Featured Interview With Naomi Brickel
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I’m a mom first. I have six kids (including my son in Heaven), an amazing dog named Kelly, and I live in New Rochelle, NY. Professionally, my expertise is in youth and family engagement and I’ve presented to thousands in workshops and at state and national conferences. I’ve worked with young adults to promote their self-determination and empowerment, helped families in the practical and emotional aspects of navigating disability service systems across the lifespan, and worked with professionals to build capacity for more inclusive communities. My favorite things are cooking, wine, mixing fun cocktails, and Puerto Rico.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I’ve loved reading since I got through my very first book, “Hop on Pop,” all by myself. My Dad always gave me books, and we would read together, which made me feel special in our large family. I’ve always enjoyed writing too. I’ve done a bit of poetry over the years, and write a lot for my work, but “Not to Spoil the Ending…” is my first published work. Hopefully not the last!
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I love spiritual and self help. In my heart and soul I’ve been most influenced by Brene Brown, Eckhart Tolle, and Fr. Richard Rohr. I think my own book, even if it’s not fiction, is similar to “The Shack” by Wm. Paul Young.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
Not to Spoil the Ending… but everything is going to be ok is an inspirational non-fiction narrative that details the harrowing tragedy experienced in the sudden loss of my 15-year-old son and the subsequent anguish and then uplifting reflection which uncovered simple yet profound insights about peace and joy. Building on my own foundation in the wisdom and writings of Brene Brown, Eckhart Tolle, and Richard Rohr, I present Adam’s unique, playful, and poignant framework for happiness – one so uncomplicated it could only have come from a boy – developed through the recollections of kids who knew him and their recorded messages in a funeral visitation book. It is a powerful tribute to kindness, exhibited through stories of Adam’s life and incidents in the aftermath, and a testimony to redemption (see the cameo with former NFL superstar, Ray Rice).
I think that when I first started writing, I was motivated mostly by a desperate mom’s need to preserve any piece of my son’s life I could cling to, trying to get as much as I could into one place – memories kids had shared with me of his life, experiences after that emanated his presence, dreams, etc. I did not start with them, but what percolated out as I wrote were very powerful messages about peace and joy, and making this world more hopeful and heavenly. Most amazing was how simple and yet life changing it all was.
I’m moved by how much of an impact it’s had on those who’ve read it. I’ve gotten letters and emails, and have literally been stopped on the street on numerous occasions by people I knew barely, or not at all, just to tell me how much reading it changed their life. An antidote for today’s anxiety, filled with comforting insights about making our world more happy, hopeful and heavenly, it’s been called a “must-read for anyone who has loved and lost, or who may need beacons of ‘lights’ in these seemingly dark times.”
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