Gary Szenderski, author | In the Spotlight Interview

Posted on May 6, 2016 «
Categories: 2016 In the Spotlight, author interview, giveaway «
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in the spotlight feature

In the Spotlight feature kicked off in April 2015 and is an opportunity for authors, editors and publishers (basically anyone in the book industry (yes, even bloggers!)) to connect with fans. There is an option to do an interview, guest post, feature a book sale or book release or a cover reveal. Best of all, it’s free! All you need to do is click on the image to reserve your spot!



All the 2016 spots have been booked. If you have a book releasing the first half of 2017 and are interested in being In the Spotlight, I would encourage your to book your spot today! Spots are going fast!


Now on with the show!


In the Spotlight with Gary Szenderski

in the spotlight question

Welcome to Second Run Reviews, Gary! Thank you for being In the Spotlight. I appreciate you stopping by and answering a few questions. So let’s get things started

In a tweet (140 characters or less), tell us a bit about yourself.



author interview gary szenderski

A speaker, teacher, branding specialist and author, I help people navigate change. I believe our perspective determines our quality of life.




in the spotlight question

You cover quite a range of topics and interests. It appears that you have a unique position to effectively promote your work!

Please tell a bit about your journey to becoming a published author. What’s been the best things about it and the worst?


author interview gary szenderski

I began writing advertising copy professionally years ago, not as a copywriter, but as an owner of a branding firm. In branding it’s critical to be as succinct and clear as possible, which has carried over to my writing. I’ve always liked to read and that inspired me to write. Writing forces us to focus our thoughts. A good friend suggested I should take my weekly “Book of Szen” stories of inspiration for a changing world and make a book. So I did.

The best part of this journey has been the response from readers. I underestimated the power that a positive story can have. The most common response I receive is that people think it’s written just for them. The worst part of the journey is having to self promote. Part of me is still waiting to be “discovered.”

in the spotlight question

With all the negativity in the world right now, people are craving positive stories!

Tell us a bit about your latest release, Szen Zone. What inspired you to write it? Why should fans of Second Run Reviews consider reading it?



author interview gary szenderski

Szen Zone is all about getting from here to there. Most people dislike change and yet without it we fail to grow. The book highlights the power we have to make a positive difference in our own life – at the center of all change is our perspective. The book breaks this message down into bite sized easy-to-read stories. My inspiration comes from years of experience in coaching, teaching, and helping people and organizations through transition.

I think your readers will find this an easy read that leaves them with a greater sense of purpose and hope for whatever they seek. At least that was the goal.

in the spotlight question

It sounds like a wonderfully powerful novel. I’m not surprised you’ve had a positive response to it.

What types of books do you enjoy reading the most? What three books to you find yourself recommending to your fans over and over?



author interview gary szenderski

I enjoy books that appreciate our humanness and try to inspire us to be better than we are. I wake up every morning with a goal to become a better version of Gary Szenderski than I was the day before. Three books I really like and recommend are:

  • Beauty by John O’Donahue – in all of his many works he reminds me of what a hack I am by comparison.
  • Infinite Possibilities by Mike Dooley – his “thoughts become things” concept is a central theme for positive change.
  • This last one is tough because there are so many I could recommend depending on the situation. That being said, The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Anchor – he uses research to prove we can be better and happier human beings.
in the spotlight question

Those are all new books to me, Gary. Thanks for suggestion them. I’m always looking for non-fiction books to read and appreciate recommendations because I find them more difficult to read.

What is your current obsession? Any secret obsessions you would like to share?


author interview gary szenderski

My current and on-going obsession is to convince as many people as possible that they have the power to create positive change. This includes clients, friends, and family that retreat into a negative and debilitating ennui. I wish and dream for a magic wand solution for those stuck in despair.

It’s difficult to keep any obsession a secret. Truth be told, I still hold to the dream/plan that I should be living in the South of France, N’est pas?

in the spotlight question

Well, good luck with that dream of moving to France. After visiting London in 1999, I hold the hope of moving there one day.

What is one question you wish I would have asked, that I haven’t?



author interview gary szenderski

Here’s one: Of all of the different jobs you have and things you do – writing, branding, teaching, which best defines you?

I like the idea that I have a fairly large bandwidth, which allows multiple activities to co-exist in my life. Being an author – where people I’ve never met or known can find a word or phrase that could be life changing, – is the most satisfying for its shear power and reach. Thanks for letting me ask the question.

in the spotlight question

Ooo, great question, Gary. You are not the only one who prefers to have several activities that co-exist and define you as a person. I feel the same way most days. There isn’t just one job that defines me.

Any last thoughts or wise words you want to pass along?



author interview gary szenderski

Success comes faster and is more complete when we focus on the goal and not the process.



in the spotlight question

Thank you, Gary, for stopping by sharing your wisdom with the fans of Second Run Reviews. I hope you’ll come back soon and update us on future projects.




Gary Szenderski's Wise Words



book review gary szenderski

The Overview

Synopsis: Szen Zone: Reaching a State of Positive Change, by Gary Szenderski, is a compilation of heartwarming and inspirational short stories that celebrate the power in each of us to create positive change in our lives.

The general overarching theme of the book is change and all of the aspects of it – creating, surviving, and managing change with the goal to recognize the power we have to create positive change in our lives and be what we want to be.

Topics covered include productivity, letting go of the past, embracing the potential of the future, and learning to take chances.

If you are a fan of short inspirational stories like those in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, then this is a book you would certainly enjoy. Wherever you may find yourself in life, you will discover an insight or example in this book to help you change course and take charge of your life.

Whereas ZEN is of the moment and what is, SZEN celebrates what could be.

Giveaways offered at Second Run Reviews. Various sponsors.

About Gary Szenderski

gary szenderski headshot

Gary Szenderski is an author, speaker, teacher and branding specialist, internationally acclaimed as an expert on the subject. He specializes in helping people and organizations to navigate change, and frequently speaks and writes on the topic of emerging brands, personal branding and companies in transition. Gary is an award-winning writer, author of the Book of Szen and Szen Zone, often quoted marketing expert, and recipient of the Distinguished Instructor Award from the University of California in Irvine where he teaches branding. He resides in Southern California.



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