Thursday, January 17, 2019

Join us in saying #CheersMamaEstrada

Life has a way of giving you some amazing friends throughout your time on this world… so how lucky am I that I was born from one of my best friends? 


Today is the beautiful Mama Estrada’s birthday. 70 years young. 3 sons raised. 4 grandchildren. 8 fur babies that have gone through our home and now for the first time ever, a feline friend. She’s seen and done many things, lived in Cuba, Miami, Puerto Rico, and even Trinidad and Tobago. She’s also the best example of resilience, patience, and perseverance I know. If you’ve read this blog, follow me on social media, read my books, or just know me, you know I love my Mom to infinity and back.

I’m writing this because although I want to celebrate her, I want you all to know how much it means to her every time she sees a #CheersMamaEstrada to toast to her good health. Some people respond best to thoughts and prayers, but Mom responds better to people having a good time and toasting to her, with a smile, a cheeky inappropriate joke, and having a good time. If you get a bit tipsy, that's just a bonus for her.

When it comes to my writing, people have asked me where my inspiration comes from and a lot of what I write about is inspired by life in some point or another. When it comes to Mom, she is the inspiration for Mrs. Fawn a recurring character in the Human Cycle, the Daydreams on the Sherbet Shore, and most recently in Given to Fly. She was also a huge inspiration for my Spanish poetry collection, Pensando en Metáforas, where I poured my feelings out about a lot of my experience while she was getting treatment or undergoing surgery. 

I’ve learned a lot from her but one of the biggest things is that regardless of how tough things are, you always have the choice to smile… and trust me, life has put her resolve to the test. She has recently started her third round of chemo, but even with that and all the other things she’s had to face, she continues being true to herself. She has style, grace, cheek, and has often offered some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten… and it’s been because she offers it as my Mom AND as my friend, because she is both.

It’s taken 2 things for me to not talk to her every day. One was a category 5 hurricane that devastated my home and knocked out communications with Puerto Rico for months. The other one was when she went on a cruise two weeks ago. I don't mind the second reason that much :) Still, every day we talk 2 or 3 times a day and to me, it’s a soul supplement to talk with Mom and that’s been the case so often in my life that there’s no point in keeping count. I include her in my stories because although it’s easy to want to keep her for myself, I’d rather share a slice of her with the world. Too often, men feel shy about expressing love for their mom, but often there are guys who wear their hearts on their sleeve, regardless of what sport or profession they work in. I am of that second group and shall always feel completely at ease saying how much I love my Mom.

I share all the good vibes we receive for her and this is another chance for you to join in the fun. If you want to leave a message for Mama Estrada and maybe even say cheers, go to my Facebook Author page and share some love with my Mama.

Much love, and til next time.

Peace, Love, and Mama Estrada


Monday, January 7, 2019

2019 - A breakthrough year


After I put up my report card for the year that’s closed, I always do a blog of what I expect for the new year. Last year I also wrote a mantra that though I didn’t repeat it every day, I did put it into practice. 

For this year, I have a new mantra:

“I believe in me. 
I believe in my work.
I am successful. 
I am grateful for every lesson.
I am paying attention. 
I am growing every day.
More and more people join me on my Writer Journey every day.
Forward is the way to go.
Now enjoy the ride.”

For some reason, I’ve always found it tricky to accept I am successful. It's always sounded kinda douchey and conceited in a way, but the reality is that success is defined by the individual and progress means there is some sort of success. So I may not be a NYT Best Seller… but for the first time I feel comfortable adding the word yet to that sentence above. As time passes and different types of people read my work, I realize I’m not half bad… and if people who kinda suck can be successful, then there’s no reason why I can’t breakthrough… and I honestly think this year will mean I have several types of breakthroughs… 

The plan shall be more concentrated this year as well and you’ll see with my goals below. Last year I nailed several goals even when circumstances weren’t ideal. It was a good reminder that sometimes you just need to stop paying attention to the ideal conditions you'd like to have and just do the thing. So here are my goals for 2019: 


PUBLISHING GOALS

1.Book 3 of the Human Cycle. Top of the list. Front and center. And get ready… it’s going to be intense. 

2. Collaboration with UK author Cate Evans– Cate is a good friend who has offered support a lot throughout the last several years. We hit upon a concept we thought could be fun to write and we got to writing a novel. It’s a dark comedy and a delight to write. 

