Sunday, February 19, 2012
Our Interview with Frank Ra!
frank is Dharma instructor, life-coach, well-being facilitator, advaitan, being in becoming. He has been coaching and working in eCommunication since late 1995. He also graduated in International Relations and Diplomacy. He has been creating awareness about AmAre as an inspirational, strategical, tactical, assessment and outreach tool to facilitate living a happy, meaningful and fulfilling life.
Frank lived “la dolce vita” in the peacefulness of his native, pristine Italian small town, where he read about spirituality, Eastern/pre-Socratic/Latin philosophy, and started to practice meditation. Until he joined NATO as military police officer, and then visited, in less than 10 years, over 30 countries and 80 cities, cultivating personal/professional development living in Italy, London, USA, Malta, Estonia. He now settled in beautiful British Columbia.
During his travels, he familiarized with different cultures and way of living. And understood we are all on the same boat, figuring out what matters for us in life and how to life happily. He noticed there is often little correlation between how “society” defines a happy life and how happy each person really feels. He researched about well-being, both in empirical ways and leveraging existing peer-reviewed studies.
He built and managed the first European social network devoted to peace, and has been blogging on AmAreWay.org since 2009. This blog is a popular destination for personal development and well-being; it ranks (source: Amazon Alexa) among the top 5k websites in Canada, and top 8k in Italy. His first book, distributed for free online as “Happiness Formulas”, has been downloaded over 40,000 times. He sold hundreds of books on Amazon Kindle, and also published a printed edition of his work, titled “A course in happiness”. He is a speaker at local and international events. Please see media coverage for an overview of how his work has been covered by Asian, Australian, European, North American and Vancouver-based media. If you are a member of the press, you may find our Subjective Well-Being Media-Kit helpful.
Bio provided by author's site
We were very happy to get the opportunity to interview Frank and learn a little more about him and how he came to be an author. Frank is an industrious young man with quite a successful career! Now he has written a book about, of all things, how to be happy. So sit back and get comfortable, please give a warm welcome to Frank!
1. What makes for a good hook in your stories? Where does your inspiration come from? My inspiration comes from personal life experiences, plus experiences of friends and clients. I write creative non fiction, my main hooks are giving an interesting angle to the subject of well-being and spiritual development.
2. Are you an organized writer? Do you do things like take notes and make lists of characters? Or do you free write and work it out as you go? A mix of the two :-) I blog regularly, that allows me to get feedback from readers and keeps me going on a regular basis. At the same time, I write down, in the form of digital notes, different ideas and sentences as they come, putting them in an initial logic order. Which of course is going to change a lot by the time I finished my books.
3. What is your normal writing day like? Do you write when you are inspired or do you have a schedule? While I do not have a specific schedule, I usually write on a daily basis. A lot of content is removed from the final edition of my books, and stays there for future use.
4. Who is your favorite author and how did they inspire you to write? My favourite authors are often the anonymous writers who compiled Dharma books, plus contemporary spiritual inspirers like Eckhart Tolle.
5. It’s easy to see that you have a passion for writing but is there any part of it you don’t like? I am not a big fan of the "final touch" before publication: proof-reading and minor editing.
6. Do you make time to read and if you do what are you reading right now?I write a lot, and I read even more. In my experience, a "good" painter is also a great watcher, and a good writer is also a great reader. Of course, being a mass-reader like me does not make you automatically a good writer, that requires commitment. I read a lot of Dharma books, and keep myself updated about well-being research, neuroscience, positive psychology, mindfulness therapies, etc.
7. How did you get started in writing this instructional self-improvement style of book? Is there personal life experience in the writing?Yes, the books I write are the books I wished were available years ago, when I started my "quest" for answers. In my books, I share my personal experiences, in forms which allow people to make them work for themselves, if they so desire.
8. Your books have been published with Amazon.com, Does this mean you see the publishing industry headed this way?Yes, Amazon is a titan. And often a friend to independent authors. You can reach your readers, and update your books almost overnight, at no cost. It is where readers are.
9. Do you have any online sites where others can read more of your writings? Thanks for asking :-) I post daily updates on: http://www.amareway.org/
10. Do you have any more stories in the works? What kinds of stories do you plan to write next?
I have two books in the pipeline: one about aligning one's life to her/his values and strengths. And a biographical book. Initially, I kept biographical references to a minimum, thinking this would make easier for readers to apply the inspirations to their lives, instead of seeing them as part of my life. However, readers want to know how I got there, so that would be taken care of in a dedicated book.
11. If your book were to be turned into an inspirational video, who would you want to play the narrative voice? Eckhart Tolle and HH the Dalai Lama.
12. If you could meet anyone from any time who would it be and what would be your first question? I'd like to meet a great sage (Buddha, Lao-Tze, Jesus) and ask him: who are you?
I'd also like the meet all the wonderful and anonymous heroes, the people that no one knows by name, who made possible for us to be here. The parents who took care of their children no matter what their material circumstances were. The people who stood-up for the causes they cared about. No question for them, just a big "thank you"!