Spotlight Blog Tour – John Fioravanti

October 24, 2014

Please welcome the Rave Reviews Book Club Spotlight Author for October 2014, John Fioravanti.

John is the Author of A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching and Passion & Struggle.

Hello, I’m John Fioravanti, and welcome to the eighth post of my “Spotlight Blog Tour” sponsored by my family at Rave Reviews Book Club. I’m very grateful to be a guest today with Ronessa Aveela.

In December of 2013, my wife, Anne, and I launched Fiora Books as a book publishing house in alliance with Iceberg Publishing  also of Waterloo, Ontario. Previously, I had written a non-fiction book for high school students called “Getting It Right in History Class” (Data Based Directions, 2002). Five years later, I wrote the award-winning non-fiction book, “A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching” (Iceberg Publishing, 2007). This month we published my first science-fiction book “Passion & Struggle”. People have asked me why I switched genres. Good question…



When I think back on it, there wasn’t a moment when I decided I wanted to write a book for publication. There was no sudden realization, “Hey, I want to be an author!” I just stumbled into it by trying to create skill guidelines for my students. For years, I duplicated the booklets I had written so my students could use them when I assigned writing projects in history class – including the formal research essay. One day, a colleague suggested I get them published. I thought about that, wrote letters to every major educational publisher I knew about – but no one was interested. Years after that, a former principal told me to contact a small educational publisher operating out of Barrie, Ontario – Data Based Directions. So I made the contact and the rest is history.

Four years later, out of the blue, my former student and dear friend, Kenneth Tam  visited me at the school. He and his parents had formed their own publishing house, Iceberg Publishing, in 2002. At that time, Kenneth launched his first Equations novel  and I served as Master of Ceremonies at the launch event. Four years later, Kenneth had four Equations novels under his belt, and he came to see me with a proposal. That visit culminated in the publication of “A personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching” in 2007. Again, I had not decided to write a book about my teaching career on my own. By the end of 2007, I had two published non-fiction books under my belt, and I had not made a conscious decision to become a published author.

However, that changed during the editing process of the Journey book. It was during the summer of 2006 that I had the fateful conversation with Kenneth about writing my own science-fiction series inside his Equations series. For the first time in my life, I made a conscious decision, not only to write a book – but an entire series!

Hey! Hold on for one darned minute here! What made me think I could write a novel? All my life, I’ve been an avid reader – mostly novels of all genres. In all that time, I never lost my admiration, no, awe, for the men and women who spin these yarns that keep me turning pages for hours. I often thought, how do they come up with these stories? How do they dream up these fascinating characters? It is such a gift! I often wished that I had that gift.

As I sat down at my computer to write the first lines of a novel I hadn’t named, I experienced a moment of near-panic. How do I do this? I must be certifiable! I needed to calm down… so I cleared out of my office and went for a short walk. I convinced myself that I was being silly, calmed down, and went back to my computer. I had been thinking about this for a couple of months before this particular day. I sat in front of a blank Word page and something remarkable began to happen.

Before I knew it, I had written a page and a half of the story. Where did that come from? My friend, Kenneth Tam, has a theory that our subconscious mind will work on problems that are bothering us and find solutions. When we are calm or relaxed enough, our conscious mind can connect with the subconscious and the ideas begin to flow. I’m convinced that this is the case. As the weeks and months went by, the story unfolded in ways I had never planned. You see, I’m a very unorthodox writer.

Best practice dictates that a writer will map out the story – plots, subplots, characters, etc. Then one writes the story. I have tried to do that and failed miserably. I sit in front of a sheet of paper and do more doodling than planning. Nothing pops into my head! However, if I sit at my computer and relax, I begin to picture scenes and then characters. The ideas begin to flow and I begin to write. I can’t explain the magic of a keyboard. Conversely, I can’t create with pen and paper. The best I can do with that medium is a grocery list!

Does the story written in this way turn out to be first and last draft? Nope! Not even close. I began to write Passion & Struggle in January, 2007. The present manuscript was not ready for editing until this past spring. Just over seven years! Lots of rewrites and transformations over the years. However, in that time I also drafted Book Two in the series – Treachery & Triumph. I don’t suggest that other authors should use my approach; but it does work for me.

