More About the Author
Jeff Rivera is an author and inspirational media personality. He has appeared on national television, radio and print in such outlets as Forbes.com, The Boston Globe, Publishers Weekly, Right On! Magazine, Rotarian Magazine, TMZ, WABC, WNBC, WCBS, SITV, American Latino and NPR.
He also writes or has written for Entertainment Weekly, Mediabistro, GalleyCat, Publishing Perspectives, Digital Book World, Examiner, American Chronicle, School Library Journal and the Huffington Post and has been invited to speak and inspire groups all over the world from South Carolina to Nigeria. He has been on panel discussions for The Library Journal, Authors Guild, the Harlem Book Fair and many others.
He is known to have broken the news that Seth Godin was ditching traditional publishing which lead to mentions on hundreds of blogs and media outlets including The LA Times, Fast Company, and New York Observer. His news break that Jackie Collins would be self-publishing the US-version of her eBook lead to mentions in The Bookseller, The Guardian, USA Today and hundreds of other outlets.
His humble beginnings of living in American poverty on welfare and food stamps as the child of a single mother, to his days living in his car and final rise to becoming a published author, journalist and media personality have inspired many.
Rivera created a massive online following before the eBook revolution even existed. He was able to land an agent and a book deal with Warner Books (now known as Grand Central Publishing) within 7 days. He has used the knowledge he gained from this experience to help coach his clients on social media campaigns and has helped over 100 clients take the first step in landing an agent too.
Hugh Hefner, Stan Lee, Jackie Collins, Jamie Raab, Fergie, Enrique Iglesias, Avril Lavigne, Macy Gray, Joel Schumacher, James Patterson, Janet Evanovich, Jeff Kinney, Harlan Coben as well as 200 others.
Exclusive: A Q&A with Jeff Rivera
Question: You write for many national outlets, you blog, you're on TV, you talk to kids all over the world and your a son and uncle of 12 nieces and nephews. How do you balance all that with your writing?
Rivera: Great question. Sometimes I wonder the same thing but here's how I look at it: We're all blessed with 24 hours a day, so if you really want to do something, you can carve the time out to do it. Sometimes when people look at their lives and they think they don't have the time, they realize that they spend a lot of time watching TV or surfing the web or playing video games or staring up at the ceiling and when you subtract all that time, you realize, "Hey, I have a lot more time than I thought I did."
Q: You've written mostly for young adults in the past. How has writing for children been different for you?
Rivera: I think it's a lot more fun because kids are so honest. They'll tell you very clearly what they like or don't like and you're able to write stories exactly the way they like them. Plus, I'm one of those adults that never has really grown up totally. I still buy toys for me to play with and I still watch cartoons and Disney and Dreamworks Animation movies. I'm a big fan of those old Disney musicals too.
Q: One of the things you've done is put together Skype tours for big authors and stars like Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul), Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook) as well as tons of Disney Channel and Nickelodeon stars and kid stars from Twilight and Hunger Games. How was that and will you do a Skype tour on your own?
Rivera: Another great question! Working with these huge authors and stars is a blast because I get to work with people I've always looked up to. The kid stars are fun to work with too because they're so talented and funny. I'd love to do a Skype tour on my own and if anyone is interested in me speaking to their class they can email me and we'll try to find a time. I normally don't charge anything to do them if I have time.
Q: Um, Mommy I Think I Flushed My Brother Down the Toilet is hilarious. It's your first children's book. Will you write a sequel or any others?
Rivera: It's funny you should ask because I just finished writing the first sequel and I'm writing the third one soon too. I also have written a handful of others that I'd like to come out very soon too. So far, the parents and kids that have read them have given them a big thumbs up so I hope everyone else likes them as well.
Q: You've said that you based your two main characters in this book on your own brother and sister. How so?
Rivera: The Falisha character is definitely like my big sister Velicia when she was little. Incredibly smart but a little bit mischievous. The Jesse character is just like my little brother Stephen when he was little too; always getting into something. It was really important to me to have characters that are of all colors and sizes because that's the world we live in today.