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About the Book

Audiobooks and the Art of Storytelling. English or French? En Francais S’il Vous Plait!

Audiobooks and the Art of storytelling English or French?  

En Francais S’il vous Plait

Audiobooks and the art of storytelling are having a moment and are becoming more and more popular. The audio version of my book ‘This Is Your Quest’ is available in both English and French!

This Is Your Quest

La version audio de mon livre ” En Quête du Bonheur ‘ est disponible en anglais et en Français!

En Quête du Bonheur

Audiobooks and the art of storytelling are having a moment; they are in the midst of a boom as they soar in popularity. They are one of the greatest and more recent gifts to lifelong learners. The beauty of audiobooks is that you don’t have to set aside some quiet time away from everything and everyone in order to read a book anymore.  You can continue to do all the things that you have listed on your to-do-list whilst having someone whispering in your ear a story that you want to hear.

Les livres audio et l’art de raconter des histoires sont en plein essor et leur popularité est en hausse. Ils constituent l’un des plus récents cadeaux aux lecteurs enthousiates. La beauté des livres audio est qu’il n’est plus nécessaire de réserver un moment de calme loin de tout et de tous pour lire un livre.  Vous pouvez continuer à faire toutes les choses que vous avez énumérées sur votre liste tout en ayant quelqu’un qui vous chuchote à l’oreille une histoire que vous voulez entendre

Audiobooks and the art of storytelling allow you direct access to a treasure trove of knowledge and wisdom.  Books allow the smartest people within every field to share their knowledge and experience with you so that you can learn from them and avoid making the same mistakes. But even for people who love books, finding the opportunity to read can be a challenge. This is where audiobooks come into the frame, they come to the rescue of those who have no time to sit in a quiet corner to read because of their daily commute, their work, their house chores and so many other things that need to be done.

Audiobooks and the Art of Storytelling allow you direct access to a treasure trove of knowledge and wisdom.

Les livres audios et l’art du récit vous permettent d’accéder directement à un trésor de connaissances et de sagesse.  Les livres permettent aux experts de partager leurs connaissances et leur expérience avec vous afin que vous puissiez bénéficier de la sagesse acquise péniblement et éviter de commettre les mêmes erreurs.  Même pour les lecteurs enthousiastes, trouver du temps pour lire n’est pas chose facile. C’est à ce moment là que les livres audio entrent en jeu, ils viennent au secours de ceux qui n’ont pas le temps de s’asseoir dans un coin tranquille pour lire à cause de leur trajet quotidien, de leur travail, de leurs tâches ménagères et de tant d’autres choses qui doivent être faites.

For those who are experiencing some decline in their eye sights because of old age, don’t despair, you can still have access to all the information and knowledge that you want, just press the play button and off you go. For those who are dyslexic don’t be put off by the thought of struggling your way through a book. Do you want to read Harry Potter? Sure you can and please don’t fret and don’t be intimidated by the size of the book. You don’t have to read it, listen to it, instead.

Pour ceux qui voient leur vue diminuer en raison de l’âge, ne désespérez pas, vous pouvez toujours avoir accès à toutes les informations et connaissances que vous souhaitez, il suffit d’appuyer sur le bouton ‘play‘ et c’est parti. Pour les personnes dyslexiques, ne vous découragez pas. Vous voulez lire Harry Potter ? Aucun problême, vous pouvez le faire, ne vous inquiétez pas et ne vous laissez pas intimider par la taille du livre. Vous n’êtes pas obligé de le lire, mais plutôt de l’écouter.

One should not underestimate the power of storytelling. From the beginning of time, knowledge was shared from generation to generation thanks to story tellers who used their artistry to pass on information, knowledge and wisdom to their community.  The rise of audiobooks seems to be a natural progression back to the oral learning tradition that was so common in the olden days.

Il ne faut pas sous-estimer le pouvoir du récit. Dès le début des temps, le savoir a été partagé de génération en génération grâce aux conteurs d’histoires qui ont utilisé leur talent artistique pour transmettre des informations, des connaissances et de la sagesse à leur communauté.  L’essor des livres audios semble être un retour naturel vers la tradition de l’apprentissage oral qui était si répandue autrefois.

Audiobooks and the art of storytelling. Being read stories aloud is not reserved for children only

Les livres audios ou l’art de raconter des histoires. La lecture d’histoires à haute voix n’est pas réservée aux enfants.

I am a fan of audiobooks; but be aware that I am totally biased on this subject because I recently released the audio version of my book ‘This Is Your Quest‘; and right now I would like to invite you to listen to the sweet and smooth voice of Nita Slater, my English/American narrator, and Sylvie Racine, my French Narrator, who will be whispering in your ear a story you want to hear.

Je suis une fan des livres audios ; mais sachez que je suis totalement partial sur ce sujet car je viens de sortir la version audio de mon livre ” En Quête Du Bonheur ” ; je voudrais vous inviter à écouter la voix douce et suave de Nita Slater, ma narratrice Americaine et de Sylvie Racine, ma narratrice Française qui vont vous murmurer à l’oreille une histoire que vous voulez entendre.

Audio books and the art of storytelling – What happens when a storyteller meets two professional voice actresses?

What happens when a storyteller meets two professional voice actresses? They create something beautiful that fills the silence that exists when one just sits alone in a quiet corner with a book.  When I became an author, I found my voice, and by doing so I also found my new purpose in life, which is helping others find theirs.  And now, I have found two amazing voices to narrate and bring to life the stories that I wrote in my book. I am delighted to inform all my readers that the audio version of my book This Is Your Quest is now available, and it is my pleasure to introduce you to my narrator Nita Slater.  Nita is an artist with many talents, but her most amazing feature is her voice it is like honey sweet and smooth.

Que se passe-t-il lorsqu’une conteuse d’histoires rencontre deux narrarices professionnelle? Elles créent quelque chose de beau qui remplit le silence qui existe quand on est simplement assis seul dans un coin tranquille avec un livre.  Quand je suis devenu auteur, j’ai trouvé ma voix, et ce faisant, j’ai aussi trouvé mon nouveau but dans la vie, qui est d’aider les autres à trouver la leur.  Et maintenant, j’ai trouvé deux voix incroyable pour raconter et donner vie aux histoires que j’ai écrites dans mon livre. J’ai le plaisir d’informer tous mes lecteurs que la version audio de mon livre ‘his Is Your Quest‘ est maintenant disponible en anglaise et en Francais.

My mission as a storyteller is to weave interesting information into a compelling story that will keep my readers captivated and entertained. Story telling becomes magical when you add a smooth and engaging voice into the equation, making the experience more engaging, memorable and multi-dimensional.  Being read stories aloud is not reserved for children only, adults can also indulge in this pleasure.

Ma mission en tant que conteur est de tisser des informations intéressantes dans une histoire captivante qui gardera mes lecteurs captivés et divertis. Le récit devient magique lorsque vous ajoutez une voix douce et engageante à l’équation, rendant l’expérience plus engageante, mémorable et multidimensionnelle.  La lecture d’histoires à haute voix n’est pas réservée aux enfants, les adultes peuvent également se livrer à ce plaisir.

If you liked this post you can follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or you may also like:

For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

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About the Book

How to Introduce Just Me Myself and I

How to introduce just me myself and I

Writing your own bio feels strange. How to write an author biography without sounding like a narcissistic-egocentric-wannabe-somebody desperate for attention?  This blog article, just me myself and I, was originally to introduce myself for the About Me Stories on the Medium website. After all, how will your readers know who wrote your wonderful articles if you don’t tell them!

