1. What motivated you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and turning it into this book?
There are two main purposes
for my book at this time—I am actively growing two large organizations that I
am blessed to lead. PLA has grown to 1,000 employees and plans to double in the
next 5 years and I recently took on the leadership of KC Scholars. I want to
give my staff an opportunity to get to know me, my parents and the values that
I was raised in, that also permeates the fabric of how I show up to my work.
Secondly, I hope my
story inspires others (first and foremost, my growing national teams) to
live out their roles within their respective organizations, to their best of
their abilities and in a way that best serve children. And I hope that my story
inspires all who read me to follow their own dreams.
2. What is it about and who is it for?
This story is about my family, my life and my work. It will highlight the values that lived and breathed throughout my childhood as a black child growing up in a white environment and how that continues to have a profound impact in my life as an adult.
3. What takeaways might the reader will be left with after reading it?
- Never underestimate how your behavior/decisions can change the course of your life and so many others. My adoption story is primary example of that not only did my parents create a pathway for me to have direct impact but the values they instilled lives in my organization and continues to have a direct impact
- through hard work and perseverance, most all things are possible
- there are millions of people who could have had the same pathway as me, if they were given a chance, so let’s coalesce and give children a chance so we can change that for them
4. How did you decide on your book’s title and cover design?
The title, Giving My All, captures both my intent and my reminder to myself in everything I endeavor—to ‘give my all’. Sometimes, I didn’t and I tried to capture those moments throughout the book, but the moments that were the most worth it was when I did give my all.
5. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers?
- Write from the heart.
- Write what you know.
- Finish the book.
6. What challenges did you overcome to write this book?
The book was a therapeutic exercise for me because I got the chance to reflect over my life and key moments that I haven’t had to think about in a long time to tell this story. Many were great memories but some were difficult but they all made me who I am and have shaped my leadership and development of my organizations over the years.
7. How would you describe your writing style?
It is a narrative and relaxed stye—easy for anyone to read and understand fairly quickly. I like the use of short stories/vignettes to best exemplify different periods of my life and to illustrate who I am, who my parents were and how my parents tried to raise me.
8. If people can buy or read one book this week or month, why should it be yours?
I don’t know that you do want to read my book. But if someone wants how loving a child can be transformation, this story to learn the story of ripple effect and the power of loving somebody else’s’ child, this is a powerful example of what two people’s love can do for the world.
About The Author: Earl Martin Phalen is one of K-12 education's most visionary leaders: a founder and CEO of multiple successful nonprofits, his mission is to deliver educational excellence and equity to low-income Black and brown children. Born into the Massachusetts foster care system, Earl was adopted into a large, loving Irish Catholic family at age two. His parents instilled the values that led him to a life of service, but growing up Black in a largely white, often hostile world made it hard for him to embrace his gifts. Earl's education taught him the power of Black self-determination, and the love of his family and community sustained him as he struggled to become the leader he'd once doubted he could be. Earl's exciting career is a testament to his mission's core message: all children deserve the support, the opportunity, and the self-belief they need to reach for their dreams without hesitation. He currently resides in Quincy, MA. For more information, consult: https://www.facebook.com/emphalen.
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Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2023. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent. This award-winning blog has generated over 3.3 million pageviews. With 4,400+ posts over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by www.WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult: www.linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum.