Nicholas Oliva (O-lee-va’) has been a musician, writer, poet, photographer, an audio engineer, an Entertainment and Technical Director for over twenty-five years.
His first book, Only Moments, was published in 2007, which was a novel that followed the lifetime journey of the professional musical career of a husband and wife team to the year 2020.
His latest book is Finding God: To Believe or Not To Believe, now available at Amazon.com as well as Barnes and Noble and will be available in the Kindle Store soon. To visit the website go to www.tobelieveornot.com. Mr. Oliva’s other Websites are OnlyMoments and for his first book Only Moments by Nick Oliva. You can find him on Facebook as well on either the book page Facebook | Finding God: To Believe or Not To Believe or his home page http://www.facebook.com/noliva.
Oliva lives in the quiet mountains of Nevada.
Thank you for this interview, Nicholas. Can we start out by having you tell us briefly what your new book is about?
First of all, thank you for allowing me the ability to promote what I think is an important subject in our world today. “Finding God: To Believe or Not to Believe,” is about the essence of who we are, how we live, and what we believe – or not believe.
I waited a long time to begin writing this book. The incidents contained within occurred in October 2004, while at a hospital in Nevada. There are a few reasons why I chose to wait this long to tell my story. The first and most influential was the reasoning that by taking a stand on what I experienced and believe, I would have many detractors and people who would attack me in order to perpetuate and bolster their own beliefs and/or lack of beliefs and use me as an example. In order to fully explain what I’ve gone through, I had to touch upon religion, morality, and ethics – all controversial subjects in the context of what this book is about. The theme promotes the energy within us all as Godly, not the looking outward for all of the answers.
I always have been skeptical of near-death experiences or NDE’s, but after I examined the empirical evidence of charts confirming the flat-line of my heart while in intensive care there was no question that I had “gone over” and actually was on my way to death. This affected me profoundly and I wanted to write about it but I didn’t feel the time was right. The book evolved in my mind as time went by, to a much more comprehensive examination of how we live and die and how much we value things that we kill for them, when in reality it all becomes meaningless when the ultimate “truth” of leaving this existence actually lays before you. All of the prejudices of whose God is the right and only God disappear when the reality of crossing over hit you smack in the face. I had come back with such energy and a re-awakening. I was no longer afraid of death and had a renewed vigor, despite the permanent nerve damage, pain, and physical handicaps I had suffered, and I wanted to make each moment count. The irony of all of this is that in the previous novel, “Only Moments” I had written over 10 years earlier, my main character goes through a Near Death Experience that was similar to what I had gone through in reality.
At first, few wanted to hear about it even in my own family. Those who were Christian paid no attention as if I was some blasphemer and other friends thought I was just delirious. Very few cared to listen or wanted to know about it I think because it may have threatened their own rigidity of thought that they wanted to believe versus what could be. That turned out to be my central motivation – to take this to a much higher level then just writing a book about an NDE. I needed to address the thought process of those who would not give an inch in their enslaved dogmatic religious chains that has caused humankind to have murdered millions of people through thousands of years to defend such supposed “truths” and “words of God.” I had studied comparative religions and anthropology many years ago and kept up with the latest major philosophical and scientific theories in regards to the field of metaphysical thought and the human condition. I guess my life experiences just led up to this and I made a choice to “download” all of these life experiences to redefine what belief really is and how we as individuals must be held accountable and really responsible for what we think. Our illusions, our realities, our thoughts are uniquely ours and ours alone so the idea of a Godly force within is not something new but to tie it to 21st Century physics was a challenge and a pleasure for me and the logic is rock solid. That being said emotions usually rule over logic for most human beings so I know this book will not be for everyone and I’ll have my share of detractors and criticism from all sides. It uniquely addresses the polar opposite thinking of those who believe in no sort of a god whatsoever, and those who believe only their god is the true god and will exclude and ostracize anyone who does not share their beliefs. There’s something here to bring together those of open minds and will anger those who refuse to budge from their intransigent beliefs be it atheist or theist.
