Stacey David Blades – Lead Guitarist & Songwriter

Written by: Frank Iacono

With L.A. Guns, Stacey David Blades has shared the bill with Alice Cooper, Whitesnake, The Scorpions, Dokken, Skid Row, Warrant and more. He’s been around the world 10 times, done 4 albums with the legendary late producer Andy Johns and on the bill of many prestigious music festivals including M3, Rock Weekend (Sweden), Rockin The Rivers, Buffalo Chip and more! Stacey has also appeared in Rolling Stone, Spin, Metal Edge, and Premier Guitar Magazine to name a few. Stacey is proudly endorsed by ESP Guitars, Pig Hog Cables, Crafter Guitars and Crate Amplification.

Back in April of 2009, Stacey wrote and published a very revealing and often-humorous autobiography, “Snake Eyes: Confessions of a Replacement Rockstar.” The book received high marks from fans all over the world. In 2010, Stacey also released his first ever solo instrumental album, Symphonic Slam. It is a remarkable collection of rocked-out classical numbers by Strauss, Bach, Handel, Beethoven and more.

Blades has a vast Music Production Library with Jason Donnelly for Music by Design. They’re music can be heard on such TV hit shows as “Duck Dynasty,” “Shark Week,” “The Wahlburgers” and “Pitbull and Paroles” just to name a few. In the summer of 2016, Stacey did a very big successful tour with Bobby Blotzer’s RATT Experience, playing arena’s, amphitheaters and stopped over to play a sold-out London show and headlined “Hard Rock Hell” Festival in North Wales.

Stacey’s new active rock band Electric Radio Kings is taking the Nation by storm with the release of their album Purrr, produced by Metallica’s longtime engineer Mike Gillies.

Their single Back to Black hit the airwaves nationally last spring of 2019. ERK broke the top 30 at @28 on Billboard Mainstream Rock charts. ERK is in pre-production again with Mike Gillies to work on their highly anticipated follow-up album.

In this edition of The Creative Spotlight, we caught up with Stacey David Blades. where we talked about his musical influences, his songwriting and recording process, his experience in the music industry, his new band Electric Radio Kings as well as his short and long-term future plans.

Q&A Session

The Creative Spotlight: At what age did you first realize that you wanted to be a musician and whom or what would you say inspired you?

Stacey David Blades: I started my musical career at a very young age. I was 9 when I began playing the piano with extensive lessons up until the age of 11. Then one Christmas, I got this little acoustic guitar and that was it!!! That guitar never left my hands. At the time, I was getting very good at piano so after a year of lessons on the guitar I got really good pretty quickly! After taking proper guitar lessons for three years, I purchased my first electric guitar. I am so grateful to have had a musical family and blessed to have been in a position to take lessons for all those years as a child.

(Photo Credit: Arjen Van E)

TCS: What famous musical artists and/or bands were among your early influences and describe for us how they impacted and/or shaped your musical style?

SDB: Early on, I was really into bands like The Cars, Cheap Trick, Ozzy, Rush, Journey, The Rolling Stones and Van Halen. I was all about listening to different styles! With that, I was also very much into bands like U2, Missing Persons, The Motels and Duran Duran. Form that early new wave sound mixed in with Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith and Cheap Trick, I think all of these bands impacted and shaped my musical style.

TCS: For the benefit of those who are not familiar with Stacey Blades or your musical career, please share with us how you first started out in Toronto, Ontario Canada and eventually became a well-known guitarist in popular bands like Roxx Gang, LA Guns and now Electric Radio Kings?

SDB: I had played the club circuit for quite a few years in Toronto. In 1992, I finally got my big break when I joined Virgin Recording artists Roxx Gang from St. Petersburg, Florida. I was in that band for 8 years then moved to Los Angeles, California. About a year after the move, I landed the gig with LA Guns. In 2017, I formed Electric Radio Kings (ERK), my dream band, with the goal of playing something a little alternative, punky and modern. I’m a huge Stone Temple Pilots (STP) fan so this is the band I have wanted ever since the mid 90’s.

TCS: Can you introduce to the Electric Radio Kings band lineup? And, how would you describe your overall sound and musical genre?

SDB: We have the awesome Peter Ross on Lead Vocals, me on Lead Guitar, David Harris on Second Guitar, Carl Raether on Bass Guitar and we’ll be announcing our new drummer in July. This is the dream team lineup. I’m the only original member left from the earlier lineup. When we started, we had a very Velvet Revolver vibe but now I’d say the band has morphed into more organic sound similar to bands like Rival Sons, STP and a little White Stripes. Our new album will absolutely bleed those sounds. Every song on the new album is a little different. You may also hear early sounds from The Cult, Soundgarden or even legendry David Bowie.

TCS: Personally, one of my favorite songs from your album Purrr is the track called “Back to Black,” so could you describe the history behind the song as well as the music video concept?

SDB: “Back to Black” was actually a remake of Amy Winehouse’s 2006 song. It was our old lead singer Paul Christiana’s decision to record it. Mike Gillies, longtime Metallica engineer-extraordinaire, did an amazing job crafting that into a masterpiece! Nationally, we did quite well with that track scoring #28 on Billboard Mainstream Rock Charts last year and got over 1,100 spins Nationally on Active Rock Radio. This was our second time working with the great “Mason Wright,” who directed and shot the music video. We also had our friend Cassiopee’ play the ghost girl in the video. We think it turned out fantastic.


TCS: As an established musician with an interesting career background, how has the coronavirus pandemic affected you both personally and professionally? Have you had to cancel or postpone any tour dates or festival appearances or delay an album release?

SDB: Well everything has been on pause and it really sucks for musicians. We halted production on recording and postponed shows as well as cancelled a big PR campaign we had planned. However, over the last 3 months we’ve been on such a creative high that we totally wrote the new record.

TCS: What effect do you think shutting down music venues across the country has had on our culture? And, what do you think we’ve learned as a result of this pandemic?

SDB: I think that we’ve learned how life can truly change on a dime. People are starving for live music, so I think we will ultimately come out of this for the better on all avenues but businesses, like music venues, are really suffering right now.

TCS: What inspired you to write your first book entitled “Snake Eyes: Confessions of a Replacement Rockstar?”

SDB: I thought I had a very interesting story to tell and once I started writing it, I couldn’t stop. The book chronicles my childhood, early exposure to music up to when I replaced the legendary Tracii Guns in LA Guns. Along the way, you’ll read how I discovered the Sunset Strip music scene, handled relocation to join Roxx Gang, experienced drama amidst stalkers and strippers and so much more.

TCS: Describe for us the song writing process and video concept behind the single entitled “Jack Black Flower”?

SDB: I think “Jack Black Flower” was actually one of the very first songs I wrote for the band. I thought Paul did a great job with the vocal melody and lyrics. This track turned out so great in the studio that we decided to release it as the second single. Additionally, we also produced a music video too. It’s just a live video spattered with some images from different decades in L.A. It’s about the pitfalls and vices of moving to that city to make it as an actor or musician.


TCS: As a recording artist, how have you embraced social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube to market your songs, albums, merchandise and/or appearances?

SDB: Absolutely. As a recording artist, you either embrace social media or you drown.

To stay connected, please join us on the following:

TCS: Tell us about the background behind another favorite entitled “Sympathy For Me”?

SDB: “Sympathy For Me” was one of the first ERK songs written. The music video was a ton of fun to shoot. I thought the recording, which was produced and engineered by Alister James, also turned out quite good too.


TCS: If you weren’t in the music industry, what would you see yourself doing instead?

SDB: At the age of 11, I started playing golf. By the time I was 17, I was a really good golfer. By 20, music had turned into my main passion and became a full-time thing, so I stopped playing. If I hadn’t had music in my life, I would have probably pursued a golfing career.

TCS: What does the short and long-term future look like for you and Electric Radio Kings?

SDB: For Electric Radio Kings, we are totally focused on recording our follow-up to Purrr. Once again, we’ve employed the services of producer Mike Gillies. We feel this record is going to be MONSTROUS! With that, our goal is to become the biggest new rock band of 2021. Unfortunately, 2020 has been cancelled.

About Frank Iacono

Frank Iacono Photo

Frank Iacono is a highly skilled results-oriented Strategic Marketing Professional with proven critical thinking, problem solving, and project management skills, developed through more than 20 years of experience concentrated in integrated marketing strategies. Frank brings a thorough, hands-on understanding of marketing strategies and technological platforms as related to applications available for web design, content development, email marketing, site and campaign analytics, search marketing and optimization, service and product marketing, lead and demand generation, social media, and customer retention.

Frank has a BA degree in English/Communications and Marketing from Cabrini College, and he received his Webmaster Certification from Penn State Great Valley.

Sean D. Austin – Singer-Songwriter, Paranormal Investigator & Demonologist

Written by: Frank Iacono

Sean Austin is a singer-songwriter, published author, paranormal investigator and demonologist. Currently, Sean is starring on the Travel Channel’s new paranormal show called Ghost Loop. Previously, he also starred on the Destination America Network (Discovery Channel) pilot series The Demon Files with retired NYPD police officer-turned-demonologist, Ralph Sarchie, upon whom the movie Deliver Us from Evil was based.

On and off of TV, Sean travels the country with fellow paranormal investigators, documenting evidence of the paranormal in video, photo and audio forms. He not only employs his growing medium and psychic abilities to investigate and help spirits and families find peace, but he also uses the latest paranormal technologies to “see” and “hear” entities to determine whether or not specific hauntings are residual or intelligent, friendly or malevolent.

With a strong Catholic faith, Sean’s pursuits in the paranormal are grounded in his religious beliefs. In his first published work Shadow Chaser, Sean shares some of the experiences that shaped his path in the pursuit of the unexplained and unknown. In the book, he discloses these profound encounters with the hope of helping people and expanding upon spiritual awareness.