3. Daydreams Vol 2. – I’ve mucked about this one for long enough. 2019 is the year.

4. Blanc Comics in book form– I am tweaking and adjusting this, but it is progressing and a project I believe in a lot. 

5. Philosophy coffee table book – text is written. Now I just need the artist to get his neurons ignited ;)


WRITING GOALS

1. Poetry. Continue working on my collections. Several in the works and enjoying the process. No due date. Only goal is for these to grow… and last I checked it’s 5 collections running at the same time, because that’s how I write. 

2. More consistent blog writing. I do enjoy blogging and it’s part of my efforts to have a positive impact with what I do, so why not more of what makes me happy? 

3. Story arc for 3 series. I do enjoy doing research and there are 3 series I will be working in the future and want to work on world building for each of them. No specific goals, just want progress for all three.

4. Historical paranormal fantasy story. I had originally wanted this for Wattpad, but I will be tweaking this concept to do something different with it. This will include plotting, organization, character development, and world building. 

5. Concepts for Spanish fantasy middle grade books. I have been meaning to write more in Spanish and have 3 ideas in the works. Will begin organizing these as well. 

6. Contemporary comedy set within the advertising industry. Continue jotting down ideas and finalize the story arc. 

7. A special project with mom. Still pending but still in my mind.

8. My Noir Novel. Begin it.

9. Greek mythology project. Begin it.

10. More songs. Already have 2 new songs plus a couple of older ones I haven’t gotten to recording. 

11. Book Events. Have sent emails to participate in 3 events: Jordan Con, Atlanta Comic Con, and Puerto Rico Comic Con. Emailed Barnes and Noble to see if I can do an event. Will email 3 bookstores to get events. Wish me luck.


OTHER Goals

Get more reviews. I REALLY need your help here. Be it good or bad, please leave a review. It promotes sales, gives visibility, and helps out immensely. 

Website… progress will be made. 

Be on the best of year list of at least 10 people. ANY suggestion to get on this list is welcome.

Get nominated for somethinglol. Any help will also be accepted for this one. :D 

Estrada Crates. Sell 12 Estrada Crates in the year. That’s one per month. 
Humans 4 Humans. Organize my #Humans4Humans efforts more to have less activities and a more focused impact.

Release electronic music EP. Already have the first version of the tracks. Will tinker more with them soon… and a cover.

Record and release music. I have a pretty good bank of songs… wouldn’t mind recording and releasing, because why not? 

Social Media. Organize myself more to be more organized and also schedule social media breaks.  

So there you go, fellow humans. What do you think of these goals? Which are you looking forward to the most? What are YOUR goals? What do you think of the mantra? Any and all thoughts welcome. Wishing you a cracking 2019 with health, happiness, and success… because why not? 


Peace, love, and maki rolls.


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2018 Report Card

So another year down and another report card coming up. I had mentioned in my 2018 goals post that this would be a year of focus and that was the intention, but intention and results rarely stay on the same page. Coming after Hurricane Maria, life threw me plenty of challenges. The lesser one was a change in my day job. Better pay, but more responsibilities and plenty of changes that brought forth a lot of challenges to stay focused and find time for what matters to me. It’s not that I neglected them, but finding time was ever more challenging, that’s for sure. The big challenge came in the form of Mom being diagnosed with cancer again. It was a hellishly rough year for her, but she gave such an amazing example of perseverance and of maintaining a bright attitude regardless of what life threw at her. 

(I’d like to give a shoutout to everyone who helped me keep Mom in the positive with #CheersMamaEstrada efforts where we toasted to her good health. This was an idea from an amazing friend and also a very talented writer, Larysia Woropay. She has always been a stellar friend and offered me and my loved ones constant support and I’m happy to return the favor for all of her writing goals and life in general.)

On so many occasions people offered great support and I was able to push through for many of my goals. If you know me, you’ll know I’ll say I could have done more and I honestly think that’s always the case. I had a mantra I started the year repeating daily but I dropped this habit and I’d like to stick to it for this year. 

My 2018 mantra was: “I practice discipline and focus to always pursue relentlessly that which matters to me. I smile at my path and walk it grateful of the journey, the lessons, and the progress I make daily.” 

Even if I did stick to it, I think I could have read it more often and it could have served as a reminder at times to stay on the path. Also, I do these posts in part for motivation and in part to maintain accountability and see what I did from the things I said I would do. I’m not a fan of talking much and instead doing… so let’s see how I did. 


PUBLISHING GOALS

1. For Writing Out LoudDone. I will be doing For Writing Out Loud books every 4 years curating, editing, and formatting entries from my blog to make a non-fiction book. My non-fiction work is focused on making a positive impact and I know this book helped out at least one person this year, my very good friend Christie Stratos (click here for her review of the book). 

