Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Book Blast: Good Intentions Bad Consequences by Phillip Nelson - Win a $25 Gift Card





Title: Good Intentions Bad Consequences: Voters' Information Problems
Author: Phillip Nelson
Publisher: AuthorHouse 
Genre: Social Science/Sociology
Format: Ebook

A new approach to understanding voter choice with important implications. There is a substantial class of voters who would like to do “good” but ignore important consequences of their attempts to do so—naïve altruists. The book both shows why such a class exists and tests the implications of that group’s behavior in a setting where other voters are self-interested, others are traditionalists, and imitation plays a big role in voter choice. The book also looks at the policy implications of such behavior accepting as desirable, but not fully achievable, the democratic ideal in which sufficiently informed citizens are given equal weight in political choices. Naïve altruists ignore the anti-growth consequences of redistribution from the rich as a class to the poor as a class. That ignorance produces too much of that redistribution in terms of the democratic ideal.



Phillip Nelson has specialized in two fields. The first is information economics in which he has produced seminal work in consumer economics. The second is public choice in which he has written many articles and the book, “Signaling Goodness.” This book melds these two fields producing new insights about voter information problems. He has spent a lifetime teaching graduate courses in these specialties and microeconomics theory at Binghamton University, Columbia University, and the University of Chicago.

GIVEAWAY

Phillip IS GIVING AWAY A $25 GIFT CARD!

  
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins February 19 and ends on March 2.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on March 3.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone! 

ENTER TO WIN!

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Monday, February 26, 2018

Interview with Mary Lawlor: 'I loved words and knew I wanted to spend my life thinking about and playing with them' @marylawlor5



Mary Lawlor grew up in an Army family during the Cold War.  Her father was a decorated fighter pilot who fought in the Pacific during World War II, flew missions in Korea, and did two combat tours in Vietnam. His family followed him from base to base and country to country during his years of service. Every two or three years, Mary, her three sisters, and her mother packed up their household and moved. By the time she graduated from high school, she had attended fourteen different schools. These displacements, plus her father?s frequent absences and brief, dramatic returns, were part of the fabric of her childhood, as were the rituals of base life and the adventures of life abroad.

As Mary came of age, tensions between the patriotic, Catholic culture of her upbringing and the values of the sixties counterculture set family life on fire.  While attending the American College in Paris, she became involved in the famous student uprisings of May 1968.  Facing her father, then posted in Vietnam, across a deep political divide, she fought as he had taught her to for a way of life completely different from his and her mother’s.

Years of turbulence followed.  After working in Germany, Spain and Japan, Mary went on to graduate school at NYU, earned a Ph.D. and became a professor of literature and American Studies at Muhlenberg College.  She has published three books, Recalling the Wild (Rutgers UP, 2000), Public Native America (Rutgers UP, 2006), and most recently Fighter Pilot’s Daughter: Growing Up in the Sixties and the Cold War (Rowman and Littlefield, September 2013).

She and her husband spend part of each year on a small farm in the mountains of southern Spain.

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At what age did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I knew I wanted to be a writer in first grade. One day during recess a Vietnamese girl came up and started talking to me,  as if she thought we should be friends. She told me she came from a different place in the world and that her family spoke a different language. My mind reeled. I was amazed at the thought of a language other than my own, a completely different set of words and ways of saying things. I asked her how to say “lipstick” in Vietnamese. “Son môi,” she said. Dazzled, I tried to say it myself. She laughed at my clumsy pronunciation but helped me get it right.

You might take from this that my inspiration was to be a translator but it was the magic of words themselves, designating something in particular that could also be designated in another language that the Vietnamese “lipstick” made so vivid.  It lit a fire in my brain. I loved words and knew I wanted to spend my life thinking about and playing with them.

Has writing always been a passion for you or did you discover it years later?

Since first grade, as I just recounted, writing has been a passion for me. I’ve always wanted to make up stories and spent a good deal of my girlhood fantasizing. Since my family moved a lot I often found myself among strangers and discovered early that I could make things up about myself. Nobody knew my background so I could exaggerate or even fabricate things. I could tell other kids my grandparents had a castle in Ireland, that I had a tiara, that we went to Paris in the summers. In reality my father was an Army pilot, and neither he nor my mother had inherited any family money. We could hardly afford such things as summers in Paris. I’m sure the other kids thought l I was pretty strange and probably full of baloney.