The short version of my story reads like this. I am a contract lawyer by profession. I currently live in Seoul, South Korea, with my husband, two teenage daughters, dogs, and two cats. I stepped out of the legal world a couple of years ago into the literary arena and am now a published author, blogger, and newbie YouTuber.

For those unsatiated by that rather brief introduction, please read on. There is more meat-on-the-bones below if you’d like to connect with me as a regular human being, rather than just a very accomplished celebrity (ahem).

Me; the author who considers herself an artist

I became an author following the advice of Toni Morrison:

“If there is a book that you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it”.

Toni Morrison

There wasn’t a book that dealt with all the subjects I was interested in. I couldn’t find a book that inspired me but challenged me all the same, a book that could act as a compass when I was feeling lost, a book that could educate, heal and illuminate the mind. So, I decided that I should write such a book myself.

The title of my book is This Is your Quest: Your Mission: To Experience Happiness Along the Way. The book itself is a journey, it guides and coaches the reader to adopt an explorer mindset in their own Quest towards happiness through the trifecta of money, love, and health. The book provides valuable lessons from history, philosophy, and economics.

If you decide to read my book, you will be exposed to concepts, philosophies, and a way of thinking that was perhaps not so obvious before. I see my book as a small beam of light that shines in the distance, a guide for curious and lost souls. I hope it helps them find some clarity, comfort, and the inspiration to become the best version of themselves. This is my wish, and This Is My Quest.

What makes someone an artist?

“An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.”

Charles Bukowski

There’s no easy way to define what makes someone an artist, but I enjoy describing myself as one. If you want people to see you as an artist, you must introduce yourself as one, even if you make a living in another way. Artists use their hands and mind to create new things. They appreciate beauty, unstructured activities, and variety. They enjoy interesting and unusual people, sights, textures, and sounds: these unstructured situations and the chance to use my creativity and imagination suit my current state of mind.

I am an artist

I am a creator of ideas.
Swimming in a sparkling see of imagination,
A magician of sorts,
Turning thoughts of,
Wonderment into pieces of originality,
Each creation showcases,
My own personal journey,
My worries, dreams, and ambitions,
Everything I love and everything I fear,
All that I was yesterday and all that I’ll be tomorrow,
Is neatly contained in my glorious creations,
When you glance over my work, you are catching,
A glimpse of my soul,
For a part of me is each piece I create,
I march to my own beat and wildly dance to my own rhythm,
Passion runs through my veins,
As emotions are fuel for my craft,
Certain pieces I protect and keep to myself,
While others I’ll share with the world,
I am a creative beacon shining my light brightly,
For all the universe to see.

The Artist

Myself; the blogger and wannabe YouTuber

Blogging is a new passion of mine. It is not always easy to know what to blog about as an author, but blogging gives me a platform to express myself and write about anything I feel like. Things that nourish and educate, a dash of philosophy, plenty of good vibes, and a little je ne sais quoi.

And that is where storytelling comes into the frame.

Authors, bloggers, and YouTubers are first and foremost storytellers. There are many ways to learn valuable life lessons that help us become a little smarter and wiser. One method is through trial, error, and personal experience. Another is through storytelling.

A downside of having to learn things firsthand is the suffering that accompanies it. Learning from someone else’s struggle and ordeals is a much less painful way to go get the same benefit. And that’s why storytelling is such an important art. Stories teach us about life, about ourselves, and about others.

Below a few samples of my recent blog articles. Please consume without moderation (and feel free to share them with your friends and family).

  1. The six most important lessons I learned this year.
  2. Should you take the path of least resistance?
  3. Why you should never let a good crisis go to waste.
  4. My thanksgiving message be like a wild turkey.
  5. How to gain wisdom? Read some Aesop’s Fables.
  6. How to find Meaning in Life. The Secret is revealed…
  7. When Life gives you, lemons make whatever you want
  8. Want to break social distancing? Feel the power of music

I; the person behind the author, blogger and wannabe YouTuber

I’m a biker girl. I like motorbikes for several reasons, but the key is the oneness I feel between me and the machine. Riding a motorbike makes me happy. There is no mindlessness when ride. I am alert and focused; my inner child is activated. I enjoy the thrill, the vulnerability, the freedom, and the wind blowing through my hair.

Me, Myself, and I. “Life is a journey, enjoy the ride.”

Wonder Woman is my favorite superhero movie. The main character is a kick-ass female demigod raised by a tribe of powerful female warriors. These women, or Amazons, display exceptional riding skills, courage and excel in combat and the art of self-defense. Wonder Woman herself symbolizes strength, self-reliance, sisterhood, and mutual support among women. 

As a woman and the mother of two teenage daughters, I completely adhere to the principle that women should be self-reliant and that women can be feminine and strong at the same time. The old Barbie Girl stereotype that I grew up with when I was a child didn’t do it for me; it was too narrow, it portrayed women as one-dimensional characters, pretty and accessorized to impress her boyfriend, Ken. Wonder Woman, on the other hand, is a much better role model. I am also a martial artist. I practice Muay Thai several times a week. A woman who displays a multi-dimensional side to her, soft and hard, compassionate and ruthless when necessary. Girls feel empowered, Practice martial art.

Me, Myself and I. Girl Power. Kaboom!

I hope this article has helped you see me person through a new, more personal lens. Thank you for taking the time to read about just me myself and I.

If you liked this post you can follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or you may also like:

For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

The audio version of my book “This Is your Quest ” is available. Feel free to check it out and use this special Promotion code just me myself and I.

Categories
About the Book Self-Help

Audiobooks and the Art of Story Telling.

Audiobooks and the art of story telling

Audiobooks and the art of story telling are having a moment; they are in the midst of a boom as they soar in popularity. They are one of the greatest and more recent gifts to life long learners. The beauty of audiobooks is that you don’t have to set aside some quiet time away from everything and everyone in order to read a book anymore.  You can continue to do all the things that you have listed on your to-do-list whilst having someone whispering in your ear a story that you want to hear.

Audiobooks and the art of story telling allow you direct access to a treasure trove of knowledge and wisdom.  Books allow the smartest people within every field to share their knowledge and experience with you so that you can learn from them and avoid making the same mistakes. But even for people who love books, finding the opportunity to read can be a challenge. This is where audiobooks come into the frame, they come to the rescue of those who have no time to sit in a quiet corner to read because of their daily commute, their work, their house chores and so many other things that need to be done. For those who are experiencing some decline in their eye sights because of old age, don’t despair, you can still have access to all the information and knowledge that you want, just press the play button and off you go. For those who are dyslexic don’t  be put off by the thought of struggling your way through a book. Do you want to read Harry Potter? Sure you can and please don’t fret and don’t be intimidated by the size of the book. You don’t have to read it, listen to it, instead.

One should not underestimate the power of storytelling. From the beginning of time, knowledge was shared from generation to generation thanks to story tellers who used their artistry to pass on information, knowledge and wisdom to their community.  The rise of audiobooks seems to be a natural progression back to the oral learning tradition that was so common in the olden days.

