An Interview with Author Chandler Bolt | #1Book1Life

I try not to play favorites. I promise. But sometimes you read a book, you see something different that people are doing and you can’t help but become an instant fan. So I admit it, this is one of my favorite interviews to date. Not only is Chandler Bolt way fun to chat with, but I love the message and idea behind the book he and his brother, Seth Bolt, wrote: Breaking Out of A Broken System. It’s a book to help people with life and 100% of the profits go to saving lives through Palmetto Medical Initiative. Do you see why I’m a fan? Plus, y’all, just read his bio.

Chandler was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug at an early age when he saw that he could make a lot more money working for himself. While his friends were off searching for jobs, he was out starting businesses.

He began early (age 11) by selling his personal snacks at scout camp and, by age 17 he hired his friends to help him operate his landscaping business that earned him $10,000 for college. All in all, by age 20 he started and ran over $320,000 in businesses.

During this time, he taught other college students to run their own successful businesses and received the “Entrepreneur of the Year” award from Young Entrepreneurs Across America.

Chandler now speaks to students across the country teaching them the lessons he’s learned as a young entrepreneur and encouraging them to take the entrepreneurial leap.

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We started off chatting about Breaking out of a Broken System (since it’s awesome), so I hope it spurs you to grab a copy.

I really enjoyed this book because it helps people live a better story (which I love) and I think part of that is living a bigger story than just for yourself. So, was the goal to donate from the beginning or did it emerge as you both wrote it?
This is about 15 things our parents taught us that we thought were pretty common knowledge, but when we got into the real world, we realized no one gets taught this stuff. So from day one, it wasn’t about us. It needed to be about other people. We weren’t doing it for money, so we thought hey, let’s donate all the money to charity. We can help other people.

Palmetto Medical Initiative was a natural fit [they were already connected through Seth and NEEDTOBREATHE]. The book is entrepreneurial, that’s a big focus of the book. Buy one book, save a life with a malaria pill. We really align with what Palmetto is doing. They set up self-sustaining clinics in Uganda and different places around the world. The clinics are able to run themselves once they get set up. The people who come to the facilities, you don’t pay if you don’t have the money and you pay if you do. They’re able to train Ugandan doctors, they’re really self-sustaining, which is awesome.

What do you hope people get from reading this book?
I think it’s really to give those 15 things. They were all life changing in one way or another for us. We really just want to give people confidence to break out of the broken system, to not be afraid to bash against the walls a little bit, to break out of the box that other people have put you in. Take the leap of faith and do things the way you want to do them. Don’t be so worried about what everyone else is thinking. So many people wake up when they’re 30 or 40 and look at the last 20 years of their life and say “wow, I went to a school I didn’t want to go to, got a job I didn’t want to work at and I’ve been doing that to pay off debt I didn’t want to have.” It’s a backwards path. A lot of the principles we teach in the book are to avoid that or correct that.

Y’all wrote the book in one week. How was it writing a book that fast (besides utter chaos ;)?
It was nuts! Especially because I don’t consider myself to be that good of a writer. Before this book, I hated writing. I would just stare at a blank screen and bang my head against the keyboard. In college, my friends would crank out a 3-5 page paper in an hour and I would stay up all night writing. We scheduled a week because of how busy our lives were. There was no way we could add this as one more thing and it would really drag on. This was our way of making it happen no matter what. We came in with a little bit of structure and then wrote our fingers off all week. With the help our very good editors, they made our third grade paper into something that people can actually read.

I saw there were printed copies. Is that something coming soon?
We’re going to release the hard copy of the book in the few weeks. We’re wrapping up the last few things for that. Those look awesome. They look really, really good. (Umm…I can’t wait to buy a hard copy!)

When did you decide to add author to your list of achievements?
I kind of fell into it and I’m doing it now, but it’s still a tough process.

Chandler also wrote The Productive Person Action Guide and I asked him to share a little bit about that too.
If you control your own schedule, its really helpful. It’s about managing your work-life balance. It’s not so much for those with a 9-5, but there’s some helpful stuff in there for that too. It’s a cool book. People can also go and get the audio version as well.

And now of course 4 Questions!

1. What is something about your life right now that you would never have imagined 5 years ago?
I’d never guess that I’d be living in San Diego and that I’d have two books published.

