Monday, May 5, 2014

Interview with Mario Zeleny, author of 'Ritual Tea: How the 9 Secrets of Tea Can Transform Your Life'

Mario Zeleny – Lover of all things tea.  Mario spent 15 years in healthcare and social services in clinical and administrative roles that offered coaching to employees and volunteers.  An artist and entrepreneur from an early age, Mario now brings his love of writing, art, spirit, coaching and ritual together online at his creative living site, Sancti Spiritus and also from his transformational art site, Art Spellz. Mario looks forward to completing his education with Mentor Coach and St. Clement Seminary. He currently resides in Sacramento with his husband of 8 years, their children and their domestic sovereign, a pug named Brigit.

His latest book is the self-help inspirational, Ritual Tea: How the 9 Secrets of Tea Can Transform Your Life.

Can you tell us what your book is about?

My book is about the transformational power of tea.  Tea has an incredible,
unusual and sacred history which included changing people’s lives; some lives were not always changed for the better. But for those who are open, tea can change your life in wondrous ways. 

Most folks believe you have to be a monk or a tea master to practice a tea ritual; I wanted to confront that mistaken belief and make tea a transformational practice approachable by anyone.  My book gives people the help to get started.  For those who drink tea, I hope this book revives their ritual.

Why did you write your book?

I was having a Mad Hatter Tea Party on my blog in July of last year and decided I wanted to offer something valuable to my partiers.  So, I started writing this little e-book on tea. The partiers were going to be gifted the book because they signed up for my email list.  But, they never got the book because it kept growing and became a “real” book!

It’s been a real learning experience and I loved every minute of it… even the hair pulling when converting for print and Kindle.  Just the other day, I contact the people who signed up for that little e-book from the tea party and they are getting a paperback mailed to them… 9 months later!

Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?

 I rarely suffer from “Writer’s block”.  I suffer from an onslaught of too many creative directions, which causes me to freeze, shut down or go on overload.  At that point, I make notes of all that I am considering and then go do something else like work on my art, take a shower, clean, or drive.

I have to keep a notebook with me because I usually get my answers.

Which holiday is your favorite and why?

 My favorite holiday is Halloween.  My birthday is at the end of October.  When I was 7 my mother planned a party for me and wouldn’t tell me a thing.  It was a
very magical Halloween party with witches (my sister and her friend), bubbling cauldrons, dancing skeletons (puppeteer), friends and lot of spooky fun.

What do you like to do for fun?

 Well, for me life is fun.  There are also many kinds of fun.  Art and design are my fun!  Being an author, an artist and a distance coach keeps me at home a lot, so getting out of the house to go out to dinner, see a play or tour a town are things I really enjoy.  I am also a very big movie watcher.  We have 110 inch screen at home, so movies frequent treats.

What kind of advice would you give other non-fiction authors?

Advice that I would give authors for promotion would be NOT to invest solely in one promotional idea.  Develop multi-layered avenues of promotion.  It should all be interconnected somehow.  The second thing I would suggest is to begin planning 6 months before the release and do your homework to make sure that what you are investing in (time and money) is worth it for you to reach your tribe.  Take a hard honest look at it 3 months and then again at 6 weeks by putting every step and what each step requires on a timeline.  Be prepared to make adjustments.

1# Giveaway
I am running a month long HUGE Giveaway package plus 3 books and tea giveaways. The grand prize is: $100 visa, gift certificate to a free class $60 or less, a Ritual Tea book, a beautiful tea set, a collection of teas, a canvas gallery wrapped print, and a canvas tea inspired tote from Trader Joes!

Each week, I will add the bloggers who are featuring me on my tour on that day to the giveaway point entries. What that means is the bloggers featuring me that week will also be featured on my giveaway that week on my sites to drive some traffic to them as well.

To enter, click link below:

#2 Giveaway

 I am running another huge giveaway from May 1- 15.  The Prizes are: $100 visa gift card, certificate to a free class $60 or less, a Ritual Tea Book, an canvas gallery wrapped print, Numi's Organic Tea Blending Set and a Spa Bath Package.  

To enter, click below:

#3 Giveaway

This giveaway also runs from May 1-15.  Prizes are: $25 visa giftcard, butterfly teacup gallon planter, Biscotti, lemonbar and brownie mix, a Ritual Tea book, two packages of Sancti Spiritus Tea, a vintage tea inspired canvas tote from Trader Joes, and a $60 gift certificate for a free class from Art Spellz... all totalling $155!

To enter click below:

#4 Book on Sale

The KINDLE version of the book will be on sale all month long at Amazon starting on May 5th for $.99!!!

The paperback is also on sale at my shop only for $7.49 which includes FREE TEA and an exclusive Tea Coupon!

#5 Giveaway

There are 2 more giveaways during the month of May-- the 12th and 22.  I will send code, pictures and links the second week in May!

Please feel free to enter all the giveaways!!!

Thank you!!!


Coach Z said...

Thank you for featuring my interview and book on your blog! A link to this post has been added to my giveaway and those who choose it need to come visit you and leave a comment to earn 4 points!!!

Thank you for being a part of my launch and release celebration.


Mario Zeleny

Beanybopp said...

I have heard how "powerful" tea is but since I never drank it, I never gave it a second thought. I am now SLOWLY getting into teas...more so decaf than anything since I dont drink caffeinated drinks on a daily or even monthly basis. My husband is a huge tea drinker and I would love to get your book for the both of us...I would love to learn more about teas and Im sure my husband would be interested also.

Nicole Carter Weasley said...

Your fave holiday is Halloween! Mine too!

Lynda Del said...

Halloween is your favorite holiday and is a favorite of mine, too! My birthday is on the 27th, My dad's is the 17th Aaand my late grandma's B-day was ON Halloween! Aren't we October babies the BEST! :D

Unknown said...

I love tea....its seems magical some how. Very relaxing and soothing for me.

alona y said...

A mad hatter tea party is such a good idea! Sounds like fun. I also liked the distinction you made between writers block and experiencing a creative onslaught!

Linda Meyers-Gabbard said...

Halloween is your favorite holiday

Natalie B. said...

Hi! Super fun information! I'm in love with his Pug. Thank-you for the interview!

Lynne said...

Halloween is fun isn't it? I feel like beanybopp and I are very similar - I don't hate tea, but It isn't my favorite go-to hot beverage (that's coffee). My husband and sons and brother-in-law are all huge tea drinkers, and I am learning more because of them. Your book sounds like a good read for me and for them!

LB said...

I love your advice to other authors. Interconnecting promotions is a great idea, as is reviewing it all as you go along.

Sarah Elyce said...

Thank you for the interview and book review!