I'm thrilled today to be part of Mark Koopmans' book release blog tour. Mark is a talented writer and a funny, kind guy, whom I'm grateful to call friend. Tomorrow is the official release day for REVIVAL: The Donald Braswell Story, but we're starting this party early. Congratulations, Mark! :D
From Juilliard to jumper cables; from wasting all the talent in the world to America's Got Talent, REVIVAL—The Donald Braswell Story is a memoir about the "Texas Tenor" who lost his voice in a random accident, but finds his calling through faith—and a musical miracle.
Thanks Melissa for inviting me to begin my book tour here. (You’re so brave!)
Tomorrow is the actual Launch Day of my first book, REVIVAL – The Donald Braswell Story, but before getting to know Donald, some people wanted to learn a little about me.
Okay, so Mom and Dad, the strangest thing I’ve ever done for my writing is also one of the coolest.
In 2006, I worked for my first newspaper, a weekly in Central Florida called Hometown News. Never an ambulance-chaser journalist, (and I never will be), my beat covered a huge area, so I was always on the lookout for a feature, something different to sink my gnashers into.
I found this small charity, Gift of Water, which educated the people of Haiti about water safety. (Teaching the Haitians the importance of safe, filtered water had cut down on the thousands who’d previously died through water-borne diseases.)
Talking with charity officials, I became the first reporter in our company to work an overseas story, and spent four days in Haiti, basically embedded with the charity workers as they did their thing.
It became one of the professional highlights of my career, and the five-part series I subsequently wrote remains among my favorite pieces prior to writing REVIVAL.
My point is this—if a writing assignment presents itself, you should grab that bugger by the throat, and not let him go until the final period or exclamation point is on the page.
Embrace the challenge and step outside of your box. Who knows the end result, but magic definitely won’t happen unless the magician practices her craft.
Ever stepped out of the box to further your writing?
Thanks so very much, Melissa, and to everyone who stops by!
Donald Braswell II is an American actor, classical crossover tenor and composer. Braswell was on a fast track to become an internationally acclaimed opera singer when he suffered a car accident in 1995 that made him unable to speak for almost two years. After that, he lived a quiet life outside of the spotlight until his appearance on the 2008 season of America’s Got Talent where he was a Top 5 finalist, which gave him another chance at a career in entertainment. Since then, he has entertained audiences both internationally as well as shore to shore in the United States in concerts, television appearances, inspirational speaking and radio. Donald has recorded four studio albums and has an international fan club with followers in more than 25 countries.
Donald is a testament to the powers of the human spirit in difficult times and he inspires all who come to know him.
Learn more about Donald’s story via this 6-min YouTube clip showing his awe-inspiring first audition on America’s Got Talent.
Mark Koopmans is originally from Ireland. After working in Holland, Spain, France and England, he won his U.S. “Green Card” in 1994, and is an American by choice since 2003. Koopmans began his writing career with a feature for a regional magazine in California. Since then, he’s worked as a staff writer for newspapers in Florida and Texas. Koopmans is also a proficient blogger and is working on his next book, a novel. Koopmans lives in Virginia and is a married, stay-at-home dad to three active boys under the age of nine. He writes at night.
Find Mark’s blog at MarkKoopmans.blogspot.com
Buy Links for REVIVAL:
Reminder: I'm still on hiatus except for
previously scheduled promo posts and IWSG.
Thanks for visiting. :)