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
I would take bigger chances and I would put myself in a position to fail more. And maybe would have dropped out of school sooner. Maybe.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
Life’s been really good. I think it would be a combo of things. Last fall was really good for me. I was studying abroad in Europe, snowboarding all the time, traveling, we launched A Productive Person and that blew up. The happiest time was when my parents and brother came to Europe and traveled with me for nine days. That was so much fun. It was close to Christmas time, my parents were there and they had never been to Europe. It was really cool to think, here I am a 20 year old punk kid and I’ve already been able to travel the world, do crazy stuff and make that happen for them – get them out there and for us to have an amazing time with the family. That was a pretty cool feeling.

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
I would say that life is not the way it’s laid out for you. Question it and make your own path. Don’t just accept things at face value. Whatever you want to be, you can do it. I went to school in a small town. I wanted to do business and my only options were a financial advisor or doctor or accountant. I got into college and even outside of college, working around people, I thought “Wow, there’s actually a million things I can do on this earth to make money.” Making money is not a job, an occupation, a title. It’s convincing someone to pay you for something. I thought, I could do that. I could create something of value and convince someone to pay me for it. Once I had that realization, that was a total game changer. Now I don’t have to put myself in this box that everyone else was trying to put me in.

Thank you so much Chandler for taking time to join the blog – it was so great having you and I really enjoyed hearing part of your story!

Now, I need y’all to do two things ;). Go and buy Breaking Out of a Broken System. It’s $5.99 (Internet: I spend more at Chipotle). It makes all the difference. So please, join in! Second? Help spread the word about it!

This wouldn’t be a proper post without giving one away as well. How could I not? I’ve been to Africa and I can tell you it is full of amazing and beautiful people. More than any other post, I’d love for you to spread the word about this book and let’s reach the goal of 10,000 malaria pills.

As MJ once said (in the greatest short film of all time ;) ), “We are here to change the world! Gonna change the world! Hee!”

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Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis | Inklings Series Discussion

(The Inklings Series is a monthly series featuring the works of my two favorites, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, or books about them. But I don’t want it to be just me chatting about these books, so that’s where y’all come in! I’ll announce the book at least four weeks in advance of when the discussion post will go live, so you have plenty of time to get the book and read it. Then, the following month, I’ll post a discussion post and let the fun begin!!)

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“A violet yellow sunset was pouring through a rift in the clouds to westward, but straight ahead over the hills the sky was the colour of dark slate.”

How have I not read this until now? I feel like a fake fan! It was a fabulous read to kick off the series and I look forward to reading the other two in the series, but first to discuss!

The first book in C. S. Lewis’s acclaimed Space Trilogy, which continues with Perelandra and That Hideous Strength, Out of the Silent Planet begins the adventures of the remarkable Dr. Ransom. Here, that estimable man is abducted by a megalomaniacal physicist and his accomplice and taken via spaceship to the red planet of Malacandra. The two men are in need of a human sacrifice, and Dr. Ransom would seem to fit the bill. Once on the planet, however, Ransom eludes his captors, risking his life and his chances of returning to Earth, becoming a stranger in a land that is enchanting in its difference from Earth and instructive in its similarity. First published in 1943, Out of the Silent Planet remains a mysterious and suspenseful tour de force.

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Here’s a fun fact to kick things off (in case you didn’t catch last month’s read): Tolkien and Lewis once flipped a coin deciding who would write a time travel story and who would write an outer space novel. Thanks to that coin toss, Lewis wrote Out of the Silent Planet and Tolkien wrote The Notion Club Papers (a time travel set in the future of the 1980s :).

I wish I had a better way to say this, but the way C.S. Lewis paints a story is rad. I constantly found myself pausing during the book and just thinking how talented and gifted he was as a writer (and by my description of “rad,” you can see we’re on slightly different playing fields).

Like this:

“Pulsing with brightness as with some unbearable pain or pleasure, clustered in pathless and countless multitudes, dreamlike in clarity, blazing in perfect blackness, the stars seized all his attention, troubled him, excited him, and drew him up to a sitting position…

…now that the very name “Space” seemed a blasphemous libel for this empyrean ocean of radiance in which they swam.”

I mean….

Now onto the actual storyline :). Not only did we once again see the creative and imaginative genius of Lewis, but I found myself wishing all the creatures on the planet were real and that one day I could hang out with them (add that list to Narnia and Middle Earth). I loved what got Ransom to speak with Hyoi was he heard him speaking and his love of language took over, especially since both Tolkien and Lewis loved languages.

