Interview with Eric J Moran

Where did you get the idea for your book?
Eric J. Moran The inspiration for Welcome to Mintland came from a team of Mini AllStar cheerleaders. I was given the opportunity to be "Team Rep" for this team. Over the 11 month journey of watching the team grow both personally and athletically as a group, I was moved to capture this story.

The magic of the relationships both on and around the team along with the leadership of the coaching was very moving. The team bonded slowly and methodically through struggle and success. The determination this group of 6-8-year-olds demonstrated was awe inspiring.

As adults hopefully, all of us can reference a time in our early youth that becomes a point of reflection that changes our life. There is nothing more important than a time where someone believed in you and gave you an opportunity to shine. Sometimes that is a teacher, sometimes a parent, relative or a coach. I felt compelled to capture this moment for the entire team, as it is a representation of an entire industry which is Allstar cheer. I wanted Mintland to represent a thank you to parents and athletes who sacrifice so much to be a part of something very special. All too often you hear the negative and drama that can be Youth Sports. I wanted to share this inspiring story to share the positive.

After going back and forth and over analyzing things for weeks starting and stopping. I continued to hear from many how special this story was. They had no idea I was contemplating writing this story. They unintentionally pushed me to complete this project.

I approached the story to capture for the team and the coaches. The story essentially wrote itself. It was really hard to explain, but I felt determined to capture this special moment in time. I only hope the life lessons in the story ring true as my biggest fear was not doing the story justice.

I also hoped to use the book as a reference point for the team. In life, challenges arrive. I wanted them to be able to reflect on this time and remember they can do anything they set their minds to do. Especially when they surround themselves with people who believe in each other.
What is the biggest challenge of writing for you?
Eric J. Moran Being surrounded by writers most of my professional career in media, I have always been fascinated by the internal mental struggle faced by writers. While I am not a full-time writer, my advice would to just let it flow and keep pushing. The mental struggle of "is it going to be good enough" "am I going to offend someone" "does the writing do the story justice?" all of these are valid concerns, and the struggle can be very real, but they can also be crippling.

Internally, I had to say "get over yourself" and just tell the story. Hopefully, your audience will connect with the passion you are trying to convey. If your heart is in the right place you should be in good shape.
What project are you currently working on?
Eric J. Moran That is a great question. Recently I have been focusing on my Podcast and Welcome to Mintland blog. I just launched the blog on Itunes and Google Play . https://ericjmoran.wordpress.com It has been quite an experience and the response has been very overwhelming. It is a great way to touch a large group of people. The idea of a podcast came to me as many young athletes wanted to be able to read the book, but are a little young to read it. My thought was that I could chop up the book in chapters and also share some insight and back story into each chapter before I read it. It has worked out so far. It has really been fun to do as I have been learning quite a bit in the process.

I am asked quite a bit about what I am going to write about next. In this sport, there are so many incredible stories of perseverance and unexplainable success stories. In the past year, I have witnessed some incredible material. It may happen again but I may share cool stories through other forms of media. Like podcasts or through the blog. I have also been piecing together a moving story about how high school age athletes affect and shape the lives of unsuspecting tiny athletes. It is a story of mentorship and how passive interactions and the aura of success, hard work, and culture can trickle down and impact lives and success without truly interacting with each other on a daily basis. The project is also going to focus on the importance of translating the life skills learned in sports to everyday life and capitalizing from the experience as adults. It is in the early stages but should be fun. It may never come to fruition but it is something I am passionate about.

I am also currently following the progress of the original Peppermints from Welcome to Mintland. It would not be out of the realm of possibility that you will see a "Return to Mintland" in the next few years. I think that could be a pretty cool story to do a where are they now :).
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Eric J. Moran: The word " Author" is very intimidating to me. I don't think I will ever consider myself an author. I write the way I speak so that can be very challenging to tone down. When speaking, I may have a reputation of talking way too much when I try to tell a story. Having said that, I seem to dwell on details most people miss or take for granted. To me, the details are what make the story so special. The best thing for me is being able to go to my little corner of the world and share the story as I see it and accentuate things most people miss. I firmly believe that if you gloss over the special moments in life, you end up saying "Where did the time go?" My biggest fear as a parent is asking that very question. So I will take my time, document the details and hopefully speed up my stories when talking to folks. Writing is only one form of that expression for me. I also blog, Share moments via photography and have recently started a podcast.

See, I could have just answered the question by saying, "The best thing about being a writer is including the details," but you would have missed the entire previous paragraph.
What do your fans mean to you?
It has been very clear. The fans care deeply about the team that was featured in Welcome to Mintland (Not me). They are the true stars and why the book was written. I am so humbled by the outpouring of love and encouragement people share by asking about the team and how everyone is doing. The Allstar Cheerleading community is a very close knit family and this book has exposed the sport beyond the fans of Allstar Cheerleading. They are extremely engaged and care about their own in a way that is inexplicable. I am just honored they have given the book a chance to be read.
Published 2017-07-27.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Welcome to Mintland
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 47,440. Language: English. Published: June 27, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Sports & outdoor recreation » Cheerleading
What if someone repeatedly said you were the best in the world and you dared to believe it? More than a team, it was a state of mind. Welcome to Mintland is a story about the meteoric rise of a mini allstar cheerleading team, The 2015 Stingray Allstars Peppermint a team that defined teamwork, and dreamed big. Read about the teams seeming impossible journey to the Allstar Cheerleading Summit.