Friday, October 24, 2014

Author Interview- Laura Lee (Identity Theft)

Hi, everyone. Today, on the blog, we have with us author Laura Lee. I have previously read and loved the author's homosexual story, Angel and her poetry collection, Where Souls Grow Warm. Additionally, I have also read and really liked her book, Identity Theft. The book is going to be released soon, and with it, I will publish my review of the same. As for now, we have the author here to talk to us about the book. Previously, we interviewed Laura for Angel and you check that out right here if you're interested. Let's get on to what we have in store for you now. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR (from Goodreads):


I am the author of more than a dozen books, the novel Angel, and numerous non-fiction titles including The Pocket Encyclopedia of Aggravation (Black Dog and Leventhal), now in its third printing and published in France under the title Le Dictionaire des Contrairites; Arlo, Alice and Anglicans (Berkshire House/W.W. Norton), which tells the story of the church made famous in Arlo Guthrie’s song and movie Alice’s Restaurant; The Name’s Familiar: Mr. Leotard, Barbie and Chef Boyardee (Pelican Publishing), a Book-of-the-Month Club alternate selection and its sequel The Name’s Familiar II; the 100 Most Dangerous Things in Life (Broadway Books/Random House), which was featured on Good Morning America and CNN’s American Morning; Blame it on the Rain (HarperCollins), The Elvis Impersonation Kit and A Child’s Introduction to Ballet (both Black Dog and Leventhal), Schadenfreude, Baby! (Lyons Press), and Broke is Beautiful (Running Press). 


The San Francisco Chronicle has said of my work, "Lee's dry, humorous tone makes her a charming companion… She has a penchant for wordplay that is irresistible."


AUTHOR LINKS (from Goodreads):


ABOUT THE BOOK (from Publush):

Candi Tavris is on the verge of turning 30, she works in the packaging department of a company that is downsizing and she is hounded by calls from creditors who mispronounce her name. She wakes up every morning praying that the folks at Life Lock will perform their work in reverse and give her "identity" to someone else. Her younger sister, never a serious student, married a rich executive and lives in a mansion. Candi's only solace is escaping into the music and image of the 80s pop star Blast.

Ethan  Penn,  a  22 year-old college dropout who smokes pot and lives in his mother's  basement, works in the rock star's office. (His desk sits under a framed gold record with a dead spider caught in the glass.)

His boss, whose real name is Ollie Thomas, is as socially awkward off stage as he is charismatic on stage. He is depressed about his pending divorce. His greatest fame is behind him, his biggest hit "Partly Cloudy Thursday (Blast With Me)" was a cliched monstrosity written to please record executives. His rock n' roll lifestyle mostly consists of finding ways to keep his laundry from stinking while on the road and trying to remain anonymous while buying Preparation-H.

Blast assigns the task of keeping up with his social networking to Ethan. Ethan starts to correspond with Candi through e-mail and chats in the guise of the rock star. The conversation soon becomes steamy. The game spirals out of control when Blast performs a concert in Candi's hometown and Candi is mistaken first for a groupie and then
for a delusional stalker.

Candi must try to prove (and retain) her sanity. Ethan must decide whether to risk jail by telling the truth. A terrified Ollie has to come to terms with his relationship with his Blast character and the consequences of his fame.

For more information, check out the book's page on Publush and Facebook

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: 

1)  Tell us about your book, Identity Theft.

It's the story of a bored office worker in a rock star's office who is given the task of running the musician's social networking. He starts to flirt with a fan in the guise of his boss. She feels as though her world is transformed when her favorite rock star takes an interest in her. Of course everything spins out of control when the fan meets the real rock star face to face.  The story gets quite interesting at that point, but I don't want to give too much away.

I actually have an Identity Theft theme song

It was written by Collin J. Campbell.

2) What inspired you to write your book?

