and so happy you put this awesome book together! Awesome! Grazie!

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