At some point I started writing stories instead. The interesting thing was they became more realistic. They weren’t as fantastical as the things I made up for other kids at school. Something about writing made me think the story had to be believable. Maybe it was the idea that written words were tracks, records left behind for anybody to check out later, whereas I must’ve thought spoken ones evaporated like I did when I moved.

I wrote during school, after school, during vacations into my early college years but only took a creative writing course quite late in the game. That course confirmed my desire and some ability, but I didn’t follow up until much later. I studied literature in graduate school, thinking this would help me write; but ended up becoming a professor instead. I produced a couple of academic books before writing Fighter Pilot’s Daughter. In the end, the years in literary studies prepared me well for creative writing but it took a long time to get there.  



Can you name three writing tips to pass on to aspiring authors?

Trust your inner ear—listen to it and take it seriously, even if you don’t know entirely what it’s saying.

Write every day, even if only for twenty minutes.

Keep your work to yourself until it’s really ready to be shown; and then show it only to those whose criticism you trust won’t be motivated by anything but care and thoughtfulness.


Do you let unimportant things get in the way of your writing?

Inevitably. Most of the time I at least try to resist them. Sometimes, if I see it as the sign of a need for a break, I’ll give in to the impulse to get up and do something else. At others, the anxieties of other demands are overwhelming. To ensure I get some stretch of time to keep writing through the day, I to away to a writing residency or find a retreat somewhere a couple of times each year.

What are you reading now?

I’m reading a long list of classics I haven’t read in ages (or in some cases ever). These include novels of Balzac, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Henry James, Virginia Woolf, Willa Cather, Thomas Mann, and others. These grand old story tellers are not remembered and taught all the time for nothing: they have a fantastic sense of plot and ability to shape unforgettable characters. They all have an amazing sense of the narrative power of history and its influence on peoples’ lives. And of course they have style, style, style. The old masters are endless writing teachers.

I’ve also been reading wonderful current fiction recently: Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, Thomas Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge, Don DeLillo’s Zero K, Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend, Nell Zink’s The Wallcreeper

What are you currently working on?

I’ve just finished a novel called The Time Keeper’s Room which my agent is showing to publishers. It’s set in Spain and tells the story of a young woman whose mother is American and whose father is Spanish. She struggles with identity on several levels—personal, familial, national. Travel in Spain and Morocco, visionary experiences, and the love of her boyfriend helps her work through the most difficult of her dramas.

I’m also working on another novel titled The Stars Over Andalucia, also set in Spain, about an American woman who’s trying to find a place for herself in a small Andalusian town and figuring out what it means to be a foreigner: how to understand her differences from those around her, how to recognize when she’s accepted, where she never will belong, what the benefits, pitfalls, and ethics of foreignness are in the twenty-first century.

I live in Spain for half the year and have done so for quite some time. The experience of being a foreigner in a place I love and whose landscape enchants me has been a theme in my thinking and writing for some time. The Time Keeper’s Room and The Stars Over Andalucia both take up this idea and play it out in the lives of different American, English, and Spanish characters of different ages and backgrounds. 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Meet the Author: D.E. Haggerty, author of 'Searching for Gertrude' @dehaggerty






Dena (aka D.E.) grew-up reading everything she could get her grubby hands on from her mom's Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When she wasn't flipping pages in a library book, she was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories, which she is very thankful have been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along and robbed her of any free time to write or read, although on the odd occasion she did manage to sneak a book into her rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, she went back to school and got her law degree. She jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into her legal career, she was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. She quit her job and sat down to write a manuscript, which she promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But being a lawyer really wasn’t her thing, so she quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t her thing either. She polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where she decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from her adopted home. She packed up again and moved back to the Netherlands (The Hague to be exact) where she's currently working on her next book. She hopes she'll always be working on another book.

Author links:

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Title: SEARCHING FOR GERTRUDE
Author: D.E. Haggerty
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 250
Genre: Historical Romance

BOOK BLURB:

While growing up in Germany in the 1930s, Rudolf falls in love with the girl next door, Gertrude. He doesn’t care what religion Gertrude practices, but the Nazis do. When the first antisemitic laws are enacted by the Nazi government, Gertrude’s father loses his job at the local university. Unable to find employment in Germany, he accepts a position at Istanbul University and moves the family to Turkey. Rudolf, desperate to follow Gertrude, takes a position as a consulate worker in Istanbul with the very government which caused her exile. With Rudolf finally living in the same city as Gertrude, their reunion should be inevitable, but he can’t find her. During his search for Gertrude, he stumbles upon Rosalyn, an American Jew working as a nanny in the city. Upon hearing his heartbreaking story, she immediately agrees to help him search for his lost love. Willing to do anything in their search for Gertrude, they agree to work for a British intelligence officer who promises his assistance, but his demands endanger Rudolf and Rosalyn. As the danger increases and the search for Gertrude stretches on, Rudolf and Rosalyn grow close, but Rudolf gave his heart away long ago.  

