Hi, everyone! Today I have the honor of sharing with you an inspirational and very talented author, John Fioravanti.
4WillsPublishing is kicking off John's Reflections blog tour today to promote his book, Reflections: Inspirational Quotes & Interpretations. I have read this book and highly recommend it! I have also read his series, The Genesis Saga, and can recommend that as well. Like I said, he is an awesome author!
GIVEAWAYS: The author is giving away (3) $5 Amazon Gift Cards during this tour! For your chance to win, all you have to do is leave a comment below as well as leaving a comment on the author's 4WillsPub tour page. GOOD LUCK!
And now, I'm handing it over to John to share with you his method to writing this book...
Good day to you! I extend my appreciation to my host who generously agreed to have me as a guest, and to the good folks at 4 Wills Publishing who organized this tour.
Why I Write Reflections and How I Approach Quotes
The honest answer to the first part is that I enjoy thinking beyond the surface meaning of quotes that I encounter. Back in the fall of 1969 I sat in my first Philosophy class and I remember feeling intellectually bewildered. Why is this professor talking in circles? The bewilderment gave way to frustration and then to a determination to figure out what was going on in that class. I knew I wasn’t stupid, but I certainly felt that way! I had been introduced to a way of thinking that was new to me and my brain was being forced to blaze new pathways of thought. Turned on by the challenge, I read carefully and listened intently in class.
During that same first semester at university, I took a Religious Studies course from the man who became my favorite teacher. He emphasized that we should not focus on finding answers to the great questions of life but to concentrate on understanding the questions themselves. My immediate reaction was that he was pulling our legs. He wasn’t, and gradually I came to understand that unless we have a thorough understanding of the question or the problem, we can’t possibly know where to begin looking for answers.
I took a lot of Philosophy and Theology courses in university along with my major in History. These three disciplines allowed me to value deep thinking and gave me some practical application along the way. More importantly, they taught me to read and listen with an open mind. Too often we think that our culture or our religion has a monopoly on the truth about the meaning of life. That is intellectually arrogant and an attitude that stunts our growth. If nothing else, Philosophy teaches us to question what we see and what we can’t see.
I became acquainted with inspirational quotes when I joined the Governing Board of Rave Reviews Book Club. Nonnie Jules, our President, wrote a daily message to her board members and began each with an inspirational quote. After she noticed my interest in these quotes, she asked me to take over the task of selecting one each day for the Board. I always hunted for quotes that would invite me to dive deeper than the surface meaning. Eventually, I created my own blog posts based on inspirational quotes.
Thinking deeply about a quote is not easy and often it can take me two to three days to figure out what I want to say about it. The first thing I do is look for a biography of the author of the quote. Can I learn anything about this person’s background and circumstances that provide some context? Also, where did the quote come from? Was it plucked from their writings or speeches? This information gives me a brief preface for the reflection as well as some direction for my thinking.
The next thing I do is check the quote for keywords that might need to be defined. Sometimes, I find that a particular word has several different meanings and that forces me to explore which meaning the author intended. Once I have settled on a meaning that makes sense to me, I have my basic interpretation of the words.
The last step is to search for existential meaning. How do these words have meaning for my life? Is the author trying to teach me something about how to think, to act, and to live well? I always assume that there is something valuable to learn that I can apply to my own life. Therefore, these reflections are mine and they are for me. They can be seen as spiritual journeys through my own life. What about my readers? I hope that readers will read my words and stop to think about how the quote or my ruminations cause them to reflect upon their own spiritual journeys.
The Reflections Book Trailer:
An Amazon Review:
Reviewed in the United States on October 19, 2019
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a book that I will refer back to often! The author put together 50 short chapters beginning each chapter with a quote from a famous or not so famous person. Then he follows the quote with how it impacted him in his life. As I read, I reflected on what the quote meant to me as well. This is the perfect book to go to for daily inspiration or introspection. He begins the book with these two lines: "Inspiration is a gift. Being one who has the ability to inspire others is an even great gift." Wow! That says it all. So with quotes from Helen Keller, Steve Jobs, Maya Angelou, Walt Whitman and so many more, there is something for everyone. I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking inspiration or even guidance. There is nothing more powerful than one's own personal experience.
