Book Review: Entrepreneurial Mindset by Eric Cominski Jr.

Pеrfесtіоn is thе еnеmу оf progress-It’s a familiar арhоrіѕm thаt nobody understands better thаn еntrерrеnеurѕ. Yоung оr іnеxреrіеnсеd еntrерrеnеurѕ mіght gеt саught up іn сhаѕіng thеіr оrіgіnаl vision bесаuѕе original vіѕіоnѕ are аlmоѕt invariably “реrfесt.” But perfection іѕn’t necessary to run a ѕuссеѕѕful аnd рrоfіtаblе business. In fасt, perfection іѕ often whаt ѕtаllѕ progress. Thе tіmе уоu spend trying tо hаmmеr dоwn thоѕе last fеw details іѕ lіkеlу gоіng to еnd uр аѕ tіmе wasted. Instead, ѕреnd уоur еffоrtѕ оn the bіg рісturе, and mаkе sure іt’ѕ solid. This is juѕt thе bеgіnnіng. Entrерrеnеurѕhір is аbоut ѕоlvіng рrоblеmѕ аnd buіldіng nеw thіngѕ. Entrерrеnеurѕhір is important еѕресіаllу nоwаdауѕ whеn we have tо learn hоw tо ореrаtе іn аn increasingly changing wоrld. It includes both a mіndѕеt роіnt оf view, whеrе problems аrе seen аѕ орроrtunіtіеѕ and fаіlurеѕ аѕ learning experiences and ѕkіllѕ thаt hеlр уоu lеаrn to ѕоlvе рrоblеmѕ and build ѕоmеthіng nеw. Practicing entrepreneurial аttіtudеѕ аnd аbіlіtіеѕ аrе useful еvеn if уоu аrе not уеt looking tо ѕtаrt your оwn buѕіnеѕѕ. They help you to ѕее thе challenges of wоrk and life more dіvеrѕеlу, and аlѕо tо ѕоlvе рrоblеmѕ thаt wоuld bе dіffісult оr even іmроѕѕіblе tо ѕоlvе uѕіng trаdіtіоnаl mеаnѕ. If уоu fіnd a problem, a ѕоlutіоn, a mаrkеt, аnd a tеаm thаt trulу іnѕріrеѕ уоu, уоu саn аlѕо соnѕіdеr ѕtаrtіng уоur own buѕіnеѕѕ. Entrерrеnеurѕhір іѕ a grеаt adventure and оnе оf thе mоѕt rewarding еxреrіеnсеѕ іn уоur life. At іtѕ bеѕt, іt саn bring significant орроrtunіtіеѕ fоr success. At thе vеrу least, іt provides еxреrіеnсеѕ fоr learning and development that wоuld оthеrwіѕе bе unlіkеlу to оссur. Developing an entrepreneurial mіndѕеt іѕ nоt a оnе-mоnth project. You have tо ѕtау committed tо іt for thе rest of уоur lіfе. Unlосk уоur grеаtеѕt роtеntіаl whіlе dеаlіng wіth the іnеvіtаblе сhаllеngеѕ that еntrерrеnеurѕhір wіll brіng уоur way. All you nееd to dо is ѕtау focused аnd committed to уоur gоаlѕ and long-term vіѕіоn. Fіnd the motivation to keep gоіng аnd grоwіng, even whеn nоthіng ѕееmѕ tо bе going уоur wау. Thіѕ іѕ what bеіng an еntrерrеnеur аnd running a buѕіnеѕѕ іѕ аll аbоut. Entrерrеnеurѕ are not born but саn асԛuіrе еntrерrеnеurіаl skills (mіndѕеt) bу rеаdіng books, оbѕеrvіng ѕuссеѕѕful еntrерrеnеurѕ, оr having formal соасhіng ѕеѕѕіоnѕ. Thеу learn by doing аnd іn the process, a fеw mіndѕеt сhаngеѕ, bеlіеfѕ gеt erased аnd nеw оnеѕ gеt embedded. Thеу fосuѕ аlwауѕ on thе bіg рісturе and do nоt gеt bogged bу a fеw missteps that сrеаtеd hurdlеѕ.

Fаіlurе іѕ nоt a cause оf dеѕроndеnсу but еnlіghtеnmеnt. Mіlеѕ tо go, mіlеѕ to gо аnd thе еntrерrеnеurіаl jоurnеу has no end.

Review:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

It is a short book consisting of about 102 pages. You can finish reading this book in one sitting. As an entrepreneur and a father himself, Eric has shared his journey in the world of entrepreneurship, and shared some of the insights he learned. Although some of the key aspects of the book may feel familiar, as all entrepreneurs somehow go through similar paths that are very much relatable, what makes this compact book different from the others is the sharing of his views on entrepreneurship as a father and what comes Eric’s way while striving to achieve his goals in business.

The book covered several important aspects like mental health of an entrepreneur, how to have the right mindset and how every individual can leverage their strength to define entrepreneurship in their own way, as unique and unconventional solutions to problems are what the world often needs. The book also touched on handling failure and how this can be done in a graceful way, as entrepreneurs would surely bump into situations that would challenge their faith in achieving success. Apart from that, what goals mean differs to every entrepreneur and Eric also has guided readers on how to define goalsetting for themselves.

There are two chapters on mental health that could have been combined as they are quite relevant to one another – this would ensure the consistency in the presentation of idea. Apart from that, the general definitions of entrepeneur, mental health and etc., could have been omited as people who are reading the book most likely are aware of the general definition of them already.