More and more authors are realizing the potential for sales that derives from virtual book tours. Can you tell us your personal reasons why you chose a virtual book tour to help get the word out about your new book?
Everyone is connected now. We are in the 21st Century of the most advanced technological communications in human history. To ignore that would be foolish. Books themselves have transformed to this digital platform and of course, “Finding God: To Believe or Not to Believe,” can be downloaded on Amazon’s Kindle Books. You never know who will walk into your doorway when the world is at your feet. You just have to keep your doors open. It’s a ‘brave new world’ and an exciting time to be alive!
Is this the first time you have heard of them?
No, I first published “Only Moments” a fictional work in 2007 and Dorothy Thompson handled the virtual tour as she is with this non-fictional book as well. She is the best at what she does and at a fraction of the cost of most others.
What do you hope to achieve through promoting your book through a virtual book tour?
I can only hope that those of like minds or open minds connect with what I’m saying and will buy the book not because it is some egocentric epic, but because they too want to make some sense of their lives in this very confusing world. Many people want to know of Near Death Experiences and I describe mine in detail. Hopefully the “search engines” will link them to my website and there they can read the first chapter and the foreward by Yvonne Perry as well as any reviews I will post once they come in. The book is just out so it will take some time for generate a few.
Do you promote online through other means? Website? Blog?
“Finding God: To Believe or Not to Believe,” is on www.tobelieveornot.com and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=151624104854808
And my blog at www.onlymoment.wordpress.com
The first book, “Only Moments” is at http://www.onlymomentsbook.com
Who maintains your website?
I have two different webmasters for each book as I really don’t have the time or desire to become one while I’m trying to do everything else. Most people do not realize that writing a book is one thing-getting it published another-and then marketing it consumes much of one’s time. It is not easy.
What are your experiences with offline booksignings? Do you have much luck selling your book through that method?
My experience has been that they are fun and you meet many great people but it doesn’t give you that punch if you are not already known. You don’t sell thousand of books unless you are a celebrity. Of course it comes down to that old adage about advertising and marketing: I know 50% of my advertising and marketing dollars work – I just don’t know which 50% that is.
Here’s a fun question. If money were no object, how would you promote your book?
I would take out ads in the trade periodicals and Facebook, I would hire a publicist to book me on national radio and television shows, and I would try to coordinate those activities with book signings.
Thank you for this interview, Nicholas. Do you have any final words?
Thank you for this interview. I appreciate it greatly. I’d like to address the content of the book as it holds special meaning for me.
One must have love for one’s self to be able to spread love unconditionally. We can get it right by being good to ourselves and sacrificing for others in this world, as the next dimension could be of oneness and singularity. Right now is the important essence of time and being. Do not waste any more precious time over such trivialities. Have empathy for those who are hanging on to dear life due to fear of the unknown. Make them secure with their passing. It is natural. It is pain-free. Let the living band together to move forward, or we may once again fall into the dark ages of ignorance and violence.
In the end, it is what we’ve done that helps define the legacy we leave. Who we are will decide what we do.
Make it a life worth living for others and feel the goodness which goes beyond perceived human ideals of what is and what you think you are supposed to do. The challenge is not an easy one. The best of those who have taken it up have faltered along the way. It is the hardest thing to give up control and allow life to flow without expectations. It is not in our national consciousness to live moment to moment. We must always have a plan. We must always strive to be bigger and better. Many a civilization long gone had the same philosophies. We are no more special than they. It is time to break away from the accepted norms of bigger, better, best, and deal with the quality and happiness of life and the hope of our own enlightenment to come together as a human race and truly beat swords into plowshares. We have come far, but not far enough. Our humanity defies our commitment to this as our paranoiac nature always lies in wait, distrusting the person next to us. That is the hardest part of evolving.