I laughed quite a bit too, like with this line: “For a moment Ransom found something reassuring in the thought that the sorns were shepherds. Then he remembered that the Cyclops in Homer plied the same trade.”

When Hyoi was shot and killed (which, by the way did not see coming :( ), I thought Lewis portrayed the aftermath in such a poignant way. How do you explain someone kills something for no other reason than they wanted to?

As I mentioned before, I haven’t read the rest of the series, but I hope there is more to come battling Weston and the forces behind him.

“…our cry is not merely “Hands off Malacandra.” The dangers to be feared are not planetary but cosmic, or at least solar, and they are not temporal but eternal. More than this it would be unwise to say.”

I also really enjoyed the Postscript and the letter between Ransom and the writer. Not only was it a creative way to gain more insight into the world Lewis created, but I like that we got more of what it was like when Ransom returned home.

Here’s some questions I was thinking about:

1. How the hey was Jack (aka Clive Staples aka my BFF) so creative?!
I mean, geez, save some genius for the rest of the world. Obviously this isn’t really a question I expect answered, but I still needed to get it off my chest :).

2. How does this rank against Lewis’ other fiction books for you?
It might be too early for me to make this statement (since I have to read the others), but I think Narnia still holds the top spot for Lewis’ fiction work. But please don’t take that to mean I didn’t enjoy this – I thoroughly did. It’s just hard to beat Aslan. :)

3. I love that Lewis used a sci-fi novel to take a look at humanity. Did that stick out to any of you?
It could be because I’ve been watching Breaking Bad and I love The Walking Dead, two shows that reveal both the bad and good of humanity in different/unique/dire circumstances, but that kept popping up. Take Weston. He’s arrogant and refuses to truly learn about the lives he encounters. He only sought power and dominance. Devine clearly didn’t grasp mo’ money, mo’ problems. Greed drove him, even when he encountered something no one else from planet Earth had. Then there was Ransom. Sweet Ransom. The complete opposite of the other two. I kinda think Lewis wrote pieces of his personality in Ransom’s character too.

4. Did you have a favorite of the Malacandra beings? Between the sorns, hrossa, Oyarsa and pfifltriggi?
I want to pick the pfifltriggi based solely on their name. I have no idea how to pronounce it, but it makes me laugh! This really is a tough one though, but I think I might have to go with the hrossa. They were the first we really encounter, so that probably has something to do with my bias.

What about you readers? As always, please share any other insights as well! Looking forward to reading what you thought of the book!

Where to buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christian Books

Love’s Fortune by Laura Frantz | Book Review

Guess what? It’s release day for Laura Frantz’ latest and final installment of the The Ballantyne Legacy series! Happy release day Laura! Now let’s dive right in shall we?

Sheltered since birth at her Kentucky home, Rowena Ballantyne has heard only whispered rumors of her grandfather Silas’s vast fortune and grand manor in Pennsylvania. When her father receives a rare letter summoning him to New Hope, Rowena makes the journey with him and quickly finds herself in a whole new world–filled with family members she’s never met, dances she’s never learned, and a new side to the father she thought she knew. As she struggles to fit in during their extended stay, she finds a friend in James Sackett, the most valued steamship pilot of the Ballantynes’ shipping line. Even with his help, Rowena feels she may never be comfortable in high society. Will she go her own way . . . to her peril?

With her signature attention to historical detail, Laura Frantz brings 1850s Pennsylvania alive with a tender story of loss, love, and loyalty. Fans will cheer for this final installment of the Ballatyne saga.

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As Frantz has the ability to do, she paints a story that flows with each page. As with the previous installments in the story, besides the romance of the main characters, it’s a story of family. I think that’s one thing I appreciated most about this novel. With grandparents, children and grandchildren, many take their own path, no matter what influence they had growing up. For better or worse, there’s ripples that span generations. I liked that Frantz portrayed a realistic picture of that.

Wren and James have a sweet story as well and I enjoyed seeing each character grow and change. I did think the ending came rather quickly and I wish there would have been a few more chapters to see that all pan out and not as rushed. It was a change of pace from the rest of the novel, so I don’t think I was prepared for it to end so quickly. I still enjoyed it though!

If you liked the first two, you’re a fan of Laura Frantz, enjoy a sweet romance or all of the above, then I think you’ll enjoy this final conclusion.

Have you read Laura’s books before? If so, what’s your favorite one?

(I was provided a copy of the book by Revell Books in exchange for my honest opinion)

Where to buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christian Books

I Have Some Questions Walking Dead. About 12 of Them.