Overall, it is a joyable short book that would surely make you rethink your entrepreneurial journey.

An Interview with Author Eric Cominski Jr.

Writing his first book “Da Grustle 1 Million in the Making” Cominski wants everyone to know being an entrepreneur is not easy. Growing up seeing all the videos with the cars, girls, and flashy jewels. He knew that no one really knows what it takes. Writing this book he gives a little background information on where he grew up. Putting some family events in the book to also let the readers know he had a basic life and came across real life situations that he had to fight thru.

With his new book, Entrepreneurial Mindset he talks about what it takes to do what he does as a husband father and entrepreneur.

Get your copy of the book everywhere books are sold or here on the website. https://www.cominski.com/

1) Describe yourself in five words.
A- Kind of a Big Deal

2) Why do you write?
A- I write to share my experience and to build my build. Writing for me is a tool I use to reach people.

3)What do you write about?
A- At this moment just what I know. I write about what I get asked the most. Like with my first book people was asking me how I started my business or how did I make it through the tuff times, so I wrote Da Grustle: 1 million in the making. Now with this book Entrepreneurial Mindset I talk about what it takes to do what I do as a husband father and entrepreneur.

4) How do you work through self-doubts and fear?
A- One day at a time. Everyone has them so it’s not like it’s not normal but for the most part I take my time working through them.

5) Have you always enjoyed writing?
A- Not really, it’s funny because I really never looked at writing a book as something that I would do but when you understand how life works you want to try new things to grow as a person and writing was one of them things for me.

6) What writing are you most proud of? 
A- I’m proud of all my writing but if I had to pick one it would be my book “Entrepreneurial Mindset” because I applied all points of my life in this book and created the blueprint for the person who is trying to be a husband, father, and entrepreneur.

7) What motivates you to write?
A- The world, just the people around me and my brand. Writing is just a small step, but I do it because I know the impact it has.

8) When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?
A- When I realize I have to expand my brand. When I say my brand, I mean me. As an entrepreneur I knew what every I was doing I had to find ways to build my brand and writing a book was what I saw.

9) What else do you do, other than write?
A- O man, what I don’t do would be easier to answer. Short answer, I am a content creator. Anything dealing with content creation and every aspect of that I do.

10) Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support?
A- My mom, she played a big part in who I am now. She helped me believe I can do whatever I want, and she supported me through it all. Also, anyone that helped me with the smallest thing. There are many people that I learn things from that they do not even know they have help me. I want to thank all of you guys, you know who you are.

https://www.cominski.com/

Book Review: The Urban Boys – Discovery of the Five Senses by K. N. Smith

Blurb:

Welcome or unwelcome. Fate has arrived.

“A captivating and poetic tale of mystery, fantasy, and reality tied together by action!” 5-stars, Lars Jackson, Amazon Customer

A suspenseful incident in a forbidden preserve heightens the senses of five friends. Sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell become super-gifts that forever change the world. But furious battles confront the boys as they try to understand their sensory super powers in a race to save mankind. With light beings and mysterious strangers complicating their plight, will the boys defeat the evil Druth before it’s too late? Get prepared for the twisting and grinding of this award-winning, action-adventure story — an edge-of-your-seat narrative for young and mature readers alike.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Review:

It felt kind of like Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five – it brings back the memories of reading good YA books. I have never read any books with the main characters having their senses heightened and that was something totally new to me.

It is a story of five friends; five different characters who decided to take a stroll into a forest they were told never to go to by their parents. As they explore the forest, they come across super natural incidents of exploding balls of light, where their senses were heightened. Each one of them has a different sense heightened. With this newfound ability, the boys also take on the responsibility to fight crimes that happen in the vicinity of their town. What follows is a series of suspense and thriller as the boys combat evil and the challenges that come their way.

The story is a little long-winded and flowery, for me but the storyline is not that easy to figure out, which makes the story interesting. There are also descriptive writings in the book, which may not interest some readers, especially the young ones. However, over all it is an enjoyable read and the heightened senses were quite compelling.

Author Interview with Raven Coyne

Raven Coyne: Is a trained historian and writer. A Denver Colorado native, when encountered Raven can be found spending time writing, racing bicycles too fast everywhere, and catering to Ares the Cat!

Describe yourself in five words: 

Curious, Quiet, Funny (I hope), Determined (read stubborn), Observant.

What fact about yourself would really surprise people? 

I’ve lived around the world, including Ireland, Turkey, and Germany.

How do you work through self-doubts and fear? 

That’s the writers natural state of existence I think. Doubting your talents. The only cure is to write and keep putting yourself out there.
What scares you the most? 

Being alone I think is the worst fate anyone can bear. We are social creatures and telling people about you is a basic need in humans.

What makes you happiest? 

Writing.  I know, I know, I’m supposed to say that. But it’s true. I write at night and the ideas flow the story unfolds as it should. That’s a natural high that cannot be beat.

Why do you write?

Writers are natural spies. They see the world then scuttle home and form what they see into a new reality. That’s why I write I think to make sense of all that is around me.

Have you always enjoyed writing? 

No, when I was younger I wrote very little. I never seemed able to finish anything.  Only later was I able to realize what a pure act of creation writing is.
What motivates you to write? 

What I see, what goes on around and within me. I live mostly in my head, so what is inside there just has to come out.

What writing are you most proud of? 