Sean’s musical style exists in the vein of the Goo Goo Dolls and Pearl Jam. His music is heartfelt hitting home to the emotional high and low points of life’s obstacles with doses of encouraging hope within every shadow of our yesterdays. Fans of new Pop Rock Music 2020, Maroon 5, Switchfoot, The Voice artists, America’s Got Talent and American Idol will enjoy listening to Austin’s songs.

In this edition of The Creative Spotlight, we caught up with Sean Austin where we talked about his musical influences, his songwriting and recording process, his first published book and soon to be released second book, his work on Ghost Loop and The Demon Files as well as his short and long-term future plans.

Q&A Session

The Creative Spotlight: At what age did you first realize that you first wanted to be a musician and whom or what would you say inspired you?

Sean Austin: I first realized I wanted to be a musician around age 12, when I watched Pearl Jam’s music video for their song “Jeremy”. Watching that video and seeing how they represented such a taboo subject like teen suicide, coupled with Eddie Vedder’s highly emotional and forceful vocal performance, it truly left a lasting impression on me. I honestly had full body chills seeing Eddie’s eyes roll up into his head as if he was actually possessed with the spirit of Jeremy Wade Delle, a high school student who shot himself in front of his English class because he was being tormented. From that moment, I knew exactly what my destiny held for me from a career perspective. That experience lured me right in with the desire to sing and play guitar. From there, I took three guitar lessons and then my ear became my teacher. This led me to writing songs and being in a band. Ultimately, I would gravitate toward being a solo artist. On my first solo project, I actually played all the instruments including drums, bass guitar as well as sang.

TCS: What famous musical artists and/or bands were among your early influences and describe for us how they impacted and/or shaped your musical style?

SA: As I mentioned above, Pearl Jam was one of those defining bands that truly influenced me as a musical artist but there were a few others too. Equally, I was also motivated by emotional and inspirational bands such as the Goo Goo Dolls and Swithfoot. The songs these bands create really resonate with the music that I would ideally like to produce. Music has always been my “invisible therapist”. Like those artists, I too enjoy singing about real-life experiences, expressing emotions that hopefully inspire and/or help others cope with daily situations that we all face. The power of being able to extend your emotions from writing lyrics, adding music and then releasing it as a song can really be soul healing. The ultimate goal is to have someone listen to my music and be as inspired the same way my favorite bands moved me.

TCS: Personally, one of my favorite songs off of your Shapeshifter album is the track called “That’s Enough,” so can you share with us the meaning behind the song?

SA: “That’s Enough” was written about someone involved in a toxic relationship. Sometimes, in a relationship, we let things buildup and fester behind the scenes without being honest to ourselves or with one another leading to more chaos. This song examines how people sometimes shutoff their feelings – ultimately leaving the other person emotionally caught up without explanation. This can be a push-pull, back and forth kind of thing but truthfully the individual has to learn to lead more with their head rather than their heart. Even if there are still feelings, he/she has to know when it’s time to walk away. There are always valuable life lessons to be learned but the most important is to not let history repeat itself.


TCS: What inspired you to write your first book entitled Shadow Chaser?

SA: Honestly, the main reason I decided to write Shadow Chaser was because I felt compelled to share some of the experiences that have shaped my path in pursuit of the unknown. In my wildest dreams, I never could have imagined that I would become a published author but in hindsight it was the best decision I ever made. In the book, I disclose my profound experiences in the hopes of potentially helping one person or thousands of people while expanding upon spiritual awareness. As the saying goes, everything happens for a reason and with that kept in mind we should all share our own spiritual experiences for the greater good. Today, my mission or calling is to help souls.

TCS: What is the title of your second book, what is it about and when will it be published?

SA: I plan to call my second book Shadow Chaser The In Between with a tentative Summer 2020 release date. Essentially, this book will serve as a continuation of paranormal experiences and cases that I’ve worked on since the completion of Shadow Chaser. We cover subjects including the demonic possession of a pregnant girl, haunted woods with a demonic pig, a shapeshifting demon forming into a spider and my personal experiences with the actual Amityville Horror House in New York. Additionally, I also provide prayers for the dead giving incentives to earthbound spirits to find peace and accept God’s unconditional love and forgiveness. So, it’s not all dark and evil!

TCS: I understand that you have some connection to the actual Amityville house and the spirit of a young child named John, can you share some specific details with us?

SA: Yes, the connection all started one day while I was live streaming in front of the Amityville house and by the DeFeo gravesite. This little boy, named John, started coming through on my spirit box even asking for prayers. I know that demonic entities can disguise themselves as any voice but according to professional opinion demons would never ask for a prayer. So, I prayed for the little boy as I would any earthbound spirit. For weeks following and even up until today, I’ve felt a presence that has awakened me many times at 3:15 am. After having all of these experiences, I began writing the story about this and all of the unsettling experiences involving the case. I will delve more into the story, and what transpired in my new book.

TCS: Describe for us your experience working with the Spirit Hunters on the Travel Channel’s new series Ghost Loop?

SA: When paranormal entities terrorize the living through endless and repetitive supernatural cycles, manifesting again and again in the same location, it is known as a “ghost loop.” Now, a team of highly specialized paranormal experts known as Spirit Hunters, who focus on this distinct type of haunting, are stepping in to help both the living and the dead. At each haunted location, my team and I build an emotionally charged trigger environment to lure the entity and break the terrifying cycle.

The most important reason why I got involved in the show was based on the opportunity to help people from across the country who are dealing with these types of hauntings. We don’t charge people for this kind of service which is great. Having the financial backing to reach a great number of people that I would’ve never been able to reach on my own is the special factor that attracted me to this project.

TCS: In the Ghost Loop episode entitled “Alarmed and Dangerous” explain how you the Spirit Hunters were able to help a Houston, Texas woman who was being terrorized by an aggressive entity?

SA: In this episode, the Spirit Hunters head to Houston, Texas, to help Becky, a woman being terrorized by an aggressive male entity who rushes her from her front door. The house is steeped in bloody history, the home is packed with negative energy that threatens to tear the team apart.

The story involves a man who was very abusive toward his girlfriend. One night, he lost control and began attacking her. In defending herself, she took matters into her own hands and shot him dead. The man seemed to be manifesting in Becky’s house in one concentrated area. In order to remove the “ghost loop” haunting, we first had to lure him out by recreating a trigger environment linked to the 1920s when this murder allegedly took place. This allowed us the best chance to have the entity listen to us and either accept his judgment in the light or we would need to force him out by blessing the home. In this case, I believe he decided to accept our offer and go towards the light. Becky has not seen this man’s spirit manifest since we were there.


TCS: As a practicing Catholic, under the apprenticeship of retired NYPD police officer-turned-demonologist Ralph Sarchie, tell us about how you learned your crafts of paranormal investigation, mediumship and demonology?

SA: Within the first few years of conducting investigations and having experienced many unique happenings, it truly felt like I had triggered an internal spiritual awakening. As a result, I believe that I had advanced my education and knowledge of the Paranormal but realized that I still needed more training and understanding on why these things occur and how best to protect myself from them.

With that, I purchased several books including Ralph’s Beware of the Night. At the time, I had my own radio podcast and later had him on as a guest and we discussed his book. The first time we chatted, we got into many deep conversations about what he calls, and I now also refer to as, “the Work”. This references the spiritual “calling” of God to be a religious Demonologist. Essentially, investigating cases of the demonic and assisting in the exorcisms of humanity’s most ancient–and most dangerous–foes.

Ralph taught me a lot about demonology especially concerning the different types of cases you can encounter in the process. With the combination of on-the-job training and reading his book now known as Deliver Us From Evil, the name of the movie based on his book, I have learned a great deal of valuable information that has helped me formulate a definitive direction of who I am as an paranormal investigator as well a religious demonologist.

I was tremendously proud to be associated with Ralph. He was involved in the paranormal during its pioneering years when it wasn’t “cool” to be a paranormal investigator. Back then, most people became investigators for research and to genuinely try and help people, not just for the fame on television like it is today.

TCS: Describe for us your experience working with Ralph Sarchie on Destination America’s series The Demon Files?

SA: Working with him on Destination America’s series The Demon Files was nothing short of humbling. It was truly a gift to be a part of such a great show with someone who is so well respected in this field. Ralph has really honed his craft. He has a strong willed personality but shines in his sound belief in faith and knowledge. He approaches each case with the ultimate goal of helping people. I have nothing but the upmost respect for him and for “the Work” he’s accomplished, and I will always be grateful for everything he has done for me personally and spiritually.

TCS: In The Demon Files episode entitled “The Mirror” explain how you and the team helped Leigh-Ann and her family when they were being plagued by demonic attacks?

SA: “The Mirror” was a really emotional case for the team. In this episode, an evil latched onto a family forcing them to reach out to Ralph and his team for help. During the investigation, we found out Leigh-Ann, their daughter, who struggles with addiction and even tried to kill herself, had previously made a pact with the devil by cutting herself over a pentagram. Additionally, we discovered that there was another boy who allegedly took his life on the property too.

Once we entered the home, you could feel the high level of oppressive energy in the house. You could cut through it with a knife. As we investigated, we smelled Sulphur. Ralph performed a religious provocation to force the evil entity out, so we could expose exactly what it was, so we could properly move forward and perform an exorcism on the property. At one point, as Ralph stood near the mirror in the upstairs bathroom, I tasted crushed pills in my mouth. I didn’t know at the time, but Leigh-Ann had taken a bunch of pills in front of that mirror when she attempted to end her life. Another interesting fact we learned about the mirror was that it had been in house with the previous owner and death. It really seemed connected to what was going on.

 

Towards the end of the night, I was on Leigh-Ann’s bed trying to coerce the alleged boy spirit who took his life to crossover. As soon as I did this, I felt the presence of a demonic entity in the room with me, and I saw this red like mist appear in front of the bed. At the same time, I could see a creature with scales all over its face with piercing fangs and cat like eyes. I stood my ground but then the window drape began to move violently, and I jumped to my feet. Earlier that night, Ralph had been in her room as well and a bunch of DVDs were thrown off the shelf in front of him and one of those DVDs was the movie based on his book Deliver Us From Evil.