Identity Theft evolved over a long period of time. The first germs of the idea came back when the internet was fairly new, not brand new, but in this period when people were just starting to figure out how to relate to screen names in fan forums and to form relationships that way. Before the internet the relationship between a celebrity and a fan was one way. Now people know they have at least some ability to speak back by posting comments or taking part in on-line chats or maybe getting a reply to a tweet. When I worked in the office of a musician the idea came to me that it would make a good story to have someone use that kind of a position to pose online as the rock star and to seduce a fan.  That idea simmered in the back of my mind for a while.

I find that I need some greater theme to propel me through a novel. I started to become quite interested in how we project social identities, how this differs across cultures, and the whole question of mental illness-- when we label someone sick because it is causing them pain and when we do it because it is inconvenient to us to have to deal with someone who is different. So those are the underlying themes. What is a self and how is it created? What happens when a sense of self is lost? (This was a theme in my first novel, Angel, as well.) They're only undercurrents in the book, of course, or it would be a philosophical treatise. It's actually a fast-moving fairly humorous book.

I was able to put in a lot of the funny anecdotes about working in an entertainment office and being on the road (two life experiences I have had) as well as some of the humor of relating online. It's almost a classic romantic comedy in some ways, but I've twisted a lot of the expectations of that genre.

3)  Tell us about the whole publishing process and how it went.

This will be my first independently published novel. I've turned to the literary crowdfunding site Pubslush. I'm taking advance orders in order to fund the creation of the book.  There are only a few days left on the campaign. As of today (October 21) it is 53% funded with 8 days to go. Pubslush has a minimum and maximum goal, so it has hit the lower number and the book will be made. Now I'm looking for support to make it the book I'd like it to be. The funding levels are modest. They are essentially just advance orders of the book. You get a book and also the knowledge that the book could not have been made without your support. So it's your book in more ways than one!

After 15 books or so with traditional publishers, going it alone does make me a bit nervous. But the slow pace of the traditional publishing world started to get to me. I have been extremely prolific since Angel came out, but you'd never know it based on what has been published. Publishers are overwhelmed with submissions, each book takes months to make, and there is no way to make that beast turn quickly. Your momentum as an artist is always being stalled and your career momentum-- your ability to make a living, gets stalled too. So I would like to be able to share what I make on my own time table. Musicians discovered years ago that they were better off putting out their own music than trying to get the big labels to do it. Even big stars have their own labels now. There are some projects that I wouldn't want to do on my own, and I'm sure I'll keep working with traditional publishers. But for something like this, I'm going to take my destiny into my own hands.

4)  According to you, in today’s day and age, how important a role does social media play in spreading the word about a book?

You know, I think social media is a bit overrated. It is an important part of modern life, and it is a way that people can spread the word about their projects without having to go through a gatekeeper. But you will hear a lot of recycled advice about tweeting and building "an author's platform" on line. In terms of actual sales results, though, it is not tremendously effective to tweet about your book. Most tweets are not interacted with in any way. So it can give you a false sense of communication. "Hey! I just put this out to 2,000 followers. They will buy my book!" A lot of those followers followed you because they want you to follow back and buy their books. It is very time consuming to put out interesting content on a regular basis, and you have to do a real cost-benefit analysis. (That is if you're thinking of it solely in marketing terms) I think most people find that the amount of time they spend on it is not yielding serious sales results. An advertising firm would pull the plug on any campaign that got the kind of return on investment that most social media marketing by authors does.

What I found with Identity Theft is that most of my support came from people I knew in the "real world." It was indirect. It grew out of things I had done with no thought to building an audience or marketing a book. I work on the rummage committee at my church and I enjoy it and put in a lot of time at it. That builds relationships. When I put my book out there and said I needed a "crowd" to fund it, they really got behind it. It was touching. That is what really gave the project its momentum.

I'm hoping that when I'm able to up the pace a bit, and put out books as I write them, that I might be able to create an audience that is excited for the next book before they've forgotten the previous one. That goes back to why I want to self-publish. I'd like to be able to build a relationship with an audience where there are people who want to support my projects because they like what I have shown them and to give them something new before they've forgotten I exist and I have to start from scratch.

5)  What is next in store for you? Do you plan on writing more?

