Each month, the Austin Young Chamber will highlight a member who is doing extraordinary work to strengthen our businesses, our community…or both! Showcasing their achievements is just one way we can put a spotlight on the talented, collaborative, and community-focused workforce we have here in Central Texas.
This month we honor Rebekah Manley, Author, blogger, reading and writing advocate, and Coordinator for the Texas Center For The Book at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Rebekah is the author of the book Alexandra and the Awful, Awkward, No Fun, Truly Bad Dates, which follows Alexandra and her adorable French bulldog pup Lottie as Alex goes on 30 dates in 30 days in this charming parody/comedic dating horror story all about dating apps, being stood up, and the other joys of millennial dating culture. Check out her website here.
AYC: Why did you return to Austin?
Rebekah: I eventually came back 7 years ago and I love it here! It is really fun to live here as an adult. Austin has one of the best children book writing communities in the nation, so that was a big reason for me.
AYC: How long have you been with AYC and what drew you?
Rebekah: When I was doing my scoring trip, to decide about moving back to Austin, I went to an AYC “Let’s Talk” event. Being in that group was part of the equation for feeling like I wanted to return back. I thought this was a great group and if this is representative of what Austin is like to live as a young professional adult, then I’m interested.
AYC: So when did you join AYC?
Rebekah: I was an AYC onlooker, I would go to the coffee and other events. To be candid, I wanted to join for a while, but being an author, working in literacy I don’t have a lot of extra funds. But, when I got my stimulus check during the pandemic I realized that I really wanted to pour this money into local organizations and knew that was the time for me to join.
AYC: As an author of a dating book you no doubt get asked for dating advice. Do you feel like with the abundance of conflicting dating advice around that it has tainted the minds of those looking for an actual connection?
Rebekah: I have empathy for those seeking advice. It’s like the wild west west out there and people are just looking for a road map. I think that personalized advice, like “I’m my best self when I do this” or “I feel my best when I offer this” is good. I think best practices are good, not the “game” stuff, that’s frustrating. But more like, don’t ghost, communicate.
AYC: With that in mind, What advice do you have for us in the dating world?
Rebekah: I have best practices that I recommend. Being present and listening is important. A good book is called Wired for Love by Stan Tatkin. It really breaks down how are brains work as we pursue the higher level of connection with someone. Everyone should read it.
AYC: Your bio says that you are fueled by queso. So who makes your favorite queso?
Rebekah: My favorite spot is wherever there is a patio and good conversation. I haven’t been anywhere that I haven’t enjoyed their queso.
AYC: That’s nice, but don’t dodge the question. What queso would you want even inside, by yourself?
Rebekah: El Mercado, is my go to, but I love trying new places.
AYC: Whose do you avoid?
Rebekah: Good question. I don’t have a specific spot but anywhere that when you order a small queso, it’s like a small teacup.
AYC: You are very accomplished, with a lot of education. What would you like to learn at this point?
Rebekah: The piano. I took lessons in college and loved it. I’m not a natural musician, but what is so fun for me is I feel like a different part of my brain is being used, when I learn the notes, and it’s giving the other parts I use regularly a break.
AYC: What has been the best feedback that you have received about you book and why was it the best?
Rebekah: That’s kinda hard to nail down, but one of the things that I delight most in hearing is “I wish I had this book when I was single”. The reason I appreciate that feedback is because my number one hope for the book is for people to feel seen and not alone when they read the book. So when I hear that, it makes me think that people who find it now feel a little bit more connected and supported.
AYC: Alright, Rapid Fire Round. There are no wrongs answers!
AYC: Rocks or Frozen?
Rebekah: Frozen, with salt
AYC: Pizza or Tacos?
Rebekah: Pizza on Friday, Tacos on Saturday
AYC: Sock, Sock, Shoe, Shoe or Sock, Shoe, Sock, Shoe?
Rebekah: Sock, Sock, Shoe, Shoe
AYC: Day Date or Night Date?
Rebekah: Happy hour date
AYC: Beach or Mountains?
Rebekah: Cottage on the beach with a mountain view
AYC: Indoors or patio
AYC: Thank you for speaking with us today! We look forward to your continued success in life and to the contribution that you bring to our AYC Family.