Audiobooks or the art of story telling

I am a fan of audiobooks; but be aware that I am totally biased on this subject because I just released the audio version of my book ‘This Is Your Quest‘; and right now I would like to invite you to listen to the sweet and smooth voice of Nita Slater, my narrator, who will be whispering in your ear a story you want to hear.

This Is Your quest – A story you want to hear – Audiobook sample

What happens when a storyteller meets a professional singer and voice actress? They create something beautiful that fills the silence that exists when one just sits alone in a quiet corner with a book.  When I became an author, I found my voice, and by doing so I also found my new purpose in life, which is helping others find theirs.  And now, I have found an amazing voice to narrate and bring to life the stories that I wrote in my book. I am delighted to inform all my readers that the audio version of my book This Is Your Quest is now available, and it is my pleasure to introduce you to my narrator Nita Slater.  Nita is an artist with many talents, but her most amazing feature is her voice it is like honey sweet and smooth.

My mission as a storyteller is to weave interesting information into a compelling story that will keep my readers captivated and entertained. Story telling becomes magical when you add a smooth and engaging voice into the equation, making the experience more engaging, memorable and multi-dimensional.  Being read stories aloud is not reserved for children only, adults can also indulge in this pleasure.

I wanted to find out more about this fascinating profession, so, I asked Nita a few questions.  In this blog article I would like to bring to you an artist’s perspective from behind-the-scenes.

The Art of Story telling, backstage story. Meet Nita, my narrator. Can you tell us about you and in particular how did you become a book narrator?

I have been a professional singer most of my life and have also been involved with some musical comedy theatre productions along the way. Along with my experience doing radio commercials and narrating corporate videos, I felt that the combination of these experiences could quite possibly open up some opportunities within the realm of audiobooks. Plus, I love to read, and I love to learn, so narrating This is Your Quest has been a very enjoyable experience!

Audiobook and the art of story telling – This Is Your Quest is the audiobook you want to hear – Trust me I am the narrator

How do you select which book to narrate? 

When selecting a book to narrate, I first want to make sure that the content of the book is a good match for my delivery style. While I believe that my acting has provided me some versatility, enabling me to produce different styles across different genres, there are some titles for which I may just not be the best match. I want to make sure that my voice effectively complements the book’s contents. And, of course, I want to make sure that the book is one to which I would be proud to have my name attached.

What drew you to take on ‘This Is Your Quest’ as a project?

I was very intrigued after reading an excerpt from the book and knew it was something that I would actually enjoy reading. I also felt that the tone of the book was something for which my voice was well-suited. I enjoyed how the narrative takes you through history — the lives, the loves, the myths, the controversies. I found it to be not only educational, but thoroughly entertaining as well.

Audiobooks and the art of story telling – This Is Your Quest is the audiobook you want to hear. Trust me I am the author

In terms of the production process, this was the first audiobook I produced for ACX as well as one of the first projects I completed in my home studio. The editing process is quite tedious and extremely time-consuming, thereby taking slightly more than 2 months of daily attention to complete this 300+ page manuscript. I’ve learned from some of the more experience professionals that this is the usual amount of time typically required to complete a project of this size. So, while challenging at times, it’s also been quite a learning experienced for which I am very grateful.

What was the most fun chapter to record? Why?

I especially enjoyed Part Four on Love, all 9 chapters! It was not only very interesting, but it allowed me to be a bit more playful with my delivery, a bit less journalistic reporter. In that same vein, I also particularly enjoyed Chapter 3 discussing Fables & Fiction.

What was the most difficult chapter to record? Why?

Chapter 7 – So You Think You Are Free was rather challenging from both a narration and editing perspective due to its length. One of the things that narrators must be particularly aware of is maintaining and communicating a certain tone and energy in order to achieve a consistent sound, especially throughout a particular chapter. Without getting into specifics, there are different factors that can affect these levels. It becomes quite challenging when reading (and editing) 44 pages that you remain cognizant of these levels. And just when you think you’re finished and you’ve mastered the narration, you listen back and say, “Oh no, I sound really tired there, I got a little sloppy with that…Redo!!”

How important is it to get the author’s feedback/input on the recording?

The author’s feedback is everything! This book is your child, and it is my responsibility to make you and your book shine!

Audiobooks and the art of storytelling

Do you work from your own home studio?

I do work from a home studio. The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many of us to think creatively! I’m very fortunate to have a very quiet environment in which to work, and to know lots of musicians and engineers who have provided some great advice along the way.

How do you prepare for a recording session? As a professional voice actor are there special techniques you use to care and condition your voice?

I’m not sure what other actors do to prepare, but I do have a routine. Being a singer, I’ve already developed good health habits, like eating well, drinking a lot of water and staying hydrated, no smoking, no alcohol, and lots of good old-fashioned sleep! Prior to narration, I have a good breakfast, my morning coffee, then typically sing for about 30 minutes just to wake up my vocal cords. That’s really about it…nothing exotic here!

How does the experience of recording an audiobook compare with the experience of recording a voice over commercial?

The biggest difference, of course, is the length of time; the difference between reading a 9-and-a-half-hour book vs. a 30-second radio spot. They both provide a great deal of satisfaction and pride when they’re completed.

What do you love most about being an artist?

I love singing, I love acting, I love reading, I love speaking. I love the versatility and freedom this profession provides in terms of allowing me to choose what I want to work on and when, working from home is a plus, and it’s also allowed me to meet some really fun and interesting people. It’s also very rewarding to know that someone enjoys listening to me read to them! God blessed me with a nice voice, I owe it to Him to put it to good use.

The key message of this blog article is that If you have a voice use!

“Don’t let fear keep you quiet, you have a voice, so use it. Speak up. Raise your hands. Shout your answer. Make yourself heard. Whatever it takes just find your voice and when you do, fill the damn silence”

Unknown Author

For those willing to give it a go use this special Promotion code

And, this my dear friend, is your Quest!

If you liked this post you can follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or you may also like:

For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

Categories
About the Book

Author Interview – Why Story Telling Matters

Why one would be interested in reading an author interview? Because ‘you cannot underestimate the importance of writers; writers described things that other people don’t have time to describe’ – James Baldwin

I was recently interviewed by the Literary Worm and the Nerdy Bibliophile who kindly recommended my book ‘This Is Your Quest’ to their respective followers. I would like to share this interview with you, not so much to shine the spotlight on myself, but more so to highlight the importance of why story telling matters.

There are two ways to learn valuable life lessons that will teach us to become a little bit smarter and wiser. The first method is through trial, errors and personal experience and the second method is through story telling. The downside of the first method is that it will no doubt brings you a fair amount of pain and suffering, which is something that we all want to avoid as much as possible. Learning life lessons through someone else’s struggle and ordeal is a much less painful way to go about it whilst still bringing the same benefits. And that is where story telling comes into the frame. Stories teach us about life about ourselves and about others.

So, sharing my story with readers as to how I came to write my book and what I found out along the way may well trigger some interest, it may motivate some aspiring authors to jump into the literary arena, and also get more readers to join me and find out how they can go on their own Quest to find happiness.

Meet the Author

When did you first realized you wanted to be a writer?

Writing is a fairly new thing for me, I never had this big childhood dream of becoming an author. It just happened and it surprised me as much as it surprised all my friends and family when they discovered I became a published author.  I started writing because I had a lot of things to says, there is so much wisdom and knowledge out there, some have been forgotten and some has been hidden away. I just wanted to bring those stories back to life and share them with all the curious souls out. You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy books, so I wanted to write a book that will help people go on their own Quest to find happiness.

