What was the impetus for writing this book?
One morning in January 2013, I woke up and simply said, “I want to move to China to teach English.” When I uttered those words, I knew the inspiration was directly from God because I held no affinity to China. Besides, I was married 19 years at the time, taking care of four children and my 81 year old father, and running a book publishing company at the time. Clearly, the thought of moving to China came through me and not from me. I took appropriate steps to make it my reality. I moved there in January 2014 for one year and decided to share my life-altering experiences by writing this book.
What’s the overall theme?
The overall theme of my book is you’re neither too old nor too established to fulfill your heart’s desire. Live your dream. With great faith, unwavering vision and a strong will to persevere, you can do and be whatever you desire.
What surprised you about the development of the book?
I had no intentions on writing a book. I had already written four books and simply resigned myself to revising my fourth book to make it more marketable. One morning in November 2014, just two months before I was scheduled to return to the States, I began my normal routine of journaling, but what I wrote was the entire Table of Contents for the book. I completed the book round about the beginning of February 2015, but it did not resonate deeply enough with me. So, I discarded about half of the book, took a different approach, and completed it in less than two weeks. I experienced a similar situation with my third book. When that occurs, I know there’s a need for me to be more transparent and bolder in my writing.
Who is the audience for this book?
My book is written for anyone who enjoys a little adventure in their life but may not know how to start an adventure. My book is for those who think it’s too late and too costly to live their dreams.
What one thing do you most want the reader to learn?
I want the reader to know it’s never too late.
What one thing do you want the reader to remember forever?
I want the reader to forever remember the people of China are everyday people who have hopes, dreams, and aspirations like every other group of people in the world. I experienced such great love and respect there and was highly regarded because I was investing in the lives of future generations who would have a better life than many of their parents and grandparents. That was so HUGE to them!
What did you learn during the writing process?
I learned that writing is my charge and I want to teach others how to do it as well.
Any advice for aspiring writers?
To aspiring writers, my advice is to stop waiting for the perfect time to write for there’s no such thing. Stop waiting until you’ve “got it all together” because that day may never come. And, for love’s sake, stop believing the negative chatter inside your head. Write. Get it out your head and into the hands of readers.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
During my 370 plus days in China, many followed my journey. People told me, “I wish I could be there with you.” So, when I came back home, I established educational tours abroad and a group of us will return to China in April 2016 for a nine day tour. This trip is open to the public. They just need to contact me.