BookView Interview With Author  Carlos R Serván 

Welcome to BookView Interview, a conversation series where BookView talks to authors.

Recently, we interviewed  Carlos R Serván about his writing and recently released book, Running Dreams, an affecting memoir of overcoming physical disability and finding success in a foreign land. (Read the review here.) Carlos is a passionate, motivational speaker and international disability rights advocate. His first book—in Spanish—was the second-best seller, memoir category, at the International Book Fair in Lima. 

Carlos R. Serván, born and raised in Peru, immigrated to the USA in 1989, shortly after losing his vision and right hand in a grenade explosion while a cadet at the detective academy. Carlos is a passionate, motivational speaker and international disability rights advocate. His first book—in Spanish—was the second-best seller, memoir category, at the International Book Fair in Lima. 

He earned his MPA and JD from the University of New Mexico and presently directs the Nebraska Commission for the Blind. Carlos Serván resides in Lincoln, Nebraska, with his wife. Devoted to fitness, he is a zealous runner. 

Facebook:

 https://www.facebook.com/carlos.servantriveno

Website:

carlosservan.com

Running Dreams is your memoir, which explores many of your experiences and challenges with disability, immigration, and even your faith. What inspired you to actually sit down and write this memoir?

In my job as a director of a state agency for the blind and also as a disability advocate, I have done many presentations. After some of the presentations, several people suggested that I should write a book. My faith always gave me strength throughout my life, especially after I became blind and how I dealt with it in both Peru and the U.S.

Do you find writing therapeutic?

Only if that means that it helps me to focus on writing and put aside everything else. Writing can be stressful if not done in an organized way. Writing this book helped me clarify the important stages of my life and my adjustment to blindness; it gave greater structure to my story. 

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

English is not my first language. Finding the right words to express myself precisely was not always easy. I wanted very much for others to understand what I experienced and felt.

Running Dreams is a story with such extreme highs and lows. What would you say is your greatest failure, and what did you learn from that failure?

I almost gave up after a priest betrayed my trust in him. That taught me to always be prepared for what life has in store for me. I had to recognize the opportunities that came my way and persevere in difficult times. Never give up and focus on what I have control over. 

Is there anything you want to unlearn?

No, everything help me to be who I am. If I stumbled, I learned from that; it gave me wisdom.

Which scene or chapter in the book is your favorite? Why?

The one about meeting a friend in the hallway, Jim Chasey. Not only because he became my sponsor, but it shows how God works in different ways when one has faith. He made it possible for me to continue working in this great country, the land of opportunities. It also reminded me of the importance of helping others when they need it the most.  

How does your faith life/ethical outlook inform your writing? What do you hope readers will take away from Running Dreams?

I am a man of strong moral convictions and faith, but I don’t consider myself a religious man necessarily. When I write, I focus on values I regard as important and hope it helps others. I want others to know that they have the capacity to overcome obstacles. We are who we are not because of capricious fortune, but how we deal with adversity. The goal is the thing. That is what makes the struggle worth while.

What’s next for you?

I wrote several chapters on my childhood, not published in Running Dreams, lessons from my parents and friends that I would like to publish

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