Ever feel like you aren’t getting everything you want out of life? A man on a bus smiles or a stranger radiates happiness and you wonder, why isn’t that me? A child runs giggling across your path and reminds you what pure joy looks like, causing you to stop and ask… where is my joy?
Saving Our Pennys, a new release by Roy Dimond and Jeff Leitch is the book you need to read, to wipe that aged frown off your face – to find confidence in your abilities, to be happy, and to fearlessly embrace all of life's magic to the end, regardless of the difficulties you may encounter.
This book tells the story of a teacher, who facing a crisis, searches for answers to some of life’s most difficult questions. He is overwhelmed with the everyday burdens of life, yet must be there for others. He sees someone who walks in harmony with life, joyfully embracing the moment, and is inspired to begin his hunt for a mentor. During his search, it is revealed to him that the universe seldom takes a gentle path. Yet, if he has the courage to embrace his quest, he may discover that a hero’s journey will take him to the strangest of places. True enlightenment always leads to the unexpected. Growing from a “shadow” into a person of “substance,” he realizes that the sacred moment always waits patiently. By embracing the now, he grows into his true nature, the state called, “spirit” where balance and peace of mind exist, the place where wondrous joy has always been.
D.O: Forever, I've been wishing to write an inspirational book like Saving Our Pennys. But forever, I remain a terrible creator who uses lies to tell greater truths. Now that Roy & Jeff are here, I hope they will teach me to write one.
I welcome the two of you on the site. Thanks for choosing Authors Curtilage for your book promotion. Thanks to Madi Preda your publicist, for sending you over here.
D.O: Is Saving Our Pennys your first co. authored book?
Roy… First Darmie, let me take a moment and thank you for interviewing us. It is greatly appreciated. Yes, this is the first time that I have worked with another writer on a book. It’s been quite the experience and one I hope to repeat.
Jeff… (laughing)… and my first baptism into writing. It’s been a fantastic ride so far…. And yes, this is my first experience as a published author. It’s been great co-writing with Roy on this story. I would co-write again in a heartbeat as well. And before we go any further, as Roy said a moment ago, thank you for interviewing us both. We sincerely appreciate you taking the time.
D.O: Roy & Jeff, what event in your life or career had a strong influence on you to write this soul lifting inspirational book, Saving Our Pennys?
Roy… As a Youth Worker in schools for over thirty years I met so many inspirational teachers, administrators, students, and parents. It’s a wonderful environment to work in. Everyday, there is somebody, somewhere in the school, helping someone. To have those situations around you, all the time, makes it a pretty special place to go to work.
Jeff… Couldn’t agree with Roy more. It is amazing the amount of goodwill that is demonstrated every day. I have been teaching for almost twenty years and you can’t help but feel fortunate to witness this daily ‘slice of life’. It’s a fantastic job; people are incredible.
D.O: Saving Our Pennys takes the reader on an odyssey through one man's life as he comes to terms with his life and his own ability to be happy. Is this book based on true a life experience?
Roy… Oh yes, Penny was a real student and a true inspiration. We describe her at the end of the book, although we changed many details to fit the larger story that we wanted to tell. Lab, the dog we mention, was also real and his role is prominently mentioned in the book. Lab inspired many, usually to laugh, and often to feed him, but he was indeed very real.
Jeff…And many of those details were based on our collective experiences as well. We also infused some of our educational experiences into the story, when needed, to really try and capture the life messages that have hit us each day and over the course of a career.
D.O: Hmm. That’s fascinating! How did the two of you begin writing and start gathering materials for the book Saving Our Pennys?
Roy… Jeff and I had worked together with at-risk students and I was moving from the area, so before I left, he and I hiked into an area called Golden Ears Mountain to reminisce. Along that hike we stopped at a bench and started talking about writing down some of our experiences. Twelve years later here we sit being interviewed. It has been a grand journey.
Jeff…During our time working together we both discussed how great it would be to write a book. We both had a similar vision and questions about education and after some great talks, we knew we had something. As well, I was pretty new to the profession, and Roy had seen a lifetime (laughing)… but it was very vindicating for me to have similar questions at the beginning of my career and just prior to Roy’s retirement. We knew we had a story to tell.
D.O: I know that Jeff is the writer of focus of a Chicken Soup for the Soul: Children with Special Needs series called, Toss of a Coin written by Ted Kuntz. And Roy is the author of The Singing Bowl and The Rubicon Effect. Who are you guys? Quickly before we come back to Saving Our Pennys, let's meet you.
Roy… Well Jeff’s the smart one. I’m the good looking one. Seriously though, I love traveling, love experiencing different cultures. I love being immersed in a culture where just getting dinner is a major effort. From Japan, to South America, to Europe, I travel with my wife and find it enriches our souls. We live in a little harbor on the west coast of Canada called Garden Bay and from our log home we look out at the Pacific Ocean. I try to walk around the lakes near my home everyday and of course to write.
