Monday, December 18, 2017

Meet Michael Sheahan, Author and NYPD Detective

Michael Sheahan is a highly decorated retired NYPD Detective from the NYPD/FBI Joint Federal Task Force. Michael is also an award winning Childrens book author, Singer-Songwriter, producer and Publisher. Many years ago he formed a conglomerate of companies under Finest Worldwide Entertainment (Finest Music, Finest Books, Finest Media, Fine St Records & Finest Worldwide Management Group). Michael created a character named Mr. Holidays, and released his first book with a musical CD & Dance instructional DVD titled “Mr. Holidays Presents The Roof Top Hop” It won three of the biggest awards in the children’s book industry for Best Holiday Book, Best Holiday book with music/Theatrical, and the prestigious Independent Books Publishers award.

Michael hopes he can donate over 100,000 books and ship them in time for Christmas 2017. He titled this campaign "The Gift Keeps Giving" cause he feels it was a gift from above that inspired him to create Mr. Holidays. A gift of being honored with three awards for his creation, and a gift to be able to pay it forward to bring a smile to children's faces this Christmas 2017 Holiday Season.

1. How did you come up with the character of Mr. Holidays, and what would you most like our readers to know about him?

I created Mr. Holidays to be a safe keeper of all the holidays in the calendar year. To promote the old traditions as well as create new fun ways to celebrate with family and friends.

2. What would you like people to know about you and your books?

I think your readers should know that deep down inside I’m still a big kid, and I have always loved and cherished sharing the holidays with family and friends. It was always a time in my house growing up where we just slowed down enough to continue the family traditions to spend, share and enjoy quality time with each other making new memories each and every year. Christmas wasn’t a day when I was a child. It was at least two weeks or more spread out visiting friends and family. It kind of kicked off a week after Thanksgiving. I think it’s such an important time especially for the children to be in the middle of the adults conversation with their grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, siblings, cousins and friends sharing and learning the family traditions. Just hearing the stories and old tales that were passed down from generation to generation. I feel it’s so important to their upbringing knowing that they have the support and a solid foundation helping them feel secure and loved.

3. Would you tell us a little more about how you were inspired to create Mr. Holidays?

I was inspired to create Mr. Holidays through several experiences with my own children and their friends. On one occasion we had a birthday party for our youngest child who at the time just turned six or seven. We had several friends over and had a really enjoyable day playing games and having pizza and all sorts of goodies for desert. By the end of the evening the children were settling down waiting to be picked up by their parents. I pulled out my guitar and we had a sing-along. After several songs that were known by the children I started singing a few Christmas songs because it was only a few weeks away. While every one was singing one child pipes up to all of our surprise that he does not believe in Santa. I looked at my sons face expressing a shocked questionable look, and I quickly replied well that’s fine that you don’t believe in Santa, but in this house we love Santa.

When all the children left and my little guy went to bed I asked my wife how could that little child already not believe in Santa…He’s so young? My wife replied "for some people Christmas is just another day. With both parents working full time it’s not easy..."

Thanks, Michael!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Meet Jan Mayfield, Teacher

From teacher to teacher. Jan has traveled full circle after battling a medical condition. She now teachers others how to live with theirs. Empowering change in business and personal lives is her passion as she watches how others grow with her guidance. Learn more by visiting and

1. What are the Universal Energies, and could you tell us a little bit about their importance in your life?

I believe the Universal Energies are all around us and we can connect to them to help us in this life. Universal Energies will include; Angles, other etherical beings… god; people have their own names and beliefs they are all in the energy.

Their importance to me, is an amazing source of life guidance, wisdom and signposts for our direction.

2. What is the Zoetic Soul, and what inspired you to write a book on this topic?

Zoetic means pertaining to life and my book is essentially about the soul. Therefore, the title seemed appropriate, Zoetic Soul. (Pertaining to the life of the soul).