Toni Morrison said: “If there is a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” I couldn’t find anywhere a book that deal with all the subjects I was interested in; most self-help books are very focused on one particular subject either money, love or health taken separately. I couldn’t find a book that dealt with those subjects all at once, a book that inspired me but also challenged me, a book that could act as a compass when I was feeling lost. So, I decided that I should write such a book myself.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

More than an author I consider myself an artist, because it is more fluid and more suited to my current state of mind. Charles Bukowski said: “An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way, an artist says a hard thing in a simple way.” I made it my personal Quest to make my writing informative, accessible and entertaining and I want to be part of that new self-help trend that make philosophy and history cool again, not reserved for the up-tight academic and his students.

What genre of books do you enjoy the most?

I read a lot of non-fiction books. There is so much information, tips and wisdom in those books; but reading those books feels a bit like ‘work’. I like taking non-fiction books with me on weekends away and on holiday. I also enjoy reading poetry because words in a poem have a lot of meaning and intensity. Before I write a piece, I like reading poetry, I let the words in the poem envelop me; it helps with my writing style.

What is your suggestion/advice to aspiring authors on writing and publishing?

Advice to aspiring authors: Read a lot and write a lot

My advice to aspiring authors is to read a lot and write a lot. Authors are inherently curious in nature. Reading is one way to express that curiosity whilst absorbing a lot information and getting acquainted with lots of different writing styles. Writing is the process by which you let go of what’s inside your head and heart. The most surprising thing I learned about writing is that “your book is not finished until it has been read.” New authors should see themselves as marathon runners and not sprinters. There are thousands of books being published every day; sadly, the majority of these books will stay in semi-obscurity. New authors should be relentless in their Quest to make their work visible and accessible to a larger public and you do this one reader at a time.

How many books have you published so far and are you working on some new project?

This is Your Quest

I launched the 1st Edition of my book in April 2018. The 2nd Edition came out in May 2019 together with the French version of my book which I translated myself. So, I wrote one book, but I have three versions of it. I am currently working with a professional voice actress (her voice is amazing) on the audio version of my book. I am anticipating being able to launch the audio version of my book by the end of October. Watch that space!

Where can readers find your work?

You can find my book on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Kobo. Or you can purchase the book directly from my publisher www.bookocker.com/9732. You can also visit my website and  do an easy purchase from there www.authorjoannereed.net.

What do you like to do apart from writing?

I love being in nature and doing outdoor activities such as walking or riding my bicycle or my motorbike. Horse riding is one of my favorite activity, but I don’t have the opportunity to ride often. I also like keeping fit and the best way for me to do that is by practicing Muay Thai; it is intense, fun and a useful skill to have.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

In 5 years’ time I’d like to see myself belonging to the category of writers whose work is appreciated and recognized by a large pool of people who read my work because they find a lot of value in it, and because it brings them some clarity and help them be the best version of themselves.

If you liked this post you can follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or you may also like:

For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

Categories
About the Book Self-Help

Self-Help Books Can Become Bestsellers, But Do They Actually Work?

Self-help books can become bestsellers, but do they actually work?

The self-help book market is worth over $10 billion dollars per year in the USA alone with twice as many books sold in 2019 than just 7 years earlier. With an ever-growing flock of followers who want clear answers to their questions, clear solutions to their problems and clear paths to follow along the road to a happy and successful life.

Psychologists, life coaches, gurus, and authors are filling up conference rooms, bookstores, social media platforms with their contents.  Consumers of self-help materials are all looking for the same thing, the secret to a happy, healthy and prosperous life.  

The most successful self-help books of all time are: 

  1. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Over 80 million copies sold.
  2. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Over 65 million copies sold.
  3. You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. Over 50 million copies sold.
  4. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kyosaki. Over 25 million copies sold.
  5. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey. Over 25 million copies sold.

Do self-help books help? Looking at those figures, the answer seems to be a definite yes. But despite those compelling sales figures, some people find the effectiveness of self-help books debatable. Personally, I find them very useful; but I am totally biased on this subject-matter not only because self-help books are my favorite genre as a reader, but I am also the author of a self-help book titled This is Your Quest. Your Mission: To Experience Happiness Along the Way.

Let’s look at both sides of the argument and see where this leads us.

Are self-help books a waste of time and money?

The main argument against self-help books is that they don’t work. Some people argue that reading self-help books is like taking drugs; it makes you feel good for a little while but that feel-good factor doesn’t last very long. Initially, people will enjoy reading those books because they get lost in a sea of wisdom, advice, suggestions, new habits, new affirmations, but  once they have ingurgitated all that advice and new-found wisdom life resumes its normal course and soon they get lost in a sea of daily grind and forget about all those new habits they swore by a week ago. 

It is true that knowing without doing is like not knowing at all, and from this angle I tend to agree with the argument that self-help books don’t work. Most of the advice that is given in those books make perfect sense, but unless the reader decides to apply those advice consistently and diligently, reading those books will not change their lives one inch. Unfortunately, a large majority of people fall trap to this behavior. 

It is common knowledge that to lead a healthy life you need to eat healthy, exercise, practice your daily affirmations by thinking positive, be mindful and present in the moment, get in touch with your inner-child,  love yourself, and practice the art of being grateful. That is about it really. But If everyone already knows all of that why do you need a book to tell you those things that you already know? It is a fair point.

Self-help books; a sea of wisdom, advice, suggestions, new habits, new affirmations

So, why are people still reading those books? It is much easier to keep yourself in a state of preparedness by reading those books, taking notes and visualizing the amazing result you will get at the end, than actually doing the deed. Reciting positive affirmations every morning will not change your life if you are not following up with an action plan.  You have to be more intentional in your approach to self-help.

I am of the opinion that one size doesn’t fit all. We are all different, we all have different issues, different perspectives, different circumstances. I believe that it is not a waste of time and money to read self-help books, because you can learn from the successes and mistakes of others without having to make those same mistakes, giving you a huge advantage. However, at the end of the day, it is up to you to find the answer that applies to your own circumstances; after you have read those self-help books, you will operate from a more informed vantage point, having gained some knowledge, wisdom and clarity in the process. Nobody else can be happy for you, you have to figure it out yourself.

The types of people who read self-help books

There are two types of people who read self-help books.

  1. People who are going through personal, financial or emotional crisis, those who have suffered from traumas, or those who feel unfulfilled and very dissatisfied with their current situation. Their expectation is that reading those self-help books will increase their happiness level from bad to good.
  2. People who haven’t got any major issues with their life, they are curious, they have an open-mind, they want to improve and learn how to be the best version of themselves, they want to turn their life around and increase their happiness level from good to great and for the best students their expectation is to turn their happiness level from great to awesome.

We are constantly in the process of creating ourselves. Reading self-help books is a commitment to yourself; when the person is ready for action, self-help books can be part of a genuine life transformation. For the skeptics, they can also lay the foundations for the change that could happen in the future. The idea is to plant that seed, it will take some time to germinate but eventually it will grow slowly but surely.  It is just a matter of time.

Self-help books; plant a seed

We cannot force someone to hear a message they are not ready to receive, but we must never underestimate the power of planting a seed.’

Unknown Author

There are many reasons why you should try to develop yourself

Whatever your personal circumstances, there are many reasons why you should read self-help books.