Anything I finish? LOLOL There are times when what I write is better than myself.  Those plots, dialog, or clever scenes I cherish.  I can’t make them happen.  Only the muses can grant you that perfect moment.

What books did you love growing up? 

The Foundation Trilogy by Issac Asimov, The Memorial War Book (American Civil War written in 1882), There are more but those two always come to mind.

What do you hope your obituary will say about you? 

I did my best and lived my life to its fullest using every moment.

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

I grew up here in Colorado in the mountains.  I live in Denver both those environments play a big part in my staging of some stories.  I don’t use Colorado per se but I use the environment.

How did you develop your writing?

I sat down and started writing and I never gave up. I write every day.

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing? 

I’d say getting known in a sea of faces. That’s hard. You have to have something worth shouting about, and then you have to shout the right way to attract attention. There are so many options and many of them are useless. So, it’s hunt and peck until you find what works.

What marketing works for you? 

My books. The best marketing you can do is to write and publish write and publish until the can no longer ignore you.

Do you find it hard to share your work? 

No, I know I’m going to get knocked.  Hey, it happens.  I wear my one stars proudly, usually I earned them. I also earned all my five stars as well.

Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you? 

I have few friends and most do not know I write.  My family can take it or leave it.  Mostly they think I’m crazy.  Of course they’d think I’m crazy even if I didn’t write.  But there are times when I release a book that does well and I get atta-boys.  Those are wonderful.

What else do you do, other than write? 

I race bikes, climb, travel, and run my businesses outside of writing.

What other jobs have you had in your life? 

I was a soldier in the US Army, a dishwasher, cleaned houses, fix computers.  I’m easily bored so I like to do lots of things. LOLOL

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

My focus was on History and I would still pick that.  If you want to make sense of the world learn what happened before you.

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

Colorado and I’m lucky I am there.

Tell us about your family? 

My folks are deceased now.  But my family was a crazy collection of misanthropes and individualists.  I like people so I really was the odd man out.  But I got good parents who encouraged my every ambition.

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

Desktop and at a desk.  When it’s time to work I work.

How much sleep do you need to be your best?  

Ummmm about six hours I think.  I love mornings to get things done in so I am up early.

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

Lea and Diane who both believed I could write and encouraged me to sit down write, finish, and publish dammit.

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

Pay my bills with my writing.  Bottom line that is a successful writer when you don’t have to moonlight.  But it’s not given to very many writers.  I dream about the day when someone asks me “what do you do?”  And I answer “I’m a writer.”  Instead of something like “I clean houses but what I really want is to be a writer.

It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign? 

I use many Fiverr gigs, but also I advertise on Amazon and Apple.  I write to specific subjects several books so I keep coming up on the searches. 

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

Vampire of Paris, I thought that gay Paris in the 1890 would make a great setting for a Vampire accused of murder. 

If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask? 

Shelby Foote, Robert Heinlein, Einstein, U.S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Abraham Lincoln and Queen Elizabeth the first.  What a line up huh?  There’s others but I’m out of room around the table.  LOLOLOLOL

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

I like to read and ride my bike to places I’ve never seen.

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

I want them to have enjoyed the story, to let go of their cares and just immerse themselves in the world I’ve written.  That’s what good writing does for you.

http://www.ravencoyne.com

ravencoyne at ravencoyne.com

Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/ravencoyne

Author Interview with Jevon White

Fessasion aka Sadiki-I, was born Jevon White on the Caribbean island of Montserrat in the West Indies. Jevon later immigrated to the United States, settling in Boston where his father co-founded the annual Caribbean Carnival. Growing up in Boston, Jevon was deeply influenced by the hip-hop movement and became fascinated with the art of emceeing. After his father’s sudden passing in 1984, he returned to Montserrat and attended Montserrat Secondary School where he continued to develop his talents as a performer and emcee.

Jevon enrolled in university at the prestigious Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. Soon after college, he discovered the RasTafari faith, and returned to Montserrat once again. After some time later, he returned to the states again, and Sadiki-I made a successful debut on the Reggae/Dancehall scene with his album, I Man See Judgments. Over the next several years, he recorded songs with Reggae legends such as Junior Reid, Terry Ganzie, and Mr. Eazy, and performed live on many stages throughout USA.

Driven by a deep desire to pray at the site of the Ark of the Covenant, and thus be closer to God, Sadiki-I set forth on a pilgrimage to Axum, Ethiopia, where, by a stroke of divine intervention he had the exquisitely rare privilege of meeting the monk who guards the Ark of the Covenant.

To learn more about his journey, be sure to order a copy of his book today!

What fact about yourself would really surprise people?

I am shy sometimes

How do you work through self-doubts and fear?

I pray and turn to God

What scares you the most?

Not living up to the full expectation of Almighty God

What makes you happiest?

Helping people

Why do you write?

I write to record my thoughts and also to entertain and educate others. I am also a singer songwriter as well.

Have you always enjoyed writing?

Yes

What motivates you to write?

Don’t need motivation to write.

What writing are you most proud of?

My latest book… “12 Lessons I learned From the Guardian Monk of the Ark of Covenant.”
What are you most proud of in your personal life?

Finishing the new Temple for the Ark of Covenant and restoration of the old one.

What books did you love growing up?

The Bible

What do you hope your obituary will say about you?

He did his best!

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

Montserrat, Boston

How did you develop your writing?

My high school teachers used to always tell me that I write well. So I guess from a young age.

Do you find it hard to share your work?

No!

Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you?

Yes!

What else do you do, other than write?

