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Every Revolution Begins With A Choice

I am often asked to speak at schools, but many booksellers, educators, and students have been surprised to realize that when I do, I barely talk about my books at all.

That's because I believe that there are reading groups, and dedicated librarians, and community-active booksellers, and best of all, excellent teachers who are more than happy to discuss the Dragons, and Myth, and Legend, and storytelling in my books with their students. But if I am given the attention of five hundred middle-school students for an hour, and only that hour, I'm not going to talk about my books - I'm going to talk about the things that I believe are most important in this life; about things I believe are True, and meaningful, and worth sharing (some of which I've often shared with you here).

I'm going to tell them stories drawn from my own life: examples about overcoming obstacles and adversity; stories about how making choices in their lives is like drawing a Dragon; vignettes about how I came to do what it is that I love most in the world for my job. But most importantly, I'm going to tell each and every one of them that they can make the same kinds of choices that I did - and that I believe in them.

Sometimes, being told that is the thing that we need most in our lives. And I think it's the most important thing that I can say to anyone: I believe in you.

After one of my presentations, I received the following letter:

“I pray I am sending this to the correct person, because the person who spoke Friday, at Jerling Junior High, in Orland Park, IL, was awe inspiring… Mr. Owen projected a message to our 8th graders, repeatedly, in a direct and appealing manner…[and] should not be listed as just author, but motivator to the young and young at heart, even those floundering, wondering what path to walk.”

 - Bernadette M. Cronberg, Educator

I'm very gratified to say I have many letters like this - some of which are heartbreakingly sincere about how the presentation inspired a change in their writers' lives. But until now, most readers could not experience that presentation unless they attended a school, or some signing event where I was speaking - and in part because of that, we have long considered putting those stories, those things I most believe, into a book.

A book that is, I feel, the most meaningful thing I've ever written.

A book that will be available for purchase next week.


I have spoken to a number of publishers who were very interested - but none of whom was able to release it in under two years. And I had a motivation for wanting to do a deal to release it sooner - there are people whom I care about, who are in need. Some are friends, some are family. Some of these stories I have shared publicly, last December. Others, I've kept more private. And I have taken their hands, looked in their eyes, and told them I would find a way to make things happen, to help, to take care of them. That I had this, and they needn't worry. And they believed me.

I speak, somewhere, every month, and those who attend don't have to wait for these stories - so I didn't think that anyone else who wanted to should have to wait to experience them, either

I have always believed that if you create something of value, and offer it to people who will see the value, and understand it, and appreciate it, they will return that value to you tenfold; a hundredfold; and more. And so I made the decision to take the most valuable stories I have, and release them as an ebook from Coppervale Press, under the same title as my presentation: "DRAWING OUT THE DRAGONS: A Meditation on Art, Destiny, and the Power Of Choice".

And then I began to summon my Dragon Army. YOU. All of you who have heard my presentations, or been inspired by my writings, either online, or in my books. You are my army - and you know, you KNOW, that Magic is REAL... and worth looking for.

I need you to spread the word about this book - to buy copies for yourselves, and then, if so inspired, to tell people about it. Tell your family and friends; review it online on facebook, and twitter, and goodreads; blog about it; post about it. Tell your students and teachers about it. Share the magic that you find in this book. And, hopefully, it will inspire you to make more choices in your own lives help you see that the Magic isn't hard to find, after all. Because it's EVERYWHERE. And sometimes, to see it, you just need someone you believe in, someone you trust, to take you by the hand, look into your eyes, and say, "I believe in you."

DRAWING OUT THE DRAGONS: A Meditation on Art, Destiny, and the Power Of Choice will go on sale next Monday via my websites, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble, and will be available in all preferred electronic formats, including my own preference, as a pdf, for the retail price of $4.99.

I'll be posting links to excerpts throughout the weekend, and answering any questions you might have. And we'll be setting up a page (soon) on the website where you can share your stories as well as your own Dragon drawings. But please help me to spread the word , and next week, pass along the links. Yyou'll be helping me to help those I care about by sharing stories that inspire people - people like my friend Bernadette, and the thousands of students and educators who have heard me speak.At the very least, you'll enjoy some entertaining stories, and possibly learn how to draw a Dragon.

But it's also possible that there's a story in this book that someone out there needs to hear, right now. And that alone is reason enough not to wait.

Thank you for all your support. And for making this Magic possible.