Jeff…(laughing) The definition of smart just got downgraded. Well, I’m a proud Dad of three and happily married to my wife Linda. We live in Maple Ridge, British Columbia and are near many parks and streams. Life consists of teaching full time with students and adults in both Day and Night School, as well as living at the hockey rinks and sports fields. We’re extremely busy as a family but I always try to find time to read, to go for a run, and enjoy a great slow dinner with our busy family. Right now, it’s an incredibly busy time for our family but Linda and I are really doing our best to enjoy the moments.
D.O: How hard was it to create the teacher in Saving Our Pennys and fleshed him out between the two of you?
Roy… Of the two of us Jeff’s the teacher and I think there was a lot of him in the story. Especially the caring and enlightened side of the character. Having worked together in that environment it was pretty easy to know what we wanted from the teacher in our book. I also based some of him on my mentor so we did not lack for good role models to base the character on.
Jeff…To me, it seemed the teacher voice came from both of us, as well as the myriad of conversations we had with our colleagues. The feedback from many is how well they were able to understand and sympathize with the “teacher voice” as well as the everyday frustrations of those who go to work, and through life, uninspired. But as well, many will see myself as the teacher in the story and Roy as the Scottish Teacher for obvious reasons. Roy has been leaned on by thousands for his perspective on life; there is a reason for this. I believe Roy’s and his mentor’s voice is truly one of the magical components of Saving Our Pennys.
D.O: How are characterization, plot, settings, imagery and theme fully and authentically realized in the story Saving Our Pennys?
Roy… Publishers so often ask writers, “What gives you the right to write this book?” For Saving Our Pennys we have spent a combined fifty years in the environment we wrote about. So we know that world well, how it feels, the pressure and the strains. The characters, plots, etc., it was all around us every day. To paraphrase from one of our characters, “We just had to have eyes… and use them.”
Jeff… Agreed… I don’t think I could answer that question any better.
D.O: Hmm. OK. What are the most wonderful things our readers will take away reading Saving Our Pennys book?
Roy… Great question. I hope there are many things people can come away with after reading our book… the importance of ‘the moment’ being one of them. That the fundamental need to change may start a journey more grand than anyone could ever imagine. Those who may inspire us are everywhere, IF you have the energy to look.
Jeff… I would also add that you can never, ever give up. Our hope is that Saving Our Pennys will give people the courage to act on this message.
D.O: What have the two of you learned creating this book?
Roy… I learned a lot about my friend Jeff. His insights and wisdom. I also learned how to have patience with another writer when he’s wrong. Sorry, just kidding Jeff. I learned that if you care about your story enough and work hard enough, you will find the real story you want to tell.
Jeff… (Laughing) We never doubted this story would not be told. Roy and I also come from a healthy background in sports. I believe that our team experiences groomed us for this. Sometimes on a team you have to let others lead and there were times that this needed to happen. Not because of ego, but passion for the message. I’ve also learned that inner instincts are rarely ever wrong. We acted on our impulses in many aspects of Saving Our Pennys. I really believe Roy and I went the distance and left no stone unturned.
D.O: Any last thought for the readers of Authors Curtilage?
Roy… Just if you have a story in you, make sure you get to experience it, either through writing, music, or play. And if you can share that experience with a good friend it will be all the richer.
Jeff… Absolutely…. the world needs these messages. With all the shared pain on this planet, we need each other’s stories to maintain and reinforce the magic of the common and uncommon in each day.
D.O: Do you have a few suggestions to help anyone become an inspirational writer? If so, what are they?
Roy… It may sound trite but it is accurate. If you want to be a writer, sit down and write… every day. If you want to be an inspirational writer then you must allow others to inspire you. Jeff inspired me every day that we worked on this book and I will be forever grateful for that.
Thank you for taking the time to interview us Darmie. It’s a wonderful thing you do, supporting writers.
Jeff… Yes…. Write, and read….as much as you can. Start a blog, write a diary, go for walks and runs - to let your world slow down so your words can accelerate. You will absolutely amaze yourself at how fast your story emerges. My Mom and Dad instilled the wonder of books. My Dad always dabbled in the written word and inspired me to put pencil to paper. By the time I had the great fortune to meet and get to know Roy, I knew this book was inevitable – published or not. Pretty incredible to meet and work with someone who never breaks a promise, let alone to call ‘friend.’ It can’t be said enough…Thank you Roy.
And Thank you Darmie. I am continually amazed at the writer’s world and the people who cherish the written word like yourself. This is such a great experience. Thanks so much.
D.O: [Smiles] thank you so much Roy and Jeff. It’s been an honor interviewing you. Dear readers, thanks for reading this interview. Purchase your copy of Saving Our Pennys soon. It is the best protection you need for your heart if you ever feel a hole in it is opening like a dark door.
Roy and Jeff, I wish you all the luck you need to be best-selling authors. Once again, thanks for stopping by.
Saving our Pennys is Available in: Paperback $11.45
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