Eric J Moran lives in Marietta,Ga with his lovely wife, two incredible daughters and one very tall mountain of Allstar cheerleading debt. You can find his daily trials and tribulations with his daughters @cRayCheerDad
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 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.