Title: Toe Up to 10K
Author: Steven Fujita
In June 2012, Steven Fujita went to the emergency room, and was diagnosed with meningitis. After four days of improvement, he was scheduled to be discharged when his condition worsened dramatically. His blood pressure, body temperature and sodium levels all became dangerously low. He started to lose consciousness. He was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit. He had suffered spinal cord damage at the T4 level. Upon regaining full consciousness, Fujita could not speak, eat, breathe independently, control bodily functions, nor move his legs.
“Once we understand what we have to go through, become resolved to see it through, and know we will survive, we feel our ordeal is not so bad,” Fujita writes. In this book, he takes the reader on a journey of recovery from a spinal cord injury. It is not only a journey of determination and hard work, but of positive attitude, of drawing inspiration, of gratitude towards those around him: his family, his friends, co-workers, and medical professionals.
How did you come up with the title of your book?
The first movement I regained after paralysis was my right big toe flickering up, and my ultimate goal to commemorate my recovery from spinal cord injury is to run a 10K race, and in between the two events is the journey, thus “Toe Up to 10K: A Journey of Recovery from Spinal cord Injury.”
What is your writing environment like?
Messy. I use a desktop computer, but on my desk, I have books and loose sheets of paper with notes written all around me.
What is your favorite quote? Why?
“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” By Napoleon Hill. This is my favorite because it provides me with motivation to work hard to realize my goals.
How has your upbringing influenced your writing?
To be a “regular Joe.” My writing style is conversational, not literary, or poetic, but more like having a chat on the front porch.
What inspires you to write?
Sharing. For non-fiction, to share my experiences and knowledge and hope others gain from what I have experienced. For fiction, sharing the tales that form in my mind and hope others will enjoy reading these adventures.
What do you consider the most challenging part about writing a novel, or about writing in general?
Just like belly fat, the middle always presents the most challenging part of any writing. Often, I have the premise to start the story, and I know how it is going to end, but getting through the middle is always most challenging.
Did you learn anything while writing this book? If so, what was it?
I learned just how powerful sharing one’s experience is. Several people have commented that Toe Up to 10K has been inspirational to them although they have not experienced a spinal cord injury.
What have you done to promote this book?
With this book I’ve done a lot of social media promotion, such as twitter; and I have made up a lot of business cards with the book’s cover, and I pass them out whenever I meet someone. I’ve also worked with book promotion sites such as PumpUpYourBooks, Book Viral, Indie Author News, and others to increase internet exposure for my book.
What are some of the best tools available today for writers?
I think social media is great for not only promotion, but for the exchange of ideas. I think the internet itself is the best tool for writers. Physically, I think the library is the greatest tool, but they aren’t always open. Having an internet connection is like having a 24/7 library at a writer’s disposal.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Just Thank you for the opportunity for me to share some of my thoughts.
Meet the Author
Steven Fujita was born in Los Angeles and raised in Torrance, California. He attended college in Washington, D.C., and currently lives in Long Beach, California.
Listen to Steven Fujita’s interview on the Book Club with John Austin, which aired November 2, 2010, about his novella, Sword of the Undead, a re-telling of Bram Stoker’s vampire novel, Dracula.
His other book, $10 a Day Towards $1,000,000, is available on Kindle. This book promotes the idea of using time and savings to build wealth.
His new book, Toe Up to 10K, was released in September 2014. This book chronicles his recovery from spinal cord injury he sustained in 2012.
Visit his website at: www.stevenfujitaauthor.com