How far would you go to find the woman you love?

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Has writing always been a passion for you or did you discover it years later?

From a young age, I was always writing something. I wrote my first novel while traveling on a yellow school bus to school in 6th grade. Over the years, the passion for writing has ebbed and flowed depending on what else was going on with my life. When I realized I wasn’t going to find a career I loved, I finally decided to give writing a go as a career instead of a hobby. I’m still here.

Do you let unimportant things get in the way of your writing?

Yes. *Blushes* This has been a huge issue for me this past year. I took on way too many commitments, and they all got in the way of my writing. I was not a fun person to be around. Fingers crossed, I can get myself sorted in 2018.

What hours do you write best?

Call me crazy, but I love to write in the early morning when it’s still dark out. I even have a string of Christmas lights around the fireplace I plug in all year round for ambiance. For some reason sitting behind my computer while the rest of the world sleeps gets my creative juices flowing.

How often do you write?

As often as I can manage. Writing every single day doesn’t work with my crazy schedule, but when I’m working on a new novel, I try to write at least four times a week. Try being the operative word here.

Are you an avid reader?

Replace avid with obsessed and you’ll get close to my level of reader. I read a few hours most days. On days I can’t read, I’m very, very grumpy.

What are you reading now?

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, Peter the Great: His Life and World by Robert K. Massie. Unless it’s a guilty read, I read several books at a time. I gobble up guilty reads and can’t stop until the last page is read. Bedtime is never a barrier when it comes to guilty reads.  Other editions
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What are you currently working on?

I’m starting a new mystery series. The heroine is a 40-something whose husband left her. She discovers a mysterious object while cleaning out the house and decides to investigate. Hopefully, laughter will ensue at this point.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Book Blast: Malayan Enigma by Nicholas Snow - Win a $25 Gift Card





Title: Malayan Enigma: An Andrew Bond WWII Adventure
Author: Nicholas Snow
Publisher: AuthorHouse UK
Genre: Military/History
Format: Ebook


Malaya, 1941 – a fool’s haven from the devastating war raging elsewhere in the world Sent to Singapore towards the end of 1941 to evaluate the intentions of the Japanese Empire, Lieutenant Andrew Bond finds himself embroiled in a series of events accelerating towards all-out war in the region. The city, a heady, exotic blend of cultures teeming with intrigue, is oblivious to what lies ahead. Facing betrayal, incompetence, Japanese spies, and the Yakuza underworld, Bond manages to gather a band of trustworthy companions, including the striking beauty Liu-Yang. In a desperate race against time, he must force his way through enemy-infested jungles and seas to bring home a device that will help change the course of the war – the Malayan Enigma!



Nicholas Snow is the pen name of Nicholas C. Kyriazis, who holds a diploma and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Bonn, Germany. He has acted as visiting professor at Harvard and at the University of Trier. He has worked as a consultant to the Directorate General of Research of the European Parliament, to the National Bank of Greece, and to the Ministries of National Economy and of Defence, and has served as secretary general of Public Administration. Professor of economics at the University of Thessaly, he is a member of the board of Alpha Trust Investment Fund (listed on the Athens Stock Exchange), vice president of Ergoman Telecommunications, and vice president of the Kostas Kyriazis Foundation. He has contributed more than sixty papers to academic journals and has published eight books on economics, history, and strategy as well as a volume of poetry. Poems of his have been translated into English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Maltese. As a novelist, he has published eighteen books in Greece, several of which have been translated and published in English, including Themistocles (Kosbil Publications, 2004), The Shield (AuthorHouse, 2005), Assassins (AuthorHouse, 2007), and, in collaboration with Guy Féaux de la Croix, Last Love (Plato’s Last Love) (AuthorHouse, 2014).

GIVEAWAY

Nicholas IS GIVING AWAY A $25 GIFT CARD!

  
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins February 19 and ends on March 2.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on March 3.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone! 

ENTER TO WIN!

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Meet the Author: Nadia Natali, Author of 'Stiarway to Paradise: Growing Up Gershwin'

Nadia Natali, author of the memoir, Stairway to Paradise: Growing Up Gershwin, published by Rare Bird, Los Angeles, 2015, and The Blue Heron Ranch Cookbook: Recipes and Stories from a Zen Retreat Center published by North Atlantic Books, Berkeley CA, 2008, is currently working on a second cookbook titled Zafu Kitchen Cookbook. 
           
