Bestselling author Jeff Rivera is re-launching his first novel, Forever My Lady, this week at Amazon. To help you get to know Jeff, he has written the following blog post about his journey from childhood poverty to a successful writing career.
Dio Rodriguez grew up on the streets and knew all too well the hard, cool feeling of the barrel of a gun tucked down the back of his jeans. But his hard exterior softened when he met Jennifer. Jennifer understands Dio like no one else and makes him want to be a better man. Suddenly a drive-by shooting lands Dio in a prison boot camp and sends Jennifer to the hospital. When Dio learns that Jennifer is pregnant, he realizes that he must find a way to turn his life around and return to his lady. But can trainee Rodriguez get his act together among the hardcases in prison? And will Jennifer be waiting for him if and when he does?
I think about this moment, where I am and where I’ve come from. I’m at a crossroads – we always are, in one way or another. When I began my trek as a professional writer, I didn’t want rejection so I decided to self-publish my novel, Forever My Lady, and I didn’t have any money, really. I barely scraped together about $200 to print the first books, so the only thing I had going for me was the passion to tell this story I just had to tell. I believe that when you want something bad enough, and you’re willing to work toward it, anything is possible. I know you’ve probably heard that before, but I’m living proof of it.
When I was 19 years old, we were homeless living in our car and the only thing that kept me going was my writing. It was then, when I would go into the public library, that I wouldn’t have to think about how bad life had been. I didn’t have to think about how embarrassing it was to ask McDonald’s if they had any food they were throwing out or go into the grocery store and hope to God they had some samples to eat. It was then, in that moment, that I could get lost in another world and although I felt like I had no control over my life at that time, in that moment, in that story, I could control things. I didn’t have to be a victim. I could conquer all.
That’s why I wanted to write this novel, Forever My Lady, to take people on an emotional journey they could relate to. To put things in it that I’d been through in hopes that other people could connect with me. Having been an extremely lonely teen growing up, writing was my way of hoping to connect to people heart to heart. That’s why it was so important for me to re-launch Forever My Lady, with the hope that it would connect to a whole new generation of people.
Even when people told me to give up, move on, that “Hispanics don’t read books,” that I was a dreamer and worse, when they talked about me behind my back, I kept clinging to the dream that one day people would “get” this story and it would touch hearts.
I hope that if you haven’t read this novel it will do exactly that – that it will touch your heart and you can get to know a little bit about me through these characters, and maybe even get to know a little bit more about yourself.
Jeff Rivera is an author and inspirational media personality. He has appeared on national television, radio and print in such outlets as Forbes.com, The Boston Globe, Publishers Weekly, Right On! Magazine, Rotarian Magazine, TMZ, WABC, WNBC, WCBS, SITV, American Latino and NPR. His humble beginnings of living in American poverty on welfare and food stamps as
the child of a single mother, to his days living in his car and final rise to becoming a published author, journalist and media personality have inspired many.