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Taking Ownership Of One’s Life

James Gardiner Author Interview

All in With Love: My Journey to the Hero Within tells your emotional story about rediscovering the passion you had in your youth and making those dreams a reality. Why was this an important book for you to write?

I truly feel that most adults are on this fruitless quest for happiness. I know I sure was and yet the key was found by looking inward, specifically to the child I had forgotten. Taking ownership of one’s life and walking in acceptance of it is something that elevates the human condition. The book is my attempt to shed light on that through a creative, intelligent, and unique reading experience.

I appreciated the candid nature with which you told your story. What was the hardest thing for you to write about?

To do so in a way that serves the story and the art I was trying to create. While I have achieved many successes and lived some colorful experiences it is sharing the ugly truth that holds the greatest lessons. The decision I made to leave my family and the collateral damage that ensued was truly the hardest part.

What is one piece of advice someone gave you that changed your life?

As my dad says to Little Jimmy in the Rhode Island Arena, “swing and you won’t be scared anymore.” Sometimes, even in the twilight of life, we need to swing on a dream.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your story?

That inside each of them is a younger self with an outstretched hand. To be inspired to write their own life story – it doesn’t have to be a book but the magic that is within the experience is priceless.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

Imagine stepping into the spotlight of New York and Hollywood, a lifestyle where stardom, celebrity life, and a Chippendale bow tie were the everyday norm? Fame was the dream of an innocent young boy that played out in the heart of a man who in turn lost sight of the boy within. This is their story.

Born with severe asthma and enormous dreams, James Gardiner began his life in conflict with himself. Little Jimmy wanted to reach for the stars like his science-fiction icons and become a sports superstar like the paper heroes that adorned the walls of his childhood bedroom. But as a frequent visitor to the local hospital, viewing the world through the plastic walls of an oxygen tent, such dreams seemed like they would always be firmly out of reach. However it was there on the pediatric wing that he began to entertain audiences with his stories and charm, growing to like the attention. In fact, to crave it. He wanted to “be somebody,” and for the first time, his dreams didn’t seem quite so out of reach.

As he got older, and his asthma became more manageable, he began forging his path of destiny. First, through the sport of rowing where the fragile young man dared to challenge his asthma and strive for the Olympic podium. Then, it was his lust to be a movie star that thrust him into New York City and Los Angeles to world of fashion, celebrity, and even murder. But it was his one unanswerable question that repeatedly seemed to leave his life in shambles. “Can his fantasy life be his reality” became the albatross that hung over the man… and the boy.

Somewhere along the way, he had lost touch with that childlike part of himself that looked at the world each day with joy and wonder. Looking back he had gone “all in” on his quest to be somebody, but now as a middle aged man left with nothing and no one, it was time to reconnect with little Jimmy and go all in on himself . . . to go all in with love.

Within their story of reconnection lies the gateway to reclaim your inner child and live your best, most authentic life.

All In With Love

James Gardiner’s memoir, All in With Love: My Journey to the Hero Within, is a story of perseverance, compassion, and the many iterations of love. The story opens in Rhode Island, where “little Jimmy” is a severe asthmatic dreaming of athletic glory. Gardiner takes us through attempts at sports, hospital stays, and even young love. This section was by far the most positive and left the reader with a sense of hope. The writing is full of wit and humor. It’s clear that Gardiner has fond memories of his youth, and I smiled reading his recollections.

He then moves into adulthood, where Jim chases dreams of acting. Gardiner does work as a professional actor but writes about achieving success in such a hollow way that it leaves the reader disappointed in him. He illustrates loss in such a poetic way it moved me to tears. These sections were written to be more emotional, and I found them harder to read. He works to become a better version of himself, which is a concept readers can relate to, as we all want to remake aspects of ourselves. Gardiner ultimately finds the “hero within” is his dream-filled youth, which feels somewhat nostalgic.

All in With Love: My Journey to the Hero Within takes the reader on a journey through the life of James Gardiner but also serves to help readers reveal who they are and who they want to become. I found his writing engaging, and the way he tells his story is full of passion, regret, and creativity, leaving me feeling that I understand him. There were parts I didn’t find quite as intriguing or well-written as others, but overall I enjoyed reading Gardiner’s story, and many unexpected twists kept me on my toes. This emotional memoir reminds readers to live an authentic life and to hold on to the things that matter most.

Pages: 482 | ASIN : B0BB8VYPH2

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