Natali, a clinical psychotherapist and dance therapist, specializes in trauma release through somatic work. She earned a master’s degree from Hunter College in New York City in Dance/Movement Therapy and completed another masters degree in clinical psychology with an emphasis in somatic psychology at the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute. Nadia is a registered practitioner of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (RCST) and is also a certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP) who trained with Peter Levine.
DanceMedicine Workshops is Natali’s creation where participants move through their trauma with dialogue and dance. She also offers the Ojai community, DanceMedicine Journeys. In addition to her private practice, Nadia and her husband offer Zen Retreats at their center.
Born into a famous family that was riddled with dysfunction, Nadia Natali made the choice to turn her life inside out and step away from fame and fortune. Against her parents’ consent she married an artist and moved to the remote wilderness in California. It was there that she found grounding as she and her husband raised and homeschooled their three children and opened a retreat center. As she gathered her own momentum, she enrolled in a doctorate program finally becoming a clinical psychotherapist specializing in psychosomatic work. She and her husband live in Ojai California.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

About the Book:
Growing up as Frankie Gershwin's daughter, the sister of George and Ira Gershwin, was quite a challenge. I didn't have the perspective to realize that so much unhappiness in a family was out of the ordinary. But I knew something was off. My mother was often depressed and my father was
tyrannical and scary, one never knew when he would blow up. I learned early on that I had to be the cheery one, the one to fix the problems. Both sides of my family were famous; the Gershwin side and my father who invented color film. But even though there was more than enough recognition, money and parties I understood that wasn't what made people happy.
As a young adult adrift and depressed I broke from that unsatisfactory life by marrying Enrico Natali, a photographer, deeply immersed in his own questions about life. We moved into the wilderness away from what we considered as the dysfunction of society. That’s when we discovered that life had other kinds of challenges: flood, fire, rattlesnakes, mountain lions and bears. We lived in a teepee for more than four years while building a house. Curiously my mother never commented on my life choice. She must have realized on some level that her own life was less than satisfactory.
Enrico had developed a serious meditation practice that had become a kind of ground for him. As for me I danced. Understanding the somatic, the inner body experience, became my way to shift the inner story.
We raised and homeschooled our three children. I taught them to read, Enrico taught them math. The kids ran free, happy, always engaged, making things, and discovering. We were so sure we were doing the right thing. However, we didn't have a clue how they would make the transition to the so-called ‘real world’. The children thrived until they became teenagers. They then wanted out. Everything fell apart for them and for Enrico and me. Our lives were turned upside down, our paradise lost. There was tragedy: our son lost his life while attempting to cross our river during a fierce storm. Later I was further challenged by advanced breast cancer.
It was during these times that I delved deeply into the somatic recesses of myself. I began to find my own voice, a long learning process. I emerged with a profound trust in my own authority. It became clear that everyone has to find his or her way through layers of inauthenticity, where a deep knowing can develop. And I came to see that is the best anyone can offer to the world.
Enrico and I still live in the wilds of the Lost Padres National Forest, a paradise with many steps going up and down, a life I would not change.

