What was the best review you ever received about you and your work?
The best review I ever received was:
The act of bridging the gap between life’s trials and sustaining a positive outlook despite of the variety adversities in this life indicates the personal touch the author provides. The experiences shared made the readers to be connected with it through relating it to the various challenges on their own lives. The author inspired the reader to face life with confidence, faith in a successful outcome, and yes, with hope that transcends carnal knowledge if you only believe. The book also encourages the reader to have a positive conclusion to make despair into an optimistic outcome. Furthermore, the book inspires the readers to run this race we call life with self-assurance, gratitude, and maintaining a positive mental attitude.
I equally found the book’s approach to understanding the different religious cultures, practices, and belief systems to be well researched and approached with care. The author provides the reader with a clear direct approach to spirituality as viewed from the author’s perspective. In addition, the book also provides the reader with understanding the potential consequences for the lack of spirituality in our lives and the influence of the choices we make each and every day to encourage living a happy and fulfilled life.
I would personally recommend this book to anyone who experienced or currently experiencing life challenges, desiring a new approach to address personal issues, or simply looking for encouragement in the times in which we live—all from the Author’s perspective with a personal touch of overcoming life’s struggles and challenges to achieve success as a living witness which says in my opinion—he made it through…so you can too!
What was the worst review you ever received about you and your work?
The worst review I ever received was:
“This is an incredibly interesting, thought provoking and spiritual read covering many topics of life that can lead you to feel down and ready to give up your soul. It is the author’s inspirational story of how he overcame many hardships to survive and lead a fulfilling life.”
How did you come up with the title of your book?
I met a group of US Marines working at Pensacola Beach after a concert when I was looking for car keys that I had lost on the beach at the concert. I decided I would never quit looking for my keys until I found them. We talked about the Marines’ motto—Never Surrender—that is part of “The United States Fighting Force’s Code of Conduct.” It states: “I will never surrender of my own free will.” Several hours later I found my keys, and as I left the Marines, I clutched my keys in my hand and said to them, “Never Surrender.” The words “Your Soul” were added to the title in reference to my own soul that was surrendered when I attempted to die by suicide.
Are there any occupational hazards of being an author?
The rejection of our manuscripts is the biggest challenge. Stephen King received dozens of rejections for his first novel, “Carrie.” J.K. Rowling experienced the same with “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” (later called, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”). This reminds me of one of my quotes: “Fear not. Never look back. Never give up. Never stop trying. Never quit, not even a bit.”
The secondary challenges are the lack of sleep, poor eating habits/diet, sitting in front of the computer twelve hours a day, lack of exercise, lack of a social life (a result of talking about the book to everyone I met), stress from mental blocks and deadlines, and lack of money (in my case, I wrote while I was homeless; although I am sure I was not the first author to be in that situation).
Have you ever wished that you could be or do anything other than being an author, and if so what?
Actually, yes, I have. I have been an ecommerce entrepreneur for the last fourteen years. Since 2001, through my businesses, Nutricare Plus and now Tattoo You, I offer specially formulated skincare products, herbal remedies, and pure emu oil with herbal, natural, and organic ingredients. In 2009, I started Best To Live, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, whose goal is to be an outreach initiative providing answers, information, and resources for health needs and overall wellness for anyone who needs to survive from emotional, mental, or physical stress. The websites for these companies are: www.NCPCares.com, www.TatsYou.com, and www.BestToLive.org.
What is the biggest challenge you faced upon writing your book?
I became homeless for ten months from December 2010 to September 2011, while writing two books simultaneously over a period of six years. I ended up homeless, because I pushed myself so much during the writing of “Never Surrender Your Soul,” which resulted in putting other peoples’ needs ahead of mine. I slept an average of two hours a night for almost two years. My thoughts kept going; I couldn’t stop thinking about the book. My body was totally exhausted, but my mind was full of energy.
Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Write the book for the right reasons, purpose, and for your enjoyment. I wrote “Never Surrender Your Soul” to help other people. I found out after the book was published that in writing the book I saved myself.
Also, bear in mind that most books make three hundred dollars of sales a year and twenty-five percent of writers earn seventy-five percent of the sales.
What has been the best experience you have ever had in your life?
When my daughter Amelia Marie was born.
What is the most important thing you learned in school?
College taught me multitasking and social skills I had not yet developed. I went to an all-boys school during grades nine through twelve, called “Boston College High School” in Boston, Massachusetts. In college, I worked forty hours a week and paid one hundred percent of my education. Half of the students were women. That was where I discovered that women were equal to men on every level. I always wonder why there is still inequality between men and women in the world.
What is your favourite TV show of all time?
“The Walking Dead,” because it’s about survival and never surrendering, no matter what the odds are.
Tea, coffee, water, juice, wine, or beer…which do you prefer when writing?
I prefer water or cold tea for the antioxidants and weight loss purposes. When you are writing, you’re just sitting all day and not exercising.
If you could commit the killing of someone, where would you hide the body?
The thought of committing murder never comes into my mind.