My inspirations were my grandmother and my love for all things universal. Giving people different ways of thinking to those they have been conditioned to think by. To change thought patterns to release their perfect vision for their own life. Observing change in people is, well, I have shed many tears as I see people grow beyond their original thoughts. Changing the flow of energy to create new. The point is they only make a tiny change to begin with, what follows is an eruption of ideas ready to put into motion. That happiness which shines from makes my work complete.

Zoetic Soul, looks at my life just before writing, and 2 years of ‘coincidences’. Many hours of trance work gave me the dialogue of the soul who had passed over.

A whole chapter about suicide, this again is a different way to look at this way of passing and has helped so many people who have lost someone they love to suicide.

Synchronicities in life are given for a reason, examples and true-life experiences show you how and why they come into your life. More importantly you are shown how to deal with and move on from each experience.

Reading Zoetic Soul will give you a unique experience as I know of no other book like this.

3. How have your own life experiences inspired you to help others?

Going through and coming out the other side of Depression, suicidal thoughts and learning to live with Fibromyalgia have given me so many tools to share with others.

This inspires me as I know others don’t have to be in that state of existence, they can LIVE their life.

Being empathic to my own needs created a universal insight, wisdom and energy which I pass on to others.

4. What are some of the ways that you connect with and help other people through your work?

Over the years many people have connected with me through the Psychic Medium work. However, they soon realise my work is not that of a “fortune teller” as we are often described.

Again, and again I hear people say, “I never thought of it in that way.”

They then go on to think about their life and problems in a different way. Slowly releasing their conditioning.

My intuition is strong and can pick up easily what people are going through, who connects to them from the other-side, and their future possibilities.

Using Internet connections to speak to people all over the world allows me to spread the message I am here to deliver/teach.

People may come to me when someone has passed over.

People are often stuck in their personal or business life.

People may just need that shift in their vision of their own life.

People will sign up for a 6/12 month programme to get them on track with a new project or life experience.

People may have an hour consultation co-creating purpose.

5. Do you have any advice for other people who want to become more aware of their own intuitive abilities?

To open up your intuitive abilities often requires you to be still, silent and allow the forces that be to communicate with you. Ask and you shall be given.

Many people hold on to so much from their past which no longer serves them. To these people I would say let go forever and naturally you will begin to see changes in perception.

ALWAYS be your own unique self and allow all that is within you to shine. Go with your inner guide, that feeling in your gut that says all is well or gives an indication of a certain answer.

No one can give you intuition it is already there ready for you to access it.

Be guided and allow guidance.

Thanks, Jan!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Meet Tony Overbay, Therapist and Coach

Tony Overbay is a licensed marriage and family therapist, humor columnist, motivational speaker, and certified Mindful Habit Coach. Tony is the host of the popular podcast The Virtual Couch as well as the creator of The Path Back, an online recovery program for pornography addiction and compulsive sexual behavior. Listen to Tony's latest podcasts and learn more about his work by visiting

1. What inspired you to become a therapist?

I spent 10 years in the computer software industry because I was offered a job with a startup right out of college. My bachelors degree was in mass communications, but I minored in Psychology. I enjoy psychology but wasn't clear on what a career in psychology looked like at that time, so I took the job in front of me and moved forward. I enjoyed high tech, but I wasn't passionate about it. I found myself routinely being the one who people turned to to solve problems in the workplace, and there were times where I felt like I had missed my calling. Shortly after the boom and the market collapse, I started my own computer hardware company, and I was sued by larger companies trying to get me out of the industry a couple of times and I knew I needed to pursue a different career path. At that point, I truly did feel called to go back and get my masters in counseling, I felt inspired to work with men, to help them become better husbands and fathers. I like to say that once I did start my practice, I realized not a lot of men come to therapy on their own, so I found myself doing a lot of work with pornography addiction, which is a very big problem with men, and some women, and I also started doing a lot of couples therapy. Because of my work with pornography addiction, I also started an online recovery program called “The Path Back” which helps men and women with tools to overcome pornography addiction and compulsive sexual behavior. You can find out more information at