2. Given to Fly – Getting the right cover was an adventure in and of itself but GTF got the cover it deserves. Raphael Tanghal did a brilliant job and I was also able to enjoy getting some invaluable feedback from beta readers. It has been a very gratifying experience and possibly my most successful book release yet. I did videos, podcast interviews, guest blog posts, teasers, a playlist on Spotify, and more. 5 reviews in its first month might not seem like a lot to many people, but that’s a truckload for an indie author, so my thanks to everyone who has let their thoughts known on my 13thbook. 

3. Peace, Love, and Maki Rolls – My second non-fiction book release also did pretty well and has also connected with a couple of people. It was the second of three books I released and I designed the cover myself from scratch. 

4. Method to Madness – I was not able to work much on Method to Madness because of other challenges and goals I was meeting but I was able to contribute to two non-fiction releases that will be forthcoming this year from friends in the UK and Australia. I still have to give this more structure to feel I have something worthy to share. 

5. Daydreams Vol 2. – another project I wasn’t able to finish but I suspect 2019 might be the year. Will talk more about this when there’s more to tell :) 

6. Natural Intelligence– I halted work on this project because two people whose opinion I value had some issues with where the manuscript was and BOTH recommended I read the Martian by Andy Weir. Will be reading that book and revisiting this project later in the year. 


WRITING GOALS

1. Write 3 new poetry collections beginning in January. I honestly do think I set goals a bit too high and ambitious because I was taking into account how my job normally was. That changed drastically and poetry didn’t came uniform but I have grown two of those collections a lot and do believe more progress shall be done. The new challenge is to ensure 100+ pages to have a spine for future collections, because why not? 

2. Organize, write, edit, and publish a book with writing tips and techniques. Will be organizing this a lot more to get it to where it has to get before release. 

3. Bilingual poetry collection. Worked a lot on a Puerto Rican collection and a bit on this one. It’s been an interesting process and since I have several collections out, I think I’ll focus on really dialing into these collections and editing poetry for a different challenge and approach.  

4. Puerto Rican Haiku collection. Didn’t get one haiku done, but do have the titles so that’s something lol. 

5. Make a print version of my Blanc Comicsto push this project to the next level. Working on this and still tweaking. We’ll see the end result sooner rather than later I hope. :D

6. Begin work on a historical paranormal fantasy story exclusive for my Wattpad page. Again, ambition got the best of me and didn’t even make a dent on this goal. Hell, I didn't even open Wattpad last year I think lol.

7. Write a Spanish fantasy middle grade novel set in Puerto Rico. Something I’m still mulling over in my head and until I have the right idea, I won’t dive head first. 

8. Begin work on a contemporary comedy set within the advertising industry. Have actually jotted down a LOT of ideas for this project. Let’s call it inspiration courtesy of life. :D

9. A special project with mom. Still pending but still in my mind. 

10. My Noir Novel. Still no progress… grrr.  

11. Greek mythology project. Still no progress… grrr Pt 2.  

12. Begin work on Book 3 of the Human Cycle. Did manage to get some work done on Book 3… expect more news and calls for beta readers soon :D 

13. More songs. Didn’t do a ton of songs but did enough to feel happy about. Have more songs to do so shall continue doing this. 

14. More interviews. I was in a bunch of  interviews and panels, did new appearances on YouTube shows (Beautiful Bookish Geeks podcast, Spilling Ink, guest video on Lily Bloom’s BookTube channel). I also did a LOT of interviews and am happy with how those turned out. 

15. Book Events. I was very determined to change this drastically… I only managed one appearance in a panel on Dragon Con but that’s a start. Pity coverage was negligible; I think we had a fantastic discussion.  

16. Puerto Rico Comic Con. Didn’t go last year as reported… but we’ll see what replies I get for 2019…….. stay tuned for my goals post. 


OTHER Goals

Get more reviews. I did get a couple of more reviews, but this continues to be a huge hurdle. We’ll see how we can tackle this. All ideas welcome :D

Website… it wasn’t finished…….. but progress :) 

Be on the best of year list of at least 10 people. I have NO idea if I was on anyone’s best of 2018 list… we’ll see if that changes :D

Get nominated for something lol. Still clueless AF when it comes to this. Oh well.  