In hopes of having Leigh-Ann regain her life and faith, we performed a full exorcism over the house and also had her say a revoking prayer three times in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We felt that this would provide her with the best chance to live without this dark cloud that had been haunting her.

TCS: What is the most bizarre paranormal situation that you’ve worked on during your illustrious career?

SA: Bizarre? Hmm one of the stories I am writing about in my second book is about a girl who was possessed while she was pregnant. The amount of experiences and evidence I have without even being in the same state as the girl is truly astounding. I have recordings of her speaking Latin, English, backwards and even hissing at a crucifix without even seeing me on the phone. I once received 13 scratches on my arm while praying for her on the phone. Oddly enough, I heard her being choked with laughing coming through the phone. I even had one experience of her and her friend calling me screaming bloody murder as they were driving. I could hear pelts hitting the car. Both of them in terror screaming “what is happening right now?” They explained how black birds were hitting the car as they were driving home. To this day, I have never experienced similar things to that level and I believe it’s important to share this horrific unsettling story in hopes of preventing other people from messing around with dark magic.

TCS: What does the short and long-term future look like for Sean Austin?

SA: As previously mentioned, I’m currently working on my second published book. Additionally, I also have a new EP being released in the near future entitled Foresee. Equally, I hope to continue being active as a paranormal investigator and religious demonologist trying to make a significant difference. While I am on this planet, my mission is to help any person or earthbound spirit that I come in contact with in any way possible.

To stay connected, please join me on the following:

About Frank Iacono

Frank Iacono Photo

Frank Iacono is a highly skilled results-oriented Strategic Marketing Professional with proven critical thinking, problem solving, and project management skills, developed through more than 20 years of experience concentrated in integrated marketing strategies. Frank brings a thorough, hands-on understanding of marketing strategies and technological platforms as related to applications available for web design, content development, email marketing, site and campaign analytics, search marketing and optimization, service and product marketing, lead and demand generation, social media, and customer retention.

Frank has a BA degree in English/Communications and Marketing from Cabrini College, and he received his Webmaster Certification from Penn State Great Valley.

Joleene DesRosiers Moody – Speaker, Writer, and Blogger

Written by: Frank Iacono

Joleene DesRosiers Moody

Joleene DesRosiers Moody is a former central New York television reporter and anchor. During her career in television she helped people through her investigative work and human-interest stories. However, through those years, Joleene suffered the wrath of addiction, loss through death, relationship challenges, and other personal struggles, eventually hitting rock-bottom.

As a reporter and anchor, Joleene saw people fight — and fight hard — to overcome obstacles every day, and it gave her the strength to stand up and do the same for herself. After struggling for years in a place that didn’t satisfy her true personal dreams and desires to write and speak and inspire on stage, she bravely left the security of her job to embark on a journey that allowed her to unearth her greatest dreams and desires while profiting generously at the same time.

Today, Joleene is a powerful keynote speaker, author, blogger, and business consultant. Her message helps those who want to uncover and discover who and what they are truly meant to be and do. As a speaker and trainer, she serves business and organizations, helping them improve communication, speaking and presenting so they are effective selling their message.

In this edition of The Creative Spotlight, I had the pleasure of interviewing Joleene DesRosiers Moody and asking her questions about her background as a reporter and anchor, her overall career, her first published book, and her upcoming public speaking engagements.

Q&A Session

The Creative Spotlight: At what age did you become interested in working in the television industry as a reporter and anchor? And, who or what inspired you to pursue a career in that profession?

Joleene DesRosiers Moody: I was a local television reporter and anchor in Central New York for ten years. I’ve always wanted to be “in the spotlight,” if you will, and never had a problem being front and center. Since I was a kid, I was intrigued with the notion of being on television. I remember a local commercial for a rug company where the spokesperson was the daughter of the owner. I turned to my Dad and said, “I want to do that someday.” And now I do! Outside of writing and speaking, I actually belong to a talent agency and do local and national commercials all the time. It’s a riot. My ultimate goal is to actually be in a highly distributed film with a significant part. I auditioned for a big movie recently, but wasn’t chosen. I would have been an extra in the background, but hey, it’s a start, right?

Joleene-DesRosiers-Moody

TCS: For the benefit of those who may not be too familiar with Joleene DesRosiers Moody or your overall body of work, please describe for us your career at a glance.

JDM:I am a creative soul that inspires other creatives to delve into their passion and discover how to monetize from those passions. As a professional speaker, I deliver keynotes that inspire my audience to “Take Your Voice Back.” Too often we listen to the debilitating voice of others that stomp on our dreams and tell us we are foolish for having them. One is never too old to do or be anything.

I am a writer, too. I LOVE to write. I love, love, love it. And I was guilty of listening to those voices that told me (and still tell me) I can’t ever make money as a writer. So for years I buried the desire. I have recently unleashed the writer beast in me, and am working with a producer in Hollywood on a screenplay that I’ve written. I also had the honor of seeing a comedic play I wrote unfold on the stage here in Syracuse, New York. I am the author of three books and most recently, started a blog. I am also a ghost blogger for other entrepreneurs. Additionally, I am a business magazine journalist and columnist. As outgoing as I can be, it seems I’ve become more complacent to stay home with my dogs and write, write, write. I am following my passion and learning how to monetize from it. I can’t think of a better way to live life.

Joleene-DesRosiers-Moody-Creative-Entrepreneurs

TCS: How do you think being a former central New York television reporter and anchor prepared you for your career as a creative coach, speaker, author, and playwright?

JDM: Oh, what a great question. As a reporter, I learned how to ask questions that evoke emotion. As an anchor, I learned how to look confident, even when I wasn’t. I also learned how to write short, powerful, accurate stories. I learned how to get to the point. I’ve been a magazine journalist for the past 9 years. Let me tell you, I am LUCKY. My editor really appreciates my work. Too often in too many newsrooms, the reporters and journalists are considered “a dime a dozen.” So if one leaves, it’s no big deal. They are quickly replaceable. I recently had words with my editor over an incident and told him I was done writing for him. I have to say, I wasn’t very nice. I fully expected him to watch me happily walk out the door. But he didn’t. He didn’t want me to quit writing for him. He told me my work was valuable and was actually changing the readership of the magazine. Honestly, I was stunned. Freelance writers are everywhere. He could have told me good-bye and to not let the door hit me in the ass on the way out. But he didn’t. He clearly valued me and my work. That situation improved our relationship.

Being a reporter also taught me how to sell, believe it or not. There is nothing like knocking on the door of a mother that just lost her child and asking her to let me shine a light in her face and shove a microphone under her nose. I am the LAST person she wants to talk to. I quickly learned compassion. I made our conversation about her. I never made it about me. Sure, I had to have my story written and edited for the 5 o’clock news and sure, I had to compete with other stations and getting her reaction would put us at the top — but when I learned to really feel the struggle and come in as a compassionate, genuine person, I was often successful. It’s like that with sales. Don’t be pushy. Be real. It will take you miles. This is also what made me a successful business coach. I don’t coach anymore, but when I did, I turned out very successful, happy clients. They trusted me. And they trusted me because I was real.

 

TCS: Can you give us at least three “Good to Know” facts about you?

JDM: Yes, here are three “Good to Know” facts:

  • I love dogs. I often toy with the idea of starting a rescue on three acres of land. However, I kind of need to have the land first.
  • I don’t take shit from anybody. I’m 43 years old. I’m living for me. As loving as I am, I’m not afraid to tell someone how I feel.
  • I am a neat freak. My house is always in order, always clean.

TCS: Tell us about the concept behind your first paperback book released in 2012 entitled Memoirs of Normalcy: Journey from Sedentary to Extraordinary?

JDM: I wrote Memoirs of Normalcy: Journey from Sedentary to Extraordinary two years after I left my career in news. What I did was brave. It was bold. I quit my job with no plan. Well, sort of. My plan was to become a speaker and writer. That’s all I knew. I didn’t know how to do it, but I knew I would figure it out along the way. And I did. So I wrote the book to inspire others to do the same. I don’t mean I expect everyone in the world to quit their jobs if their unhappy, but I think sometimes the right words from the right person can nudge them in the right direction. I am a huge risk taker — so for me to quit without a “sure thing” to step into was quite shocking to many. 95% of the population wouldn’t do that. But the truth is, when your back is up against the wall, you will always figure it out.

TCS: From Memoirs of Normalcy, can you tell us specifically what you mean by “Do I Stay? Or Do I Grow?

JDM: You can either stay where you are, miserable, afraid, and unhappy, or you can grow into the remarkable soul you were meant to be. An alarming number of people choose to stay. My work with my voice and my words is to encourage them to grow.

TCS: Share with us some of the details surrounding your recent conversation with follow motivational and inspirational keynote speaker Patrick Schwerdtfeger?

JDM: I bought Patrick’s course on how to find paid speaking opportunities to see how it compared with my own experience. I have two audio courses and two e-books that teach people this very thing, but I wanted to see what I didn’t know. After going through the course, there were some “holes” in the information that still had me asking questions. So I emailed him and asked him if I could buy an hour of his time to fill in those holes. He agreed. I paid him $125 bucks and asked him whatever I wanted. He was great. He was very professional, very on point. I wanted to record him so I could take notes and refer back to our talk, but I couldn’t find my digital recorder. So I attempted to record him on my computer, but the app kept freezing. All I could think was, “Universe, why don’t you want me to have this information?” I know now it’s because the Universe has been pushing me to write first and speak second. Of course I got TONS form it, but he gave me specifics that I couldn’t write down fast enough. ANYWAY…it turns out I was doing and teaching exactly what he was, only he makes the search a full-time gig. It’s a LOT of work looking for paid speaking opportunities, but once you get in on the ground floor of a few, you’re golden.

TCS: Tell us about what you mean when you say “Take Your Voice Back” in a powerful 3-minute video you created back in November of 2014?