Two weeks ago, my wife, Anne, came into my office while I was at the computer and stood there waiting for me to finish what I was doing. When she had my attention, she said she just wanted to tell me something. I thought I was in trouble… again! I was wrong. She told me that I was a very talented man because of the way I wrote P&S_CoverPassion & Struggle – which she had just finished proof-reading. She said she admired how I wove the various plots together and developed the characters. She thought I should know that, and then she left. I sat there, dumbfounded. Wow. I always thought those same things about the writers of the novels I’d read over the past five decades.

Fiction or Non-Fiction? I’m liking the fiction a lot more. I truly have fun writing these stories. I can twist the plots any way I like, create whatever characters I like, and do anything I want with them! But sometimes my characters react to a situation in a different way – not what I expected. I sit back, look at the computer screen, and say, “Hey! Who’s writin this dadgum story, anyway?? And then I laugh out loud!

So, check out my Passion & Struggle, and see what you think.



John Fioravanti is a retired secondary school educator who completed his thirty-five year career in the classroom in June, 2008. His teaching career was split between two schools: St. Benedict CSS in Cambridge, Ontario and St. David CSS in Waterloo, Ontario.

Throughout his career, John focused on developing research, analysis, and essay writing skills in his History Classroom. This led to the publication of his first non-fiction work for student use, Getting It Right in History Class (Data Based Directions, 2002), along with an international version of the same title. A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching  Iceberg Publishing, 2007, 2008, 2010) (Fiora Books 2014) is his second non-fiction work; it attempts to crystallize the struggles, accomplishments, and setbacks experienced in more than three decades of effort to achieve excellence in his chosen field.

John’s first work of fiction is Passion & Struggle and is set within Kenneth Tam s Equations universe (Iceberg Publishing). He claims that, after two non-fiction books, he’s having the time of his life bringing new stories and characters to life!

At present, John lives in Waterloo, Ontario with Anne, his bride of forty-one years. They have three children and three grandchildren. In December of 2013, John and Anne founded Fiora Books for the express purpose of publishing John’s books. After four decades of marriage, they decided to become business partners as well.



Amazon Kindle:



Book Trailer:




Twitter: @FioraBooks  + @jfinwat  (I have 2 accounts)

Author: Ronesa Aveela

Ronesa Aveela is “the creative power of two.” Two authors that is. The main force behind the work, the creative genius, was born in Bulgaria and moved to the US in the 1990s. She grew up with stories of wild Samodivi, Kikimora, the dragons Zmey and Lamia, Baba Yaga, and much more. She’s a freelance artist and writer. She likes writing mystery romance inspired by legends and tales. In her free time, she paints. Her artistic interests include the female figure, Greek and Thracian mythology, folklore tales, and the natural world interpreted through her eyes. She is married and has two children. Her writing partner was born and raised in the New England area. She has a background in writing and editing, as well as having a love of all things from different cultures. Together, the two make up the writing of Ronesa Aveela. Her writing goal is to make people aware of a culture rich with traditions that date back thousands of years to the ancient Thracians who inhabited parts of Greece, Turkey, and Bulgaria, and other Slavic nations.

One thought on “Spotlight Blog Tour – John Fioravanti”

  1. This page was moved from a previous website. The following comments were on the original post:

    Rebecca Carter
    October 24, 2014 at 11:12 am
    Welcome to our site today, John. We hope you have been enjoying your blog tour this week.

    John Fioravanti
    October 25, 2014 at 4:07 am

    Thank you, Rebecca, for hosting me today. I really appreciate your time and generosity. I’m also liking your website a lot!

    Ronesa Aveela Post author
    October 24, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Welcome to our site today, John. We hope you have been enjoying your blog tour this week as we did last week and got great support from everyone, it was blast!

    John Fioravanti
    October 25, 2014 at 4:09 am

    This week as been nothing short of remarkable, Ronesa!
    I had no idea! I think I should fly to the UK and take Chris Ward out to dinner because he suggested that I join the RRBC last July.

