An Interview with Author Javier Rhoden

Javier Rhoden’s work is genuine and real. When reading his art, you can tell you are reading a piece of his heart. His experiences and lessons are expressed beautifully throughout his books. His positivity will always be able to inspire you in many aspects of life. The artwork in his books are lovely. The images speak for themselves and they express Javier’s words to perfection.

Describe yourself in five words

Relentless, hardworking, bookworm, thoughtful and quirky.

What fact about yourself would really surprise people?

I play percussion by ear.

How do you work through self-doubts and fear? 

I write notes to myself reminding me of the reasons why I must be optimistic and fearless.

What scares you the most? 

Not being able to do for myself.

What makes you happiest? 

Spending time with my beautiful wife and robust child.

Why do you write? 

I write prose and poetry in various forms, such as brevity, rhyme, freeverse, vignettes, haikus and more.

Have you always enjoyed writing?

Since the age of twelve, yes.

What motivates you to write? 

Growing up, I read a lot of books from novels to textbooks. My motivation is to someday have my own collection of books to leave behind as my imprints on earth, with hope that all the words will help someone else on their life journey like they’ve helped mine.

What writing are you most proud of? 

I’m most proud of my third book, Altschmerz, because it was actually the first book I wrote when I was working fulltime and living on my own. It took a lot to word certain experiences and emotions but it turned out to be healing.

What are you most proud of in your personal life? 

I’m most proud of my marriage. It’s amazing how many mountains you can move with even just one supportive person by your side.

What books did you love growing up? 

I most definitely enjoyed the Bluford series by Townsend Press while growing up.

What do you hope your obituary will say about you? 

I hope my obituary will highlight my active efforts to show that I was a trying man, with the intention of being an amazing father to my children.  

Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live? 

I was born in Jamaica but that was short lived before moving to Florida, where I resided for over ten years. I lived in Las Vegas for a few years and now I’m in Puerto Rico.

How did you develop your writing?

I developed my writing through reading as much as I could before listening, to develop meter, rhythm and flow. I used to play a lot of music, so this has also developed my writing overtime.

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing? 

Interestingly enough, I used to think it was publishing but then I learned about marketing…I’d say marketing is the hardest. Even if you get views on what you’ve put out, it isn’t guaranteed that anyone will actually buy it. It can be a bit overwhelming, especially when trying to make a living out of all of it.

What marketing works for you? 

Promotions work best for me, either on all my social media platforms, cross promotions or collaborating with other artists.

Do you find it hard to share your work? 

Not anymore…you’ll always have people who will either accept or reject your work. Share it anyway for that in itself is an accomplishment to be proud of.

Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you? 

There was a lot of opposition in the family I come from. My parents come from a corporate perspective and I’ve always been more entrepreneurial, so it was difficult to support me in the way I needed at the time. The family I’ve started supports me wholeheartedly, so much so that my wife does my illustrations, covers and Spanish translations.

What else do you do, other than write? 

I established Perseveerance as a brand so my time is devoted to that. Someday I would love to make my digital store physical.

What other jobs have you had in your life? 

I have worked as a Ticketing Services Manager at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami and a Technology Specialist at the Smith Center in Las Vegas.

If you could study any subject at university what would you pick? 

The stuff I know that has been helpful in life, wasn’t taught in school…

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

Back home in Jamaica…I’m a country island boy at heart. 

Tell us about your family? 

I have a gorgeous, supportive wife who’s my illustrator and translator. We recently welcomed our first child, a beautiful baby boy. We’re building and growing into our version of a nuclear family through our independent work.

How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk? 

I write with pen and paper.

Fun fact: when I was younger and sharing my work on social media, I’d often use a brass/gold filled fountain pen for the writing posts. I don’t use it often anymore, but I still have it.

How much sleep do you need to be your best? 

At least 4 hours.

Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support? 

With all my heart, I want to share all the appreciation for my wife, Celi. Authorship was already something I was pursuing, however my quality of life took an unexpected turn with scoliosis and degenerative discs. I lost my independence for a time because pain stuck 24/7 and my mobility was diminished. Furthermore, in the middle of a pandemic, I was kicked out of the house I grew up in due to misunderstanding. Through it all, my wife worked to understand me and supported me in ways that allowed me to heal and thrive. You are forever loved.

Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you? 

Success to me is the finished product, your book. Everything else is extra, because without the finished accomplishment, there would be no rewards. Often times, people look at the rewards instead.

Tell us about your new book? Why did you write it?  

‘Panorama’ is expected to release mid 2023. This was written while living on my own in Las Vegas. The goal was to pen something that would expand the readers bubble, outside of their own world to gauge a bigger world. You get a birds eye point of view from every touching and sensitive topic in life…the purpose of this was reader development. There’s a lot that goes on out there and the more we learn and develop awareness, the better the world becomes.

When you are not writing, how do you like to relax? 

I unwind spending time with family. I enjoy a little strong drink and fine smoke.

What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?

I hope people take consistency, perseverance and an inspiration to develop towards a better them from everything I’m doing.

linktr.ee/Javierrhoden

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