I compared my year to a boxing match and it definitely did feel that way. I got tagged a couple of times by life and did hit the canvas, but I always got the hell up and kept pushing. That’s what it’s all about for me. Always forwards. Have to give it all for an inch of progress? Then so be it. I got a couple of inches in last year and I’ll take that to the bank. 

So I scored myself B- for 2017. Some people said I was too harsh with my judgment and maybe they’re right, but in the end, you have to feel comfortable with your progress and I wasn’t comfortable with mine for 2017 because I didn’t believe I’d maximized opportunities and my results weren’t what I wanted anywhere. Didn't publish what I wanted, sales were low, Puerto Rico Comic Con I broke even, no book events stateside, and honestly felt as if I didn't make the most of what I could have. 

2018 was a different beast altogether and it packed one hell of a punch. It brought the fire to so many people I care about and along the way, we lost some people, some were afflicted with some sort of illness or injury, relationships years deep went the wayside, and overall, I think most of the important people in my life faced a deep challenge or another. That said, I’m proud of so many people with how they’ve pushed on and if 2018 was a year of focus, I think it showed that although we didn’t win that marathon of a year, we finished it. We pushed through. We persevered and damn it, that’s a huge victory. Throughout the year I also did a LOT of efforts to do my part to promoting my #Humans4Humans effort and I think it was a great first year for that and a lot of my energy did go into that. The support throughout was amazing and I am humbled by every person that helped me help other causes, be they localized like getting school supplies to kids in Yabucoa, to supporting EB Awareness as my thanks to Eddie Vedder and the Pearl Jam family for a lifetime of inspiration, to helping friends get enough money to pay the rent or pay for medical treatment and keep pushing. I am a big believer that if you can help and even a bit of you wants to help, you such indulge in that feeling. 

For this year, I shall be contacting several people to do less but more concentrated efforts to help people. But off the bat, thank you for helping others and helping me help others. These are crazy and tough times and I think it’s an invitation to offer the best we can and show that we have more that brings us together than what divides us. I know the times we live in but I refuse to believe kindness is beyond our reach. 

So all in all, I think I got a B+ for 2018. 

If you’re wondering what it takes to get an A… then let’s see what we can do this new year. I don’t believe I deserve an A for last year but I do think I did way better than circumstances invited, and that’s a win for me. A big win. 

Thank you for the support, the inspiration, the light, the kindness, the generosity, and for so many of you offering such a beautiful example of going for it, of perseverance, and of sharing the better things humanity has to offer.

Peace, love, and maki rolls.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Feliz cumpleaños a Libros 787

Luego del Huracán María, mucha gente no sabía qué hacer. Muchos se fueron de la Isla, otros cambiaron de industria y hasta hoy día el proceso de recuperación continúa. Pero para los fundadores de Libros 787, no importaba que un huracán categoría 5 haya destrozado la Isla; ellos iban a lanzar sí o sí. 

Ese tipo de actitud y compromiso dice mucho de la familia entera de Libros 787 y el ejemplo que dan al pueblo. Tienen valores y ganas, un término que más nunca traduce al inglés de la misma manera que se expresa en nuestro idioma nativo. 

Su misión de llevar literatura puertorriqueña y por puertorriqueños al mundo es algo plenamente alineado con mi misión como autor y agradezco su apoyo y la oportunidad de llevar mis obras a más sitios. 

Aunque escribo en inglés porque es el medio que mejor he trabajado, para mí la intención es de que gente alrededor del mundo se queden confundidos cuando sepan que soy puertorriqueño. Escribo en inglés porque es el idioma que más consumo pero mi alma late con son de una clave y no un mero 4 por 4. Para mí un mundo puede ser 100 x 35 y siempre me da un gusto increíble ver las grandes cosas que hacemos y que salen de nuestra Isla siendo un cantito de tierra tan pequeño pero tan sagrado.

Por eso te invito a que si en algún momento me has querido leer, que compres mis libros a través de Libros 787. Amazon tiene suficiente dinero y aunque he publicado a través de ellos y mis libros están disponibles en Kindle, quisiera que todos mis libros los vendiera en eventos y a través de Libros 787. Para incentivarte, si pides a través de ellos y me envías una foto con el paquete y mi libro, te regalo cualquiera de mis libros en su versión electrónica, un demo de 3 canciones que grabé en el 2016 en Puerto Rico y un EP de canciones electrónicas en su estado actual (no lo he terminado pero te lo envío con gusto a ver qué te parece).