Real Estate Investor

What other jobs have you had in your life?

Acquisitions Manager, Construction, Car Dealership Manager, Auto Technician

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

Artificial Intelligence

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

Africa

Tell us about your family?

Not married / no children

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

All of the above

How much sleep do you need to be your best?

6 hours

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

The Creator

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

Getting paid to speak and selling lots of books.

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

My new book “12 Lessons I leaned from the Guardian Monk of the Ark of Covenant” is a book about my experiences in Ethiopia and my interactions with the Guardian Monk. T

An Interview with Author Frank Wayne Mottl

Frank enjoys writing prose and poetry. He believes that a good base in poetry significantly improves the writing of prose. His debut novel, “The Cumberland Tales” is a collection of connected stories. He’s recently published his second, “Mother’s Keep”, and has sent off his third, “Cumberland Gold” to his editor. Frank publishes all his work through Mythmoulder Publishing.

There are two quotes which are important to Frank. The first, by John Keats, to paraphrase: “That which is creative, must itself create”; the second by William Blake, again, to paraphrase: “My job is not to reason and compare, my job is to create.”

Frank is interested in developing unreliable narrators. He also leans toward “stream-of-consciousness” narratives and is currently reading William Faulkner’s “Abolsom, Absolom.” “The writers we read,” he says,” influence what we write, read the good ones.”

Frank has been published by the Poetry Institute of Canada twice for his poetry, and twice for his prose. He has also been published by numerous publishers in the U.S. and Australia, and has been interviewed on radio shows in the U.K.

https://www.frankwayne.net/

Describe myself in 5 words: hard-working, worldly, steadfast, confident, and smart.

What fact about yourself would really surprise people?

I like all kinds of fine art and baroque music.

How do I work through self-doubts and fear?

I talk to my wife about any self-doubts, also, I understand that lack of confidence is a killer to being successful.

What scares me most?

The environmental disaster that the world is heading towards, and the lack of kindness in the world today.

What makes me happiest?

Being comfortable in my own skin, and encouraging my students to be confident and moral individuals.

Why do I write?

The 3 books I have written were about things I wanted to write. I wouldn’t spend the enormous amount of time to write a book about something that I don’t feel worthwhile about the time and effort. For example, my first book, ‘The Cumberland Tales’ is about the small coal mining/logging town I grew up in as a kid, and ‘Mother’s Keep’ is based on my Granny who lived during the depression years in the small town of Gibsons on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Have I always enjoyed writing?

Yes, I wrote long fantastical outer space stories when I was a youngster.

What motivates me to write?

As stated above in question 6, usually it’s something that is close to my life experience, something that I want to share with others, and, the idea that after I’m dead and gone my books will live on so give me a semblance of immortality.

What writing am I most proud of?

My poetry and prose have been published by numerous online and print magazines, so that’s a feather in my cap, so keeps me motivated, but the work I’m most proud of, probably because I feel it’s my best work so far, would be “Cumberland Gold” soon to come out within the next 2 months or so.

What am I most proud of in my personal life?

Overcoming demons that all people must overcome regardless of their lifestyles. Also, I’m proud of the ability to keep my ‘ego’ in check.

What books did I love growing up?

I’m an avid reader of classics; Woolf, Joyce, Faulkner, Hemingway, Laurence, et al.. Also, I’ve studied and read books on all facets of philosophy: Kant, Russel, et. al..  In my very early years I always read sci-fi because it sparked my imagination.

What do I hope my obituary will say about me?

Well, in a way, I just want to fade into the sunset, unannounced because that’s what happens to all of us anyway. But if I had to have an obit, I’d want it to say: One has gone, and we’ll all be the poorer for it.

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

OK, so, my first book, ‘The Cumberland Tales’ gives the whole town where I grew up in a voice, that’s why I wrote it, to share what it was like to grow up in this unique town during the 1960s. Now, Cumberland is an artsy type town full of young artists and mountain bikers from all over the world, but in the 60’s it was a rough, red-neck town full of bar fights, and a separate Chinatown who helped work the mines, a small Japanese community, and a small black community. The town has come 180 degrees from what it was like when I was a kid.

How did I develop my writing?

When I retired from the mill, about 15 years ago, I returned to university and obtained an English Major. It wasn’t long before I discovered that I wanted more than to study the masters of literature, I wanted to create my own stuff. My last years in university were courses on creative writing, encouraged by my instructors who said I had talent in writing poetry and prose. Since that time, I’ve been encouraged by other successful and well-known writers who all tell me I have talent.

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?

OK, so getting published is not a big deal because I don’t deal with agents, I self-publish. The actual writing isn’t that bad because I don’t have to make money at writing, I already have money. The marketing wouldn’t be so bad if I was interested in it, and even though I took marketing in university (to round out my education), it’s hard for me to get my head around it because I find it boring (but I did OK in university on it).

What marketing works for me?

I sell locally at Impressions Art Gallery (my wife is a painter), Coho Books, Save- On- Foods and other local bookstores. I also sell on Amazon. I also do readings if asked to, but should focus more on promoting myself.

Do I find it hard to share my work?

Absolutely not, I’m open to sharing my work, to discuss how other writers about their work, no, in fact, when I was on Facebook (years ago), I always shared my work publically no problem. Why write it, if you don’t want to share it? I understand others may be wary of others stealing their work, but you’ve got to share otherwise what’s the point?

Is my family supportive?

Yes, everyone supports me in my writing because everyone says, ‘I have a way with words.’