The audio version of Angel was just released.  I'm currently trying to sell a biography to a traditional publisher. I've been working on that for some time. (I'm kind of a marketing nightmare because I want to do such varied stuff.)

I've written a play that I've been trying to get staged. It's a comedy that draws on my experience touring with a ballet company. I've gotten some good feedback, but it has a fairly large cast which makes it harder to get staged. I also have a novel that I started working on about 20 years ago that is complete to my satisfaction and ready to go. It is set in a high school so I suppose you'd call it young adult. This might be my next book after Identity Theft. It has come close to being published a couple of times, so it is a good candidate to publish on my own.


That's all I have for you, guys. If you like the sound of the book and would like to see it published, do check out the Publush website mentioned above and help Laura get her book published. I'd like to thank the author for being so kind and doing this interview with us. Do keep stopping by for my review of the book, which will be up soon. Thank you for stopping by! 



Thursday, October 23, 2014

Review- Forget You by Jennifer Echols

Summary-

Why can't you choose what you forget ... and what you remember?

There’s a lot Zoey would like to forget. Like how her father has knocked up his twenty-four-year old girlfriend. Like Zoey’s fear that the whole town will find out about her mom’s nervous breakdown. Like darkly handsome bad boy Doug taunting her at school. Feeling like her life is about to become a complete mess, Zoey fights back the only way she knows how, using her famous attention to detail to make sure she’s the perfect daughter, the perfect student, and the perfect girlfriend to ultra-popular football player Brandon.  But then Zoey is in a car crash, and the next day there’s one thing she can’t remember at all--the entire night before. Did she go parking with Brandon, like she planned? And if so, why does it seem like Brandon is avoiding her? And why is Doug--of all people-- suddenly acting as if something significant happened between the two of them? Zoey dimly remembers Doug pulling her from the wreck, but he keeps referring to what happened that night as if it was more, and it terrifies Zoey to admit how much is a blank to her. Controlled, meticulous Zoey is quickly losing her grip on the all-important details of her life--a life that seems strangely empty of Brandon, and strangely full of Doug.

Summary-

I have only read Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols and I had really enjoyed it at the time. So when I had nothing to read, I picked up Forget You. Forget You was a really good read, signature Jennifer Echols or at least what I've come to expect of her books but I do think I would have enjoyed it more if I would have read it say, a year or two back.

Zoey is our main character. Life, it seems is falling apart for her and she's trying her hardest to play the part of the perfect daughter. Zoey is the one I had some issues with. She wanted to be the good girl but then she went and did some of the most stupid things imaginable. Like Brandon. If only she could see things more clearly and see who really was on her side.

Then one night Zoey is in a car cash and she can't remember anything that happened. And things have suddenly changed for her. I do have to say that the whole mystery surrounding what really happened the night of the car crash kept me going throughout the book. I wanted to know badly why things were the way they were. 

Then there's Doug. He's the bad boy who has never liked Zoey, or so she thinks. Now he's suddenly always there for her. I really liked Doug though I would have liked him to be more expressive. He kept not only his feelings but also what happened that night from Zoey. But once we find out his reasons they seem more justifiable.

Jennifer Echols writing style is impeccable. I loved how realistically she portrays Zoey's thoughts and the pressure she has to face from her family and friends. I definitely want to read more books by Jennifer Echols. Forget You was a nice read for me.



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #103

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Confess by Colleen Hoover
Publication Date: March 10, 2015


Summary-

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, a new novel about risking everything for love—and finding your heart somewhere between the truth and lies. 

Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…

I really loved some of Colleen Hoover's books and Confess sounds super interesting.
What are you waiting on? :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Release Party: Guest Post + Giveaway- Blocked by Jennifer Lane

Hi, guys! Per usual, I am more than glad to post something for our author friend, Jennifer Lane. Join us in celebrting the release of her latest book, Blocked, and thank you to AToMR Promotions for hosting and letting us be part of the same. 

