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Interview on "How to Renew You!" by Leonard Brattoli

Questions by Loraine Garcia

LG: First and foremost, I wanted to say that I related a lot to what you said in this post. As a writer, I also struggle with finding time to read even when I enjoy reading so much. It’s always nice to see that I, and probably others as well, am not alone when it comes to this problem! In the blog post, you mentioned that you had always been mystified by writing. Do you remember the book that first hooked you into reading? If so, what was it and how was your experience reading it?

LB: Thanks for sharing Loraine. I’m glad that I was able to connect with so many people who have a struggle like mine. All week I’ve been getting compliments about it. So thank you to everyone for your support.

If I had a book that “mystified” me with the wonders of writing, it would be the third book of K.A. Applegate’s Animorphs series, The Encounter. When I first read it as a kid, I was going through some stuff at school. I felt like an outcast all the time. The themes of this book (which I won’t spoil because it really is worth a read) really connected to me and made me feel seen.

Even though I wasn’t pursuing my writing dream then, it always stuck with me. I have always wanted to write a book as good as that one. Hopefully, I can do that one day.

LG: How did the idea for this blog post come to mind?

LB: I started by asking myself “What even is renewal?” “How do you achieve it?” But I soon realized that I should be asking “What does renewal mean for me?” From there, I started thinking about the changes that I could have made for myself. Eventually, I wound up with my blog post.

LG: What do you want our audience to learn after reading your blog post?

LB: What I want my audience to learn from this post is how to recognize that they need renewal and can work towards it. That’s the point I wanted to get at with this post. You have to be committed to your renewal. It’s not going to just happen; you have to find what you need and work towards it.

LG: You talked briefly about classic literature in your post and mentioned The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Paradise Lost as examples of classic literature. I have always wanted to read more classic literature, so is there anything you would recommend to someone like me? Is there any classic literature that you want to read? Why or why not?

LB: I recommend the ones that I’ve listed. As well as more contemporary works. I really like anything by Neil Gaiman, like the Sandman comics and my all-time favorite, The Graveyard Book.

You know, I’ve always wanted to read The Lord of The Rings. I’ve never gotten the chance to read any of those books and I think it could really help inspire me with the creative projects I have going on.

LG: One of my favorite quotes from your blog post was when you wrote, “When you’re following a dream, you need to have dedication. The desire to always grow, to always become greater than who you are now.” If it’s not too personal, what is your dream that you’re currently following?

LB: Well, that would be to become a known writer. I want to get my work out to a larger audience. That way my work can reach more people and I can start to pursue even bigger projects.

With that said, I want to thank everyone who has supported me in my career. I can’t wait to show you all how successful I will become one day!

LG: Do you have any tips for getting out of a reading slump for anyone in our audience who may currently be in one?

LB: Honestly, if you’re in that situation, the best thing to do is to just start reading. It doesn’t have to be a huge commitment, just a commitment at least. A good way to start is by setting aside 10 minutes to read. Then let it naturally increase.

LG: Have you started a different book since writing this blog post? Or have any other books caught your attention that you’re excited to read?

LB: No, I haven’t gotten a chance to read anything else yet. It’s finals season, after all.

One book series that I have been thinking about reading is Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson books. I never got a chance to read them growing up, so summer vacation is the perfect opportunity to start. I also want to read more plays, especially newer productions. I’ll definitely be stopping by my local bookstore to see what they have in stock.

LG: Lastly, where can our audience find you, and what are your future plans?

LB: As always, you can find my posts on the Beyond Thought website and the Original Breath Builder website. And I can be found at my Instagram account, lennyoninsta72.

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