JDM: Oh my gosh, I forgot about this video! I created it for an international speaking organization and they put it in their virtual newsletter. The idea of the “Take Your Voice Back” campaign is to encourage others to stop letting others speak for them. To stop letting others take your voice away when you express your wants and desires. I seriously believe that’s why so many of us are crippled in fear; we take the opinions of others as gospel. If we are told at an early age that we can’t have something, we believe it. And so we “stay” unhappy. When we decide to take our voice back, all of that changes — and we step into a place where we really can live out our dreams and desires.

 

TCS: Provide us with some background on the podcast you did on the topic of “Kicking Fear in the Face”?

JDM: Ah, that was a fun podcast to do. “Kicking Fear in the Face”. Yeah. We can never fully get rid of fear. It’s the polar opposite of love, and without fear we wouldn’t know love. That being said, we have to learn how to go through life with fear by our side. That doesn’t mean we have to accept it and let it take us over, it simply means we have to learn how to manage it. I like to “kick” it out of my way. Once I do, I am able to stand firmly in front of someone and say, “Look. You are struggling in business and it’s killing you. It’s hurting you. Here’s how I can help.” By finding someone’s pain, you can make them understand that they won’t successfully grow in business until they admit they are IN pain…and are willing to do something about it. So much fear keeps them from making a phone call or having a conversation that could sell their services. They are scared to death that selling means they are being pushy. Well, it’s only pushy if you make the close of the sale about YOU. Remember, make it about them.

Joleene-Moody-Podcast

TCS: Can you share with us some of details surrounding your podcast appearance on Business Women Rock entitled “How to Build a 6 Figure Speaking and Consulting”?

JDM: I invest in myself regularly. For 8 months, I was a guest on a series of Podcasts because I hired Jessica Rhodes, Founder and CEO of Interview Connections www.interviewconnections.com, to book me. She booked me at least 3 to 4 times a month. Those interviews helped me grow exponentially.

Joleene-DesRosiers-Moody-BizWomenRock

TCS: Have you embraced social media marketing strategies to promote and market your business?

JDM: Yes, I have used social media to market upcoming speaking engagements, and stay connected with my audience via the following vehicles:

  • Facebook – I’ve utilized Facebook ads and I DON’T love them. I think entrepreneurs and coaches have infiltrated this marketing practice to the point that it’s often unbearable. I never liked doing them. I never really profited from them, either. I know lots of people have, so let me be clear that I’m only sharing my experience.I don’t post much on Facebook these days, unless I’m sharing a post of a missing dog, or sharing my upcoming #Blab episode for my show called #SpeakerPro. Blab is a Twitter platform. It’s live video and is often used to host live interviews. I focus on a topic for speakers, invite expert guests, and viewers can come into the room to watch and listen.
  • Twitter – I tweet every day. That’s been my goal the last three months. I never really engaged in Twitter until then. I use Tweetdeck to “stack” my tweets. It’s driven more traffic to my site and helped me sell lots more eBooks.
  • YouTube – I used to do video blogs called ‘Rapid Fire Coaching,’ so I utilized YouTube that way. Now I use YouTube to upload my #Blab interviews.
  • Pinterest – I utilize Pinterest to promote to “Take Your Voice Back,” the insanely honest, fun, and highly informational blog for creative entrepreneurs
  • Instagram – I utilize Instagram to market the “Take Your Voice Back,” blog to creative entrepreneurs
  • Google + – I don’t really use Google+. I never really got into it. I have an account, but I’m not active on it.

TCS: Nowadays, what does an average workday consist of for Joleene DesRosiers Moody?

JDM: It really does vary. Some days I stay home all day, writing in my jammies. If I’m not writing, I’m searching for speaking gigs. If I’m not searching for speaking gigs, I’m stacking my tweets for Twitter. If I’m not stacking, I’m tinkering with my website. If I’m not tinkering, I’m traveling to a gig. No single day is ever the same.

 

TCS: In an article entitled “Use Failure As A Lesson For Growth” can you describe for us what was the most eye-opening failure that you experienced?

JDM: Definitely the bombed talk I speak about in that article. That particular article is my column, Entrepreneurs Edge, which is published monthly in the business magazine I write for. I chose to write about my bombed talk because:

  • It happened in the region where the magazine is published and I knew all eyes would read it,
  • Every single person in the world is going to have something horrible happen to them that is going to make them want to run and hide.

This was eye opening because it made me realize that not everyone is going to love me. Innately, we all want to be liked and accepted. But the truth is, that’s never going to be. Having that experience made me realize that we always have miles to go in love, life, and in business. We never truly “arrive.” Life is a journey, right? Even as a seasoned speaker, I am still prone to mistakes. For those that didn’t read the article, I delivered a comedic/inspirational talk that was NOT well received. It happens. It took me several weeks to get over it. But I learned. And while I doubted myself as a pro for a little while there, I came out even more humble than before, which made me realize that humility is an incredible gift.

 

TCS: Tell us about the most exciting personal leadership productivity keynote speaker event you’ve participated in and are there any upcoming speaking engagements we should know about?

JDM: I would have to say it was in 2012 when I spoke for the New York State Association of Tax Receivers and Collectors (NYSATRC). These people were thirsty for motivation. It was a private speaking event with roughly 150 people in the room. I sold 100 books that day. They LOVED the message of taking their voice back. That room went from tired and exhausted to alive and hopeful. I don’t have any public speaking engagements scheduled for 2016. Most of what I do now are private (e.g., Colleges, Business Retreats).

TCS: What is one significant message you want to convey to someone attending your public speaking engagements?

JDM: Stop listening to other people that don’t follow their heart. Seriously. One of my favorite quotes is from Brene Brown: “If you aren’t in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.”

When we lament about what we want to do with our lives and how we want to do it, we are getting our asses kicked emotionally. When someone gives us their feedback on why we shouldn’t do something and how it won’t work and blah, blah, blah, we need to remember those very words. DO WHAT YOU WANT. Who gives a “bleep” what others say. If they can’t have it, neither can you. That’s basically what they’re saying when they tell you your dream is foolish. I want my listeners and readers to go after it anyway.

Books from Joleene DesRosiers Moody

How to Write a Talk That Sells

How to write a Talk that sells
How to Write a Talk That Sells is specifically for those that need guidance with delivering talks that sell. And by sell, I mean talks that transform and move listeners to take action and buy from you, whether you deliver a keynote or a presentation. In the end, the right people will be attracted to you and your work. They will follow you on social media and attend your workshops. They will buy your books and contract to work with you.

How To Find and Create Paid Speaking Opportunities

joleen_desrosiers-moody-book
How To Find and Create Paid Speaking Opportunities is for creative artists, writers, speakers, entertainers, and entrepreneurs that want to make money doing what they love. It’s for any creative soul, really, any divine heart that wants to tell his or her story by speaking and teaching their truth. This book is going to show you how to do that. You will be successful at this, but you must be diligent and dedicated.

Memoirs of Normalcy: Journey from Sedentary to Extraordinary

Memoirs-of-NormalcyMemoirs of Normalcy: Journey from Sedentary to Extraordinary chronicles the story of how Joleene left her television news job while inspiring others to follow their own passions and talents to create a profitable and fulfilling career. For many, it gave them the courage they needed to leave behind the places, people, and things that caused them pain. Discover how a few simple changes, coupled with faith, can give you the life and the work you long to have.

About Frank Iacono

Frank Iacono Photo

Frank Iacono is a highly skilled results-oriented Strategic Marketing Professional with proven critical thinking, problem solving, and project management skills, developed through more than 20 years of experience concentrated in integrated marketing strategies. Frank brings a thorough, hands-on understanding of marketing strategies and technological platforms as related to applications available for web design, content development, email marketing, site and campaign analytics, search marketing and optimization, service and product marketing, lead and demand generation, social media, and customer retention.

Frank has a BA degree in English/Communications and Marketing from Cabrini College, and he received his Webmaster Certification from Penn State Great Valley.

The Creative Spotlight: 2015

Written by: Frank Iacono

2015-Spotlights

The end of the year causes us to reflect, and in this spirit, I thought it would be fun to recount The Creative Spotlight blog posts from 2015. When it comes to The Creative Spotlight, the goal is simple. Introduce readers to the best local and national musicians, artists, actors, business owners, motivational speakers, photographers, and other published authors. Consider The Creative Spotlight as the ultimate destination for unearthing a wealth of undiscovered talent, reading exciting interviews, learning helpful tips and tricks, and news that you can use…plus lots of great ideas for enriching your life and enjoying yourself.

As we welcome 2016, we want to make sure that you did not miss any of the 18 articles from 2015. This blog includes a complete, categorized list of The Creative Spotlight posts that were published in 2015.

January 2015

Marilyn Russell: Morning Show Host

March 2015

Chris LeGrand: Rolling Stones Tribute Band

April 2015

Neill Byrnes: Draw The Line Aerosmith Tribute Band

Shaun Benson: Actor and Director

May 2015

Carolyn Bennett-Sullivan: Author

June 2015

Dawn Botti: Singer and Songwriter

July 2015

Joanna Maria Morales Miarrostami: Artist

Sheila Brown: Summer Nites Bed and Breakfast 

August 2015

Travis Clark: We The Kings

Duffer’s: Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor

Ages Apart: Alternative Rock Band

Jack Morey: Morey’s Piers

Derek Crider: Singer and Songwriter

September 2015

Everything Falls: Modern Rock Band

Aandra Bohlen: Business Coach

October 2015

Michelle Antonucci Smith: Zumba® Fitness Instructor

November 2015

Meisha Johnson: TV Personality

Karen Mansfield: Singer And Songwriter

About Frank Iacono

Frank Iacono Photo

Frank Iacono is a highly skilled results-oriented Strategic Marketing Professional with proven critical thinking, problem solving, and project management skills, developed through more than 20 years of experience concentrated in integrated marketing strategies. Frank brings a thorough, hands-on understanding of marketing strategies and technological platforms as related to applications available for web design, content development, email marketing, site and campaign analytics, search marketing and optimization, service and product marketing, lead and demand generation, social media, and customer retention.

Frank has a BA degree in English/Communications and Marketing from Cabrini College, and he received his Webmaster Certification from Penn State Great Valley.