RELEASE

BLOCKED

By Jennifer Lane


New Adult Contemporary/Sports Romance

Released October 21, 2014

 
College freshman Lucia Ramirez has a secret crush on Dane Monroe. He’s a tall drink of water — blond, brash, and one hell of a volleyball player. Hijole. Lucia hopes her volleyball scholarship to his school will make him notice her.

Too bad what’s noticeable is Dane’s obvious hatred for Lucia. Her family’s politics contradict everything he stands for. And politics are front and center in both their families. Dane’s mother is about to face Lucia’s father in the race for US President.

When Secret Service throws them together, Dane can’t deny his frustrating attraction to Lucia’s athletic curves and sweet faith in the world. Amid the intense pressure of college athletics and presidential politics, can opposites not just attract, but overcome overwhelming odds to be together? Or do their differences block their match from the start?

GUEST POST:

Facts about Blocked:

1) The title Blocked refers to several elements of the plot. Dane and Lucia play college volleyball, in which players try to block the opponents’ spikes. Their political differences are a major block to romance. And then there’s the ever-present cock block hehe.

2) Blocked’s setting is a college city in the Midwest, home to one of the nation’s largest schools: Highbanks University. Though fictional, Highbanks is based on a real university.

3) Highbanks in in a political swing state—voters might swing Democrat or Republican in the upcoming presidential election. Will Dane’s mom or Lucia’s dad be the next US President?

4) Paparazzi are responsible for the first time Dane kisses Lucia.

5) Euchre is the go-to card game in the Midwest. Dane gloats so much when he wins that Lucia labels him “the worst winner ever.” Euchre is a blast because it’s a partner game that’s fast-paced and cunning.

6) Big-time college athletes have quite the support staff: head coach, assistant coach, strength coach, athletic trainer, team doctor, sport psychologist, sport dietitian and academic advisor. Despite this help, Lucia and Dane struggle to manage the intense pressure.

7) Lucia is 6’2” and Dane is 6’8”. Dane’s ego is almost bigger than his height.

8) Since 1995, the gap between pro-choice and pro-life has shrunk so that roughly half of Americans are now in each camp. Abortion is one hot-button issue between Dane and Lucia.

9) Since 1996, the majority of Americans has shifted from opposing gay marriage to supporting gay marriage. As a woman of faith, Lucia faces a surprise that challenges her beliefs.


10) Dane is a setter, the leader of his team. A volleyball setter is like a football quarterback.



GIVEAWAY:

Jennifer Lane is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card on her Facebook page for the release! You can enter HERE.


About the Author:

Get psyched for romance with psychologist/author (psycho author) Jennifer Lane! By day she witnesses growth in her psychotherapy clients, and by night she wrangles misbehaving fictional characters as she writes sports romance and romantic suspense with a psychological twist. She can’t decide which is more fun.

A swimmer and volleyball player in college, Jen wove some of her own experiences into Streamline—a military mystery about swimmers. And readers can dip their toes into Jen’s world of swimming romance by sampling her free New Adult novella Swim Recruit.

College volleyball romance Blocked is Jen’s newest release, launching 10-21-14. Peek inside big-time college sports and even bigger national politics when the offspring of two presidential candidates find out whether opposites really do attract, or their match is blocked from the start.

Stories of redemption interest Jen the most, especially the healing power of love. She is also the author of The Conduct Series, a romantic suspense trilogy that includes With Good Behavior, Bad Behavior, and On Best Behavior. Ultimately, whether writing or reading, Jen loves stories that make her laugh and cry.

In her spare time she enjoys exercising, attending book club, hanging out with her plus-size, “I’m not fat, I’m big-boned” Izzie cat, and visiting her sisters and their families in Chicago and Hilton Head.


 photo AToMRPRomotionslogo_zps7a14e565.png

I have to start reading this book and I am quite excited for the same. Thank you for stopping by, and happy reading! 


