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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Helicopter Ride Puts Me On The Other Side Of Life



This past weekend I rode in a helicopter for the first time in my life. It was awesome. As soon as I landed, I wanted to go back up again. I am not a huge risk-taker, and yet it was adventurous, not just because of the views it yielded but because it presented the risk of death.

For a moment I was a thrill-seeker, the person that people want to be but for many reasons don’t become. I got to step out of my own skin and be the one who could say “I did that.”

About a decade ago I went parasailing. Considering I don’t know how to swim, there was an extra thrill attached to it. I also took a hot-air balloon ride on two occasions. But I haven’t gone deep sea scuba diving nor have I jumped out of a plane – yet. With every adventure that threatens bodily harm, I find life is affirmed. I feel most alive when the threat of life’s loss is at hand.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not a dare-devil. I won’t even do the Cyclone at Coney Island. But I love to challenge my senses and daily life normalcy. It is great to just thrust yourself into a new environment and walk away unscathed.

The helicopter ride only lasted 15 minutes (comes out to 10 bucks a minute) but it offered great views of about 2500 feet above the NYC skyline – from Central Park and the Empire State Building to the almost-completed Freedom Tower and Statue of Liberty. The chopper lifted gently and effortlessly into the city from a pier next to the Staten Island Ferry entrance, climbing the afternoon air like a child’s balloon drifts into the clouds.

The ride gives you a vantage point never available otherwise. Even when on airplanes flying into nearby airports you don’t see the depth of the city from this perspective, this close up. From this sightline I felt like I could almost touch the tips of these living monuments.

The only time I felt even mildly at risk was when we would turn. The angle of the craft – no bigger than my Hyundai Elantra – with propellers – makes you feel like you are about to fall out into the Hudson River.

The windows were open so you can feel the breezy rush of summer air race across your arms and face. The helicopter didn’t go very fast, which added to a feeling of being suspended in the air.

After the helicopter landed, I felt ready to conquer something else. I don’t have a bucket list, but if I did, this would have been on it.

Now I am back to being ordinary me. As amazing as the moment of flying turned out to be, it made me hunger and crave, more than ever, to do something bigger or more dangerous. The stakes have been raised. There is no turning back. It has opened me up to the idea of saying yes to things I had rejected, never contemplated, or would have avoided.

I am changed, different – more aware that there is so much more to life than what I limited myself to. Who knows what I will do next, but I have no doubt that something new looms ahead. The next time you have an opportunity for adventure, take it. I know I will.


Another Publisher Goes To The Digital Side

Google announced it acquired the leading travel book publisher, Frommer’s, a year after it took over the leading restaurant review guide, Zagat’s. The question is whether the digital giant will convert Frommers into digital-only or greatly expand the digitization of the books.  The other question is: Are we seeing the escalation of a battle between tech giants – Amazon and Google – to take over book publishing? And what does this mean for Apple, which certainly won’t be left behind?


Interview With Author Kaitlin Bell Barnett 
1.  What type of books do you write? Dosed: The Medication Generation Grows Up is my first book. It's a work of nonfiction.

2. What is your latest or upcoming book about?  Dosed is about the first generation to come of age taking psychiatric medications. It follows five young adults now in their 20s and 30s from the time they began taking medications as children and teenagers through the present day.

3. What inspired you to write it? I have been taking antidepressants and other medications for anxiety and depression since I was a teenager. It took me a while to conceive of myself as part of some generational phenomenon, but once I did, I realized that there could be some serious repercussions to an entire cohort being raised taking drugs that affect emotions, behavior, even personality. At the very least, it would complicate the process of trying to figure out one's identity, which is what I argue in the book.

4. What did you do before you became an author? After college, I worked as a daily newspaper reporter on the Texas-Mexico border, then got a graduate degree in journalism and worked as a freelance writer.

6. How does it feel to be a published author?
Any advice for struggling writers? I have wanted to be a published author for as long as I can remember - literally since before I could read. So, naturally, it's very exciting for me to have just published my first book. My advice for struggling writers is to hold fast to original ideas they believe in, not to jump on the bandwagon of some genre simply because it's trendy right now.

7. Where do you see book publishing heading?
I believe that readers will always have a hunger for good stories, no matter what format they come in. Beyond that, I can't say!



Interview With Author Kristal Mckerrington
Jul 6
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1.      What is your newest book about? "Burning From Within: Inside Kristal McKerrington" is about my journey through Arthritis and my journey to author hood.  My Christmas release "Marie's Tales: I Just Want To Be Loved" is the spin off story of A Different Life and looks into Layla's twins life. Her coming together with Craig.

  1. What inspired you to write it? My journey through the Arthritis and Wrestling. They inspired me through my fight for my life. So those two drives me on. As well as the need to write.

  1. What are the rewards and challenges of writing today? The readers, the connection and bonds are so worth it. 

  1. Any advice for struggling writers? Never give up cause it’s worth it. 

  1. Where do you see book publishing heading?  I hope to publish with more publishers and help to set in stone the Wrestling Romance/Erotica genres. 

Interview With author Frank M. Ahearn

1.      What type of books do you write? I write non-fiction books about my personal experiences. Those experiences range from working with clients who needed to disappear to others who need digital manipulation to camouflage online information.

2.      What is your latest or upcoming book about? My latest book is The Art War of Publishing which is about my experience of working with agents and publisher and why I backed out of my publishing deal and self-published The Digital Hit Man.  Presently I am working on What Made Me Fifty which is a look back on my crazy life from running the streets, drugs, getting clean and eventually turning my life around. It’s a gathering of the negative events in my life that molded the guy soon to be fifty.

3.      What inspired you to write it? A. I always wanted to write. I kept a journal from age fifteen to twenty-five. My mistake was trying to write fiction which always sucked. Then I embraced the Bukowski in me and started writing about the thing I know best, me.

4.      What did you do before you became an author? I spent most of my life hunting people down who did not want to be located and obtaining grey area information like phone records, bank records, criminal records and other sensitive type information. It was sort of an underground internet of information before the internet existed. Presently I write and work with clients who need help creating online deception for privacy purposes.

5.      How does it feel to be a published author? It’s always been a dream and goal get published and it’s very cool seeing the book in the bookstore.

6.      Any advice for struggling writers? If you have a book inside you just keep chipping away at it and soon it will surface. As long as you do not give up. Never give up or let anyone discourage you.

7.      Where do you see book publishing heading? A. No doubt download and print on demand for the self-publisher. I turned down a 40k advance from Lyons Press because I know I can make more self-publishing.

For more information, see www.frankmahearn.com
Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.

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