Exclusive Interview with
Tony Jeton Selimi
When did you start writing?
The first time I started to write was at the age of five. Before starting school, I spent much of my time with my parents in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, where they owned a famous national cuisine restaurant. I remember when my father would take his breaks, he would sit with me at one of the best tables at the restaurant, teaching me maths and reading newspapers. By the time I started school, I could already read and write in three languages. Over the years, I wrote many essays, kept an occasional personal diary, wrote love letters and poems to express my feelings, and journaled my parents, siblings, and societal events that I knew in my heart damage your body, mind, and soul. During the civil war, we were under constant threat, and our letters were monitored back then by the communist and paramilitary regimes. To protect my family and me, the letters I wrote to my mum and dad were written using a unique language code that only me and my mum would know how to decode and read.
What makes writing your passion?
From a very young age, I was curious about life and wanted the answers to everything that life represented and to travel the world teaching and to educate others about what I’ve learned and mastered. As an author and avid reader of thousands of books, I love writing because I know books can give hope, change, transform and save people’s lives. My calling to write was always there, and it was a way to express that which was oppressed in me by culture, family and societal expectations. Writing for me is sharing my love for all that life bestows upon us to be of service to others. Many of the life adversities I faced equipped me with priceless lessons that I turned into effective methods, life-long transformative tools and new ways of thinking, being, and loving. Writing has enabled me to help others rediscover pathways to overcoming adversity, addiction, abandonment, anxiety, fears, phobias, stress, lack of self-control, own their authentic power, successfully transition from 9 to 5 to running a profitable business, empower your relationships, be a better leader, transform the culture in an organization, and give people a roadmap to living freely on their terms. I write books to share what the mysteries of life can teach us about who we are and what we are here to do. To teach people how to spend their time, energy, and money on what is most important to them, raise conscious children, attract the relationships they want and bring societies together, and can carry a powerful message for the betterment of humankind. The reader can use every book I have written to penetrate any self-imposed boundaries and limits so they live more balanced, healthy and peaceful lives. Book writing is and will remain an inevitable part of living an inspired life.
How long have you been writing?
Although I have been writing most of my life, I wrote and published my first multi-award-winning and best-selling book, A Path to Wisdom, in 2014. Since then, I have written four books, co-written two, and written many articles for newspapers and magazines.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
I was overwhelmed with joy and love. I am not a parent, but publishing my first book felt like becoming a parent of a child that from infancy, will be travelling the world, making a difference and finding a safe home in people’s hearts.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
Over the years, through my integrated healing, coaching, mentoring, and training, thousands of people have created personal, relationship, professional, business and financial breakthroughs. I am fortunate that the equal heart-wrenching and inspirational stories used in any of my books are from clients who have wholeheartedly permitted me to share them to give others hope and help them achieve the seemingly impossible.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
Not having enough time to write all the books I have in my mind and heart.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
A writer’s block is a form of imposter syndrome that, at some point in time, we all experience. The quickest way to dissolve a writer’s block that I use with all of my clients I have assisted in overcoming is to list one hundred drawbacks of not writing that book you know your heart and soul want you to bring into the world.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
When the tough gets going in my writing career, what keeps me going is my lifelong determination to unravel the mysteries of life. To keep climbing greater heights no matter what was inspired by many of my life predicaments, especially during my childhood and army days when I was bullied, threatened, and lost family, friends, the country, and the identity I once knew. I experienced things no child or teenager ever should. When you believe you are unworthy of being someone and then discover that you are, it awakens an insatiable appetite for growth, knowledge, wisdom, and a desire to share and help others.
If you are considering writing as a career or a hobby, then be very clear about why you want to write, what message you want to share with the world, what makes you unique, and what is the end in mind. I get many authors as clients, and the common mistake I see is that they never ask for professional help when they start to write a book. I’ve taught many authors my proven book writing processes and helped them create the clarity needed and build a business and a stable platform from which the book and their work can be successfully launched worldwide. My advice to all I come in contact with is to invest all you have in all you want to create. Invest in yourself and get a coach. It is always an honour to coach and mentor fellow authors who are ready to write and would benefit from professional advice PA an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and book an initial coaching consultation.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
I love you for all that you are, and you are not.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
Of course, I love giving and reading reviews. I deal with negative thoughts in the same way as I deal with negative people. I acknowledge them, thank them for their valuable feedback, and use it as a transformative process to own those traits I judge in them that I’ve disowned.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
I am blessed to have received thousands of wonderful personal messages, letters and reviews on Amazon and various social media sites. A good review is knowing that your books are changing someone’s life; it feels like having a constant supply of energy and inspiration.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Yes, in all my books, I share insights and lessons from real-life stories that shaped me into the man I am today. When I wrote #Loneliness, I decided to first openly talk about my journey through loneliness and the side effects that affect us all. In doing so, I started receiving thousands of messages from all over the world from people who shared their journeys with me and how the book inspired them to change their lives and live more connected and love-infused lives.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
Every client story I share has an element of me going through similar life events that caused similar frustrations, pain and the stress they came to me to help them overcome.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
The cover is like a doorway that gives the reader's imagination a glimpse of what they may find inside your book. When I published my first book, A Path to Wisdom, the core message was to give people a clear path that leads them to create a work-life balance, a healthy body, and find inner peace. The book's cover was designed to give you that assurance and feeling of calm, certainty, and balance. When you pick any of my books, the cover tells a story that invites you to look inside and want to know more.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
With an expansive vision and mission in life, my time is focused on activities that help me deliver my work for the benefit of the many. When time permits, I do personally connect with readers and chat. At times of too many requests, my team takes care of them. I summarise my thoughts on their proposals and share them through my writing articles and books, creating videos, speaking engagements, TV, Radio, and Podcast interviews and creating inspiring content on social media.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
I feel gratitude for all of the pain I endured to bring me to this present moment of being blessed, loved, and an inspiration for other people’s transformation.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
Every author’s book I’ve read has profoundly impacted my life; thus, I love and appreciate each one of them. The author that positively influenced me when I was going through the darkest periods of my life was James Redfield, especially his books The Celestine Prophecy and The Secret of Shambhala. It helped me better understand the power of synchronicity and what life teaches me about myself.