Monday, October 20, 2014

Review- On Women by Khushwant Singh

Summary (from Rupa Publications):

Well known for his unabashed interest in the fairer sex, Khushwant Singh revelled in the notoriety 
his interest evoked, almost as much as he did in the response he received from women. Indeed, this 
enduring obsession provided fodder for some of Singh’s best-known work, both as a journalist and as 
a peerless raconteur. 

On Women, a wide-ranging selection of Singh’s writings on the subject, includes Singh’s recounting 
of an embarrassingly drunken meeting with Begum Para, an actress of yesteryears; a sharp profile of 
Shraddha Mata, a tantric sadhvi who was alleged to have borne Jawaharlal Nehru’s illegitimate child; 
and a touching sketch of Singh’s grandmother in the twilight of her life. Also featured in this volume 
are unforgettable women characters from Khushwant Singh’s most popular works of fiction: Georgine, 
a clueless American teenager who is seduced by a middle-aged tour guide in Delhi; and Nooran, a 
young girl in pre-Partition Punjab, who discovers the sweet pleasure of first love only to be overtaken 
by cataclysmic events which leave her adrift.

Insightful, poignant, and occasionally wicked, the essays and extracts in On Women are testament to 
why Khushwant Singh remains one of the most popular writers of our times. 


REVIEW:

*NOTE: We (The Readdicts) received a copy of On Women by Khushwant Singh from Rupa Publications in exchange for an honest review. We thank the publishing house for the book.

 I was looking forward to reading Khushwant Singh's On Women. As I've been working on feminism and women representation for my research, I thought the book would help me in some way or the other. Turns out, I was completely wrong. It's not that I didn't learn anything. It's just that I didn't come across anything that would help me as such. Don't get me wrong. That in no way means I didn't like the book. I started off not liking it as I thought it was sexually exploitative, but as I moved ahead, I realised there was more to the retellings than just female bodies and sex. 

On Women tells the readers short tales of women in Khushwant Singh's life- either in fiction or in reality. Some of the women are characters taken from his works, while others are women he has come across, met and been with in his life. The latter goes from his grandmother, his mother to his wife, his classmates from various academic institutions, the foreign tourists that he received to a beggar on the street to famous personalities like Phoolan Devi, Indira Gandhi and Mother Teresa. 

As far as the book is concerned, I thought the stories were very well picked and put together. There was something interesting in Khushwant Singh's way of depicting women. Even when there were times when things got physical and it seemed like the whole purpose of the story, there would be something that brought up intelligence and integrity in a woman which made the stories really satisfactory and strong. I especially liked how women were portrayed as well-developed personalities and they stood their own alongside the presence of one of India's most renowned and powerful writer. 

I have previously read Khushwant Singh's Train to Pakistan and for the life of me, I never understood that novel but it still left a mark on me. I was pretty glad when I read and understood On Women. Overall, while I did start off not liking On Women, I ended up liking it more than I have possibly been able to say. It was a really nice and short read that could have been more interesting, but even in the absence of that, it was a great read. 
RATING:





Friday, October 17, 2014

Author Interview + Giveaway (INT)- The Etiqette of Social Media by Leonard Kim

Hi, everyone. Today on the blog, we have with us author of The Etiquette of Social MediaLeonard Kim. The author has very kindly answered all our questions in an interview and has generously offered to give away his book to two lucky international readers. Without much ado, let's get on to the post we have for you. 


BOOK SUMMARY:


BOOK LINKS:


Amazon I Amazon India | Goodreads | Flipkart Coming Soon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Leonard Kim lives with his mother in Los Angeles, California. A business professional turned writer, he has shared his life experience to help improve the lives of others. By once having everything one could ever desire to losing it all, he has acquired extensive knowledge about essential life skills and effective communication. Through his musings, he was named a Top Writer on Quora, a website with a focus on sharing knowledge and advice, which is one of the top 300 websites in the world. Oh, and he likes cookies, cupcakes and ice cream. Puppies too.

AUTHOR LINKS:


AUTHOR INTERVIEW:


Hi, Leonard! Welcome to The Readdicts. It’s lovely to have you on our blog today, and we hope you have a nice time answering our questions. Let’s get on to the questions we have for you, followed by a fun “This or That” section where you just pick one of the two choices we give you. Have fun!