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-Can you tell us what your book is about?
One may believe genius, fame, and wealth bring happiness. That was not my experience. My mother, sister of George and Ira Gershwin, and my father who invented color film were the primary models in my childhood. Growing up with such talent as I did, I learned early on that it distorts values. That was my first lesson. I turned my life around when I met Enrico who was to become my husband and partner in life. We moved out to the wilderness and met with many obstacles while raising a family. We turned all the apparent false values of the social system inside out and then had to face the consequences.
During those years I discovered my own truth, a journey that took me inward to body sensation, an inner experience, rather than looking to authority or others for answers. Perhaps most importantly was how I found my boundaries, my authenticity and my voice, which led me to find meaning in my life and a meaningful way to help others.
-Why did you write your book?
It was an urge that had no direct path. I just knew I had a story to tell and hoped others would find it valuable. In a sense it wrote itself.
-What kind of message is your book trying to tell your readers?
I believe that my message might inspire and inform readers how to shift from turning to others for answers to finding one’s own truth within.
Learning that you are the utmost authority on being human was huge for me. And finding out thinking is not reality was at the bottom of it all. I had to turn inward, to the inner experience, to feel when I looked for an answer. I prefer to hear from people’s experience rather than to read a how to book and I hope my journey will provide such a context to others.
-Who influenced you to write your book?
A good friend who teaches writing at UCLA said to me, “You have such an interesting story to tell you ought to write a memoir”. Her suggestion confirmed an impulse I had been holding, which was to write how being part of such a famous and wealthy family was completely at odds with my finding a wholesome life and then the challenging journey I took to find it.
I joined my friend’s weekly writing group and found it daunting as I listened to the other professional writers read their pages. After months of feeling painfully inadequate I stopped participating and wrote the rest of the book at home. Luckily my friend was very encouraging and without all those listeners I realized I was better off working on my own.
-Is it hard to publish a nonfiction book?
I first self-published my memoir and sent it out to other publishers.
I found someone who would do PR for me at a given cost. Since they were also a publishing company and liked my book, I asked if they would publish mine if I paid for the printing. It has been a mixed experience.
-Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?
There were times I felt an uncomfortable sensation in my belly as I wrote challenging parts of my story. I believe my belly was telling me that what I was writing was either not genuine or off center. My desire to be authentic pushed me to rewrite whatever was necessary to go to a deeper level that allowed both authenticity and integrity. Sometimes the sensation was there and I had no idea why but I had to rewrite until it disappeared.
-What would you do with an extra hour today if you could do anything you wanted?
I would bake something.
-Which holiday is your favorite and why?
I like Thanksgiving because I love to cook and love good food.
-If we were to meet for lunch to talk books, where would we go?
I would go to a really good but quiet Japanese restaurant
-What do you like to do for fun?
I enjoy cooking and writing my cookbook. I love technology and am on the computer a lot reading the news as a break from my writing.
I also love my animals, three German Shepherds, four cats and lots of chickens.
They all roam freely on our property out in the national forest.
-Can you tell us about your family?
My family of origin was full of genius and trouble and I tried to create a new paradigm with my current family, one of wholesomeness and integrity.
The life my husband and I created in the wilderness felt like an antidote to society and its apparent pitfalls. We home schooled the kids and ran into serious trouble when they entered their teenage years. My world turned upside down. We lost one of our three children in an accident. I have spent my life trying to find my own voice and have written about it in my memoir.
-What do you like the most about being an author?
I like having to be authentic and real and that challenge is equally a part of my life.
-What kind of advice would you give other non-fiction authors?
It took many years to write, Stairway to Paradise: Growing Up Gershwin. In some way I felt I had a hand at my back that pushed me through the whole process. It was very hard work but for me there was little or no resistance. You really need to want to do it; if there is any doubt I imagine the process could be agonizing.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Meet The Authors: Children's Book Authors Patrick & Shani Muhammad





South Florida based janitor turned serial entrepreneur, Patrick Muhammad took what some would call an unconventional route to his newest venture.  “What I do now has evolved.  It truly took my passion and has turned it into a profession for me. I can see myself mentoring and sharing my story with young people easily for the next 20 years.  I love talking to young people and showing them, what entrepreneurship looks like. I love sharing my stories of how I came to be.  I didn’t just wake up one day and have all the answers.  My wife and I bumped our head A LOT.  I just want to say to them, look…here’s the blueprint.  Start now, don’t wait until you’re 30.  Passion has no age requirement, and has no limit on how many you can have. I started out as a janitor, then became a baker now I am into motivational speaking. They just have to have the passion and guidance. Anything is possible.”

“Patrick Turns His Play Into Pay” is the 1st book in a series of children’s books authored by husband and wife writing partners, Shani and Patrick Muhammad. The idea for the book was created one night while trying to explain the reason there was a gigantic, neon, pink and orange food-truck, now sitting in their front yard to their then 4 year-old Qadeer.   Patrick and his wife came up with the idea that they would write a keepsake item for all their children, detailing the road they took to becoming entrepreneurs.  The primary message is simple. By tapping into your passion early in life you can turn your playdays into paydays.  Once the book was published they both realized that the story could not only inspire their own children to entrepreneurship, but others as well. Shani figured out how to self-publish it and Patrick would take it to different youth groups in his community.   “I began shopping the book around to childcare centers and non-profits that served young people in the projects and the adults loved it.  “They really loved the idea that it was based on a true story and that the message was coming from a black male perspective. A story their children could relate to.  The images were brown like them and I just always got a positive response.  We took that book everywhere with us, and the response was this is a message that’s needed.  Children can’t be what they can’t see.”
Patrick currently lives in South Florida with his wife and three of his youngest five children.  He has a passion for planting the seed of entrepreneurship and carving out wealth building opportunities for his children’s generation. When he’s not writing books he’s on tour, speaking to groups of young people about basic principles of financial literacy and the benefits of early investing using cryptocurrency as a vehicle to establish future financial goals. When he’s not doing that…he’s on a creek with a fishing pole in his hand.