Do you realize next month at this time we’ll be RECAPPING?! Ahhhhhhh! I can’t wait! Although I’m nervous too…I have a feeling someone major is going to die in the first half of this season. If it’s one of my favorites, expect my blog to be black the next day. I’ll be too emotionally distraught to compose a recap.

But let’s not think about that now because in my mind everyone I like survives and that’s all that matters.

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Now onto some questions. After four seasons, there’s some things I still wonder about. Are they important to the plot? Probably not, but I still need to know the answers. So wonderful writers of the show, please feel free to chime in :).

1. Who cuts the grass? My good friend first brought this up. And I agree. Unless there’s some grass-eating zombies we haven’t met yet, I’d really like to know.

2. How does Carol’s hair stay short? This especially came into light in Season 4 when Hersh *sniff* was rocking the pony tail, but Carol still had perfectly/cropped trimmed hair. I have yet to see a pair of scissors.

3. How come Daryl never runs out of arrows? Not that I’m complaining…

4. Why are there more psychotic people in the apocalypse than normal people? Why can’t we all just get along? Granted there wouldn’t be much of a show, but still. How about instead of eating each other, we work as a team?

5. Why aren’t there zombie animals?

6. Why don’t folks go Robin Hood Prince of Thieves style and build a community in the trees? I have yet to see a walker climb things.

7. Is the whole world zombied-out or is America the only lucky one? I’m assuming it’s the world, otherwise we have some pretty jacked up allies and neighbors.

8. Can we chat about the essentials of toothpaste and other I-don’t-want-to-live-if-I-don’t-have-these type toiletries? Please tell me they haven’t run out.

9. Can we discuss the mullet?

10. Did I miss the wedding? Or do Glenn and Maggie just call each other husband and wife because instead of planning a wedding they had to escape crazy town led by the Gov?

11. Will all the secrets of the season 4 all hit the fan for season 5? I.E. Carol’s murderous ways, Tara’s connection to Mr. Looney, etc.

12. DOES DARYL DIE? I NEED TO KNOW.

I had to toss that last one in, even if I know no answer will be given.

Alright fellow fans, how excited are you? Any other random things you’ve noticed and have questions about? I’d love for you to join in!

October Inklings Series Read | The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

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(The Inklings Series is a monthly series featuring the works of my two favorites, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, or books about them. But I don’t want it to be just me chatting about these books, so that’s where y’all come in! I’ll announce the book at least four weeks in advance of when the discussion post will go live, so you have plenty of time to get the book and read it. Then, the following month, I’ll post a discussion post and let the fun begin!!)

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Have I read The Hobbit for the blog? Yes, but that was many moons ago and before this series. I’ll use an excuse to give people a reason to read it. Plus the second movie is coming out soon and I needed an excuse to buy another copy of the book and re-read it again. One can never have too many editions of Tolkien or Lewis. Tis a fact. Plus, I’m always in the mood to discuss Hobbits, dragons and such!

J.R.R. Tolkien’s own description for the original edition: “If you care for journeys there and back, out of the comfortable Western world, over the edge of the Wild, and home again, and can take an interest in a humble hero (blessed with a little wisdom and a little courage and considerable good luck), here is a record of such a journey and such a traveler. The period is the ancient time between the age of Faerie and the dominion of men, when the famous forest of Mirkwood was still standing, and the mountains were full of danger. In following the path of this humble adventurer, you will learn by the way (as he did) — if you do not already know all about these things — much about trolls, goblins, dwarves, and elves, and get some glimpses into the history and politics of a neglected but important period. For Mr. Bilbo Baggins visited various notable persons; conversed with the dragon, Smaug the Magnificent; and was present, rather unwillingly, at the Battle of the Five Armies. This is all the more remarkable, since he was a hobbit. Hobbits have hitherto been passed over in history and legend, perhaps because they as a rule preferred comfort to excitement. But this account, based on his personal memoirs, of the one exciting year in the otherwise quiet life of Mr. Baggins will give you a fair idea of the estimable people now (it is said) becoming rather rare. They do not like noise.”

Where to buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | CBD.com

Discussion date: October 15, 2014

Previous books discussed

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis | May 21, 2014

The Children of Húrin by J. R. R. Tolkien | June 18, 2014

Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis | July 16, 2014

Tolkien and C. S. Lewis: The Gift of a Friendship by Colin Duriez | August 20, 2104