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi Sarika!  Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me.  Oh it’s such an honor indeed! 
I’m so glad I have the opportunity to share a few of my thoughts with you.  Well, let’s see.  My name is Leonard Kim.  I’m just a regular guy who lives in Los Angeles, California with my mother.  I have a wonderful girlfriend and each time she smiles, my heart melts. 

Through my life, I have had a lot of ups and downs.  In the past, I used to be the Vice President of Marketing for two startups and worked in business development for other companies.  I did everything from hire and train staff to create all the marketing material.  I once had everything going for me.  Then all of a sudden, my life came crashing down.  No matter what I tried, I failed. 
Business after business, idea after idea, nothing worked.  I kept ending up with nothing.  Then on one gloomy day in November of 2011, I bought a hotel room with this girl I once knew at Petit Ermitage, a boutique hotel in West Hollywood.  The same night, she kicked me out of my own hotel room, ordered a love kit and charged it to my card.  After being defeated so far, I wanted to end it all.  I calculated out how to do it with the highest probability of success and I announced it publicly on Facebook. After that, I shut off all my social media profiles.  I was going to go through with it.  Luckily, before I went to jump off the bridge that led to the 5 Freeway on the Broadway exit, I was saved and brought back to my senses.

From there, I knew it was time I had to recalculate my life.  I knew that what I was doing was getting me nowhere.  I had to make a change.  There is a quote out there that says that experience is the mother of wisdom. So I decided to take some time to reflect upon all the decisions I made in my life and put them together so I could learn from them.  After I found the lessons, I felt that I needed to share these stories with everyone I could. I did so by writing on the Internet.  By sharing the details of my failures online, I somehow attained over eight million views on my content in less than a year and half and was named a Top Writer on a website focused on sharing knowledge and advice, Quora. 

2) Tell us about your book, The Etiquette of Social Media: How to Connect and Respond to Others in the World of Social Media.

When I first wrote The Etiquette of Social Media, I had one goal in mind: To solve the epidemic of poor form.  Our world is changing.  We may all think we are experts in social media, since it has been around for close to the last decade, but are we really?
There are students out there trying to get into college.  They are being turned away because admissions officers are finding something on these people’s social media profiles that put them in a negative light.
There are college graduates looking for new jobs.  Employers are turning down qualified candidates because they are finding images that put them in a negative light. 
There are business owners and startup founders who are looking to connect with others, find mentors and create partnerships.  They are stuck because they lack the proper communication skills on how to build rapport online. 
In my book, I have fifteen chapters that solve all these problems:

INTRODUCTION
WHY ETIQUETTE IS IMPORTANT
VISIBILITY: CAN EVERYONE POTENTIALLY SEE WHAT I WRITE?
BE. DO. HAVE.
PERSONAL ETIQUETTE
RESEARCH AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT
HOW TO INITIATE A CONVERSATION WITH A POTENTIAL FRIEND
HOW TO INITIATE A CONVERSATION WITH A POTENTIAL BUSINESS ASSOCIATE OR CLIENT
HOW TO SEEK OUT A MENTOR OR ASK FOR ADVICE
NASTY PEOPLE. TOXICITY AND ITS DOWNSIDES
THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-CONTROL AND ZEN STUFF
HOW TO RESPOND TO NASTY COMMENTS
TIPS TO A HAPPY LIFESTYLE, LIKE DRINKING TEA AND HAPPY RELATIONSHIPS
CONCLUSION: START CONNECTING TODAY
BONUS CHAPTER: DON’T BE AWKWARD
These chapters teach the readers everything from having a positive image, the right philosophy, researching the people whom they contact, how to deal with negativity and how to make meaningful connections with others.
I feel that as we grow more and more disconnected with each other through the advances of our technology, guides on essential online communication become absolutely necessary in bridging the gaps that are slowly widening each day.  I put my heart into writing the best content that I could in this book, to help teach everyone how to maintain a proper image in the world of social media. 

