Monday, October 5, 2015

Domestic Violence Awareness: Robert Uttaro, To the Survivors, plus #giveaway, #free ebook





October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  To honor the survivors of this on-going brutality, the featured author this week is a Domestic Violence Advocate who brings true stories to life in the pages of his book.  He is offering a free copy of his book to one commenter.  Please be sure to leave your contact information if you are interested.

AUTHOR: Robert Uttaro
BOOK TITLE: To the Survivors
GENRE: Non-Fiction
PUBLISHER: CreateSpace Independent Publishing


Please tell us about yourself.

My name is Robert Uttaro. I love music, cooking, basketball, and teaching. I was also fortunate enough to write To the Survivors.

Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?

I am a part-time writer. Finding time to write is challenging, but I still prioritize making it a significant part of my life. I will often write at night after work, some times during the weekends, and anytime I am inspired.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I did not consider myself a writer and never once tried to write a book until the experience of an intensely vivid dream one morning changed my life. I woke up from this dream and said, “I have to write a book.” I interpreted this dream as a vision from God. I prayed to God, moved from the bed to the computer, opened up Microsoft Word, and continued to pray. That is how To the Survivors began. In other words, God inspired me to write To the Survivors.

Do you ever have writer’s block? If so, how do you get through it?

I have writer’s block quite often. I am able to get through writer’s block through prayer, meditation, and music. God and music help me to fight all negative thoughts and insecurities. Eventually all blockage is shattered and I am able to write.

What is your marketing plan?

I get the word out about To the Survivors and issues connected to sexual assault by teaching at high schools and colleges and by spreading the word in conversations in my daily life. Word of mouth is truly a powerful vehicle as many people share the book with others. In terms of online communication, I outreach to libraries, schools, rape crisis centers, and domestic violence shelters through emails. I have been very fortunate to be listed on blogs and magazines. I have also shared information through interviews on national and international radio programs.

What do you plan for the future?

I am currently writing a second book, but most of my focus right now is on teaching, working, and spreading To the Survivors to as many people, schools, libraries, rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters, and religious/secular organizations as possible.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.?

People can find more information about To the Survivors or myself at:

Email: info@robertuttaro.com
Website: http://www.robertuttaro.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/To-The-Survivors/172523809579943

Tell me a little about your book.

To the Survivors is the story of my journey as a rape crisis counselor along with true stories of sexual violence shared by survivors in their own words. Readers will encounter uncensored stories from women and men who have been sexually abused plus my advocate voice that weaves their experiences together. The survivors are diverse in age, gender, and ethnicity, yet each gives a similarity raw and heartfelt account of his or her victimization and recovery. I believe that the authenticity and vulnerability with which survivors speak resonates profoundly. Messages within To the Survivors are very hopeful -- to the pleasant surprise of many readers -- and I am humbled to find it continues to positively affect people’s hearts and minds. I believe anyone can benefit from the words in these pages, rape survivor or not.

What do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I have many hopes for what the book might achieve in the lives of others, probably too many to list here. I will try to answer as best as I can:

I hope people keep breathing and do not choose to kill themselves.
I hope people understand that they are not alone.
I hope people will not feel shame for being raped or sexually assaulted. 
I hope people will not blame themselves for being raped or sexually assaulted.
I hope people connect on some level with at least one person in To the Survivors.
I hope people understand that they can grow and heal from any pain they experience.
I hope people who have not been raped or sexually assaulted become more educated on how to respond to incidences of sexual violence and the suffering of survivors.
I hope people stop raping and assaulting.
I hope people understand that God loves them more than they can even fathom, even if they do not believe in God.
I hope people talk to God and listen to God.

These are some of my many hopes.

What draws you to non-fiction writing?

God.

Where can people learn more about this topic if they want to pursue it further?

People can go to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network’s (RAINN) website for more resources in their state:


For anyone interested in resources specifically for male survivors, you can go to MaleSurvivor’s website:


Any tips for new writers hoping to write non-fiction?

Follow your heart and write what you care about. Write, write, and write some more. It is imperative to not be nervous, to not fear anything, and to fight through whatever blockage one may have. Believe in yourself and your abilities, and don't stop writing if you have the desire to write.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

When I am not writing or working, I am relaxing. I love to cook and listen to good music. I love live music and am always up for seeing a show. I also try to exercise when I can, and I love playing and watching basketball.

What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun?

I love books that convey truthful aspects of peoples’ lives and books that make me think of new concepts I have never thought of before.




SYNOPSIS
To the Survivors is a deeply-moving, empowering, and brutally honest book about one man’s journey as a rape crisis counselor with true stories of sexual violence shared by survivors in their own words. Gently and beautifully constructed, To the Survivors is moving, tender, sharp, and piercingly true all at once. Readers will encounter uncensored written stories, poems, and interviews from women and men who have been sexually abused, plus the advocate-author voice that weaves their experiences together. The survivors are diverse in age, gender, and ethnicity, yet each gives a similarity raw and heartfelt account of his or her victimization and recovery. The authenticity and vulnerability with which survivors speak resonates profoundly. But this book is not just for survivors of sexual violence. Robert Uttaro believes anyone can benefit from the words in these pages, rape survivor or not.
To the Survivors is a timeless resource for a world that struggles with the repercussions of sexual violence. 



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