2. What are your favorite parts of your work?

I know it can sound cliched, but helping people break out of negative patterns, helping people identify and then achieve goals that they either never knew existed inside of them, or that they had given up on. I love watching somebody come to me with an addiction, for example, going minute by minute to not give in, to get to a place where the addiction is no longer running their life. I started doing a lot of couples counseling a few years ago, and I am very passionate about a modality called EFT (Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy): it changes lives, it gives couples skills they didn't know were even available, and it helps people get to places in their marriage that they thought were only seen in movies. And a quick side note, I love when somebody comes into my office and opens up about a struggle for the first time in their lives--I love seeing the relief of hearing their worst fears normalized, and then seeing them slowly have hope, and gain momentum as they overcome their issues.

3. How did you get the idea to do The Virtual Couch podcast?

I'm an ultra runner, that's somebody who specializes on running races LONGER than the marathon distance of 26.2 miles. I've run around 50 regular marathons, including the Boston Marathon, but then I got into ultra running and I've run nearly 100 ultra marathons including a dozen runs of over 100 miles. That requires A LOT of training, and I've been running 6-days-a-week for over 20 years--that's a lot of time on the road, and I found podcasts over a decade ago and I've listened to thousands of podcasts over the years. I love the medium, and I've always wanted to do a podcast. The more time I spent in my therapist chair, the more things I began to notice that I wanted to share to as many people as possible that I felt like could help people live better lives. My first few podcasts have dealt with how to talk to teenagers, how to get "unstuck," tips on resolving anger, making new habits, and I have so many more I can't wait to record.

4. How do you choose the guests/topics to feature on your podcast?

That's a great question. In the months leading up to the launch of the Virtual Couch podcast, I made a list of topics and colleagues that I would love to interview, and I started to reach out to people to see if they'd be interested in coming on my podcast...but I didn't have a podcast to show them so I feel like a lot of people didn't seem too interested, or they weren't familiar with podcasting in general, but once the podcast launched, and especially as it has immediately shot up the charts on iTunes, people have been more receptive. My first three interviews were so much fun, and easier to book than I anticipated. Tina Fuller, author of the book, It's My Turn, about growing up with a narcissistic mother, Paul Gilmartin, host of the incredibly popular podcast The Mental Illness Happy Hour, and Eriz Schranz, host of the chart-topping Ultrarunnerpodcast, were all immediately responsive and willing to come on the show, and that gave me some legitimacy, so now I have a lot of interest from therapists, and authors. I've began to be contacted by publicists for a couple of authors who would like to come on and talk about a book about mental health that they've written. I'm so excited to bring these interviews to The Virtual Couch.

5. What's your advice to others who want to start a podcast, and what else would you like readers to know about you and your work?

Haha! Don't go out and buy a bunch of equipment that you ASSUME you'll need. I have a pretty nice mixing board that I don't need and a couple of high-end microphones, only one of which I need to record a nice sounding show. There is SO MUCH information about what it takes to start a podcast on the internet, YouTube, etc., so just spend some time researching how to put one together, but then go for it!

I would just love to plug my podcast, The Virtual Couch, if you have an iPhone go find the Podcast app, it comes pre-installed, and search for The Virtual Couch, please hit the subscribe button, listen to an episode or two and if you like it, I'd be grateful for a nice rating and maybe even a review, and feel free to share any episodes that you found helpful on social media. If you aren't an Apple user, you can find the podcast on any podcasting app for android, there are quite a few or go to (that's a real domain ending!) and the shows are there. Scroll down to the bottom and send me a question you’d like answered on the show, and if you feel inclined please consider making a donation to help with the cost of hosting and producing the podcast. And if you, or anyone you know, is struggling with pornography addiction or compulsive sexual behavior PLEASE visit and take a look at my program, it can really help give you the life you always dreamed up.

Thanks for interview and for your time. Take care!

