Guys I’m super excited! Today, I have the pleasure of sharing my interview with Kevin J Roberts, author and supporter of individuals with ADHD And cyber addiction. It’s a really big day, because his new book, Schindler’s Gift, is coming out!! And it’s on sale! and you get the interview! So hopefully you enjoy it as much as I do.
You do a lot of work to help kids who struggle with ADHD, cyber addiction. How did you get involved with these (and other) child-related issues?
I come from a family in which pretty much everyone has some challenge life, and that ultimately explains my motivation. I have seen such talent, such creativity, in my own family that I have a white-hot passion to help others find and make use of their gifts. The nexus of this work and that of screen addiction is that this condition carrier the destructive power to sabotage young people and their chances for success.
Which medium do you prefer for getting across your message– writing books or giving verbal talks?
I prefer both. I love having a physical audience, because I believe I can change hearts and minds in a very short span of time. I think my impact face to face is much more powerful, but without the books to back me up, I probably would not be invited to speak as much as I presently am.
Has writing gotten easier as you publish more books?
Absolutely! I find that I am much less plagued by writer’s block, though I do have periods of drought that can still be difficult to get through. What I tell people I work with is that you just have to keep going, keep trying new methods to get yourself over the hump.
What inspired you to start writing your knowledge down and publishing a book?
Starting in 1998, I started working with people who had writing challenges. I came to discover that I had a knack for such work. After about a decade, I started to think that maybe I could parlay my skills into a book. I had had trouble regulating my own screen time, and decided that video game addiction was something I knew about. I wrote my first book, Cyber Junkie, in just under nine months, and found a publisher eager to publish it. That was 2010.
You have many books about different issues. Which one was your personal favorite to write?
My most recent book represents a deep passion, one that took me seven times to Poland and the Czech Republic to research the life of Oskar Schindler. I have also taken groups of young people on some of these trips, and found that Oskar Schindler is a shining example of how a person with challenges, a person who had trouble in school, can go on and change this world of ours. Oskar’s example will through this book, continue to inspire people with challenges to overcome them and help others.
What audience are most of your books marketed for? Would you recommend kids read these, or just parents?
My books, so far, are largely geared toward parents. My most-recent and upcoming book, Schindler’s Gift, is appropriate for teens, young adults, parents, and anyone who either suffers from ADHD or has a loved one who does.
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
My favorite part of the process, without a doubt, is the initial stage of letting a new idea percolate. I get excited, inspired, and have boundless motivation. Book projects, however, quickly become a grind for me, and I often struggle to persist past the initial phase of a month or two.
Is there anyone that gives you inspiration for your writing? How have they influenced the books that you’ve published?
My Junior-year high school English teacher, Bill Petrovich, told me something that continues to inspire me. “Kevin,” he said, “you are a vibrant and energetic individual. What makes your writing unique is that those qualities come through clearly.” Bill was the first man to convince m I was a writer. Given that I had hated English classes as a child, Bill’s influence really turned me around. It was hard to imagine that someone actually enjoyed my writing. Thirty or so years later, his words still reverberate in my head.
If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would it be and why?
I would see to it that Adolf Hitler was accepted to art school in Vienna, because I think without his charisma and commitment to his perverse ideas Nazism would never have had the successful staying power it enjoyed.
What’s one random fact about yourself that people would be surprised by even after they read your books?
I speak several languages fluently and learning foreign languages is something I do every day. At this time, I wake up and spend no less than twenty minutes of an app called Duolingo. Presently I am working on mastering Polish, and also practicing my Dutch, as it has fallen into disuse.
A Bit of Inspiration
What is one piece of advice you would give to people struggling with video game addiction?
Get help! Do not try to recover alone. One of the problems with people who struggle with addictions is that we hide, so that we can carry on our addictive behavior away from prying and judgmental eyes. As a result, many of us become socially isolated. Isolation is the handmaiden of addiction, and we have to come out of that and interact with humans, face to face. Social anxiety, self-doubt, and social isolation form a large chunk of the behavioral realities around screen addicts. We will not be successful, generally, unless we find support and connection.
Your website says you “help my clients unlock their inherent potential to change the world”. Why do you believe that everyone has this potential?
Not everyone has the same potential, of course, but the people I work with generally have a few things in common. First of all, they are all highly intelligent people who have not found their stride. Second, they are people who have talents and gifts that are neither honored by, nor developed, in a traditional school setting. Not everyone is highly intelligent, and not everyone has unusual gifts and skills. However, almost all of us are capable of changing this world, even if we do this in the smallest ways possible. Perhaps we help an elderly neighbor shovel her walk. Perhaps we make a meal for a friend or family neighbor who is sick. Perhaps we go as a whole family to a soup kitchen and help prepare and serve meals. There are numerous ways we can all change this world, and the greatest way we can empower others is to help them help others. I am a firm believer is the wisdom of St. Francis, that the greatest amount we receive from others come when we find a way to give!
About the Author
Kevin Roberts, fluent in six languages, is an internationally-known expert on screen addiction, ADHD, and cyber bullying. He was recently featured on ABC’s 20/20 and the BBC’s FiveLive program. Roberts is also the author of Cyber Junkie: Escape the Gaming and Internet Trap, Movers, Dreamers, and Risk-Takers: Unlocking the Power of ADHD,and Get Off That Game Now!. Find him on his website, kevinjroberts.net