3) What inspired you to write your book?

For over a year, I declined to acknowledge that I was a writer.  I felt that I was just a guy who shared stories online, a marketer per se.  Never once did I ever think that I was a writer, but others did.  I finally gave in to becoming an author when I reached out to James Altucher and he told me that I should take this path. 
This particular idea for a book came when I went to dinner with Terrence Yang and Vivy Chao of Yang Ventures.  Vivy has a thorough background in education, ranging from professor to principal, to fellow for Education Pioneers, part of the LAUSD.  We were laughing and joking about how ridiculous many of the comments and messages we receive were.  She made a comment and mentioned that never before was there a class that taught the etiquette of social media.  Then it dawned upon me.  I could share the experience I had gathered over the last decade to write a book of everything I had learned on the topic. 

4) What kind of research went into writing your book?

I did some fact checking with some statistics that talked about the importance of the topic of social media etiquette.  Did you know that 30% of College Admissions Officers found something online about an applicant that negatively impacted their college application?  Here. Or that more than two in five (43%) Hiring Managers found information online that caused them to not hire a candidate? Here.
Etiquette is a subjective topic.  A lot of the foundation is based on people’s personal tastes and opinion.  Most of my research in regards to the matter comes from real world experience.  I have over a decade of experience on the Internet, starting back in AOL chatrooms when I was 14 years old.  Most of my relationships, I started through online sites like Findapix.  Back in 2008, I built a Myspace page with over 10,000 friends.  Since May of 2013, I started my journey on becoming a social media personality, ranking within the Top 20 most followed Top Writers on Quora.  These are the successes I have had.  However, there have been horror stories as well.

It takes a lot for a person to make an extreme decision like I did in November 2011.  A lot of small things just kept piling up in my life.  I don’t really have many friends.  Acquaintances sure, but friends not so much.  The problem with not having a lot of friends is the inability to have people to confide in.  Since I didn’t have many friends, through the many years I have been on social media, I made every mistake I could.  Years ago, I got into arguments with others, I scared away genuine friends, I was blacklisted by important people and made myself look like a fool.  I even got to the point where my friends were blocking and unfriending me. 
Now, on the other hand of the equation, when I evolved into a more mature creature and decided to take everything I learned and share my story with the world, people reached out to me.  When I pieced together how horrible I acted online in the past and how much the messages of the people who messaged could have been improved so I would have a higher probability of responding to them, I realized that there was a need for proper online etiquette to be taught.  I just never thought that I would be the one to teach it.  However, being on both ends of the spectrum, I had a birds eye view about the topic and knew that my personal experience was best suited to lay out the foundation to such a topic as social media etiquette. 

5) Tell us why readers should pick up your book.

In life, the basics are the most important things within our foundation.  To have a healthy life, we need to do a handful of things.  For me, I do the following ten things each day.

1. Get 8 hours of sleep a day. 


2. Eat at least two meals a day. 

3. Stop living in the past or the future. 

4. Live in the moment. Take time to appreciate what is around you. 

5. Have an attitude of abundance. 

6. Think of all the people you are grateful for every morning. 

7. Let the people of whom you are grateful to have know that you are grateful to have them in your life. 

8. Forgive everyone of whom wronged you. You don't have to let them know you forgive them. Just forgive them internally. 

9. Volunteer to help others. Expand that abundant mindset. 

10. Exercise. Walk like 15 minutes a day. 


The days I don’t follow these steps, things become detrimental.  I start to have anxiety.  I feel scared.  I start to become on edge.  Sometimes, it reflects in my voice.  I start to react poorly to situations and become a bit toxic to be around.  Why?  Because I start to miss the basic foundation to my overall well being, the ingredients that I absolutely need to be healthy and to have a clear mind.  My book is exactly that, the basic foundation necessary to create and maintain successful relationships online.

6) According to you, in today’s day and age, how important a role does social media play in spreading the word about a book?

