Thursday, May 16, 2013

Interview & Giveaway with Ryan Astaphan

Today I'd like to welcome Ryan Astaphan to Pure Jonel!
Let's see what he has to say.

Q ~ Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

A ~ The idea of being someone else feels dirty to me. We should all be happy with who we are. With that said, if I had to be someone else it would be Steve Irwin. Watching him on The Crocodile Hunter was such a pleasure. His life seemed like a joy. It’s tragic that his life ended prematurely, but in his short life he did more than most of us would ever hope to do. He lived a dream.

Q ~ What is your favourite electronic gadget?
A ~ That’s simple, my 13” MacBook Pro. It’s going on 5 years now and it still runs like a charm. The fact that this laptop has survived my rough use is a testament to Apple’s quality. In India I nearly fried the darn thing, then the humidity in Thailand caused all sorts of whacky problems, but the darn thing keeps on going.

Q ~ If you could go anywhere, real or imagined, where would it be and why?
A ~ Over the years I’ve learned that more important than where you go is who you go with. I one day hope to travel across the world with a woman I love; that’s my real dream. I know that’s not the answer you are looking for, so I will give you two locations: Brazil and Ghana. Brazil’s people have a positive stereotype of being such fun-loving people. Ghana, well I’ve seen Ghana a few times on the Travel Channel and it looks great. Their coastal communities remind me of the West Indies, where my dad comes from.

Q ~ Are there any new Authors that have grasped your interest recently and why?

A ~ Your readers may know Dhani Jones as a former NFL linebacker or as a host of Travel Channel’s Dhani Jones Tackles the Globe. His debut book is titled The Sportsman. In it he tells his life story as a child growing up, to his days in the NFL, and about his time traveling the globe. It is a book I read twice before embarking on on my own adventures.

Q ~ What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment?

A ~ Finding the courage to be myself. As children we know nothing other than acting naturally, but at some point our true identity slips away from us. It took many downfalls and a couple of decades, but with the journey that saw me write Travelphan, I finally stopped allowing fear to dictate my life. I became me.

Q ~ What inspired you to write Travelphan?
A ~ In 2011 life wasn’t going so well. I was working at a job that made me miserable. My body was beat up from 3 major knee surgeries that robbed me of my joy, playing sports. I was lost and felt like I had no control over my life. That year I attended my first funeral. From that day on I was forever changed. The preciousness of life became apparent to me. With this life to live, I knew I had to make the most of it. It was then that I decided to live a dream. I would travel through Asia for half a year.

Fast forward to January of 2012 and I was in India. It was a very lonely time in India. My best friend during that month was my notebook. Everyday I’d sit in my $5/day apartment writing and writing. The notebook became my release; it was like visiting a psychologist. I wrote about my days and my past. I told my deepest secrets. Many a days tears would pour forth as I put pen to paper. The whole experience was therapeutic.

Throughout the rest of my journey I continued to write. Upon coming home in June of the same year I turned my notebooks into Travelphan.

Q ~ Can you tell us a bit about the novel?

A ~ Travelphan is a psychological, intimate, and inspirational story told in a modern voice. Utilizing short chapters, Travelphan is an easy read for the text message and status-update generation. It also reads as a diary.

The story begins with 5 year old me detailing a scary night in a dysfunctional household. The early part of the book continues on with this troubled theme. Through each diary entry you find out more about the internal issues I went through growing up: feelings of worthlessness, anxiety with the other sex, depression, an experimentation with drugs. With the turn of each page you see me grow. Throughout the journey you’ll witness me overcome my past and find happiness in this world.

Q ~ Are you working on any other novels? Do you have anything planned?

A ~ Next February my best friend and I will be shooting a soccer-based travel show in South America. For half a year we will travel along the Pacific coast, transverse the continent through Argentina and into Uruguay, and then end in Brazil for the World Cup. Along the way I will write another book. Will it be similar to my debut book? In the sense that it’s written about my travels, yes. It is, however, hard to imagine writing another book was open and revealing as Travelphan was.

Q ~ Can you tell me about your ideal reader?

A ~ Each reader is spending their own money and time to read Travelphan. They can do whatever they like; it is not my place to judge.

Q ~ What’s one piece of advice that you’d like to give our readers?

A ~ Maybe there is an afterlife. Maybe there is reincarnation. What we can all be certain of, though, is that we are alive now. Enjoy your life and live it to the fullest. Danger is real, but fear is a choice.

To find out more about Ryan Astaphan or his novel Travelphan, visit his website at

And now, enter to win 1 of 3 ecopies of Travephan!
Winner's choice of Mobi, epub, or pdf formats.
Enter before 11:59pm May 22/13
Winners will be announced May 23/13
Good Luck to everyone

1 comment:

  1. If I could go anywhere in the world, I would go to India or Iceland. Both are such extremes and are as different from each other as can be, but something about both countries, from the cultures to the natural landscapes completely intrigue me!