  • Expand your horizon. You don’t know everything, and you haven’t done everything. There is so much that you don’t know and haven’t experienced yet. People tend to live within the comfort of their own echo chamber, doing the things that are familiar to them, connecting with people they know, reading the books that everybody else is reading. There is nothing wrong with living within your comfort zone, but there is so much more out there. Have an explorer mindset, go and explore the world.  This might sound like a big feat, but you don’t even have to leave your house; books can take you anywhere you want to go. Explorers have the ability to leave comfort and certainty behind them. They are in a continual search of new ideas and new ways of thinking. 
  • Build your knowledge. One of the main benefits of reading self-help books is that you learn loads. The Quest for knowledge and clarity is an endless pursuit. The destination is unknown. It is all about the journey. When things get tough and confusing it’s best to  stop rest, reflect, regroup, think, re-think, learn and unlearn some of the things you learned in order to decide which road to take next. Our knowledge of the world is limited, our perception of the world is groomed by the education we receive from our parents, by our culture, by the historical period we live in, by the rigidity of our mind. Have an open mind.
  • Give you access to free mentorship. Reading about people’s successes and failures and what they have learned from them is an excellent short-cut to acquiring wisdom without having to experience those same mistakes yourself. Books are a way to have access to the best minds that have ever lived. Need a mentor? Read the words of your favorite authors and role models.
  •  Give you Inspiration and motivation. Well-chosen words can breathe hope into you when your spirit is broken and revive you when your body is weary. The right words can redeem the wrong you feel, it can redeem the feeling of hopelessness that weighs heavy on your heart and can give you flight after a hard landing.

Why you should add ‘This Is your Quest’ to your reading list.

‘If you only read the books that everyone else is reading you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

Haruki Marukami

There are a lot of wisdom and hidden truths out there that have been forgotten or hidden away.  I wrote my book because I had a desire to explore the ins and out of what matters, to dig deep on subjects that affect all of us and then bring them to the surface and show its significance to all the curious souls out there who have a desire to become the best version of themselves. You will find in my book a treasure trove of insights and wisdom. Words have tremendous energy and power, they can educate, heal and illuminate the mind.

This is Your Quest

For the skeptics, I refer you to the wise words of  Les Brown who pointed out: “If you want to experience a sense of fulfillment you have to have an open-mind, so that new ideas can take root. Part of having fertile ground is the ability to break up that hard crust first, because if you plant seeds there, the wind will blow them away.” My book is the tool that can help you break that crust, allowing new seeds to take root. 

This Is Your Quest is the story you want to hear. Why? Because it is your story, the one that I wrote for each and every one of you.  People should live the story they want to tell. Your life is your story, and your mission is to write the best story you can and have lots of adventures along the way. 

We wouldn’t need books so much if we knew ourselves and the people around us better. Do you know who you are? Do you know why people do the things they do? Those two questions will dictate pretty much everything that happens in your life and turn it a pleasant experience or on the contrary an unpleasant one. That is where books come in. They explain us to ourselves and to others, and makes us feel less strange, less isolated and less alone.

The Quest for clarity is an endless pursuit. We all seek it. We all want clear answers to our questions. We all want clear solutions to our problems. We all want clear paths to follow along the road to a happy and successful life. We all want to move from a state of confusion, which brings with it a lot of suffering to a state of clarity, which brings joy and happiness. 

I see my book as being a small beam of light that is shining in the distance, and I am hoping that all the curious souls out there will be drawn to it, and once they grab it will open their mind and will bring them some clarity.  

This is my hope, and this is my Quest.  Are you ready to go on your own Quest? 


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For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

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About the Book

A Book Like No Other – Book Reviews

A Book Like No Other – Book Reviews

For a writer, book reviews can open doors to new and bigger audiences; writers know it, readers know it, publishers know it. What people are saying about your book can be a huge factor in its success.

Book reviews make books a known quantity, they save readers time, prepare them for what they will find and offer them a greater chance of connecting with a particular book, even before they read the first page! They also make their authors very happy.

I am grateful for all the curious souls out there who were brave enough to pick up my book, read it and a special thanks to those who took the time to write me a book review. Thank you to Robert, Louis, Floyd, Rahki, Saania, and Catherine for taking the time to read my book and post their book reviews. For those who have not yet picked it up, there is no better time than today to go an epic adventure with me acting as your tour guide; I will take you on a journey through time, across many continents, oceans, mountains, all the way to space and back home to the depth of you own heart.

I am always interested to find out how people react to my book and which section of the book resonates with them in particular. It is my pleasure to share with you some recent reviews that came my way.

Join me on this Epic Journey

Empowering Book – Catherine Germier – Founder & CEO of Millennium Destinations – 20 June 2020

“This empowering book will embark you on an exciting and inspiring journey which will challenge or even change the perspective you have on your life and its purpose. In these times of uncertainty, this is the guide we need”.

A historical, philosophical journey through life – Saania Saxena – High School Student – 15 June 2020

This book is truly insightful. Personally, history is a subject I found genuinely boring at school. I was never interested in anything my teachers taught me about the world history. Whereas philosophy is something I enjoyed immensely. This book, This Is Your Quest is the perfect combination of both.

When the author talks about Jessica Watson, I instantly felt a connection and I felt something resonate with me deeply. Not only because I am sixteen too, but because I always want to challenge myself. I have always wanted to inspire people. And through her words of what she explained during the interview for the Los Angeles Times, it’s like she voiced my thoughts. I have always been judged for doing something big because “I’m so young” and “I don’t know much about life”. But age is simply a number. I am writing my own book at the age of sixteen because I feel like I can. So, I heartily agree and loved the statement about the fact that grit and determination can help one achieve their dream.

Or when the author talks about time being the most valuable commodity each one of us have. We are all given the exact same amount of time, it is what we choose to do with it that makes one more successful, satisfied, content and happier than the other. Specially as a teenager, I see time as one of the most salient things in my day to day life. Every time wasted costs me. Writing a book during quarantine has enabled me to utilise my time wisely, at the same time doing something that I love.

What Santiago learned in Tangier, Morocco, with the crystal merchant about fear is also something I felt. As we go through our lives, one of the most important things we learn about the world is how life begins at the end of our comfort zones. Each time I have moved to a different country or a different city, I was thrown into the world of unknowns. I was intimidated by the people who were a part of it, the things I wasn’t ready for, and I didn’t know which direction was the safest. As humans, we tend to like stability and we feel comfortable with familiarity. But it is when we head towards the unknown, that we fight our fears and conquer the real world.

All in all, I enjoyed the order, structure, style, and the language of the book. It’s an easy-read which is very good because young readers like me can feel accommodated too. Not only that, I think it actually should be read by young minds because we are the ones who are raring to take on the world! I want to read this book over and over again to stick to and remember these highly crucial and important life lessons.

In a Category of itself – Floyd Williams- Author of ‘The Book of Self-A Thesis on Energy and How it Interrelates – 11 June 2020

This Is Your Quest is book that is in a category by itself. It is not like the average self-help or motivational book. “This Is Your Quest” is a tangible epiphany of man’s deepest longing of liberation, journey, joy and the pulse of life. The pulse of life that is man’s intuition, which is all too often unfortunately suppressed by man to be fit to scaled to societies norms. Joanne Reed is the author, but when you read the book you feel like you are the one who is writing it (hence the title of the book which really does it justice;) for it truly captures and reflects man’s inner longing. As I read it, I felt like a child with an imagination being expanded.

