Today we're talking with A.H. Cameron Strother, author of Cheers to Life: True to Myself
FQ: What made you want to write this book? Do you believe in this world, as it is today, that inspiration is what is truly missing?
I wrote Cheers to Life – True to Myself because I believe it’s very important to be comfortable with self and to trust our inner voice. The book explores the concept that when we can’t find inspiration from others, it’s because it is actually within our own heart. When I wrote Cheers to Life – True to Myself, my goal was to intimately explore the topic of what it means to savor life’s journey by being true to self. This is an evolution that each of us must explore – and sometimes the journey is very lonely. In a world where uncertainty has become the norm, Cheers to Life – True to Myself encourages readers to engage in inner dialogue, to pause and make peace with the past, and move forward to a brighter future with positive energy.
Often we are consumed with so many multi-tasking activities that we don’t take time to celebrate life’s priceless moments. Life’s emergencies take over and we become victimized by a routine of fixing yet another crisis. In Cheers to Life – True to Myself, I remind readers that we are indeed in charge of our own destiny. The affirmations and passages in Cheers to Life – True to Myself encourages readers to hear their own voice above all of society’s noise, and to embrace this unique sound because once you clearly hear your own voice, it will open the door to inner peace.
FQ: I know you received a Master of Arts degree, is your “message” - meditation and really concentrating on self-worth - a major mission of yours?
Yes, I agree with that statement. I earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in the field of Business. I earned both while working full time and as a doctoral candidate, I juggled work hours, marriage, raising children, and pets. My message is that we must turn thoughts into actions. We must be willing to make sacrifices to achieve goals. Obstacles should be managed as temporary detours – not permanent roadblocks. The decision to enforce positive change involves deep levels of commitment and fortitude. It’s about making a personal commitment to being the person you are destined to be – and not allowing anyone to stand in the way of your accomplishments. Cheers to Life – True to Myself challenges readers to follow through on aspirations and goals, so they are empowered to live a life of purpose.
FQ: There was a brief mention of your manufacturing company operating in the gourmet coffee industry. Can you tell readers a little more about that?
In my career, I have worked for a number of large corporations and I’ve always been employed in the manufacturing sector. My coffee company, TruBlend Café (www.trublendcafe.com) is a distribution company that my husband and I started after a trip to Costa Rica where we met several growers and coffee farm owners.
TruBlend Café sells gourmet quality Arabica coffees from various parts of the world: Ethiopia, Colombia, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Australia, and Costa Rica – to name a few. Most of our coffees are roasted in South Carolina and this includes the African coffees. For current offerings and to stay updated, please check our website www.trublendcafe.com. (Editor's note: Cheers to Life: True to Myself is also listed on the TruBlend Café site at: www.trublendcafe.com/Inspirational.)
FQ: Can you tell us a bit about your time at Eastside High School? I am aware that this school was portrayed in a movie and was introduced to the public in a slightly “bad” way.
I was raised in Paterson, New Jersey and was enrolled in the public school system. I graduated from Eastside High School (EHS). Eastside High School is located in the inner city of Paterson and as a result, many resources are not as readily available as they are in more suburban areas. The school became famous when Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. distributed a biographical film (1989) that was based on true events at EHS. The film was “Lean on Me” and suddenly EHS was cast on the world stage as a dysfunctional educational institution. Because I am a product of Eastside High School, I must say that my urban experiences helped to mold me to become the person I am today. I beg to question, if I graduated from a different high school or a different environment, would I be as passionate as I am today?
Memories of Eastside High will always be a motivating force in my life. In the introduction of Cheers to Life – True to Myself, I reflected on a defining moment of my teen years: When my high school guidance counselor told me that my future would not require a college education. As a 14-year old, I didn’t fully understand the enormity of the counselor’s comments; however her words burned in my youthful mind. As an adult, I still think about the impact and volatility of those words. Through the passages in Cheers to Life – True to Myself, I send a strong message that despite what the world places in your corner, you must always have confidence in yourself. Yes, some will doubt your abilities. Be well advised because you must remember that you are in charge of your destiny. Your challenge is to stay focused. Choose to move forward. It is your decision.
FQ: Is inspirational writing something that you will be doing more of in the future?
Yes, I plan to release more inspirational titles as eBook and traditional print books. I enjoy writing and many people can relate to my passages, meditations, and daily affirmations. My books are designed to be ideal for people of all age groups – as young as teen-agers to those that are senior citizens. Because inspiration is universal, the book’s designs are very neutral. Likewise, the colors are not feminine, nor masculine. Cheers to Life – True to Myself was designed in a manner that would appeal to a wide range of people.
FQ: Encouragement in this very harsh world is hard to find. What with the war, the economy, jobless rates - there isn’t a great deal to CHEER about for many people. Can you tell us what motivates you or helps you to stay so positive and optimistic?
All of us endure periods where we struggle to be positive or optimistic. The problem occurs when we are unable to detach from negativity; when we become so consumed by problems that we begin to lose our own identity. Sometimes we are surrounded by so much adversity that we forget that we have received the gift of “life,” and this life – this experience should be cherished. Life is priceless and when we disconnect from material things, we can start the journey to healing the inner heart. By focusing on what truly brings inner contentment, you will be sustained because you will find peace.
FQ: This book’s mission is a very real and much-needed one. Have you any interest to move forward into holding seminars or public speaking events that would bring your “voice” to the masses?
I look forward to participating in speaking engagements and I also have an interest in working with smaller groups – just simply sharing information and expounding on different ideas. My belief is that we can learn more from others if we simply allow ourselves to be open to the experience; if we are willing to remove barriers and stereotypes that we’ve grown up with. Quite frankly, sometimes we create barriers where none should exist.