Para mí, cualquier incentivo que pueda dar para comprarme a través de ellos intentaré ofrecerlo, porque aunque mucha gente dice que hay que apoyar lo del patio, siempre hago la aclaración: hay que apoyar lo bueno del patio y Libros 787 es de la crema, de pura cepa y de lo mejor que tenemos para ofrecer al mundo. 

Saludos y sonrisas,

JD

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Coming soon: Magic in Disguise by Katie Salidas

There's always something so very awesome when friends gear up to release a new book. In this case, Katie Salidas, co-host of the Spilling Ink show, cool human, and a proud member of of Gryffindor House is releasing the next installment in her Agents of ASSET series. Seems like my TBR has no plans of getting smaller, and I can't be happier. Below is a bit more about the book, but you can go to the link in the blog post title so you can connect directly with this great indie author. And if you visit, tell her JD sent ya and that he says that "Ravenclaw is just as good as Gryffindor." You may add neener neener to your comment. 

* * * *

The Weapon of Magical Destruction is within her grasp, but will Sage be strong enough to resist its seductive power, and destroy it?

You've marveled at the world hidden under our very noses, discovered the four families of magic:
Terra, Ethereal, Shade, & Elemental, and witnessed the well-oiled machine that is A.S.S.E.T (Anonymous Supernatural Security and Elimination Taskforce).

Now, watch as it all falls into anarchy unless one rogue agent can find a way to destroy the Weapon of Magical Destruction once and for all.

Magic in Disguise is an incredible suspense thriller that promises to keep you on the edge-of-your-seat to the very last page.

Make this book your New Year's Resolution.
Pre-Order Today and be the first to read on January 1st 2019.

Kindle
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CY3GCXT/


Haven't started reading the Agents of A.S.S.E.T. series books yet? There's still time to catch the Magic!



A Weapon of Magical Destruction is on SALE at Smashwords.
Get Book 1 for 50% off using the code HG36F at checkout
(Offer good through Dec. 26, 2018)
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/875824?ref=KatieSalidas

Also Available at the following retailers:

Kindle 
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CY3GCXT/
iBooks 
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-weapon-of-magical-destruction/id1385048839
Nook 
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-weapon-of-magical-destruction-katie-salidas/1128625157?ean=2940155650676
Google Play 
https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=HKljDwAAQBAJ
Kobo 
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-weapon-of-magical-destruction


Agents of A.S.S.E.T.
The world is full of magical creatures and artifacts.  The Anonymous Supernatural Security and Elimination Taskforce is on the front line, maintaining the balance of power, ensuring humans remain safely oblivious to the dangerous magic around them.


Tuesday, December 4, 2018

A Marvel in our lives

Stan Lee passed away recently. Anyone who knows who Stan Lee is and read his work is coping with a couple of things. We’re telling ourselves his health wasn’t doing great, that he was 95, that his wife passed away… we’re all trying to look for a reason to be OK with his passing… and we’ll all continue to fail. 

95 and gone too soon. That sums up part of my feeling about Stan Lee. He hadn’t written in a long time; some people might say… but how did you feel every time you saw him in a cameo in a Marvel movie? What do his characters mean to you?

For me, it’s no accident I sometimes refer to myself as your friendly neighborhood JD Estrada. That’s just one of the quirky things I do that are influenced by Stan. The thing is that anyone who has ever been proud to call themselves a geek is hurting. Some people might call us ridiculous, because comics are “silly”. There’s been quite a lot of that going around and although part of me wants to retaliate, Stan would frown upon that. Instead, he’d laugh it off. Hell, he never took himself that seriously and just eventually realized that he’d done something rather amazing.

As a kid, I had a couple of years of incessant comic book reading, though my gateway drug wasn’t a Marvel comic. Funnily enough, my entry comics were wushia kung-fu comics of Jademan Comics, lore. But through them I picked up Marvel… and DC… and Dark Horse… and Valiant… and Image… and any comic book that caught my attention. 

As a 38 year old, I still recognize the power and value of the stories I read in comics. Some people might label them childish because they have pictures… but we have to remember, we’re geeks. Some people aren’t meant to get it, and with Stan, it wasn’t just OK to not let that affect us… it was cool. He was cool. He was beyond cool. He was the man. 

Seeing so many of his creations come to life, every single time I saw him in a cameo made me giggle. Here was a guy who other people didn’t take seriously and along with Jack Kirby and some other all-time greats, they made the world better through story telling. They taught us values, respect, manners, strength, compassion, equality, tolerance, and so many other lessons. Lessons that have been ignored by many entrepreneurs and politicians and intellectual snobs that look down on comics, rather than embrace them for what they are… another medium to tell a story. And a beautiful one at that. Read Swamp Thing, read the Sandman, read V For Vendetta, Read Watchmen, read X-Men, read Super Man, Read Spider-Man and Dare Devil, and tell me there isn’t something special there and I’ll disagree every single time. 

