Interview with Juan R Velez

What do you read for pleasure?
I enjoy reading biographies and learn from the lives of the protagonists. Two good ones that I have read in recent year are David McCullough's "John Adams," and Paul Horgan's "Lamy of Santa Fe." At present I am re-reading a classic, Augustine's "Confessions." I also enjoy reading novels.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
As a child my family lived in various countries: Venezuela, Colombia, England and the United States. This provided the opportunity to experience different cultures and to visit many beautiful geographic locations and interesting historical sites.
When did you first start writing?
My first serious writing was during my doctoral studies at the University of Navarre in Spain. I studied some aspects of John Henry Newman's theology. Years later I wrote a biography on Newman titled "Passion for Truth, the Life of John Henry Newman."
What's the story behind your latest book?
For the past sixteen years I have offered high school and college students guidance in their intellectual and moral education. Most of them had little notion of a humanistic formation and even less about its importance or how to pursue this type of education. Based on my conversations with them and the insights of great thinkers, especially John Henry Newman, I decide to write a book to help others students. The result of this is "A University Education for the 21st Century: The Opening of the American Mind."
What motivated you to become an indie author?
E-reading offers many exciting possibilities for reaching new readers in many places far and wide. A friend who has has self-published encouraged me to do likewise so now I too am an "indie author" which sounds like someone from the Indies. I only recently learned it means an independent author.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Time will tell. I would like to reach many students to challenge them to discover and use their talents better, and to obtain a more intellectually enriching university education.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
There is no doubt the writing is a stimulus to organize one's ideas and contrast them with others, to work through arguments and find solutions. This brings a lot of satisfaction to the one who writes, but perhaps my greatest joy is to be able to convey knowledge and experience to others.
What do your readers mean to you?
Readers, both old and new, are a big motive for writing. They are responsible for one wishing to write with greater clarity as well as nuance. The suggestions made by readers are often valuable for improving a text. And a reader's interest or comments about learning obtained through one's books is the best recompense for writing as well as encouragement for future writing.
What are you working on next?
Some day I would like to write about what makes a good physician and recount the lives of some outstanding ones. Although I do not work as a physician, I obtained a degree in medicine and specialized in internal medicine.
Who are your favorite authors?
Charles Dickens, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, C. S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton, Joseph Ratzinger, John Henry Newman
Published 2015-03-22.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

A University Education for the 21st Century: The Opening of the American Mind
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 48,270. Language: English. Published: March 22, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Education and Study Guides » Getting into college, Nonfiction » Education and Study Guides » Counseling / general
"A University Education for the 21st Century" presents a picture of what a university education is according to the classical Western Tradition. This book challenges students to seek a meaningful college education and offers them suggestions on how to choose the right school and the right curriculum to achieve that goal.