Tell us about yourself.
I’m Kevin. I was born and raised in Oakland, California. I have taken as my mission, assisting people and businesses with overcoming the obstacles they face, no matter how minor (or major) they may be. I like to say, I have been blessed with the ability to help people make sense out of chaos.
I’m a U.S. Air Force veteran, having served more than 20 years on active duty, at locations around the world. This included stints as a military training instructor (commonly known as a "drill instructor"), and over a decade as a recruiter at the high school, college, and post-graduate levels.
I’m college educated, with degrees from the Community College of the Air Force, Columbia Southern University, and Azusa Pacific University, respectively. I’m also certified in Marketing, Professional Selling Skills, Sales Coaching, and Life Coaching. I enjoy being involved with various community development and improvement efforts as a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, playing and watching sports, traveling, listening to music, writing, reading, cooking, meeting people, and spending time with family and friends.
Tell us about your featured book.
“Don’t Gamble on Life Improvement… Until You Shift the Odds!” is my debut book, and is near and dear to my heart. I poured everything I had into this book, and truly believe in its content. Life wasn’t going the way I’d planned, and I needed to figure out why. I started writing a series of personal essays as a way of reflecting, but when I started re-reading them, I realized I couldn’t be the only person who could benefit from what I’d written. I began refining my essays, and the book was born!
What my book does is discuss a variety of topics I believe contribute the most to the chaos we encounter in life: relationships, the comfort zone, your perception, haters, and others. I tackle these topics in a manner that many people won’t see coming, with the hopes of showing them from a different perspective, making them easier to understand, and eventually overcome. I like to say, “I’ll challenge your thinking on some topics you thought you KNEW, in ways you probably won’t see coming.”
Where do you get your inspiration?
The inspiration for “Don’t Gamble…” came from not only my own life, but situations I’ve personally (and indirectly) seen people go through. I figured someone took time out of their schedule to help me make a formidable blueprint for improvement, so I’m using what I’ve learned in my life to try and pay it forward, by helping someone else. When I get a message from a reader, and they let me know that something I’ve written has helped them in making positive gains in their life, it lets me know that my efforts were worth it.
What was the highlight of writing this book?
Interestingly enough, the highlight of writing my book was the first time I read it as a reader, instead of writer. Writing the book was highly therapeutic, because I was forced to re-live some of the valuable lessons I’d been taught in life, but to that point, chosen to ignore. Reading them in print reinforced their importance, and it’s what keeps me going.
How do you come up with the titles for your books?
I have several works in progress, and the titles come to me whenever they come to me. For me, there is no “scientific” process of coming up with a title. The title of a work can change as the project progresses. It’s more important to get the content written, and the title will come. In fact, the title for “Don’t Gamble…” is a metaphor for a lesson I learned: “Don’t try to make adjustments in life, until you change your thinking.”
How do you deal with poor reviews?
When writing a book, you must be willing to take the good with the bad. As much as you would love them to, everyone is not going to like your work. The way I see it, you can either let negative reviews break you, or you can use it as motivation. I choose the latter. I will read a negative review, and try to figure out whether the person just didn’t get what I intended, or if they were simply putting my work down. I take most things with a grain of salt, because everyone will not get the intended message of my work.
What was your favorite part, and your least favorite part, of the publishing journey?
As most authors will tell you, marketing is the least favorite part of the publishing journey. I have an educational background in marketing, so it doesn’t hit me as hard as many, but it doesn’t take away from the difficulty of the task. It simply helps in forming expectations that are easier to handle. Early in the process, I had difficulty releasing my project to an editor. I was nervous beyond belief, because my project was my “baby,” and it was difficult to hand it over to a person I’d just met. Thankfully, my editor was phenomenal, and we came up with the best project we could.
Not during the writing process, but to mellow my mind, I’ll turn on music before I start writing. Smooth jazz music does the trick for me.
If you could only have one season, what would it be?
Living in Southern California, the seasons can be extreme. That being said, I’ve also spent time in the military, in climates around the world, from one extreme to the other. I’ve lived in the Arizona desert heat, as well as colder climates in Chicago and South Korea. If I had to pick one season that I had to endure all year long, it would have to be Spring. While I like the warm weather Southern California and Arizona offer during the summer, having 90+ degree days all year would wear off quickly. With Spring, it’s not too warm, but it’s past the cool winter weather.
What would you like to say to your readers?
I want to say thank you! I appreciate every reader and supporter I have. I hope they understand that with Kevin, they get 100% authenticity. What you see is what you get. I love being authentic, both in my personality, as well as my writing.
I have a passion for helping people get through their journey of life. Any chance I get to do that, I’m going to seize it. I truly believe when the student is ready, the teacher will appear, and you can learn something from everyone you meet. Please continue to support me, and I sincerely hope I can live up to your expectations. Drop me a line from time to time to let me know how you’re doing.