Now that depends.  If I am on social media talking about my own book, it doesn’t do much.  However, if other people go out and talk about my book, or even someone else’s book, that creates a much more meaningful impact.  When I sit around on social media and talk about my own book, it is considered self promotion.  Many people are turned off by that.  However, when I go and talk about a friend’s book, I’m making a recommendation.  People love recommendations.  So if social media is used by engaging an audience, then it is absolutely essential.  Otherwise, only die hard fans really care. 

7) What’s your take on online book shopping? Does it affect you in any way?

I love online book shopping, but then again I also love sitting in Barnes and Noble for two hours on the carpet, combing through books in the business and self help section.  In America, on Amazon, to qualify for free shipping, we have to make a $35 purchase.  Due to this high price point to qualify for free shipping, I’m ashamed to say that I have often left books I really wanted in my cart.  Sometimes, I have come back to purchase them.  But more often than not, they go to my graveyard of dreams.

8) Do you prefer e-books or physical copies? Why?

Personally, I can’t read a book on my computer.  I can’t read it on my phone either.  I just was introduced to an iPad earlier this year.  I can read a book on it and it is quite enjoyable.  I used to hate how I would have to hold a physical book open with both hands, or manuever myself in a way so the book won’t shut.  Luckily, technology solved that problem.  I find that the perfect book is the one read on an iPad. 

9) Give us glimpse into any normal day of your life.

Oh, this is such a long question to answer.  I could go on days about this.  I mean a whole days worth of time, since this is the answer to a normal day in my life.  I’ll try to be as brief as possible. 
I wake up at 6:40 in the morning.  On Monday through Friday, I go to my office.  I stay there from 8:30 to 5:00pm.  On each of my two breaks, I walk the track and do four pull ups.  I tend to grab a soup for lunch, occasionally indulging in fried goods.  After, I come home, I take a short nap.  When I awaken, I call my girlfriend.  We chat a bit.  Then I either write, finish up paid writing gigs, do school work or watch TV.  Out of all the things I could do, I like watching TV the best.  Then after eating dinner and showering, I chat with my girlfriend some more until we both fall asleep at midnight.  On weekends, I am blessed with the opportunity to spend time with her.  She is just absolutely amazing.  No matter how tough life gets, she always knows how to make me smile.

10) If you could read only one book for the rest of your life, what book would you pick and why?

On December 21 of 2012, my birthday, my best friend gave me a gift.  It was a book.  I always respected her and knew that she was an avid reader, so I knew that if she bought me something like a book, then it would have information in it that would illuminate my mind.  The next day I opened it up and started reading it.  I finished the book in two days.  I emailed and texted her and told her how profound the book was.  I told her that the four new principles I learned in the book were so basic, yet so profound.  I told her that I would immediately put them into practice.  She responded and was happy that her gift had brought enlightenment into my life.  Little did I know that day we met would be the last time I would ever see her.  So if I could read any book for the rest of my life, it would be The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.  Why?  Because of the impact it had on becoming the foundation that helped me change my life and for the significance of who gave it to me. 

1. Day or night? Day.

2. Dark or light? Light.

3. Black or white? Black.

4. Tea or coffee? Tea!

5. Coke or Pepsi? Coke!

6. E-book or physical copy? Physical copy.

7. Novel or novella? Novel.

8. Beach or mountain? Beach!

9. Salty or sweet? Sweet.  Mmmmmmm…

10. Left or right? Left!

Thank you so much for taking the time out to answer our questions and stop by our blog, Leonard. We really appreciate it and we wish you lots of happiness and success in life.

GIVEAWAY:

As you already know, guys, Leonard has generously offered to give away two physical copies of his book to two lucky international readers. The contest is open for all- yay! 

Giveaway rules are simple:

*The giveaway is international.
*Enter by filling out the Rafflecopter below.
*Once winners are picked, they will be emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or else we'll be compelled to pick new winners.
*The book will be shipped by the author. 

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That's all there is to it. May the odds be ever on your favour! 

I'd like to thank Leonard once again for everything. And thank you, readers, for stopping by. Happy reading!