Joining us today is Tal Yanai, author of Life Is Not a Candy Store, It’s the Way to the Candy Store: A Spiritual Guide to the Road of Life for Teens.
Thank you for joining us today, Tal Yanai. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?
I was born In Israel forty-three-years ago. As a struggling student, I was considered a troublemaker in school. In tenth grade I was diagnosed with dyslexia, which explained my learning difficulties but it did little to ease my frustration with myself and my everyday struggles. I had no mentors I could confide in or look up to. At the age of twenty-three, after moving to the U.S., I was inspirited and started on a spiritual path, which has led me to align myself with my soul’s essence and mission.
For two years I worked as an historical analyst at the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, established by Steven Spielberg. As part of my job, I listened every day to testimonies of Holocaust survivors. Many were children or teenagers during WWII and their stories greatly influenced my decision to become involved with educating youth, and I proceeded to get a Teaching Credential in Social Studies.
Bringing two wonderful children into the world gave me a new sense of urgency to share and teach everything I learned about God and spirituality. Today, I teach Hebrew and Judaic Studies in Temple Beth Hillel in Valley Village, CA, while continuing my quest to explore the road of life and achieve my full potential as a spiritual teacher. WritingLife Is Not a Candy Store, It’s the Way to the Candy Store (the first in many books to come) was a natural step in this direction.
When did you first get bit by the writing bug?
Eighteen years ago, my heart opened to the world where God, love and my soul co-exist in harmony. For the first time in my life I felt emotional and spiritual freedom. It was then that I knew I wanted to tell my story; however, it was only two years ago that I decided to reach an audience by writing a book, sharing my knowledge with others.
Why did you decide to write stories for the How-to/Parenting market?
Growing up, I lacked important tools to overcome frustration, pain and the feelings I was trapped. Life Is Not a Candy Store is an attempt to provide those tools to teens facing the same situations I faced. I feel that by helping others to find meaning and a purpose for the life they live, I am able to use my painful experience for the good of society.
What is your favorite part of writing for this group? What is the greatest challenge?
I am on a journey of rediscovering God and rediscovering myself. When I come across something meaningful, I write about it and share it with the readers. So in a way, my writing is a “journey journal”. This is an exciting journey, and this is what I like most about writing. In addition, there is nothing more rewarding than hearing from readers how Life Is Not a Candy Store helped them in their lives.
The greatest challenge in writing for teens is to be able to know what is in their heads, what bother them, so I will be able to communicate with them effectively.
Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?
Right know I am writing two new books. One is the second in the series of is Life Is Not a Candy Store: It’s the Way to the Candy Store. If the first one is for teens, this one will be for young adults and will look at ways spirituality can help dealing with issues YA face.
I am also in the process of writing another book for teens. This one will deal with the subject of happiness and will help teens to find ways of becoming happier.
What inspired you to write it?
What inspired this book is seeing the pain we cause each other when we act in selfish ways, not thinking about the consequences to others and ourselves. This is true for people in all ages, but as a father and as a teacher it was important for me to pass my message to teens first. And there is another reason I decided to write this book; when I was a teen, I felt frustrated and trapped. But after finding the road to an emotional and spiritual freedom, I decided to “share the news” with teens who feel the same way I felt.
Where can readers purchase a copy?
Readers can purchase a copy of Life Is Not a Candy Store on my website, www.talyanai.com. They can also go to Amazon, Barnes and Nobles on line, as well as many others online book stores.
Where else can readers find you online?
They can also visit my blog, Road Signs at www.talroadsigns.com.
What is up next for you?
In addition to being a guest on some wonderful blogs such as yours, I’m also doing radio interviews. My hope is that as the book will continue to do well, I will be invited to speak with teens about the issues I raised in the book. And to keep things interesting, I’m in the process of writing two new books.
Do you have anything else to add?
Like anything in life, we give our writing a meaning and a purpose. If we like it or not, we create every moment of every day, so don’t be afraid to create, love, weep, and laugh. And do it for the love you have in your heart for God, yourself and everything else which is life.
Thank you for spending time with us today, Tal. We wish you the best.
Book Lovers Blog Hop:
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Book Giveaway Rules:
- Join the Book Lovers Blog Hop. (One entry)
· Follow the World of Ink Tours and leave a comment per tour blog stop. (must leave a real comment about the author, tour or book. Saying “this is cool” or “I love your book” will not count.) Make sure to include your safe email so we can contact you if you are the winner. Example: vsgrenier AT storiesforchildrenpublishing DOT com. (One bonus entry per blog stop)
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Follow the rest of Tal’s tour at:
BiblioReads.com – Book Review & Giveaway
The Book Faery Reviews – Spotlight
Book Snatchers – Book Review & Giveaway