What else do I do?

Well, I’m retired, but since retirement, have taught English in Jiaxing, China for a period of one year in a public school, an unforgettable experience and have many good teacher friends in China. Currently, I teach English and Math at a private school in Canada . . . all grades in English and up to grade 10 in Math.

What other jobs have I had?

OMG . . . lots: Biological technician at Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo (worked with top Rockfish scientist in the world, a kind man named, Jergen Westerheim), worked on paving crews, worked in archaic chemical plants, worked in pulp and paper mills, in film developing with 35mm and 110mm film, gardener, and chartered my sailboat in Desolation Sound. And, as mentioned above, spent a glorious year teaching in a Chinese public school with over 5,000 students and 200 teachers.

If I could study any subject at university what would it be?

I lean towards ‘fine arts’ so perhaps painting or more writing courses, but I also like philosophy.

If I could live anywhere, where?

I like seasons, so someplace that has 4 of them but that’s seems rare these days. I’d like to teach English and Math in a less developed country, but if I had only one place, it’d probably be a place with kind people with a democratic government, or at least where people can live free.

Tell you about my family. 

OK, my mom and dad passed away years ago. I have a strong work ethic from both parents, I have an estranged brother who fell by the wayside when my dad passed away. I have a strong, independent son and daughter, grandson, and step son and step daughter. My extensive family is long, I myself was adopted, but know my birth mother passed away some time ago.

How do I write?

When writing poetry, always pencil and paper, then go to laptop after that. When doing prose outlines, pencil and paper in combination with laptop. My go-to writing device is Word 2007 on my laptop.

How much sleep do I need?

Well, I worked shiftwork for 30 years so can get away with 4 hours, but to be my best 7-8 hours.

Anyone I’d like to thanks for support?

First my wife Linda, who paints the covers for my books and supports me always, secondly my friend Jim who always reads my lousy first drafts meticulously, giving advice and telling me how to may the book better, thirdly, my new found editor Racheal, who does her absolute best when editing my work.

Success for me is completing a work that I’m satisfied with. I strive for perfection, but know I will never achieve perfection because no man or woman is perfect in art or life. Perfection is relative, like so many things in the world.

You are a big part of my marketing campaign! I’m going to attempt more marketing because I want to make more money by selling more books, but it has nothing to do with creativity.

My lastest book, ‘Cumberland Gold’ is again situated in my home town of Cumberland, but it’s a work of fiction. The reason I wrote it is because of Chinese characters I knew as a kid growing up there. Characters like ‘Sam Yik’, ‘Brokenback’ and other flashes of memory that stick with you as a child. ‘Cumberland Gold’ is a murder mystery, but is much more, yet is only about 40,000 words. It’s a confluence of characters from the Ming and Qing Dynasties, and their offspring who migrated to Canada to work the Cumberland coal mines during the 19th. Century.

Author Interview with Dr. Oladapo Richard Osuntokun

As his patients often refer to him, Dr. Oladapo, Richard Osuntokun, is the Pastor of Word of God Parish in Luzerne, PA.  A Pentecostal Spiritual filled Bible-based Church. He is a guest/ visiting Professor at Clark’s Summit University, where he has taught African and World Religion since 2017 till date.

Dr. Oladapo Richard Osuntokun is a board-certified pediatric and Adolescent Psychiatrist.  He is also a board-certified General and Adult Psychiatrist. He attended the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Montefiore, Bronx, NY, from 2000 to 2005 for his education.  Dr. Osuntokun is also an Associate Professor of Psychiatric Medicine at the Geissinger College of Medicine in Scranton, Pa.  He is married, an author, a public speaker, and a sports enthusiast.

Website

Where are you from?

From Scranton Pennsylvania in the USA

Why do you write? 

I write to help people cope with life struggles and to help people find meaning in life.

What do you write about? 

I write about emotions such as fear, happiness and sorrow and I also write about write about God. As a pastor and as a mental health provider, I am looking for cooperation between Religion and Psychology and Psychiatry. My book the ordained demon is a first illustration of how to create a bridge between these 3 subjects.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I love the narrative story telling style. I don’t like to use a lot of big words and I try to make it simple, easy to read and direct.

What are obstacles that come in the way of writing? 

The smaller obstacles include how to find the time to get this done within my busy day. The bigger obstacles include finding the right publisher, proof reader and editor.

What’s the most memorable thing asked/said by a reader about your work?

I refer to this review on Amazon………

A page turner that is also an eye opener

Reviewed in the United States on June 14, 2022

It was kind of like a two books in one experience for me. The story was engrossing with 3 dimensional characters whose lives slowly devolve due to subtle manipulations and deceptions. I love the Reflections and Straight Talk sections at the end of each chapter. They boil down some of the lessons imparted in the chapter into bite sized nuggets to ponder that are worth the price of the book all on their own. I was surprised how such heady subject matter was imparted so clearly and found myself going back to reread certain sections to take it all in.

How long have you been writing? 

I have been writing practically for many years through school and college, however as an author, since the past 5 years

When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?

I think writing always “burns” in me and I have always wanted to create a book for people to read and point at the book as helping them. However during the pandemic, witnessed so many people suffering. This actually helped me to cut out my procrastination and go for it.

What is your work schedule like when you are writing?

I basically write at night when every one is asleep and when I have no distractions. The problem is when I don’t have distractions. I also don’t get any sleep.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I don’t like anyone to interrupt my thoughts when I write. I just ignore any questions asked by anyone around me. I also sometimes stare into space when I am thinking.