Thanks, Tony!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Meet Sheldon Charles, Author

Sheldon Charles is the author of From Within the Firebird's Nest. He lives in Michigan, but his work is informed by years of international work and travel. He is a decorated Air Force veteran who was later hired by the Department of Defense to be the civilian Director of Information Operations for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Learn more about Sheldon Charles and his work by visiting

1. What gave you the idea for From Within the Firebird's Nest?

In the beginning, I was mapping out the story of a young Arab man who was misled into jihadism by a manipulative teacher when I read an article about numbers stations. The stations gave me a method for Abdul-Malik Kaseem, the young man, to gain access to something much more substantial and catastrophic than anyone could have expected. Bringing in two characters from my earlier books, Evan Davis and Maksim Bondreovich, I was able to continue their good guy versus bad guy dynamic, weaving them into Abi's story. As the story began to develop, I included more and more things from current and recent history to give the story depth and the plausibility needed for a reader to more thoroughly enjoy it.

2. How has your perspective as someone who has served in the military and worked for the Dept of Defense influenced your work as a novelist?

The wealth and depth of experience that can occur over a military career provide realism and multiplicity unavailable elsewhere. As a result of that path, every geographic location used in every book I've written thus far, are places where I've been. When I was in Berlin, I went to the Glienicker Brücke (Bridge of Spies) at the height of the Cold War in the early 80s. If you did not know the history of the bridge, it might seem nondescript and unimportant--it was the events that occurred there that make it memorable. Likewise, the people that I have met, befriended, and worked with from many different cultures tend to show up in my book. This makes the characters fully developed rather than stereotypes or presumed personas.

I once heard a person saying that the draft forced people from many different regions, wealth levels, and backgrounds to meet and work with each other in a way nothing else in American society does. I have to agree with that. Unlike where you live or work--which might be determined by your geography, or what school you attend--which might be determined by wealth. Service in uniform and with the federal government forces a uniting with people who were unlike you but with a common goal to serve the public good--and many times in a location far, far away from home. The job takes people to unfamiliar situations and causes them to overcome their own assumptions and prejudices based on an actuality they are experiencing. Nothing could be better to unite the people of the diverse country such as the United States.

3. What were the most challenging aspects of writing your latest novel?

Making sure that everything worked. When I read a book that takes me on a journey into something I'm unfamiliar with or provides me with clues that can be sorted out or examined, I expect those things to be real and to work. In all of my books, I aim to ensure that everything within the story is as close to real as possible. All of the codes listed in the book work, the descriptions on how you could decrypt a message that was encrypted using a book also work. It may seem trivial, but to some readers, it is essential because they may want to try to decrypt the codes themselves. I realize that such things are not universal, I even got into a discussion about it with my editor, but for that one reader, they will find that extra bit of realism it makes them enjoy the book even more.

On a less intricate level, I also make the locations and scenery as factual as possible. In the book when Dieter goes to visit Fyodor in Munich, the description of his journey to the restaurant is entirely accurate--a reader could duplicate that trip by getting on the trains and subways mentioned and make the same exact journey. This may not matter to some readers, but if you had made that journey yourself you would expect it to be described accurately in the book or the book would lose plausibility.

4. How have readers been responding to the novel so far?

At this point, the book has only been out a month, so I am just starting to get feedback on what people think, and I am very flattered by the reception that the book has been getting. It has been well received overall, and in addition to good reviews, I am getting some surprising queries via email about topics I did not expect.

I have had readers write me about some of the more minor points in the book that I felt were an interesting asides when written, like Ashely's family heritage. Now I know they were appreciated; nothing could be more complimentary. I have also gotten queries about the fate of characters beyond the book and if I plan on bringing them back in the next "Evan Davis Tale." For some yes, for others no; but to hear that I have created a character worthy of interest or concern does make me feel a great sense of satisfaction.

