Rejections and Reflections

Steppin with Benji Marshall

It’s been three weeks since I released Jammin with Steven Adams and the feedback I’ve received has been awesome and really encouraging!

I’m so thankful to the educators and librarians who took a chance on a self published author for the sake of their students and really happy for the young people I write for.

And I’ve been thinking about how I started writing this series of sports biographies that includes books on Benji M and SBW.

  • It’s late 2010 and a Kiwi teacher based in South Auckland wishes there were more books his students were interested in. Books he’d like to read if he was a student, of sporting heroes, inspirational figures, overcomers …
  • He reads a comment by Toni Morrison: “If there’s a book that you want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” He nervously e mails Benji Marshall’s manager and tells him he wants to write a biography of Benji for teenagers. Benji and his manager support the idea!
  • He writes the book and sends it to publishers. “Unfortunately we will not publish this book,” he’s told. “There’s no market for these kinds of books.”
  • He doesn’t agree. He decides to self-publish.
  • It’s hard!
  • He fumbles his way through the process but eventually a box of books arrives on his doorstep. Steppin’ with Benji Marshall is released!“The book is a HUGE hit!!!! Keep writing – a whole series would be awesome!”  Kimberley Atkinson  (Roberston Rd School, Mangere)

    “It has surpassed my expectations.  It’s fabulous!  The kids are going to absolutely love it, and hopefully carry it’s inspirational message away with them. Thank you so much for writing such high-interest, relevant books.  Please keep them coming!”   Jennifer Cunningham (East Tamaki School)

    “It is absolutely fantastic and can be used for my boys.  They will be thrilled. ” Louisa Hala (ASDA High School)

    “This is the first “real” book my son has ever read without having to be nagged to read! I am looking forward to reading it myself – but may have to wait until my partner also reads it since there are daily reviews from his son about the book.”  Melissa, an Auckland mum

I’m writing this post for others out there whose ideas have been rejected, whether rejected by your own thinking or by ‘experts’.

I encourage you to trust yourself and go make something. The world needs it. Can’t wait to see what you make!

Jammin with Steven Adams article

Hey everyone here’s a newspaper article about the book Jammin’ with Steven Adams

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/rotorua-daily-post/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503438&objectid=11395382

Jammin’ with Steven Adams

Hey everyone just letting you know that the exciting new biography on Kiwi NBA player Steven Adams is now available for purchase! The cost is $25 plus postage. Send me an e mail if you would like to order a copy for yourself or a young person that could do with some inspiration.

davidrileynz@gmail.com

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Jammin’ with Steven Adams

Hey everyone the Steven Adams book will be available after Christmas but if you like e books you can get the e book version now here:

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SBW updated!

To celebrate SBW’s return to the All Blacks I’ve updated the biography I wrote on him for young people and got a new cover designed. What do you think about it?

Cover 4

Samoan Heroes #17: Seiuli Jesse Sapolu

jesse

Jesse is the most successful Samoan NFL player ever. He played for 15 years and won four Superbowl Championships with the San Francisco 49ers. His position was Offensive Lineman. Jesse was born in Toamua, Upolu in 1961. ‘The foundation of my values and beliefs are based on my Samoan culture,’ Jesse says. ‘I’m thankful for the opportunity to represent Samoa.’

Will you help me publish this book on Samoan achievers for young people? The campaign ends tomorrow and we’re nearly there. If you’d like to help please go to https://www.pledgeme.co.nz/projects/2650-samoan-heroes-bookor donate to this account 12-3436-0072113-50. Malo faafetai

Jammin’ with Steven Adams

I’ve just finished the manuscript for my newest book – a biography of Kiwi NBA player Steven Adams. This morning I sent the text to a designer. Can’t wait to see the ideas the designer comes up with! Here’s the cover:

Full-Size

 

Samoan Heroes #16: Savage

Savage

Savage is the first Polynesian hip hop artist to go platinum [sell over one million units] in America. ‘That definitely makes me a proud Samoan,’ he says. ‘I’ve always dreamed of this and back then it was a long shot. To achieve what I’ve done just says a lot about putting your mind and heart into it.’

Friends and family will you help me publish this book on Samoan achievers for young people? The campaign ends on Saturday and we’re nearly there. If you’d like to help please go to https://www.pledgeme.co.nz/projects/2650-samoan-heroes-book or donate to this account 12-3436-0072113-50. Malo faafetai

Samoan Heroes #15: Troy Polamalu

Regular Season

Troy Polamalu is a two time Superbowl champion and one of the best NFL players in history. But as a child it seemed he was destined for jail rather than fame. Troy’s oldest brother Kaio, was a good athlete. But he got into a lot of trouble with the police and was in and out of jail. His three sisters were involved with gangs too. By the age of eight, Troy was beginning to copy his older siblings – breaking into houses and stealing from shops. You can find out what happened next in my new book on Samoan Achievers …

Friends and family will you help me publish this book on Samoan achievers for young people? The campaign ends on Saturday and we’re nearly there. If you’d like to help please go to https://www.pledgeme.co.nz/projects/2650-samoan-heroes-book or donate to this account 12-3436-0072113-50. Malo faafetai

Samoan Heroes #14: Tim Filiga Cahill

Australia v Japan - FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifier

Too slow. Too small. Too weak. Tim Cahill heard those comments all his life. But it didn’t matter what anyone said. This Samoan –Australian knew what he wanted in life … and no negativity was going to stop him. He’s scored some of the most famous goals in soccer, including two at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Friends and family will you help me publish this book on Samoan achievers for young people? The campaign ends on Saturday and we’re halfway there. If you’d like to help please go to https://www.pledgeme.co.nz/projects/2650-samoan-heroes-book or donate to this account 12-3436-0072113-50. Malo faafetai