Ballard author celebrates national release of coming-of-age memoir

ingridBallard author Ingrid Ricks is set to start 2014 off with a bang today with the national release of her coming-of-age memoir Hippie Boy. Since cracking the New York Times Best Seller list with the memoir last June, the local mom of two has gone from strength to strength using her own life experiences to empower others and to reach her own goals.

The My Ballard team sat down with Ricks last year to discuss the exciting and inspirational projects on her to do list and we are thrilled to report that she is achieving success in all areas.

Ricks is one inspirational and determined person with a fascinating story to boot. In 2004, Ricks was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that, over time, is slowly stealing her eyesight. Drawing inspiration from her diagnosis and strength from her life experiences, she embarked on a life long dream of writing Hippie Boy, which she self-published in 2011.

Since then, Ricks has empowered both herself and others around her through many different projects including inspiring youth to find their voice through story telling, creating a blog to spread awareness about Retinitis Pigmentosa and writing two more memoirs Focus and A Little Book of Mormon (or not so Mormon) Stories

Shortly after Hippie Boy landed on the New York Times E-Book Bestseller List last June the memoir was acquired by Berkley, a division of Penguin-Random House publishing company. Since then, Ricks has been busily preparing for today’s launch of the trade paperback across the country. She has been spreading the word about her inspirational story throughout Seattle and was interviewed yesterday on King 5’s New Day NW.

On top of preparing for the national release of Hippie Boy, Ricks continues to help youth find their own voice with the teen mentoring/publishing program that she co-founded at Scriber Lake High School back in 2012. Ricks teamed up with teacher Marjie Bowker to create the program that uses Hippie Boy as the basis to empower students by helping them to write their personal stories. The program has been a great success at Scriber Lake High School and has been featured in Reader’s Digest, in The Seattle Times and on New Day NW.

hbAfter the success of the program here in Seattle, it isn’t a surprise that Ricks and Bowker began getting calls from interested students at schools all over the country. In response to the demand, Bowker and Ricks developed the Hippie Boy Teaching Guide and which is is now available online to educators everywhere.

It has definitely been a big twelve months for Ricks! Through her successes in 2013 she has once again shown the power of positive thinking and believing in oneself. Unsurprisingly Ricks has proven her own statement to be true, “when you really go after your dreams and give them everything you’ve got, the Universe has a way of making them happen.”

To celebrate the national release of Hippie Boy Secret Garden Books (2214 NW Market St) will be hosting an author reading/book launch this Friday, January 10 at 7 p.m.  Ricks will also be attending launch events this week at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park and at the University Bookstore in the U District.

Image and photo courtesy of Ingrid Ricks. Video courtesy of King 5.


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