How long does it take to write a book?

It took me 2 weeks to write this book, but remember, it’s so many hours, if you give 12 hours per day for 14 days, that’s a lot of mileage.

Do you have suggestions on how to become a better writer?

Try not to rush to put my information down. I also need to find time to reread and rewrite several times. I will use Beta readers for my next book before even getting an editor.

What challenges do you come across when writing/creating your story?

It’s tough for the characters to be multidimensional, forgetting one or two characters as the story progresses and the pain in effectively managing timelines.

What do you think makes a good story?

Thrill and gush of Adrenalin with suspense of never wanting to put the book down.

Do you see writing as a career?

Yes

Do you have anything specific you’d like to tell the readers?

Please check out the book “The ordained demon”, its already on Amazon, the link is https://www.amazon.com/Ordained-Demon-Story-Young-Priest/dp/B0B2TW6W2S.

This book is a “must-read” for everyone leading a church, a group of converts, Christian counselors, students in the Bible schools, and even those planning to pick an occupation in a church or provide religious designated services.
It is a “must-read” for anyone in the general public who desires Christ and every ordinary person who can enjoy a story and learn from it. Because of your devotion and dedication, there will always be temptations.
This book is a spiritual weapon to fight Satan’s temptation.
The story of this young Priest offers an example of how an anointed man of God failed to internalize and adopt Christ-like skills, spirit, character, and qualities. The facts in this book are in a straightforward and easy-to-understand story form.
You will enjoy the story itself from beginning to end when a young guy became a Priest and was blessed with healing powers to perform miracles. But when Satan got into his life, he hijacked him for his Glory and was no longer an ordained Priest of God but an Ordained Demon for Satan. The Reflections are huge for psychological understanding and the straight talk points are good practical problem-solving prayer and meditation points.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Not yet. Until I become a bestselling NYT author. I have about 5 recently completed manuscripts, hopefully, I can achieve this milestone.

Author Interview with Debbie Schrack

Debbie Schrack

Debbie Schrack has spent her professional life working with children and young adults. She has a B.S in Special Education from the University of Virginia, and an M.Ed. from George Mason University. Although the character Sophie in her debut novel SAVING SOPHIE is fictional, she is a composite of many of the struggling learners Debbie has taught over the years.

Debbie lives with her family in Fairfax, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C. Debbie finds personal fulfillment in creating new things, whether it be a novel, a painting, or a batch of croissants. She loves animals, and horses are her special passion. When she’s not writing or horseback riding, Debbie is a sucker for musicals, enjoys visiting art galleries, and desperately wants to travel more. She also loves hanging out with her three children, who she will always consider her most amazing creations.

You can follow Debbie at her website https://www.debbieschrackbooks.com on Facebook or on Twitter @debbie_schrack.

Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?

I do view writing as a kind of spiritual practice. When I write, I forget about the world around me and time seems to stop. When I’m finished writing a book and start to re-read it, I sometimes wonder how all those words got onto the page. I think all art is like that. Whether you believe in a higher power or not, art just flows through you. It comes from somewhere beyond ourselves.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

I have written a few books from the teenage male perspective. As an adult woman, it is sometimes difficult to get the voice right. Fortunately, I have two sons who constantly correct me!

How long were you a part-time writer before you became a full-time one?

I wrote part-time for fifteen years before my novel SAVING SOPHIE was published. Because of the pandemic, I retired from my job teaching kindergarten two years ago. If you’ve ever Zoomed with a five-year old, you will understand! I thought it was the perfect opportunity to fulfill my dream of becoming a full-time writer.

How many hours a day do you write?

It varies depending on what I have planned for the day. Besides writing, I also Jazzercise, ride my horse, and do volunteer work. I try to write a little every day. Writing the first draft is the toughest thing for me. It’s hard putting words on a blank page. I will write for a while and then stop for a while. Annoyingly, I often get my best ideas when I’m driving or in the shower. I try to remember them and write them down later. When I’m writing a book, I carry it around in my head so it’s always a big relief when I type “The End.” Once I’m editing a book, I’m good. I can spend hours editing.

What period of your life do you find you write about most often? (child, teenager, young adult)

I spent sixteen years teaching special education in a high school setting. I loved my students and I love writing about the teenage years. They are so angsty and full of heart. I mean, who doesn’t remember their first kiss? Their first love? I also enjoy writing for middle grade. My MG horror story “Alex Crown and the Bunny Man” just won the Haunted States of America contest sponsored by SCBWI and Godwin Books.

Does your family support your career as a writer?

I have a very supportive family. We are all what you would call “artsy-fartsy.” My husband does photography, my oldest son is a film director, and my youngest son writes poetry and music. He wrote a song for my latest YA book which is out on submission. My daughter went the science route and is a marine biologist, but she likes to read and has a good eye for what makes a manuscript work. My husband and oldest son read all my first drafts. My husband is in the medical field and helps me with all my medical questions.

If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?

I was very shy and self-conscious when I was younger. I didn’t try a lot of things because I was afraid. If I could go back and do something differently it would be to have the courage to try something new even if I fail. I have learned more from my failures over the years than I have from my successes.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

I am a slow writer so it takes me up to two years to finish a book. Part of that is sending it out to editors or having beta readers take a look at it, and then going back and revising and editing.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

I have never had writer’s block where I can’t write anything at all. I have had periods where I have taken time off from writing to think about what I am going to write next. It’s usually in the “murky middle” of the book where I’m not sure how to proceed. I do write an outline before I start a book and I will usually go back and look at that to help me get started again. For anyone struggling with writer’s block, I would say to go do something else for a while. Exercise, read a book, go for a drive. Let your mind drift and an idea might pop out of nowhere.