I have also heard from readers who have their own ideas about the directions I should have taken the story. I see those as complimentary too--it means I created a story that the reader delved into so deeply they started to ponder the world I created. Some of my favorite books are those that I spent time thinking about how I might have changed things within the story.

5. What else would you like readers to know about you and your work?

My function is to be a storyteller--to take the reader on an enjoyable journey. I am not here to present you a particular political narrative or to examine social issues unless they relate to the story that I'm telling. I think there are plenty of authors out there who write books with an agenda or to support a particular narrative. You will not find that in my books. What you will see, is an exciting story with characters that you can relate to and enjoy as an escapist form of entertainment. To me, that is why you pick up a work of fiction in the first place.

Thanks, Sheldon!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Meet Steven LaVey, Author

Steven LaVey is a writer from Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East of England. He writes autobiographical novels and surreal short stories. He has written three books: Three Leaves, Shorts, and The Ugly Spirit.

To learn more about Steven and his work, check out and visit his author page on Facebook.

1. Why did you choose autobiographical fiction rather than memoir in writing Three Leaves?

I've chosen to write autobiographical fiction over writing memoirs because I feel that the writing process of autobiographical fiction allows me to have more creativity over the structure, events, and characters involved. By that, I mean that instead of aiming for a direct, linear version of events, I can meld, merge, and amalgamate the timeline, characters, and scenes. It also allows me to exaggerate, and even make things up, if I feel that by doing so it will potentially improve the story.

2. Who are some authors of the past and present day whose work inspires you? Alan Bennett came to mind for me because of his autobiographical work in different genres, but it seems like your work has more of an edge to it. 

While there are many influences on my writing, the main influence, both philosophically and stylistically, would be Henry Miller. What Miller did was to make art out of his own life, to bend it, manipulate it, and turn it into a tall, amusing, sexual, and philosophical tale. However, it is not just the content or philosophy of Miller’s writing that I love; it is the rhythm, poetry, and language, which he uses to express his ideas. While he dips in and out of the Miller "voice," in my opinion he only really nails it consistently in his first published novel, Tropic of Cancer. What I love about TOC is the immediacy of the language Miller uses; it is the rawness, and the almost spiritual excitement at the situations he finds himself in. Coming back to the first question, I would add that the immediacy of Miller's work inspired me to write autobiographical fiction. It is why I wrote Three Leaves in such a way, transferring myself back into my nineteen (to twenty-three) year old frame of mind, and writing as if I were telling the narrative as it happened, instead of in a retrospective memoir.

3. In writing with so much honesty, do you ever come up against things you have to really fight to get onto the page? 

Absolutely, but not so much for the actions or words of my own character, but for anyone else who I have fictionalized. As I am attempting to use real individuals (albeit with fake names) as the basis for my characters, my concerns are that should any of those individuals read my work and discover that they are involved, they may think that I have not portrayed them correctly. This is a particular concern when it comes to family members.

4. What motivates you to keep writing? Do you maintain a schedule or do anything else that keeps you focused on your work?

For me, writing is like breathing, eating, or sleeping; it's natural and something I've always done. There is no motivation--I either write or die. However, when I plan to write something of a certain length, like I did with Three Leaves and The Ugly Spirit, I plan my work out scene-by-scene and then write the novel from the notes. Presently, I am working to a slightly different method (which I'm keeping secret) for my next book, which I hope to publish in late 2018 or early 2019.

5. What would you like readers to know about your latest book?

I felt like I went through an enormous metamorphosis while writing Three Leaves. The process of digging about in my brain to remember all the things that happened ultimately got me thinking (a lot more than usual) about my behavior at the time. What I would like anyone thinking of reading Three Leaves to know is that it is about a real individual; someone who is idiotic, insecure, hopeless, embarrassing, angry, sad, depressed, lost, addicted, manic, loving, kind, spiritual, honest, violent, and all the other endless traits that make people what they are; whole, complex, and not mere stereotypes of "good" and "evil."

Thanks, Steven!