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Author Interview: Richard Silvia

Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Katie Specht is talking with Richard Silvia, author of Cultivate Curiosity: There is Hope Even in Unimaginable Circumstances.

FQ: Tell our readers a little about yourself. Your background, your interests, and how this led to writing a book?

SILVIA: Today is May 20th, and it's my birthday, which makes me a Taurus. I’m stubborn, inquisitive, and I love food, nature, and art. My background is in art and music, but I’ve also had a career in nonprofits as a fundraiser and event planner, mostly in areas of community development and the medical field. I’ve always been interested in creative writing, personal growth, and community-building. Throughout my life, I’ve faced many ups and downs, including health challenges and financial struggles. Because of these experiences, my desire has always been to foster meaningful connections, help others, and inspire hope. This book is all about hope.

FQ: Have you always enjoyed writing or is it something you’ve discovered recently?

SILVIA: I've always enjoyed writing because it comes easier to me than talking. I’m an introvert. LOL. Cultivate Curiosity is my eighth book. I got serious about writing my first book, Merging Worlds, after a series of significant changes in both my personal and professional life. The end of a six-year relationship, the loss of my mom the following year, losing my job in 2012, and being diagnosed with cancer two months later were all pivotal moments. Then, in 2014, three people very close to me passed away within five months of each other. All of these experiences are reflected in my writing; my books are an extension of my process for dealing with trauma.

FQ: Tell us a little about your book – a brief synopsis and what makes your book unique.

SILVIA: Cultivate Curiosity is a testament to the human spirit. While it is a book of poems, it also serves as a call to humanity. The introduction is written in a serious tone because we are living in serious times. "There is hope even in unimaginable circumstances" tells readers that no matter what is happening in their lives, they should not give up. There are lessons that bring us gifts, and there are people, sometimes strangers, who offer us the most help along the way. The poems are divided into three chapters: World Events, Personal Trauma, and Lessons.

FQ: What was the impetus for writing your book?

SILVIA: Cultivate Curiosity began as a concept. We need to be curious about life. Whenever we learn and grow, it's because we were curious about a subject, a person, or a place we traveled to. Bringing it all together into the book was an organic process. This curiosity and openness to learning are what helped me navigate my own challenges, and I hope to inspire readers to do the same.

Author Richard Silvia

FQ: Please give our readers a little insight into your writing process. Do you set aside a certain time each day to write, only write when the desire to write surfaces, or …?

SILVIA: If you don't write down or record what occurs in your head at any given moment, chances are it changes or you lose it. So, I'm a big fan of journaling, writing down dreams, and even pulling over on the side of the road when I have an idea. You have to capture it and bring it to life. I love to write in the mornings, and I’m especially inspired when I’m in nature or on a beach!

FQ: Is there a genre you have not yet delved into that you would like to attempt in the future?

SILVIA: You know, I have so many ideas! Sometimes I'll write a short story and tuck it away. Some of the poems are like little short stories. I'm a songwriter too, and the songs are also a form of storytelling. Life is speaking to us all the time, and humanity is evolving, so the job of the artist, writer, or recorder of life observations is to interpret these observations and pass the knowledge on. I'm interested in any genre or form that aims to uplift and empower people.

FQ: As an author/writer, what famous author (living or dead), would you like to have dinner with, and why?

SILVIA: OK, here are my top five favorites!

Yoko Ono because she has so much creative knowledge and wisdom. Her ideas have changed the world.
The Dalai Lama because his entire life has been devoted to the Tibetan people, and he’s also been a global leader in compassion.
Stephen Hawking, the theoretical physicist, who said aggression would be the downfall of civilization but also that empathy could course correct it. I'd love to have a conversation with him.
Brené Brown because who doesn't want to sit with Brené Brown?
Sir Richard Branson because he is the epitome of YES!

FQ: What is your all-time favorite book? Why? And did this book/author have any influence over your decision to become an author?

SILVIA: The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Czech and French novelist Milan Kundera. Life is messy, beautiful, short, and important, and he captured all that so well.

FQ: Where do you think you’ve improved the most in your writing process and ability and how do you think you have evolved?

SILVIA: I've gotten good at pulling the pieces together. I'm very organized, and I need to be because I've always had to piece things together in life. There was no golden spoon or sabbatical that allowed the concentration of time, money, and effort for anything creative, so most artists like myself learn and evolve through the process of banging on closed doors and facing empty promises. I've definitely become a more grateful human.

FQ: If you were to teach a class on the art of writing, what is the one item you would be sure to share with your students and how would you inspire them to get started?

SILVIA: Just believe the words are worthy. It's bigger than us, follow the aliveness. Write something every day, even a dream or a phrase or a concept. Buy a cheap notebook at the dollar store.

For more information on Cultivate Curiosity: There is Hope Even in Unimaginable Circumstances, please visit the author's website at:

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