Carolyn Bennett-Sullivan: Author

Written by: Frank Iacono

Carolyn-Bennett-Sullivan-Header

After twenty-five years of a successful sales career, Carolyn Bennett-Sullivan longed to do more meaningful work. Following Carolyn’s divorce in 2010 and disappointing attempts to re-enter the corporate world of sales, she realized her life needed to change in a dramatic way. Since she always loved working with people and connecting them with helpful solutions on their journey through life, she decided to become a Certified Passion Test® facilitator in 2012, guiding people to discover their top passions and priorities.

During this transition, Carolyn discovered that even though she was clear about her vision, fear disguised as monkey chatter stopped her dead in her tracks and kept her stuck from living her life’s purpose. It was through un-caging the aforementioned chatter, re-claiming control over her thoughts, re-connecting to her internal guidance system that she gained the confidence and clarity she needed to take control of her life and begin to live it with meaning, purpose, and passion. With that, she began teaching people how to do the same. And, that’s how Get the “F” Out: Liberating FEAR & Letting LOVE In, her first book, was born.

So, do you have a dream for a better life? Are you tired of struggling with overwhelm, frustration, and disappointment? Want to learn what’s keeping you stuck and how to finally move forward? Well, it’s Carolyn’s passion and mission to help others liberate their fear so they too can connect to their inner wisdom and begin living the life they desire and deserve.

In this edition of The Creative Spotlight, I had the pleasure of interviewing Carolyn Bennett-Sullivan and asking her questions about her career, her inspiration and motivation behind Get the “F” Out: Liberating FEAR & Letting LOVE In, and her public speaking and training workshop engagements.

Q&A Session

The Creative Spotlight: At what age did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer and whom or what inspired you?

I didn’t really aspire to be a writer as a career although I’ve enjoyed writing since high school. It wasn’t until a few years ago when this book really started tapping me on the shoulder that I even thought about writing a book. It was the desire to share my story and what I’ve learned that inspired me. I felt if I could help someone improve their life by learning from my challenges then I’d made a difference. I had a wonderful English teacher my freshman and senior year of high school that really supported and encouraged me. It was because of Mrs. Fenicle that I thought I had any talent for writing. Good teachers really do make a difference. We all can make a difference in another’s life.

Carolyn-Bennett-Sullivan

TCS: For the benefit of those who may not be too familiar with you or your work, please describe for us your overall career and specific writing genre?

I consider myself a teacher in personal development and spirituality. I teach through my book, workbook, speaking and conducting workshops to groups and organizations, and by providing online programs and coaching.

TCS: What inspired you to write your first book Get the “F” Out: Liberating FEAR & Letting LOVE In and share with us the meaning behind the unique title?

The inspiration for this book came from my journey of learning how to let go and navigate through my own fear based mindset and thinking .Your thoughts are so powerful and yet typically they’re running amuck and controlling you instead of you controlling them. I’ve struggled with low self-esteem and fear-based thinking most of my life and I wanted to share with others how to transform that mindset to one of healthy self-esteem and connection to your own divine wisdom. The meaning behind the title is about learning how to let go of the fear that keeps you stuck from living your best life, opening yourself to listening to your internal wisdom and guidance so you become the creator of your life instead of a victim of your circumstances. Life is meant to be joyful, fulfilling and purposeful and best of all you get to choose.

You can download the first chapter of the book for FREE, when you sign up today.


TCS: Tell us about the interesting cover and how both you and Ara Atkinson-Skinner, your illustrator, came up with it?

Ara is so creative and has a fabulous visual imagination. I sent her a couple of chapters of the book so she could get an idea of my content. From there she came up with the idea of the monkeys (our mind chatter) being un-caged from our mindset to allow love based thinking to enter our consciousness. It evolved from there.

TCS: Describe for us the Seven Faces of F.E.A.R. that you mentioned in the book?

The seven faces of fear are;

  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Procrastination
  • Confusion
  • Overwhelm
  • Rejection

Certainly there are other forms of fear yet these are common in our everyday lives that are often overlooked as fear based thinking. It’s the monkey chatter that stems from these that causes us to self sabotage or stay stuck in our lives. In my Seven Faces of F.E.A.R. workshop we address each one of these, its root cause and tools to recognize them quickly and eradicate their power over our mindset and behavior. It’s not that we’re never going to experience these thoughts and emotions we will, it’s about learning how to navigate and take control over them in order to live more fully and happily.


TCS: So, what’s L.O.V.E. got to do with it?

In the book, L.O.V.E. is an acronym for Loving Ourselves Valuing Everything. Love is the essence of our being, it’s why we’re here, and it’s the glue that connects us all. In order for us to really give and receive love, to love our lives we must first love ourselves. Loving ourselves, valuing everything means accepting, valuing and respecting our self first and learning to have gratitude for everything that shows up in our life. So often our greatest challenges provide us with huge transformation, growth and blessings. When we can view our challenges as blessings even when they’re really painful, we can move through them with greater ease knowing we’ll be happier on the other side of it. Living from love instead of fear is to love our self, trust our inner guidance and love and accept others as they are without trying to control, manipulate or change them. When we live from a place of love we acknowledge that we’re all connected, we look to create win-win solutions, we feel compassion and see the light of the Divine in everyone and everything. That’s often easier said than done because our ego gets in the way, yet we always have the opportunity to practice changing our thoughts and behavior from fear based to love.

TCS: Share with us what’s included in the Get the “F” Out workbook?

The workbook provides exercises and tools to use for each chapter of the book. It’s a resource to go deeper into what’s causing your fear and ways to eliminate it. I created it to be a “go to” tool to be used over and over again.

TCS: What would you say was your biggest fear and how did you overcome it?

My biggest fear was the fear of rejection, being afraid to speak my truth, of truly being authentic. That stems from my value being based on other people’s opinions of me that my self- worth came from other people valuing me instead of me inherently valuing myself. Honestly, I still struggle with it sometimes; we all want to feel validated on some level. The ways that I overcame it came from meditation, reading books from mentors like Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson, attending a spiritual community and consciously choosing to value and take care of myself. I practiced it until I began to believe and know my inherent worth and value. I continue to practice it daily.

 

TCS: Now with the completion and release of the book behind you, which aspects of Get the “F” Out: Liberating FEAR & Letting LOVE In did you find most difficult to write and which were the least problematic?

Doing the research and writing the content of the book was the easiest for me. The research came from various authors like Marianne Williamson, Wayne Dyer who I was already familiar with and others like Jerald Jampolsky who was recommended to me. Google makes research so accessible; it’s just taking the time to do it. The most difficult was determining who I was going to use to publish it, figuring out the layout, which I ultimately paid someone to do, the technical side of creating the book. I’m fortunate to know a good editor who was so helpful and for Ara my illustrator too who provided so much valuable guidance.

TCS: Since its release have you participated in any book signing or other promotional activities

Yes, I did a release and book signing in conjunction with Film Brothers Winter Festival of Short Films in Wilmington, DE. I also did a book signing on April 25th at Hockessin Book Shelf in Hockessin, DE and a workshop is planned there on July 20th from 6:00-8:00pm. I’ll be at the Hockessin Art & Book fair on Saturday, June 20th at the PAL Center. And on July 13th, I’m doing a book signing at Scuppernong Book Store and Café in Greensboro, North Carolina.

 

TCS: Can you please provide us with specific details about your Free Your Fear Workshop and how someone could get in contact with you?

Absolutely! During this interactive workshop I identify F.E.A.R., its root cause and take participants through a process to discover the limiting belief behind their fear. You’ll learn how to identify different forms of fear, be guided through hands on ways to release it and to connect with your Inner Guidance System. Participants walk away feeling more empowered, at peace and with easy to use tools and resources whenever the monkey chatter starts to take over.

To learn more about the Free Your Fear Workshop and my other services, you can reach me at:

TCS: In what ways have the places where you’ve lived affected your overall writing style and the work you currently perform?

I’ve lived in Delaware the majority of my life however my early years were spent in a small town in central PA, called Alexandria. I think the dichotomy of living in a small rural town, suburban D,E and attending college in North Carolina allowed me to view a range of different life styles and a varied perspective that’s affected my writing. In terms of my work, I’ve always had a desire to help people in some capacity and I believe that came more from my parents influence than from where I’ve lived. Certainly the various places I’ve lived has shown me that we have more in common than not, that no matter what our background or socioeconomic status we typically are faced with the same challenges and fears to varying degrees.

 

TCS: What books are you reading right now? Are there any authors (living or dead) that you would name as influences?

The book I’m currently reading the most is The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo. There’s so many authors that have influenced me from Tom Robbins, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Dale Carnegie, Marianne Williamson, Melanie Beattie, Eckart Tolle, Tom Sterner, Janet & Chris Atwood to name a few.

TCS: Give us three “Good to Know” facts about you?

I had my first job when I was 13. I wanted a 10 speed bike and my parents weren’t going to buy me one because my Schwinn was perfectly acceptable in their eyes. So I got a job typing postcards for a seminar being held in Wilmington on Death and Dying by Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. She was a pioneer in changing how we view death and our conversations about it. Remember typewriters? I can’t even remember if the one I used was electric or not. I spent weeks in the summer typing those postcards. Anyway, I earned just enough to buy that bike and I owned it for well over 20 years.

I played women’s rugby for a semester in college. It was fun but I realized I didn’t like being tackled. There’s a great sense of connection and camaraderie in rugby that I haven’t seen in other sports. In the late 80’s I was the PR person for the Eastern Pennsylvania Rugby Union. I wrote a monthly newsletter called The Keystone Korner. I still enjoy watching it on occasion.

I love being in nature and much of my inspiration and ideas for writing come when I’m out walking. Being in nature reminds me of my connection to everything on Earth and the inherent beauty and abundance that’s provided to us.

 

TCS: What does the short and long-term future hold for Carolyn Bennett-Sullivan?