The examples of history from the past to current events used in this book are very poignant masterfully establishing connection to the reader’s own potential and unveiling of. That is where the power lies in this book.

This Is Your Quest is no mystical self-help book, it is pregnant with information ranging from monetary system, history, mythology, health, vaccination, and symbology, designed to aid the reader in giving birth to whatever their mind can conceive.”

A Unique Book – Rakhi – 10 June 2020

This is Your Quest is the first book written by Joanne Reed and I was just amazed by reading such detailed research on so many subjects, whilst highlighting really interesting snapshots of history and forgotten wisdom; all of this is expressed in an eloquent manner, easy to read and very informative.

The author has shown remarkable work with her research by writing such an epic self-development story. The book also contains topics such as political, social behavior, and psychology which will no doubt help the reader understand human nature in a more holistic way. The pursuit of happiness is the centerpiece of the book and all the stories, fables, wisdom, and quotes you will find in this book will gently guide you to find your own path towards that very special place everyone is seeking that is called ‘Happiness.’

The highlight of the book is the way the author explains everything with a creative description, that caught my attention from the very beginning. The book has a smooth flow to it and will really make you think and go deeper than you have ever been before. If you are not a fan of History, you may become one after reading this book. Joanne Reed demonstrates in her book, how knowing history is important in order to understand our present, and what we do in the present will affect our future. Overall a unique book. ‘This Is Your Quest’ is like no other books you have read before. So if you are a keen reader or even if you are not, this book is for you it will open your eyes and make you see things differently. To all the curious souls out there, I would recommend that you pick this one, it has the potential to change your life.

A Compass to Move Forward – Louis – 20 April 2020

Dear Joanne. The Companion that I have been throughout the reading of your book This Is Your Quest, says to you quite simply and sincerely: Thank you! A compass to move forward in the pursuit of our well-being and treasure chest to signify that there are hidden treasures to be discovered on our life’s path… these two pictures on the cover of your book faithfully translate the words, the story and the message you wanted to and knew how to convey. As you remind us so well, we cannot understand the present without knowing the past and what we do in the present will determine our future… You are right, wisdom teaches is not to ignore what has happened in our lives, but to learn from it. Let us learn from our experiences. Let us understand our mistakes, our failures, but also our successes. Let us know how to invent new perspectives and create the ideal conditions to advance with serenity on the path of our life. It is up to us to stay the course and to not let go. Between knowing and not knowing there is: learning. Between being able and not being able there is: trying. Between loving and not loving there is: tasting. So let’s taste the joy of reading and or re-reading your book … and let’s be ready for our Quest to Find Happiness Along the Way!”

Beautiful Trove of Ideas – Robert Gregory – Author of Down, But Never Out – 16 January 2020

“This book drew me in from the start. The amount of information that’s been seamlessly strung together into a bountiful trove of ideas is staggering. I especially like the chapter on symbols and the fact about how they can be and have been deceptively used. The author, Joanne Reed, by evidenced in the text, absolutely loves to research. As a writer myself, this text will be a go-to reference for future projects.”



If you liked this post you can follow me on Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook, or you may also like:

For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

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About the Book

New Book Reviewer Interview

I was interviewed recently by Rakhi from New Book Reviewer Blog, if you would like to find out a bit more about me and why you should read my book, read on.

Author Joanne Reed in Seoul, Korea

1. Could you please introduce yourself?

My name is Joanne Reed I am a contract lawyer by profession, a published author and blogger. I am a wife, the mother of two teenage daughters and I currently live in Seoul South Korea.

2. Congratulations on your book. So, what inspired you to write this book?

Being an author is a fairly new experience for me. James Baldwin famously said: “I didn’t decide to be an author I discovered I was one.” I relate very much with this, as this is exactly how I feel.

My journey as an author started when I decided to follow the advice of Toni Morrison who said: “If there is a book that you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

I couldn’t find anywhere a book that dealt with all the subjects I was interested in, a book that inspired me but challenged me all the same, a book that could act as a compass when I was feeling lost, a book that could educate, heal and illuminate the mind. So, I decided that I should write such a book myself.

3. What is the book about?

This Is Your Quest’ is a self-help book, the book itself is a journey, it guides and coaches the reader to adopt an explorer mindset in their own Quest towards happiness  through the trifecta of money, love and health. The book provides valuable lessons from history, philosophy and economics.

Wherever you are in the world, people want the same thing. People want to be happy. So, I made it my personal Quest to try to understand this concept of Happiness using different vantage points, using the wisdom & knowledge from my favorite philosophers & authors and learning valuable lessons from history.

The concept of Happiness is a very fluid concept, and everyone has their own definition of happiness. What makes you happy is different from what makes me happy. Having said that I really wanted to capture this concept of happiness into something that everyone could relate with.

When you look at the etymology of the word “Happiness” it means “living well”. So, if you live well you will find happiness. And the reason why most people believe they will be happy if they are wealthy, in love and in good health is because those 3 things i.e. wealth, love & good health promote well-being.  I explore all those subjects in my book.

My own definition of Happiness is the journey to fulfilled yourself through Money, Love and health. Happiness is living a life that is meaningful; filling fulfilled in whatever you do.

This is Your Quest

4. Why did you choose this genre for your book?

I believe that people should live the story they want to tell. It was not my desire to write a piece of fiction. My objective was to write a book that will change people’s live, not by giving them advice as to how they should live, but by exposing them to concepts, philosophies and ways of thinking that have perhaps not been so obvious to them before. I want my book to be a story that could be understood by anyone , a book that will resonate with people from all walks of life; a book where all the little stories will come together to form the Big Picture; a book that can be a road map for people who find themselves disorientated and lost , and if they are, to read it and find their way again.

5. How much time did it take to complete this book?

It took me 9 months, the same amount of time to make a baby. “This Is Your Quest” is my third baby.

6. What makes your Book Special?

My book is very different from the self-help book that you normally find out there. Most self-help book is written from the perspective of the author who wrote the book using their own knowledge, their own expertise and personal experience in a particular area. The author then proceeds by setting-up a set of rules which the reader should follow in order to achieve whichever objective they set themselves

My approach is different. I am not telling people what to do and how they should lead their lives. I am not setting any rules. I am giving my readers enough food for thoughts to go on their own Quest so that they can find the right path for them. And as we know each one of us have a different path to take – different aspirations – different objectives – different mission in life. I think people should read my book because it could potentially change their lives. It is challenging but also inspiring.

7. When is your second book coming?

I don’t have a second book out yet, but I have been working on various versions of my first book. The first edition of my book was released on April 2018 ; I received  very good reviews and some of the  feedback I received from my readers made me want to refine some points and add some recent events into the book, so I made some revisions and additions to the 1st edition of the book and released the 2nd edition in May 2019. I also translated the English version of the book myself and launched the French version in May 2019.  I am currently working with two professional voice actresses to record the audio version of “This Is Your Quest” the English version will be narrated by an American voice actress and the French version of the book ‘En Quete du Bonheur’ will be narrated by a French voice actress. I am really excited about this; I am currently working with Tina Slater on the recording of the English version of the book. Tina’s voice is smooth, engaging, and versatile. She sounds just like the narrator of the TV Series ‘Desperate Housewives’, she really brings the book to life! Watch that space!