Shani Muhammad has been married to Patrick for 17 years now.  Together they have 5 children and 3 grandchildren.   Shani has spent the past 15 years in a classroom as a teacher. She too is a serial entrepreneur and has in the past owned a one-price shoe store, group homes and several online businesses. When she’s not working on the next children’s book in their series, she too enjoys researching and investing in crypto currencies and planning her family’s next “staycation.”

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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About the Book:

Title: PATRICK TURNS HIS PLAY INTO PAY
Author: Patrick Muhammad & Shani Muhammad
Publisher: 5 Star Publishing
Pages: 40
Genre: Children’s Book

BOOK BLURB:
The first book in a series, "Patrick Turns His Play Into Pay", details the journey of an entrepreneur, through the eyes of a child. The book uses vivid illustrations and lively words, to explain the road little Patrick took into the world of entrepreneurship.  It demonstrates the benefits of tapping into your passion early in life.  “Patrick” tapped into his passion of baking to help solve a money problem.  This book also shows the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur.  You witness a 9-year old take the power and control of his future into his own hands. You also see what happens when “Patrick” finds help in a friend, to help grow his business. Above all, this book motivates both young and young at heart and serves as a reminder that we all have the ability to turn our playdays into paydays.


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What first inspired you to write or who inspired you?

The idea for the book was created one night while trying to explain the reason there was a gigantic, neon, pink and orange food-truck, now sitting in their front yard to our youngest at Qadeer. He was 4 at the time.   My wife and I came up with the idea that we would write a keepsake item for our children and God-willing…grandchildren, detailing the road we took to becoming entrepreneurs.  The primary message is simple. By tapping into your passion early in life you can turn your playdays into paydays.

At what age did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I never wanted to be a writer. Prior to writing this book, I was a janitor for 25 years. I kind of fell into writing. It was my wife’s idea, to leave it as a legacy for my children and  grandchildren to have after my wife and I were long gone. I created the concept, she was my co-author. I was blessed to have her on my team, she has a degree in journalism and currently works as a high school teacher, so that kind of worked in my favor you could say.

Do you take notes when reading or watching a movie?

No

Has writing always been a passion for you or did you discover it years later?

I’ve been a janitor for most of my life. If I never owned the food-truck, I don’t think this book would’ve ever been written.

Do you have a day job?  What do you do?

By day I’m out selling and promoting my book trying to get speaking engagements. At night, I’m a janitor, I clean a car dealership.  I tried quitting several times…the owners won’t let me.  

Can you name three writing tips to pass on to aspiring authors?

·        Books don’t sell themselves. Make sure you put money aside for a marketing budget and plan because I don’t care how good your book is…if no one knows about it, it’s not going to sell. If you don’t have a degree in marketing or have a background in the book business, its okay to hire help. As a new author, selling your book is a fulltime job with a part-time check.
·        If you are not going the self-publishing route and use Amazon or Barnes & Noble to get your book to market, make sure you understand how your royalties will be handled.  How often will you receive statements and what % of the sales will you actually receive. 
·        You’re going to need to find someone or a group that will help keep you accountable to actually get to the finish line on your book and get it to market. If you are doing writing “on the side”, try to surround yourself with other like minded people. Life is going to happen, people who don’t have your dream will discourage you. 

Do you let unimportant things get in the way of your writing?

Life is going to happen. Things are going to get in your way. That’s the way life is. We make plans and then Allah laughs.  I believe if passion is there, the pay will come.

What hours do you write best?

Weekends, early am. Usually between 6 and 8 am. My children and wife are still usually in the bed.  After I make fajr prayer, I light my candles, it’s perfect.

How often do you write?

I set aside time every weekend.

Are you an avid reader?

Yes.

What are you reading now?

Black American Money by Boyce Watkins and Message to the Blackman by The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad.

Has writing always been a passion for you or did you discover it years later?

Prior to writing this book, I was a janitor for 25 years. I kind of fell into writing. It was my wife’s idea, to leave it as a legacy for my children and  grandchildren to have after my wife and I were long gone.

What are you currently working on?

Patrick Turns His Play Into Pay is the 1st in a series of picture books. Our next book will continue to explore how Patrick turns his play into pay, this time using Bitcoins.