Short-term I’m focusing on increasing the book and workbooks visibility through speaking, workshops and social media. I’m excited to receive feedback from readers and to make any revisions that will benefit them. I have an online program that I’ll be launching by fall that will include coaching calls to facilitate greater growth and transformation.

Long-term there’s more books on the way, programs and 3 day retreats to un-wind, connect and re-charge while getting the “f” out of your mind and body. I’m excited to help a lot of people on their journey to greater freedom and happiness.

It’s time to get brutally honest about what’s keeping you stuck.

Get the “F” Out: Liberating FEAR & Letting LOVE In

Carolyn-Bennett-SullivanCarolyn speaks from the heart sharing her own personal journey and how she learned to recognize FEAR for what it really is. She gives you “real life” tools that empower you to pursue your own personal goals or purpose. Nothing can stop you dead in your tracks like FEAR, except when you learn how to Get the “F” Out: Liberating FEAR & Letting LOVE In explains how power of LOVE sets you free from those FEARS that are holding you back from all you are meant to be!

The Creative Spotlight: 2014 Review

Written by: Frank Iacono

the-creative-spotlight-recap-2014

In an article entitled “There’s Just No Explaining 2014,”by Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist and author Dave Barry, he described 2014 as a year of mysteries. To illustrate, Barry cited some of the more baffling occurrences including the invasion of the nation by the polar vortex, the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the beheadings by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the viral acceptance of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, the security breech at the White House, the violent protests in Ferguson, Missouri, the arrival of the Ebola virus, and the monster snowstorm that dumped more than four feet of snow on Buffalo, New York.

Now when it comes to The Creative Spotlight there is no mystery. The goal of The Creative Spotlight is to introduce readers to local musicians, artists, business owners, motivational speakers, photographers, and other published authors. Consider The Creative Spotlight as the ultimate destination for unearthing a wealth of undiscovered talent, reading exciting interviews, learning helpful tips and tricks, and news that you can use…plus lots of great ideas for enriching your life and enjoying yourself. As we welcome 2015, we want to make sure that you did not miss any of the 13 articles from 2014. This blog includes a complete, categorized list of The Creative Spotlight posts that were published in 2014.

January2014

Emma Stevens: Singer and Songwriter

March 2014

Dayna Steele: Find Your Inner Rock Star

Nigel Bennett: Lead Rock Guitarist

April 2014

Dwayne Wimmer: Personal Trainer

May 2014

Almshouse: Original Rock-n-Roll

Scarletta: Top Nashville Trio

June 2014

Harry Francis Giovan: Singer and Songwriter

Tom’s Attic: Rock Cover Band

September 2014

Victoria Watts: Singer and Songwriter

October 2014

Chillin’ with Charlie: Rock Cover Band

Peter Beckett: Singer and Songwriter

November 2014

Robert C. Jackson: Contemporary Realist

kRUSH: A Tribute To Rush

About Frank Iacono

Frank Iacono - The Creative Spotlight

Frank Iacono is a highly skilled results-oriented Strategic Marketing Professional with proven critical thinking, problem solving, and project management skills, developed through more than 20 years of experience concentrated in integrated marketing strategies. Frank brings a thorough, hands-on understanding of marketing strategies and technological platforms as related to applications available for web design, content development, email marketing, site and campaign analytics, search marketing and optimization, service and product marketing, lead and demand generation, social media, and customer retention.

Frank has a BA degree in English/Communications and Marketing from Cabrini College, and he received his Webmaster Certification from Penn State Great Valley.

Dayna Steele: Find Your Inner Rock Star

Written by: Frank Iacono

Dayna-Steele-headshot

Dayna Steele is a radio and television personality, Texas Radio Hall-of-Famer, book author, an entrepreneur, business speaker, media strategist, a blogger, a member of the Screen Actors Guild, a mother of three children, the wife of a longtime NASA pilot Charles Justiz, and she calls many of the world’s top rock stars her friends!

As one of the top Rock DJ’s in the country, Dayna learned a lot from her famous rock star friends. She learned that the best of them have what she calls “Rock Star Principles of Success” that propel them to the top of their craft and ensure that they remain there. In fact, she learned so much that she shared those principles in her first book entitled “Rock to the Top: What I Learned About Success From The World’s Greatest Rock Stars”.

As a speaker, Dayna creates custom success strategies for student leaders, entrepreneurs, and business leaders across industries to help them build their stage for success. In fact, Readers’ Digest Magazine calls her “one of the 35 people who inspire us” and AOL says she is “one of the foremost experts on career networking”. Audiences consistently rate her as one of the best speakers they have ever seen.

As an entrepreneur, Dayna created the world’s most successful NASA space store and e-commerce operation, recorded hundreds of voice-overs for corporate clients and advised clients on their media, and established Smart Girls Rock and Operation National Anthem.

In this edition of The Creative Spotlight, I had the pleasure of conducting an in-depth interview with Dayna Steele and asking her a few questions about what first got her into the radio business, her prestigious career as the “First Lady of Rock,” her keynote speaking engagements, her overall passion for success, and her three books.

Q&A Session

The Creative Spotlight: After graduating from John Foster Dulles High School you enrolled at Texas A&M University to study pre-med so what got you interested in a career in radio?

Dayna Steele: I graduated early from Dulles High School in Sugar Land, Texas at the young age of 16 and enrolled in Texas A&M University to study pre-med but soon realized it wasn’t for me so I changed my major to theater. On a dare from a disc jockey from Bryan, Texas, I tried out for the new student run radio station at Texas A&M University, KAMU-FM (90.9 FM), and thus began my radio career in 1977. After a few months, I moved to Top 40 WGAW in Bryan. Then in 1978, I left Texas A&M University early to pursue a career as a major market radio DJ. Over the next twenty-two years my name became synonymous with Houston radio.

Dayna-Steele-Early-Days

TCS: During your illustrious career in radio, where you were best known as the “The First Lady of Rock ‘n Roll,” who was your favorite rock star and why?

DS: Sammy Hagar, for a myriad of reasons. He was always a great interview, funny, well-read, informed, he could talk about more than just himself, his show and his new CD. His manager became my go-to mentor early on and I learned so much about the business side of rock and roll. Both taught me much of what I use today in business – fulfilling the passions of the fans, continuing to learn and do my homework, networking and doing for others and, last but not least, always showing appreciation to everyone.

DaynaSteele_SammyHagar

TCS: Where are some of the honors and awards that you received during your overall career?

DS: In 1988 I was named one of the “100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts” by Talkers Magazine, in 1996 I was nominated as “Local Radio Personality of the Year” by Billboard Magazine, Readers’ Digest Magazine said I was one of the “35 People Who Inspire Us,” Successful Meetings Magazine called my presentations “A Pep Talk from the Deejay Booth,” and AOL Business described me as “One of the Foremost Experts on Career Networking.” These are all great honors and awards.

TCS: How thrilling was it to be inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame?

DS: In November of 2011, I was inducted into the prestigious Texas Radio Hall of Fame honoring the years of achievement I had while rocking out on Houston radio. It was truly a thrilling experience.

Dayna-Steele-rock-to-the-top

TCS: Give us an overview of your first book published in 2008 entitled Rock to the Top: What I Learned About Success from the World’s Greatest Rock Stars and tell us about how you got Gene Simmons, the co-founder of the legendary band KISS and your friend, to write the book’s Foreword?

DS: I spent years traveling the globe and interviewing countless bands and rock stars like Mick Jagger, Ozzy Osbourne, David Bowie, Bono, Billy Idol, and ZZ Top, …to name a few. From the great music and insights bestowed upon me by these rock legends were what inspired Rock to the Top: What I Learned About Success from the World’s Greatest Rock Stars. The book features great lessons and great stories. Minus a few I’ll never tell . . . or can’t remember. It was the ’80s after all!

As for Gene I love his reality show, and he’s really successful at what he does. So when I thought about doing this book, which combines business with rock and roll, I knew he had to do it.

Dayna-Steele-rock-stars

TCS: When we met during the Vocus User Conference 2012 at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront in Baltimore, Maryland you spoke about four principles that every rock star in any business all share in common so for the benefit of The Creative Spotlight readers can you please elaborate on them by sharing some examples citing real-life rock stars?

DS: What I discovered being around some of the top rock bands such as The Rolling Stones, Van Halen, KISS, and Def Leppard, I noticed that the rock stars in any business share four Rock Star Principles of Success. It is so much more than talent than makes you a rock star in anything you do. You must have these four principles:

  1. Passion – You must have a true passion for what you are doing.
  2. Knowledge – You must strive to learn and educate yourself.
  3. Networking – you must build relationships. Relationships are everything. Listen and do things for others unconditionally.
  4. Appreciation – You must be gracious in everything that you do. Reward others for a job well-done.

TCS: What is the one message you want to convey to someone attending your public speaking engagements?

DS: Everyone and anyone can be a rock star at whatever you do in whatever industry. You just have to do the work it takes to be a rock star. And most people don’t want to do that. That’s why rock stars stand out.

Dayna-Steele-Speaker

TCS: Tell us about Dayna Steele’s Eleven Rules Of Business?

DS: My eleven rules of business are:

  1. Always let people know what you want or need, they can’t read minds.
  2. Failure is not the end, it’s a learning opportunity.
  3. Read everything you can get your hands on.
  4. Have a mentor.
  5. Google yourself or your product / company on a regular basis.
  6. Be able to say what you do in one compelling sentence.
  7. Return emails and calls promptly even if it’s just to say you are busy and will get back at a later date.
  8. Send handwritten thank you notes.
  9. You can’t spend it if you’re dead, take care of yourself.
  10. Give leads to others without expecting something in return.
  11. Whatever you do, do it because you love it, not for the money. The money will follow…

TCS: Tell us how someone can learn how to pitch their idea in just 10 seconds?

DS: Let him or her know what is in it for them, how you will do just that and what qualifies you. “A company with excellent customer service will succeed.” I show these companies how the world’s greatest rock stars do this after watching them up close for over twenty years.

TCS: Tell us about the concept behind your second book released in July 2012 entitled 101 Ways to Rock Your World: Everyday Activities For Success Every Day?