These characters matter. These stories matter. This man matters. And you read right, matters. Not mattered. Not in the past. Because stories penned by the guy will outlive all of us. Because with great power, we know comes great responsibility even if many who are in power have forgotten this. 

Above all else, Stan Lee was a kind guy. A sweetheart. Some people insist that nice guys never win… and then I see Stan and know how wrong they are. As a creator, I look up to the guy and some people might say that he was like a grandfather to them and some people might think that we lost a grandfather or grand uncle… but that’s not it… it’s worse than that. We lost a friend. A 95-year-old friend who died too soon… but man did he make our lives better. By being more Marvel than man perhaps… or by being a good example of what a good human can be. 

Damn are we going to miss you. 

Peace, love, and Excelsior, my friend. 


Monday, December 3, 2018

#Humans4Humans - Yabucoa edition

Although this blog post has been pending for a long while, I’m happy to have the time to write a few words and then let the pictures speak for themselves. Firstly, all the thanks to Zaida Burgos, my friend in Puerto Rico who helped organize this effort. After Hurricane María, some students in Yabucoa on the southeastern part of the Island needed help with school supplies. And I’m very thankful for all the people who cooperated and offered support via supplies or money. You can read more about it in the original blogpost I wrote


People have asked why I’m supporting smaller efforts and the reason is simple, I know who is involved and I know what gets done with the money and supplies. I won't say more than that now because this is a post to give thanks for the efforts made by so many people to help others. Several amazing friends raised their hands when I asked if anyone could help and it goes to show that a little help makes a big difference. I could mention every single person who offered help and sent supplies, but I suspect from how these people are that the main thing is that the kids got the help and I want you guys to know you made a huge difference. Zaida asked me to give thanks to everyone and below is the fruit of the labor. 

So without further ado, the kids from Yabucoa and the fruit of your generosity, my friends. 

Cheers and here’s to always being #Humans4Humans and helping each other out on this ride called life. 

Peace, love, and maki rolls



















Tuesday, November 27, 2018

#Humans4Humans: Giving for Given


As part of the launch of my 13th book, Given to Fly, I wanted to do something special as a thank you to my favorite band for the inspiration for the title of my new novel. For those who know me, it’s clear I’m a Pearl Jam fan through and through and to be honest, part of me wants my book to inspire people to listen to them more and if they have a show in your town, I hope my love for them inspires you to go. It’s truly one of the most amazing experiences in my life and I’m due a live show as soon as they’re near enough for me to go. 

That said, part of what I’m doing for my launch is taking any and all online proceeds from my books and donating to EB Awareness. I will admit that I only know about Epidermolysis Bullosa thanks to the efforts of the band and most notably Eddie Vedder, their lead singer and also a pretty kick as third guitarist, as well as a topnotch human. Pearl Jam has always been more than just a rock band, they’ve stood up to Ticket Master in the past, they encourage people to be activists, and they use their voice to try and make a difference. It’s something that I’ve always admired and do my best to do in my own right, even if it's a drastically smaller scale. Although far from a huge activist, I do my best to help in several causes, be it in support of Alzheimer’s Research, Cancer research, or through my #humans4humans efforts, which started with Puerto Rico in the #humans4PuertoRico efforts I did last year for Hurricane María.

For this year, I want to take any money I earn and donate to EB Awareness as my thanks to the band and all they do. Their music has helped shape my life and has influenced pretty much all aspects of my life, from how and what I write, to characters, to the music in my head when I’m on a wave, and beyond. So this is the least I can do, because I honestly believe we’re all in this together. Regardless of how effectively we segregate, differentiate, and insist on division, we are better together and if I can help a good cause, then why not? 

So from here until the end of the year, anything I sell via KDP or Draft 2 Digital goes to EB awareness, more than likely matching to a higher number. And this means every title I’ve released, not just Given to Fly. My thanks to everyone who has pre-ordered and anyone who has supported me throughout the years. It means the world and I thank you for letting me have the opportunity to offer at least a little help to good causes. 

If you want to learn more about EB, click here

If you’d like to make your own donation, click here

If you’d like to buy my books on Amazon, click here

Peace, love, and maki rolls.