Interview with Author Kevin Eastman – Ramona Portelli Blog

Interview with Author Kevin Eastman

Oakland, California native Kevin Eastman thrives on simplicity and logic. Kevin served more than 20 years on active duty in the U.S. Air Force, at locations around the world.  He has interacted with thousands of people, in his stints as a military training instructor (commonly known as a drill instructor), and as a recruiter. An accomplished, skilled speaker, mentor, and community activist with a “tell it like it is” mentality, he shoots from the hip when discussing personal development and improvement.  His mission (and passion) is assisting people with overcoming the obstacles they face. One of his favorite philosophies says, “Obstacles, barriers, and challenges are only as large as you make them in your head.”

Kevin holds education degrees from the Community College of the Air Force, Columbia Southern University, and Azusa Pacific University, respectively. He’s also certified in Marketing, Professional Selling Skills, and Sales Coaching. Married and residing in Southern California, he enjoys being involved with community development and improvement efforts as a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, sports, traveling, watching movies, listening to music, writing, cooking, meeting people, and spending time with family and friends.

Ramona: Tell me more about your latest book

My book is titled, “Don’t Gamble on Life Improvement… Until You Shift the Odds!” Most people are thrown off by the title, mistakenly thinking it’s about gambling. My book has absolutely nothing to do with gambling, and everything to do with overcoming life’s obstacles. People encounter obstacles in life. They prevent some people from reaching happiness only temporarily. Others, they stop dead in their tracks. The question is why does this happen? I’ve taken several of these obstacles and broken them down, to try and question the “why” question. The majority of these obstacles I’ve personally experienced and overcome. So, the reader of my book gets a clever combination of personal experience, logic, humor, and observation that explains that the formula for overcoming obstacles is simpler than they may think, but may not be what they’d expect. 

Ramona: What was the most challenging aspect of writing?

Like most writers of published works I’ve spoken with, I think the most challenging aspect of writing is marketing, particularly for a beginning writer. As much as we’d like to think that a well-written book is just going to jump off the shelves, the ultimate decision to buy a book or not rest solely with the potential reader. Getting my name and the content out to as many people as possible is my goal. I firmly believe that if more people knew the kind of content is in my book, it would convince them to buy the book, either for themselves, or someone they know.

In my chosen genre of non-fiction, it is especially challenging, because the way I see it, I have the unique challenge of trying to convince a potential reader to examine a point of view that may contradict their current point of view. In the self-help arena, there’s an added barrier with the human ego. Many people are reluctant to admit there may be something “wrong” with them. This was my dilemma, and why I’m trying to get more people to hear about my book. I made sure to add a large amount of realism to what I wrote, because I wanted the reader to know that I am a real person who has found ways to overcome many of the obstacles I’ve faced.  

Ramona: What motivated you to become an author?

Interestingly enough, I became an author by chance! I began by writing personal essays to reflect on my life experiences. As I started having conversations about some of my experiences, a number of people suggested writing a book, as what I’d experienced was similar to many of them.

Ramona: What brought you to write your books?

Experience is the biggest motivator for me writing my book. Life was beating me down, and I couldn’t figure out why? I turned to the mentors I had, and those conversations prompted me to do some self-examination, and the results are written in my book.

Ramona: How many books have you written so far? List and name them all here

So far, I’ve published one book, “Don’t Gamble on Life Improvement… Until You Shift the Odds!” but more are in the works! I am in the process of writing a second nonfiction book, and have gotten ideas for a third. I’ve even gotten visions for a fiction book, as well. So, who knows where this path will lead? I’m going to ride it as long as I can!

Ramona: What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?

That’s an interesting question, because while I was writing my book, I purposefully stayed away from book written in the same genre. I didn’t read any of them. I wanted the information I wrote in my book to be organic. Admittedly, I still haven’t read any of them, though I suppose I will eventually. For now, I’m content with just knowing they are there to help people if they need it, as that’s the reason I wrote mine.

Ramona: What is your advice for aspiring writers?

Being an author is an uphill battle. You will experience many ups and downs. The absolute best advice I was given was from an author friend of mine. I was battling the “Am I good enough?” thoughts. Here is what I was told: “In the beginning, self-doubt is part of the process of becoming an author. However, remember this: no one can write your story better than YOU! There are BILLIONS of people in the world. Chances are, at least ONE of them has been looking for the message your story brings, but YOU are the only person who can write it the way you write! So… write it, and GET it to them!” My advice to aspiring writers is to simply write! Embrace the journey your story takes you on, because there’s a person waiting for your story. Remember, the journey is put into place so you’ll appreciate the destination more when you arrive.  

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