DS: Essentially, the search for success is similar to the quest for the elusive Holy Grail: many want it but don’t know where to find it, how to achieve it, or even where to start. In 101 Ways to Rock Your World: Everyday Activities For Success Every Day, I provide useful and motivating tips to help people get started on everyday success with simple everyday activities. Your success story begins with setting a strong foundation and creating a personal brand. You create or start both by habit, consistency, reliability, and creativity every day. Tips include such habits as waking up early, paying attention to the news, stretching, eating a good breakfast, dressing for the job you want, having a plan for the day, and picking one thing you want to accomplish each day. This inspiring and easy-to-follow guide provides the tools people need to become the success they envision.

To start changing your life…one tip at a time, please visit: http://www.yourdailysuccesstip.com/dayna-steele/.

TCS: What is your website address and have you embraced Social Media to promote your business; your books, your appearances, and yourself?

DS: My website address is DaynaSteele.com. And, yes I’ve embraced all avenues of digital media in order to develop and shape my brand as well as promote the business, books, and speaking engagements.

To discover more, please visit the following:

Dayna Steele Website

TCS: In today’s highly competitive marketplace how important do you think Social Media is from a personal success perspective?

DS: If you are not using Social Media today, it is considered the new form of illiteracy. Seriously!

TCS: Nowadays what does an average workday for Dayna Steele consist of?

DS: An average workday consists of the following:

  • Write Success Tip
  • Give a Student a Computer
  • Work on Book
  • Speak
  • Play Golf
  • Cook
  • Drink Wine
  • Love Family
  • Fall Asleep
  • Start Over

TCS: Tell us about your latest book released in October 2013 entitled On the Golf Course: 101 Ways to Rock Your World?

DS: On the Golf Course: 101 Ways to Rock Your World, co-authored with PGA Pro Aram Hudson and Cathy Arroyo, offers great tips, quotes, and advice for golfers of all levels to improve their game immediately. The book is filled with humorous anecdotes, illustrations by Tim Griggs, and snappy narrative. It encourages future golfers, helps build confidence in new golfers, and reminds seasoned players that golf is, above all, a game-and a fun one!

TCS: In your career, you’ve been a radio host, entrepreneur, and a public speaker. So how did you find the transition to writing? Was it difficult to write?

DS: I am an anal-retentive list maker. So I started with a list of what stories I wanted to tell and what lessons I learned from those stories. Then I just set aside time each day to write. Some days, I couldn’t type fast enough. Other days, I just stared at the screen or organized my notes. Once it started to take shape, the excitement and desire grew.

Dayna-Steele-tv-personality

TCS: Share with us some of the background details surrounding your give-back initiative called Smart Girls Rock that you created in 2002?

DS: It was originally started to encourage girls to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Recently, I realized many high school students are giving up when they have to access technology at home – something many of us take for granted. And the lines are usually too long at the school library to wait to access a computer. A Google Chromebook is only $215 including tax and shipping. I literally know hundreds of people who can afford to donate one of these. In just the first two weeks, we had ten Chromebooks to give to students.

To learn more about the Smart Girls Rock initiative, please visit: http://www.yourdailysuccesstip.com/smart-girls-rock/

TCS: If you weren’t a radio and television personality, entrepreneur, business author, and keynote speaker, what would you most like to be?

DS: Golfer 🙂

Books by Dayna Steele

Dayna-Steele-Books

Why Should Your Company Hire Dayna Steele?

Rock and roll spans generations and industries, and Dayna Steele’s presentations resonate with any audience at any level. Dayna takes your desired objectives and combines them with her personal pictures and stories from the greatest rock stars in the world to provide the audience with lasting and entertaining takeaways that will help grow your businesses.

Dayna’s event topics include:

  • Branding
  • Business Communications
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Motivation
  • Networking
  • Social Media
  • Small Business
  • Performance
  • Inspiration
  • Great Achievers
  • Emcee/Host

About Frank Iacono

Frank Iacono - The Creative Spotlight

Frank Iacono is a highly skilled results-oriented Strategic Marketing Professional with proven critical thinking, problem solving, and project management skills, developed through more than 20 years of experience concentrated in integrated marketing strategies. Frank brings a thorough, hands-on understanding of marketing strategies and technological platforms as related to applications available for web design, content development, email marketing, site and campaign analytics, search marketing and optimization, service and product marketing, lead and demand generation, social media, and customer retention.

Frank has a BA degree in English/Communications and Marketing from Cabrini College, and he received his Webmaster Certification from Penn State Great Valley.

The Creative Spotlight: 2013 Review

Written by: Frank Iacono

The-Creative-Spotlight-Covers

The Creative Spotlight began in March of 2012, when I interviewed Steve O’Driscoll, a long-time friend and business colleague, who published his first book called Rendezvous in Quebec. Since then, The Creative Spotlight has grown into a highly educationally-based blog featuring local musicians, artists, business owners, motivational speakers, photographers, and other published authors. Consider The Creative Spotlight as the ultimate destination for unearthing a wealth of undiscovered talent, reading exciting interviews, learning helpful tips and tricks, and news that you can use…plus lots of great ideas for enriching your life and enjoying yourself.

In 2013, The Creative Spotlight featured the following 13 articles:

February 2013

Ten Toes Up: Funk-infused Rock Quartet

March 2013

Jeremiah A. Iannacci: The Artful Runner

April 2013

Neen James: International Productivity Thought Leader

Denise DiNorscia Williams: BellaPizzelle

June 2013

Dan Gagliano: Separate Ways The Band

Edward Peahota: Speed Painting Artist

Jim Joseph: Real-World Marketer

July 2013

Paul and Lori Russo: Cool Scoops Ice Cream Parlor

August 2013

Jenn Bostic: Singer and Songwriter

September 2013

The HoneyBadgers: Alternative Rock Cover Band

Kim Kalman: Singer and Songwriter

October 2013

Face Down: Classic Hard Rock Cover Band

November 2013

Nancy Malay: Licensed Artist & Designer

About Frank Iacono

Frank Iacono - The Creative Spotlight

Frank Iacono is a highly skilled results-oriented Strategic Marketing Professional with proven critical thinking, problem solving, and project management skills, developed through more than 20 years of experience concentrated in integrated marketing strategies. Frank brings a thorough, hands-on understanding of marketing strategies and technological platforms as related to applications available for web design, content development, email marketing, site and campaign analytics, search marketing and optimization, service and product marketing, lead and demand generation, social media, and customer retention.

Frank has a BA degree in English/Communications and Marketing from Cabrini College, and he received his Webmaster Certification from Penn State Great Valley.

Jim Joseph: Real-World Marketer

Written by: Frank Iacono

Jim-Joseph

Jim Joseph is an award winning marketing professional who has specialized in building consumer brands and agency businesses his entire career. Jim serves as the President of Cohn & Wolfe North America, the agency’s largest region. With over 25 years of integrated marketing, public relations and branding experience, Jim provides strategic oversight, client service and drives new business across all offices in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. He has created seamless brand experiences for clients such as Kellogg’s, Kraft, Ikea, Cadillac, Tylenol, Johnson & Johnson, Clean & Clear, American Express and Wal-Mart.

Known for his expertise in brand and integrated marketing, Jim’s first book – “The Experience Effect” – delivered a critically acclaimed, straightforward volume of marketing advice that showed big business how to build the ultimate brand experience. Now, in his second book, he takes that big brand theory and applies it to the backbone of the American economy, small business, in “The Experience Effect for Small Business.”

Prior to joining Cohn & Wolfe, Jim served as President and Partner of Lippe Taylor, where he led the agency in marketing to women for clients like Nestle and David’s Bridal. Jim re-engineered Publicis’ Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness, where he led the transformation of the agency from a traditional pharmaceutical advertising model to an award-winning, full-spectrum health and wellness marketing agency.

In this edition of The Creative Spotlight, I had the pleasure of catching up with Jim Joseph and asking him a few questions about his business, his work, his books, and his passion and love for marketing.

Q&A Session

CS: At what age did you know that you wanted to be a marketer?

I was one of those kids who always paid attention to the TV advertising more than the shows and always looked at the magazine ads rather than read the actual articles. So, I would guess my love of marketing started at a very early age!

CS: Tell us about your experience when you joined the classic Johnson’s Baby Products Company while you were in graduate school at Columbia?

My internship cemented that marketing was going to be my career of choice. I had an incredible experience working on Johnson’s Baby products – so much so that I fell in love with marketing.

CS: What was the name of the first agency you started and what type of work did you produce?

C P Partners… we were a promotion agency that at the time did something novel: create and apply brand strategy to the tactical world of consumer promotion.

jim-joseph-the-creative-spo

CS: How rewarding was it to win a Silver Medal at the Axiom Business Book Awards for Best Marketing Book of the year with your first book in 2010 called “The Experience Effect”?

It was such a moment! I had been writing that first book in my head for years… it was amazing to finally understand that it was good enough to stand up in the market.

CS: Discuss the similarities and differences between “The Experience Effect For Small Business” and your awarding winning first book “The Experience Effect”?

My first book, “The Experience Effect” lays out big brand theory as it relates to building a brand experience. My second book, “The Experience Effect for Small Business” takes that big brand theory and applies it to small businesses.

CS: In your opinion, what’s the key difference between brands and businesses?

A business becomes a brand when it creates an emotional connection with its customers. Until then, it’s just another product!

CS: Can you define what you call the touchpoint tree and describe how to create one for a small business?

The touchpoint tree is the new media plan. It lays out how to connect with customers where they live their lives.

CS: In Chapter 6 of “The Experience Effect for Small Business” entitled Identifying Your Customer You’re Family, can you please elaborate on differences between demographics and psychographics?

A demographic is a fact or stat about your target audience. A psychographic is less of a fact, and more of an attitude, mood, opinion, or behavior. Psychographics cross demographic profiles and can be much more enlightening.

jim-joseph-creative-spotlight

CS: How specifically do you feel that big brand marketing principles can be applied to small business?