- by Jan Sikes
John Fioravanti is a retired secondary school educator who completed his thirty-five-year career in the classroom in June 2008. Throughout his career, John focused on developing research, analysis, and essay writing skills in his History classroom. This led to the publication of his first non-fiction work for student use, Getting It Right in History Class. A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching is his second non-fiction work; it attempts to crystallize the struggles, accomplishments, and setbacks experienced in more than three decades of effort to achieve excellence in his chosen field.
John’s first work of fiction is Passion & Struggle, Book One of The Genesis Saga, and is set within Kenneth Tam’s Equations universe (Iceberg Publishing). He claims that, after two non-fiction books, he’s having the time of his life bringing new stories and characters to life! Book Two is Treachery & Triumph.
At present, John lives in Waterloo, Ontario with Anne, his bride of forty-six years. They have three children and three grandchildren. In December of 2013, John and Anne founded Fiora Books for the express purpose of publishing John’s books.
Thank you for supporting this author and his tour. To follow along with the rest of the tour, please drop in on the author's 4WillsPub tour page.
If you'd like to schedule your own 4WillsPub blog tour to promote your book(s), you may do so by clicking HERE.
It is wonderful to be a guest on your lovely website, Yvette! Thanks so much for your generosity and your kind words about my books. It means a lot!ReplyDelete
It's my pleasure! I'm happy to share your works with others. :-)Delete
Hi, John! So excited about your tour - probably because I love this book! We’re having some awesome tours around here lately: NO PEDIGREE, JONAH, SMOKE ROSE TO HEAVEN, Robbie’s tour, etc!ReplyDelete
Enjoy your stop today!
Yvette, thanks for the host!
Thanks for stopping by to lend your support, Nonnie! And thanks for your kind words about Reflections!Delete
Thanks for stopping by, Nonnie! I agree with you; his book is amazing! :-)Delete
Hi, John! I love what you said about the necessity of understanding the question before we pursue the answer. That hit home with me. For the RAVE WAVES show that you started, Aspire To Inspire, I follow the same process that you outlined above. First off, the quote has to speak to me on some level, then I examine it to see if indeed, it would make for a good show. Thank you for starting this show and for sharing this beautiful book with us! Enjoy your tour! Thank you, Yvette for hosting John's first stop on the tour!ReplyDelete
I'm happy you stopped by, Jan. Understanding the question is so important. If only I could get my students to grasp that concept! lol! ;-)Delete
Thank you so much for this endorsement, Jan. I so appreciate your support and the great job you do on Aspire to Inspire each month!ReplyDelete
All the best to you John on your blog tour. I liked Reflections very much! Thank you, Yvette, for hosting John on your beautiful site.ReplyDelete
I appreciate you stopping by, Gwen. :-)Delete
Thanks for your great support and kind words, Gwen!ReplyDelete
Hi John, I highly recommend Reflections - uplifting & inspirational is just what the world needs right now!ReplyDelete
Thanks a bunch Wendy! I appreciate your kind words of support!Delete
I completely agree with you, Wendy! :-)Delete
I have always loved Philosophy, but boy did I struggle in my college class. It only made me want to explore ideas more though. I loved your take on the quotes. Have a great tour!ReplyDelete
Thanks for hosting, Yvette:)
I found that John's take on the quotes gave great insight and matched my mindset. Thanks for stopping by, Denise! :-)Delete
Thanks, Denise! I struggled with Philosophy - especially in my first year. It was such a different way of looking at ideas! I appreciate your support!ReplyDelete
Wonderful to see you on tour, John. I love Reflections and refer to it often. I hope you and yours are doing well. Blessings and (((hugs))) across the miles.ReplyDelete
Thanks for hosting, Yvette, as always. :)
Nice to see you here, Natalie! Thanks for supporting John. :-)Delete
Great seeing you here, Natalie! We are fine here and I hope you guys are healthy and safe too. Thanks for your kind words about Reflections!Delete
This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
Hi, John, you have continued to give us great and deep insight into how you deal with inspirational quotes. I agree with you that you have to understand the meaning of the quote before you can begin to find solutions to it. Congratulations on your tour and thank you, Yvette form hosting.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Joy, it is a lot of work to reflect deeply about these quotes, but it is a labour of love. I appreciate your ongoing support!Delete
I'm so happy you stopped by, Joy. :-)Delete
Great start to your tour, John! Thanks for hosting, Yvette!!ReplyDelete
Thanks for stopping by! :-)Delete