Interview with Michael Pestano

What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle Fire and two smartphones that I normally use for ebook reading.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I've been using word of mouth, keyword optimization, category research, social media heavily leaning on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. I've also done local book signings at Barnes & Noble, keynote speaking at different events, workshops, and seminars to corporations.
Describe your desk
My desk varies but most of the time I'm just on my laptop working at home or at a local coffee shop and sometimes the library.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born and raised in the Philippines and my parents were big advocates for reading and writing. My mom was an English teacher and she taught me from an early age how to read and write. My dad encouraged my reading by always bringing me books and magazines from his trips and taking me to the libraries. From an early age I was already learning a lot about great literary works of writers from all over the world. I wrote a lot of essays, poems, short stories, and participated in contests that challenged my creativity. I was also a debater during my high school days.

A heavy influence was American and English literature and the medium of instruction in the Philippines was English. I moved to Canada in 1989 after college and continued my love for reading and writing. During my time in corporate Canada and America I would end up being the writer for newsletters and company publications when my bosses noticed my writing and speaking skills. I always had subscriptions to many different publications on a wide array of subjects. Whether magazines or book clubs I had an extensive paperback and hardcover collection. Science fiction, fantasy, crime, action, drama, comedy, horror, thrillers, and mysteries, it really didn't matter. My base love though would be the first two. Its only been in the last few years that I've been focused on my writing through my journals and online blogs.
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing when I was in the first grade. I would write poems and short stories. As I grew older I continued writing essays, short stories, science fiction, fantasy, and mystery. I wanted to be like the writer of the Hardy Boys series. I had the whole 100 plus book collection and one of my dreams was to write something like that.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It's my own personal story of a transformation journey. I had not planned on writing about my story of losing over 100 pounds and reversing type 2 diabetes. It was through the influence and encouragement of my close friends that gave me the purpose to write about it. It was a deep introspective journey that had me dig deep in every aspect. I wanted to share to my audience an intimate, personal, and raw depiction of my life and what I did mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually to get out of the self-created challenges.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Freedom. I wanted to be in charge of my own destiny and in control of my story and the future stories I wanted to create and share. Today's technology allows so much more creativity and options in having one's story be shared to a global audience.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
There's so much to learn and experience through this platform and at first it was initially intimidating. Smashwords simplifies it and makes it easier for an indie author to be able to concentrate on writing stories. There is a learning curve for sure and it is of benefit to the writer to learn the other aspects about self-publishing. One must never stop learning new things on a daily basis.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing is the unlimited possibilities and stories that can come from the human mind, heart, and spirit. It's not about fame and fortune. It's all about the passion for sharing a good story. It's a lot of fun too being in my own world of creation.
What do your fans mean to you?
I love my fans and their feedback. Having this platform to positively influence and help inspire others to explore their own gifts and possibilities through my books gives me great pleasure. I know that if I can help inspire one life to become better I'm doing my part in helping make this world a better place.
What are you working on next?
I'm finishing my second book in this series which chronicles my life and death struggle to overcome an incurable autoimmune liver condition. Much like the first book this is another extended and deeper look into what was going on with me mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually to overcome this condition.
Who are your favorite authors?
There are many and they have evolved over the years. Nowadays I would list these authors in no particular order: Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, Greg Braden, Gabby Bernstein, Brene Brown, Louise Hay, Stephen King, John Grisham, Dan Brown, Molly McCord, Dolores Cannon, Marianne Williamson, David Hawkins, Vishen Lakhiani
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
What inspires me is that I've been given another gift to live the best I can be in the present. To inspire others to live life with gratitude and love to always look at the possibilities and not what's lacking.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I go to the gym to workout, go for nature walks at the park or at the beach, go for nature hikes, watch movies, and I make sure to eat write. I try and read for at least an hour a day about something that will further my self-development.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I just go on Amazon and check for my favorite categories on self-development and spirituality.
Published 2017-11-06.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.