People tend to think that big brands do good work because they have big budgets. Not true. They do good work when they are smart and strategic. Budget has no bearing. So small businesses can learn how to be smart and strategic.

CS: What’s your favorite metaphor? And, how does it apply to marketing?

“Preaching to the Choir” … it’s what we have to do with our customers every day. Although I prefer “singing with the Choir!”

CS: From a marketing perspective, what captivates you and keeps you going?

Creativity. I love the creative side of the business and always trying to break through. The digital world has given us so many more ways to be creative.

CS: In today’s marketplace, what do you think are the key ingredients to being a good marketer?

Being a constant observer and learner. “Marketing is a spectator sport” … good marketers are always paying attention and applying what they learn to their brands.

CS: When we met during the Vocus User Conference 2012 at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront in Baltimore, Maryland we discussed the importance of companies utilizing customer reviews in their marketing programs so for the benefit of The Creative Spotlight readers can you share your strategies?

Reviews are a gift to a brand. Getting an insight into how your customers feel about your brand is invaluable. Embrace them, positive or negative, and learn from each and every one of them.

To read the blog that Jim wrote following our discussion from the Vocus User Conference 2012, simply click on the image shown below.

jim-joseph-reviews

CS: Over your career you’ve been recognized with numerous industry awards, can you please share with us some of those accolades?

The industry awards include “Agency of the Year” from DTC Perspectives on Excellence, “Most Creative Agency” from The Manny Awards, a Grand CLIO Award for advertising, an Honorable Mention for Best Blog from PRNews, and an Axiom Silver Award for Best Marketing Book as previously mentioned.

“The Experience Effect”

jim-joseph-the-experience-effect

The decision to pay money for a product or service is often based on more than just the product or service itself. Consumers care deeply about the overall experience of the buying process: They respond to the marketing message, the advertising, the sales approach, the website, the interaction with company personnel, and more. When all these elements come together to form a seamless experience, the customer is left with a feeling of satisfaction that ultimately builds loyalty. Jim Joseph calls this ideal combination the ‘experience effect’, and in this book he shows how any business can create one for its brand.

“The Experience Effect” is filled with practical advice and real-life examples. Whatever the business, whatever the size, “The Experience Effect” will help companies create a simple yet powerful brand experience that resonates purpose fully, consistently, and continuously with customers.

“The Experience Effect For Small Business”

jim-joseph-the-experience-effect-for-small-business

In a groundbreaking 2010 volume called “The Experience Effect,” Jim showed big business how to create the total brand experience. Now he customizes that very same expertise for the backbone of the American economy, small business. While it is often said that small business is key to recovery, all around us we still see small business suffering the most. Flex and wiggle room is at a minimum, small business simply cannot afford the resources and the access to big brand thinking that the corporations do.

Jim believes that there’s simply no reason why a small business cannot perform like a big brand, even within our turbulent times. “The Experience Effect For Small Business” is filled with practical advice and real-life examples that will resonate with readers, The Experience Effect For Small Business teaches small business owners how to understand their brand’s target audience, conduct effective market research, connect with customers on an emotional level, establish unique and engaging touchpoints, and much, much more. Readers learn how to replicate these activities on limited budgets and few resources. Loaded with inspiration, Jim Joseph’s book will touch a chord with you, the small business owner in today’s America economy.

About Frank Iacono

Frank Iacono - The Creative Spotlight
Frank Iacono is a highly skilled results-oriented Strategic Marketing Professional with proven critical thinking, problem solving, and project management skills, developed through more than 20 years of experience concentrated in integrated marketing strategies. Frank brings a thorough, hands-on understanding of marketing strategies and technological platforms as related to applications available for web design, content development, email marketing, site and campaign analytics, search marketing and optimization, service and product marketing, lead and demand generation, social media, and customer retention.
Frank has a BA degree in English/Communications and Marketing from Cabrini College, and he received his Webmaster Certification from Penn State Great Valley.

Steve O’Driscoll: Rendezvous in Quebec

Written by: Frank Iacono

Steve O'Driscoll

Steve O’Driscoll has enjoyed a distinguished twenty-five year career as a copywriter and marketing strategist. He planned and executed a $150,000 marketing campaign for the Philadelphia Eagles to sell ten thousand premium seats at Lincoln Financial Field in just four and a half months. The campaign generated $55 million committed in revenue with five to nine year contacts. It was the first new stadium in the country to completely sell out all luxury seating before it opened in 2003.

Over his career, Steve has grown the business at four advertising/marketing agencies by more than 20% each year. He has contributed to prominent ad campaigns in print, radio, television, and on the Internet. His regional and national marketing clients have included well-known brands such as Amazon.com, GMAC, the NFL Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets, the NHL New Jersey Devils, Sallie Mae, E *Trade Bank, Proctor & Gamble, Campus Partners, Student Trust, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Comcast Spectacor, AT&T, Unilever, Bayer Aspirin, Kroger Stores, Merck, Johnson & Johnson, the Newark Prudential Center, and TV Guide.

In late January of 2012, Steve released his first fictional novel and I am honored to have him join me in this edition of The Creative Spotlight.

Q&A Session

The Creative Spotlight: What is the name of the book?
Steve O’Driscoll: The name of the book is Rendezvous in Quebec.

TCS: How did you come up with the title for the book?
SO: The title of the book is the meeting location for planning the heist.

TCS: What inspired you to write your first book?
SO: I was searching for a hobby and writing the book won out over golf and bowling.

TCS: How did you come up with the book concept itself?
SO: I’ve always loved the Quebec region and I’ve been fascinated by people’s gambling addiction.

TCS: What is the setting of the book?
SO: The characters intersect in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Albany, and Philadelphia, which ultimately leads to a meeting in Quebec.

TCS: What is the major theme of the book?
SO: The reader discovers what motivates each member of the eight conspirators to plan and participate in a dangerous undertaking that would change their lives forever.

TCS: What is the genre of the book and how did you get interested in writing this particular genre?
SO: It is an action mystery. I became interested because it is my favorite source of reading.

TCS: Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
SO: There is no hidden message. It is just light, fun beach reading.

TCS: Who designed the front and back covers?
SO: Maria Pare of MPP Publishing. The cover photo is courtesy of Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu.

TCS: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
SO: The hardest part is to keep believing in yourself and having the determination to continue to keep writing.

TCS: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
SO: Yes. I learned that I want to write more.

TCS: Who would you define as your target audience for the book?
SO: Anyone who still enjoys reading a mystery adventure and fantasizing about it.

TCS: What kind of research did you do for this book?
SO: I researched the geography of Quebec, Connecticut and Rhode Island. I also studied the history of Native American tribes, the security systems found in casinos, guns, all-terrain vehicles and protective gear.

TCS: What can you tell us about the characters in the book?
SO: They are not much different than the reader.

TCS: Who is or are the main characters in the book?
SO: You will learn what two ex-athletes (turned house painter and insurance agent), two gay French-Canadian tour guides, two public school teachers, an apartment manager, and a beautiful underemployed model, have in common.

TCS: What are the most revealing scenes?
SO: The Planning and the Reunion.

TCS: If you could meet any of the characters in the book, who would it be?
SO: I have met them all in both my real life and in my fantasy. They are as real to me as you are.

TCS: What was your favorite part of the book?
SO: The diversion.

TCS: What was the hardest part of the book to write?
SO: Outlining the concept.

TCS: Where is the book available?
SO: The book is available for Kindle at Amazon.com. For a more comprehensive list see below under Book Purchase Options.

TCS: How do you react to a bad review of your book?
SO: I haven’t encountered that yet.

TCS: When it comes to writing, what does a typical workday look like for you? And, where is that you go to write?
SO: I wrote early every Saturday and Sunday morning for two to three hours for a year and a half.

TCS: Do you set daily writing goals?
SO: Yes. The discipline of setting a regular schedule is important.

TCS: What is the hardest part of writing for you?
SO: Having determination and sticking with it.

TCS: What’s the best thing about being an author?
SO: The positive reaction I have received from the publisher and from so many people I don’t know has been awesome.

TCS: What are you working on now?
SO: Working on Eva, The Midnight Cat – the story of a serial cat burglar in Savannah, Georgia.

TCS: What advice would you give aspiring writers?
SO: If you have thought about doing it, stop hesitating.

TCS: Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
SO: James Patterson and John Irving. In fact, I am scheduled to attend a John Irving book discussion in May.

TCS: When are you going to write your autobiography?
SO: Never. No one would read it. The closest I get to that is a blog I write offering marketing ideas for business owners.

TCS: If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
SO: A book about my life would only find readers among the members of my immediate family. I think we are already subject to too much reality in the newspapers and on television.

About Rendezvous in Quebec

Rendezvous in Quebec

While reading Rendezvous in Quebec, you will learn what two ex-athletes (turned house painter and insurance agent), two gay French-Canadian tour guides, two public school teachers, an apartment manager, and a beautiful underemployed model, have in common.

You will discover how this potpourri of personalities intersect in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Albany, and Philadelphia, which ultimately produces a Rendezvous in Quebec.

Along the way, the reader discovers what motivates each member of the eight conspirators to plan and participate in a dangerous undertaking that would change their lives forever.

For more information, please visit RendezvousinQuebec.weebly.com.

Book Purchase Options

Rendezvous in Quebec can be purchased as an e-book or paperback at the following:

E-Books

Paperback

  • amazon.com
  • From the Author at a Speaker or Book Signing Event

About Frank Iacono

Frank Iacono - The Creative Spotlight

Frank Iacono is a highly skilled results-oriented Strategic Marketing Professional with proven critical thinking, problem solving, and project management skills, developed through more than 20 years of experience concentrated in integrated marketing strategies. Frank brings a thorough, hands-on understanding of marketing strategies and technological platforms as related to applications available for web design, content development, email marketing, site and campaign analytics, search marketing and optimization, service and product marketing, lead and demand generation, social media, and customer retention.

Frank has a BA degree in English/Communications and Marketing from Cabrini College, and he received his Webmaster Certification from Penn State Great Valley.