Have you written any other books or do you have any books planned for the future?

Since I started writing fifteen years ago, I have written six novels. Some of them are destined to be only “shelf books.” Only one of my novels, SAVING SOPHIE, has been published so far. I have a new young adult book out on submission and I am working on my seventh novel which is also for young adults. I am also interested in writing a novel for middle graders.

An Interview with Author Maria Lizza Bowen

Maria Lizza Bowen

Maria Lizza Bowen is a Scientist and Director of Oncology Clinical Development with nearly 30 years in the pharmaceutical industry. Her experience includes: molecular, chemistry, biochemistry and virology laboratory studies; quality assurance in pharmaceutical manufacturing; and clinical cancer research with a focus on executive leadership, program management, talent management, inspection readiness, quality systems development, and process excellence.

Maria is also an author and a student of life. Growing up surrounded by her compassionate mother’s vast book collection and her father’s simplistically raw yet deep perspective on life, she began reading at a very young age and dedicated a significant portion of her childhood and adult life trying to understand why we’re all here. Maria’s quest for answers resulted in a large collection of books on physics, philosophy, and spirituality, which led her to acquire a different perspective on the curve balls that life has thrown her way.

Where are you from?

I’m from northeastern PA (NEPA, as most of us natives call it), but I’ve been in NJ for the last 17 years because of work. I’ve been doing pre-clinical and clinical research for almost 30 years, mainly cancer research.

Why do you write? 

I have always read books and I’ve always journaled – I absolutely LOVE books! I also LOVE to organize things (you’ll see how this all comes together). I am a super curious person, always researching something… Could be anything from understanding chromatin remodeling to how gems are faceted to brain chemistry of serial killers to the theory of annihilation in particle physics. I’m also very fascinated with the way people think and interact; even how different languages emerged across the planet. So, to answer your question, I probably write to make sense of it all.

What do you write about? 

Well, I wrote my first book on understanding our personal reality and how to get unstuck. This book, called REFLECT, is basically how I made some sense out of the problems that I’ve overcome in my life over the years. I suppose it resulted from a culmination of reading psychology, philosophy, physics, and spirituality books in combination with f$%&#ing up a lot. I’m certain my next book will have nothing to do with this topic, at least on the surface.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I’m a bit new to this author business, so I would say conversational?

What are obstacles that come in the way of writing? 

You might be sensing a theme here, but after a year of purposeful writing, I realized that I was trying to pack too much into one book. Once I tricked myself into dividing what I wanted to write about (into about 8 potential books), I was able to laser in on one topic. It magically came together after that!

What’s the most memorable thing asked/said by a reader about your work?

Actually, I was in complete awe of all the reviews that I had received so far on Amazon – I’m so grateful for every single one of them. So, just seeing how the readers interpreted the book – more importantly, how the readers felt about themselves after reading it – is most memorable for me. My goal was to help others get through difficulties by understanding (down to the core) why things ‘happen to us’ so that we can learn and move on from the things that get us stuck. Everyone is in a different place in their lives. Individually – as we grow and change, we find ourselves having a different level of understanding of our lives, throughout our lives. If someone who read this book picked it up and read it again 10 years later – I would be so curious how they would feel about themselves after reading it again. On a personal level, I will say my sister-in-law Pam and my niece Bri had both said they were in tears after reading the first chapter. I can tell you the exact sentence that triggered them, because it was a reference about my mom’s gentle but powerful spirit. When I started recording the audiobook, owner Chris at Portrait Studios had to give me a few minutes to stop crying and get my composure back after reading that sentence.

How long have you been writing?

24 months and 40 years. 😊 I started writing the book 2 years ago but have been journaling forever. What’s interesting is that the stuff in my book is nothing new. I realized that I’ve been telling myself this story my whole life but never put two and two together! Seriously, everyone should write a book – or at least journal. You clarify so much about yourself!

When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?

When a self-publishing publisher reached out to me. I mentioned before, I’m super curious. One day, I was randomly clicking and downloading some piece of valuable information (I’m every marketer’s dream) and didn’t realize that I would get a call from this place to convince me to write a book. Their great marketing skills and my spontaneous nature turned me into an author! I never would’ve considered it otherwise.

What is your work schedule like when you are writing?

VERY random. I have a very demanding full time day job, so thank goodness for voice notes. If I’m driving and get smacked with a deep thought, I can easily record it, download it, then clean it up later in the evening when I bang out a chapter or paragraph. I did not have a true schedule or timeline (that would take all of the fun out if it). I also realized that writing is a nice break from my day job – helps me put things into perspective and keeps me out of trouble!  In fact, I’m able to think more clearly when I’m at work, after I get all those random thoughts out of my brain and onto paper.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Ha! I tend to write my thoughts out of order, so I had probably printed the ‘final’ manuscript 3 times, cut it into chapter sections (literally, with scissors), rearranged it in a more ‘logical’ order, then switched everything around on the computer!

How long does it take to write a book?

I would say, once I zeroed in on the topic of the book, about 6 months. I will say, my father’s unexpected death resulting from a very aggressive cancer really pushed me to finish it. What are we waiting for, right?

Do you have suggestions on how to become a better writer?