8. While writing did you get any writers block? What is the Tip that you will give 

I never experienced writers block. I started writing because I had a lot of things to say, there is so much wisdom and knowledge out there some have been forgotten and some have been hidden away; I just wanted to bring those stories back to life and share them with all the curious souls out  there.

9. Apart from being a talented author, what are your other hobbies?

I practice martial art Muay Thai and Krav Maga. I also love horse riding and walking in nature.

10. Last but not the least, How did you feel, while giving this interview?

I feel grateful for the opportunity to share a little bit of me and what I do with your followers.


If you liked this post you can follow me on Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook, or you may also like:

For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

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About the Book

Why Do Writers Write?

Why do writers write? Writers start writing in solitude but once the work is done writers wish for their words to be read and shared with the public at large. Annie Proulx said, “a book is not finished until it has been read,” getting attention from the public is what authors are craving for. So, when someone in the social media sphere is flashing the spotlight on you, you say, “thank you baby, so glad for the opportunity.”

This week began quite well; it started with an Instagram post from @WOCwritetoo (Women of Color Write Too), shining the spotlight on my work alongside that of three other lovely WOC writers. This made me think about why writers write; and as it often happens these days, I can’t spend time thinking about something without having to write about it! So, in true writer’s style, I decided to put my thoughts on paper and share it with you.

Author Spotlight

Do Writers Write For Money?

Every writer has their own unique narrative behind the reasons they write. One day they decided to sit at their desk and write a piece to be shared with the public. By typing frantically on their laptop they are taking a leap of faith deciding to enter the ‘literary arena’, not knowing what will be waiting for them once they step foot inside. Will their readers be gracious or vicious? Picture Russell Crowe in the movie ‘Gladiator’ entering the arena for his first fight.    

Question: Why do writers write?
Answer: Because they want to.

That’s it. Problem solved.  Sure, you can look at this question in a very superficial kind of way and leave it at that, but I wanted to dig a bit deeper. So, I went to investigate if I could find any meaningful and less brisk type of answers to this question.

According to Dr. Lawrence R. Samuel (Ph.D Psychology), the psychology behind the pursuit of literary life is not precisely clear. With rejection and criticism so much part of the literary experience and the fact that the income of the average American writer hovers around the poverty line, one has to wonder if writers have a streak of masochism in their genetic makeup to choose it as their profession. 

Why would anyone consent to the emotional, financial, spiritual and even physical contortions that are necessary in order to lead a writer’s life? It can’t be about the money. In addition, much patience is required to receive any form of external reward from writing as reviews and royalties typically come long after the book is launched.

An interesting answer comes directly from a Professor of psychology who tells us that it is definitely not for money that writers write. I am guessing that he is talking about the type of writers that haven’t yet made it to the New York Times Best Selling Authors’ list. You see, there are two types of writers in this world: Type 1: the Best-Selling-Author-Type such as JK Rowling, Paulo Coelho, Stephen King, Mark Manson, Robert Green, Malcolm Gladwell, etc. … and then you have the Type 2:  the Working-Hard-To-Get-There-Type. If you are a writer who is reading this and happen to fall into the second category, don’t fret, let that Envy-Syndrome that you have towards the first category of writers run through you, and then move on and find solace in the fact that there are plenty of reasons – that are not financial – why writers write.

Why Do Writers Write?

So, Why Do Writers Write?

So, Why Do Writers Write? For Posterity, Legacy or some other reasons?

All of the above, and for some other good reasons below:

Sharing: At a basic level, writing is about someone sharing something with someone else, making connection a key component of the pursuit. The possibility that a book can be deeply moving or at least interesting and informative to a reader is a prime motivation for writers to keep on writing.

Creativity: through their work writers have the potential of having a bond with far more people than they can in real life, a perspective that recast writing from its accepted view as solitary and lonely exercise. From an expression of individual creativity, it shifts to a builder of relationships.

Liberation: Writing is a liberating force and something that is instrumental in allowing writers to be all they can be.

Therapy: Writing can also serve as a therapeutic release and many authors find their profession to be an ideal mean of maintaining a sense of psychological well-being.

Meaning:  Writing is a search for something meaningful, a longing to create something of value.  There is an intimate relationship between the writer and the reader. The writer makes the first move and takes the first leap of faith, releasing their inner makings to the world for all to see. There is a great risk when it comes to writing, releasing content freely and openly. Content can be received graciously and given applause or simply dismembered and torn apart by readers and reviewers.  Writing is a journey with its unique ups and down.

Exploration:  Writing takes you out of your comfort zone. It is the push, the striving, the discomfort. Writers write because it pushes then beyond the barriers of everyday existence into a world of what might be. A world of opportunity. An infinite variety of maybes and ‘what-ifs‘. A vast plain of words that might describe the world in which we live. For a writer, no two days are the same. The path may not always be smooth and predictable, but here are always new sights to see. There is always more to explore. Like any great journey, writing is full of its ups and downs. Sometimes it feels like a roller coaster; other times it is like riding a donkey. It is an isolated but far from lonely experience. With our words and fellow travelers to keep us company, adventure lurks around every corner. Writing can never be a waste of time because it takes you to places you would never go. There is a lot more to the writing life than what we earn, or don’t earn. Writing is not done for money, it is for those moments when we choose to step into discomfort that our stories begin to be interesting. Being away from your routine and placing yourself in a strange environment is challenging. Each moment is full of excitement and anticipation about what could happen next. It is not about the destination; it is about the journey. Johanna Castro.

I Didn’t Decide to Be a Writer I Discovered I Was One

For me, there are three people that best embodied the reasons why I unexpectedly found myself wearing the shoes of a writer: James, Baldwin, Maya Angelou (whom my eldest daughter is named after) and Toni Morrison.

The American Poet and author James Baldwin said, “You cannot underestimate the importance of writing. Writers describe things which other people are too busy to describe. I didn’t decide to become a writer, I discovered I was one.” 

Maya Angelou, There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

Toni Morrison, “If there is a book that you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it!’ This is how I got to write my book ‘This Is Your Quest’. I could not find anywhere a book that gathered in one place all the key subjects I was interested in; a book that will inspire me but challenge me all the same, a book that will breath hope into me when I am feeling down, a book that could educate, heal and illuminate the mind. I am not an academic, a psychologist or an anthropologist. I am neither a scientist nor an economist. I am just an observer, a thinker. I am curious about the world and I am curious about people.  I write because I have a desire to explore the ins and out of what matters to dig deep on subjects and then bring it to the surface and show its significance to all the curious souls out there.

Best advice I ever received

This is Your Quest

Below is an extract from the Preface of my book: 

I have to admit; I am stepping outside my own comfort zone by writing this book. I am venturing into territory totally unfamiliar to me, not knowing in advance where this adventure will take me and how it all might unfold; but I am prepared. My curiosity and sense of adventure are stronger than my fear. I must remind myself: what is the worst that can happen? That, once written, my book doesn’t attract much attention and disappears into the “oubliettes? Writing this book, however, is first and foremost a gift to myself. Of course, I would rather it be that my book finds an audience and makes an impact, but whatever its success, I believe writing it is an experience worth having and have enjoyed the process of putting my thoughts onto paper.