    Michelle Abbott
    October 24, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    I can relate about your characters, John. Once we create them there is no controlling them is there 🙂 Thanks for hosting, Rebecca.

    Rebecca Carter
    October 24, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    It’s so true. Characters do what they want.
    It’s our pleasure to host John today.

    John Fioravanti
    October 25, 2014 at 4:10 am

    Thanks for visiting, Michelle! You’re so right – but I had no idea until it started happening!

    Kathryn Chastain Treat
    October 24, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    Congratulations on your #RRBC “Spotlight” Blog Tour John. I keep learning more about you and your writing through each of your tour stops.

    Thank you Rebecca for hosting!

    John Fioravanti
    October 25, 2014 at 4:12 am

    Thanks Kathryn! I’m happy to share these things about my experiences – especially with my RRBC family!

    Rebecca Carter
    October 25, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    John is a perfect guest. We are happy to host him.

    Traci Sanders
    October 24, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    That’s hilarious, John, about your writing process! I incorporate many of the same seemingly-neurotic steps in my writing process. Funny thing is, I am able to write my songs easier on paper rather than computer, and the complete opposite is true for my books. I say whatever gets the job done and makes us, as authors, more comfortable during the experience. Enjoyable post!

    Thanks for hosting, Rebecca! Nice blog:)

    John Fioravanti
    October 25, 2014 at 4:16 am

    Thanks Traci – this is what goes through my mind when I hear people asking for volunteers to teach seminars/workshops about writing. Yikes!! Picture it: “Good day everyone. Break every rule of writing you’ve ever read about.” But you’re right – we’re all unique and we need to do things in our own way. I say, thank God for editors!!!

    Rebecca Carter
    October 25, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Thanks for stopping by to support John.

    Nonnie Jules
    October 25, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    John, whatever initial fears you may have experienced in the beginning of your novel, because of the book we see before us, we know you got past them and you didn’t let your fears hold you hostage. It’s when we allow our fears to immobilize us, that we have a problem. You did good, my friend and you came out on the other side. You’re sharing it with us today. #Proudofyou

    John Fioravanti
    October 25, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Thank you Nonnie… I really appreciate your kind remarks and your constant support! I am gifted with very strong women in my daily life – both online and offline. I’d be lost without all of you!

    Harmony Kent
    October 25, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Love this post, John. I’m giggling, because I’m just like you … I cannot sit and plan. I have to just write. Bad practice maybe, but it works for me! Congratulations on being spotlight. 🙂

    Rebecca, thanks so much for hosting John, today! 🙂

    Rebecca Carter
    October 25, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    We are more than happy to have John here today.

    John Fioravanti
    October 25, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    Thanks for stopping by, Harmony! There you have it – we’re like two peas in a pod!

    Marlena Hand
    October 25, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    I’m really enjoying your Spotlight journey, John! Learning a great deal about you!
    I love when characters take over the story, usually makes an interesting turn. 🙂
    Rebecca, thank you so much for hosting John and showing your support.

    Ronesa Aveela Post author
    October 25, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Marlena thank you for stoping by, it is pleasure to support such a great group of talented writers!

    John Fioravanti
    October 25, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    Thank you, Marlena. This very issue about characters is what has me hooked into writing fiction. I always appreciate your kind and thoughtful support!

    Danica Cornell
    October 25, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    John, I must agree with your assessment of being calm as a prerequisite for being able to tap into our ideas. Whenever I’ve been stressed, the first thing that shuts down is my divergent thinking followed by my creative output. 🙂 Ronesa/Rebecca, thank you for hosting, and John, congrats! I hope you’ve been enjoying your time in the SPOTLIGHT! xoxo 🙂

    Rebecca Carter
    October 26, 2014 at 12:18 am

    Anelia and I (together, we are RONESA) have been quite pleased to host John on his tour.

    John Fioravanti
    October 26, 2014 at 2:28 am

    That’s my experience exactly, Dani. Soooo, it follows that the source of our creativity is in the subconscious. It’s hard to say because we know so little about how our brains work. Thank you very much for stopping by today! I’ll treasure this week for the rest of my life.


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