YES! Don’t be hard on yourself! My first book is far from perfect, but I’m proud of it, mistakes and all! Don’t be afraid to keep going. This is ALL new to me. I only knew what I knew about the process (nearly nothing!) as I wrote. My suggestion is to keep going, make sure you have a good editor (maybe more than one), so they can see the things you don’t readily see. Feedback is your friend!

What challenges do you come across when writing/creating your story?

For me, understanding the target audience. I realized the importance of truly understanding who you are writing for. I didn’t get that concept until now. If you are truly writing your book to help people, you need to understand who you will be helping so that you can reach them!  

What do you think makes a good story?

Easy – Authenticity! Nothing else matters. I know it’s cliché, but people really connect with you when you allow yourself to be vulnerable. Don’t be afraid to show the world (and yourself) who you are!

What does your family think of your writing? 

Ah, I am the only girl after four brothers – all men of few words, so I’m not sure if they even read it! (Just kidding). Then there’s my husband who is painfully honest (a trait which I undoubtedly love about him). He was super impressed. I guess because we mostly talk about what to make for dinner or the boys’ sports schedules. Aside from the editors, my husband was the first to read it (I didn’t want anyone else’s opinion, so I gave it to him right before it was published – no turning back). Sadly, my father unexpectedly passed away while I was writing it. As tough as that was, he inspired me to move forward, to keep going. Finally, my mom has vascular dementia to the point that she can no longer communicate, but I think she can listen and understand. My dear friend Nicole suggested I personally record an audiobook so that mom can listen, so I hope it’s not torture when I play it for her!

Do you see writing as a career?

I’m too much in love with my career in oncology to be a full-time author, but I cannot imagine life without writing books. Hint, more coming. 😊

Do you have anything specific you’d like to tell the readers?

Yes, if you would like to find out more about my book REFLECT: A perspective on understanding your reality and becoming unstuck, please visit my website. I’m in the process of upgrading it and getting more stuff on there (including podcasts, interviews, updates, a blog, and giveaways), so if you see the black and mint green website, check back in a week or 2 for the revamp! Reflect is available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats. You can get links to buy the book on my website, which is sold just about everywhere (Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes and Noble, Kubo, and many more). From the website, you can also order a personally dedicated copy of REFLECT for yourself or as a gift for someone you care about. Finally, if you read it, please consider writing an honest review, which would help the book get to more readers. I would love to know what you think and if it helped you in any way!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When REFLECT was finally published. In a flash, I went from owning more than a thousand books to becoming an author! Listen, we all have a story to tell. You never know how you might help someone by sharing it!

Amazon Link: Reflect: A Perspective on Understanding Your Reality and Becoming Unstuck: Bowen, Maria Lizza: 9781950336296: Books: Amazon.com

Amazon Author website: Amazon.com: Maria Lizza Bowen: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle

An Interview with Author Stephanie M. Jones

Stephanie M. Jones can usually be found reading a book, most likely a fantasy romance. Writing stories of magic and happy endings was something she always loved doing, and now her author dreams have come true. Her latest novel, A Song of Death & Lies, is the second book in her Daughter of Time series. If she wasn’t a writer, she would have become an oceanographer. When she isn’t reading or writing, Stephanie loves sewing, dancing, office supply shopping, and sometimes hiking. She lives and works out of her home near the rocky mountains in Alberta, Canada, with her husband and daughter.

Describe yourself in five words

quiet, creative, kind, careful, faithful

What fact about yourself would really surprise people? 

I’ve never travelled outside of Canada. (Can you spot my Canadian spelling in this interview?)

How do you work through self-doubts and fear? 

I talk to my husband about it (he’s a movie buff and understands story beats too), take a break from my manuscript, and/or read one of my favourite books again to remind myself why I love writing.

What makes you happiest? 

Reading, kissing my husband, eating chocolate, hugging my daughter, and going to the fabric store (not in that order).

Have you always enjoyed writing? 

When I was a kid, I wanted to be an oceanographer, but then my best friend in high school introduced me to her favourite books and told me about the novel she was writing. I wanted to write one too, and I was hooked!

What books did you love growing up? 

Every book by Tamora Pierce, the Harry Potter series, and the Matched series by Ally Condie.

What is hardest–getting published, writing or marketing? 

Definitely the writing, but it’s also the most rewarding.

What else do you do, other than write? 

I’m lucky enough to be a stay-at-home mom.

What other jobs have you had in your life? 

KFC cashier, housekeeper, amateur fence painter.

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

I never want to go back to school honestly, but if I couldn’t be a writer, I’d go into oceanography.

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

Not gonna lie, a decent income from my books would be amazing, but I mostly judge success by reaching readers and fulfilling my longing to share my stories with people who enjoy them.

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

I just published A Song of Death & Lies, book 2 in my Daughter of Time series. This is a planned 4 book series, as well as a prequel that’s already available. The first book in this series (A Song of Dreams & Demons) I actually wrote in 2010 and it was my “magnum opus” so to speak, the book of my heart. It’s been so much fun writing more about these characters and they’ve been such a part of my life as I’ve grown up, too. This is exactly what I love to read: magic and romance with a hint of danger.

If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask? 

I’d love to invite Lindsay Buroker, Dale L. Roberts, Bethany Atazadeh, and Kenley Davidson.

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

Reading, sewing, going on walks, baking desserts and eating too much of them, and visiting family.

You can find me on my website: authorstephaniemjones.com

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