Joanne Reed – Author of ‘This Is Your Quest

It is also possible that this book attracts attention, but of the negative sort. I am willing to accept the fact that any author might have their work scrutinized by critics, who have the power to put it on a pedestal or drag it down into the mud. My perspective on this is best summarized by David Schlosser who said, “the only writer to whom I should compare myself is the writer I was yesterday. It is much easier to be a critic than an artist. It is easier to destroy than to build. Before you criticize someone’s work, try to be an artist first. With this said, the best person to describe my own sentiment about critics is Theodore Roosevelt who rightly stated, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasm, the great devotion; who spends himself on a worthy cause; who at best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

This is Your Quest is a book that will inspire you but will also challenge you. It is not for the fainthearted. When I wrote the book, I felt more than once that I was on a ‘slippery slope‘ but kept writing because I made it my Quest to take the path ‘less traveled by,‘ and hope for you, as it has for me, that it ‘makes all the difference.’


So my dear friend, I have written my book but it will not be finished until you have read it!


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About the Book

A Compass to a Meaningful Life

For a writer, book reviews can open doors to new and bigger audiences; writers know it, readers know it, publishers know it. What people are saying about your book can be a huge factor in its success, and you must know how to spot a good review when you see it. ‘A compass to a meaningful life’ is just such a review.

Author Joanne Reed, Double Take (French and English Versions)

Steve Watkins, a fellow lawyer, blogger (SWatkinLaw’s Blog), and aspiring author was kind enough to read my book and wrote a most impressive review which has just been published on Amazon.com.

A Compass to a Meaningful Life

Author Joanne Reed is a powerful storyteller, and provides cogent perspectives on a myriad of topics; her “pagan trinity” is Money, Health, and Love, and she makes compelling arguments for why we need each, and in the proper balance, in order to lead meaningful lives. She weaves deep philosophical concepts into easily-understood thematic treatments, and her points are well-presented and well-taken.

Her background as a lawyer is vividly displayed by virtue of her rigorous attention to providing all appropriate credits when and where due. Her sources reveal that she is an extraordinarily well-read, highly-intelligent, and deeply insightful thinker whose prowess with the written word is supported by the massive amount of work she has undertaken to craft this book.

If you are looking for significant insights into living a fulfilled, happy life; one with meaning, and brimming with joy; a life full of purpose, then this is the book for you. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone seeking a deep and valuable perspective into the human condition and wise and passionate views about what truly matters in life.

I have been following Steve’s own writing, his last post on the Four Elements of Self Image was insightful and describes how to create a positive, purpose-filled life, based on joy, excitement, enthusiasm, and eagerness to be the best one can be.

Book reviews make books a known quantity, they save readers time, prepare them for what they will find and offer them a greater chance of connecting with a particular book, even before they read the first page!

They also make their authors very happy. Thank you Steve, thank you to everyone else who has read my book and particularly to those who have taken the time to post a review as well.

And this my Dear Readers, is Your Quest!


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For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

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About the Book

#1 Spot! Sweet! Thank you to my French readers for keeping me there!

Thank you to my French readers! The American Poet and writer James Baldwin said, “you don’t decide to become a writer, you discover you are one.” This is exactly what happened to me!

Thank you to all my readers!

Baldwin also said, “the importance of a writer is to describe things which other people are too busy to describe.”

I became an author because I had things to say. Words have tremendous energy and power, they have the ability to educate, to help, to heal, to illuminate minds and I hope that my book will do a little of that.

After my initial surprise success, I would like to thank my French readers for keeping me in the #1 spot in two categories on Amazon France; Self-help and Longevity. For all of those who purchased my book, welcome on board and hope you are enjoying an epic adventure! Please feel free to leave me some reviews when you have finished reading. For those who are wondering which book to read next, can I suggest mine?!

Sales Rankings on Amazon France

Word of caution: “One must always be careful of books and what is inside them for words have the power to change us”. The future belongs to the curious, those who are not afraid to try it, explore it, poke it, question it – over to you.

 Version Française

Le poète et écrivain américain James Baldwin a dit : “Tu ne décides pas de devenir écrivain, tu découvres que tu l’es.” C’est exactement ce qui m’est arrivé !

Baldwin a aussi dit, “l’importance d’un écrivain est de décrire des choses que les autres sont trop occupés à décrire.”

Je suis devenu auteur parce que j’avais des choses à dire. Les mots ont une énergie et un pouvoir extraordinaires, ils ont la capacité d’éduquer, d’aider, de guérir, d’illuminer les esprits et j’espère que mon livre en fera autant.

J’aimerais remercier mes lecteurs français de m’avoir maintenu au premier rang dans deux catégories d’Amazon France : Développement Personnel et Longévité. Pour tous ceux qui l’ont acheté , bienvenue à bord, j’espère que vous vivez une aventure épique ! N’hésitez pas à me laisser des commentaires quand vous aurez fini de le lire . Pour ceux qui se demandent quel sera mon prochain livre, puis-je suggérer le mien ?!

Mise en garde : “Il faut toujours faire attention aux livres et à ce qu’ils contiennent, car les mots ont le pouvoir de nous changer“. L’avenir appartient aux curieux, à ceux qui n’ont pas peur d’essayer, d’explorer, de s’interroger . Etes-vous curieux?


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For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

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About the Book

Happy Bastille Day to All my French Compatriots!

On 14 July France celebrates Bastille Day, happy Bastille Day!

In 1789 the people of Paris stormed the Bastille, a fortress prison that held political prisoners jailed by the Royal Government of Louis XVI. The taking of the Bastille signaled the beginning of the French Revolution and became a symbol of the collapse of the ancient regime. The French Revolution stood for the ideas of LIBERTY, EQUALITY, and FRATERNITY, these virtues stand for being able to make one’s own decisions freely and having the opportunity to be able to express one’s own beliefs without fear.

Vive la France! 

Happy Bastille Day


Aujourd’hui la France célèbre la prise de ma Bastille. Le 14 juillet 1789, le peuple de Paris prend d’assaut la Bastille, une prison forteresse qui détient des prisonniers politiques emprisonnés par le gouvernement royal de Louis XVI. La prise de la Bastille marque le début de la Révolution Française et devient le symbole de l’effondrement de l’ancien régime. La Révolution Française à mis en avant les idées de LIBERTÉ, ÉGALITÉ ET FRATERNITÉ. Vive la France!

I talk a lot about the concept of Liberty in my book. Check it out. 


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For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

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About the Book

Amazon Rankings, Celebrating an Unexpected Coup!

Celebrating milestones injects a bit of life  into any project, “En Quête Du Bonheur” (the French edition of “This is Your Quest“) has taken the #1 spot on Amazon.France in the category “Longevity” and has taken the #2 spot in the category “Self-Help“!

I am feeling extemely grateful to all the curious souls out there who purchased my book! Bless your curious nature! For those who are still undecided, feel free to jump on board. I promise to take you on an Epic Adventure!

Celebrating #1 Spot in Longevity on Amazon.fr

And in French:

En Quête Du Bonheur” à pris la 1ere place sur Amazon.fr dans la catégorie “longévité” et à pris la 2ème place dans la catégorie “Développement Personnel” !

Amazon.fr Rankings on 26 June 2019

Je suis extrêmement reconnaissante à toutes les âmes curieuses qui ont acheté mon livre! Je remercie votre nature curieuse! Pour ceux qui sont encore indécis, n’hésitez pas à monter à bord. Je vous promets de vous emmener dans une épopée fantastique! 


If you liked this post you can follow me on Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook, or you may also like:

For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.