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 26th, 2011 02:28 am (UTC)
That sounds fantastic. I can't wait to get a copy of it myself and share it on Facebook & Twitter.
Mar. 26th, 2011 03:03 am (UTC)
Thanks! This announcement is mostly so that everyone can get up to speed with what I'm doing over the weekend - then we'll have the links on Monday to spread far and wide. This is going to be worth it, worth every effort you make. And I appreciate everyone who's been willing to speak up and offer to help.

I think you're going to like this book. A lot. ;)
Mar. 26th, 2011 03:02 am (UTC)
Sounds great!
Mar. 26th, 2011 03:05 am (UTC)
Knowing how you and I have such similar sensibilities regarding anecdotes, Scott (especially about publishing), I think you'll really enjoy it!
Mar. 26th, 2011 03:51 am (UTC)
This sounds great. I'm looking forward to it.
Mar. 26th, 2011 05:34 am (UTC)
Thanks, Karen! I hope you like it!
Mar. 26th, 2011 05:28 am (UTC)
It looks like someone is using OpenId to impersonate you:

If it is you, apologies.
Mar. 26th, 2011 05:33 am (UTC)
LOL! You're the second person to mention that to me. I must be imitating his crappy grammar better than I thought. It's a joke - the guy is ripping off several friends of mine, and then lying when it's pointed out he's stealing. Guys like that make it harder for the rest of us. (But THANK YOU for the concern! Seriously - nice gesture, and appreciated.)
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 26th, 2011 06:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you - I really appreciate it!
Mar. 26th, 2011 05:50 pm (UTC)
I sort of torn on this. Yes, we all very much need someone to say that that phrase, "I believe in you." But not everyone gets it so if you are one of those people, you have to believe it yourself. I think self belief trumps all else.

If I had to sit around and wait for someone to think I had something to offer, I'd be a housewife giving birth every four years with a vacant look in my eyes.
Mar. 26th, 2011 06:29 pm (UTC)
Not having someone say that to me, at times when I really needed it, is part of what makes it so valuable.

It's sort of like moving a fridge. I know I can move it by myself, and frequently have - but it's awfully nice once in a while if someone picks up one corner to help me do it. ;)
Mar. 26th, 2011 06:33 pm (UTC)
Sure, but there are many of us who never get that experience. Again, if I had sat around waiting for it... I'd never be me.
Mar. 26th, 2011 06:38 pm (UTC)
Some of us are natural bootstrappers, babe. You know that's one of the reasons I love you. ;)

And the fact that lots of people never get that experience is one of the reasons I do my presentation at schools, and why I wrote this book. It's a small thing, in most people's sphere... but to others, it has been the catalyst for change. And, gratifyingly, that benefits me, too.
Mar. 27th, 2011 10:45 pm (UTC)
how awesome.
Apr. 1st, 2011 03:08 am (UTC)
Awesome link is awesome and up. ;)
Mar. 28th, 2011 04:06 pm (UTC)
On it like you wouldn't believe.

And thank you. You know why.
Mar. 30th, 2011 10:21 pm (UTC)
For those of us who are less familiar than we ought to be with e-formats of books, I take it that it can be read on a normal computer without the use of an e-reader? If so, I'm looking forward to it!
Mar. 31st, 2011 06:25 am (UTC)
Yes. It'll be a pdf (as my preferred format), and then formatted for other e-readers.

It's going up in the morning. ;)
Apr. 1st, 2011 02:01 am (UTC)
How wonderful! I'll definitely tweet about it.

Be the change you want to see in the world, as Gandhi said, right? :)
Apr. 1st, 2011 03:07 am (UTC)
Absolutely. Absolutely. ;)
Apr. 27th, 2011 12:34 am (UTC)
>I am often asked to speak at schools,
>but many booksellers, educators, and
>students have been surprised to realize
>that when I do, I barely talk about
>my books at all.

Is that true for presentations you give at public libraries, or other non-school venues? Writers are popular with kids and teens at my public library, but they don't tend to respond well to motivational-style presentations. They are more interested in the books they have read, what it's like to be a writer, how to get published, interesting tidbits about the characters, etc.

May. 2nd, 2011 07:12 pm (UTC)
LOL... what I mean is, it's not a sales pitch to buy my novels (which some of the booksellers who have had me present at schools expected.)

I do talk about most of the things you mention, and do talk about my novels and characters and whatnot in the Q&A part.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )