Escape From America by Vinnie Apicella @lovebooksgroup

On the surface, Escape from America is the story of an American aspiring to change his life and plan a future in China. Beneath the surface, however, this book features critical analysis of both countries in an effort to promote greater understanding. 
China, in spite of its long history, is still a very “young” country where development is slow and unsteady. Sure, we from the “West” can say we’ve arrived—but have we really?
EFA is meant to educate and entertain readers who wish to truly "know" two of the world’s dominant superpowers, as well as provide powerful insight from someone approaching the subject from both a local and global perspective.
But that's not all.. 
My “story within a story” is one that I believe can encourage you, whatever your background, to take a closer look at your country, your life, and take everything into account. Step back and examine your world, ask yourself: Am I happy? Do I like what I see? What future goals might I wish to pursue?
Broadly speaking, for anyone who is not satisfied with the status quo and feels there are better ways forward, this book will inspire you. 

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Author Interview 
1. What would you consider to be your Kryptonite as an author?
Tension. Anything that tends toward “forced” or contrived writing.

2. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Brevity is boring, be creative and use your imagination—that’s what helps set you apart from the rest.

3. What book do you feel is under-appreciated? How about overrated?
Good questions. So good, in fact, I don’t have an answer. I’ve done a lot more writing than reading in recent years and so I honestly don’t know.

4. Favorite childhood memory involving books?
First discovering “MAD” paperbacks in my local bookstore. I was enticed by the goofy appearance of the front cover “mascot,” and discovered a whole new world of humor within the pages that helped show me the “lighter” side of life.

5. If you could dine with any literary character, who would it be and why?
I may be veering off the path a little, but I’d choose Peter Drucker to try to absorb as much as I could from his personal experience and lessons learned in effective business and management.

6. What fantastical fictional world would you want to live in (if any) given the chance?
The Highlands of Scotland as presented in the Harry Potter movies.

7. Did you want to be an author when you grew up?
I knew I wanted to do something creative by dabbling in art, music, and writing. But I hadn’t considered authoring or writing professionally until reaching college.

8. If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Diverse, Driven, Unpredictable

9. What is your most unusual writing quirk?
I enjoy using conjunctions to begin sentences. I suppose it’s that inner rebel inside me that doesn’t always subscribe to following rules.

10. What’s one movie you like recommending to others?
The first Rocky movie, brilliant in its simplicity and never fails to inspire

11. If you could own any animal as a pet, what would it be?
I kind of liked ferrets when I was a kid, so maybe one of those.

12. Have you ever met anyone famous?
Not in literary circles… well then again, I guess Steve and Kip Forbes qualify as writers and publishers; Sally Struthers, Judd Nelson, Martin Kove (actors); in music circles, Paul and Gene from KISS, Ian Gillan from Deep Purple, and Ronnie James Dio.

13. What is the first book that made you cry?It would go back a long ways, but I guess it would be Benji, maybe…
14. How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?Since I’m a first-time book author with my current work, I haven’t any other point of reference. But I can say this one took me the better part of forever.
15. What creature do you consider your "spirit animal" to be?Maybe a fox, for its slyness and quickness; I’ve always prided myself on the ability to maneuver when faced with a difficult situation, or come up with a quick answer.
16. What are your top 5 favorite movies?The first Rocky and Star Wars movies, Back to the Future, Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire, The Road to Perdition (Honorable mentions: Jaws, Animal House, Superman, Sherlock Holmes)  
17. If you were the last person on Earth, what would you do?Study the benefits of yoga and self-meditation to be more in touch with my “spiritual” self.
 18. What fictional character would you want to be friends with in real life?Tony Stark, for his ingenuity and the ability to reinvent himself
19. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?Write for a love of writing as a form of self-expression and sharing with others. Tap into your creativity. Read with a sense of purpose—analyze, criticize, and gain all you can from the words of others. When you have an idea, take it and run with it. Try your best to block out both the internal and external static that comes from self-doubt and silly advice.
20. What book do you wish you had written?How We Think by John Dewey
21. Tell us 10 fun facts about yourself!
»     I’m an introvert
»     I’m an extravert
»     I take what I do seriously, but I don’t take myself very seriously
»     I still believe my best days are yet to come, even the majority of them are behind me
»     I enjoy being productive; moments are precious and I can’t bear to waste them
»     I find value in moments of self-reflection
»     Anything worth doing is worth overdoing
»     I love using famous quotes to help inspire others—after I’ve sampled them myself of course
»     I’m a very outgoing social person yet I adapt well to self-isolation (go figure…)
»     I love traveling overseas and discovering different cultures, foods, ideologies, etc. 
22. If you could live in any time period, what would it be and why?I’d go back to the 1980s since it was a more fun, carefree period than those that followed; plus I was younger and life was a lot less serious.
23. What is your favorite genre to read?Historical Fiction or Psychology

Author Bio
Vinnie Apicella’s writing career began by drafting press releases and artist bios for NYC music and film companies, later producing financial articles for Forbes, travel and tourism pieces for a medical publisher, and more recently, marketing and sales copy for a Beijing-based e-commerce firm. In all, he’s been writing professionally in one form or another for over 30 years.

He is originally from New York and earned a BA from Columbia University, as well as additional degrees in Communications and Business Administration. Several years later he relocated to Beijing, China to reinvent himself and pursue new opportunities for business. There he created a successful education consulting business for a local training center to assist Chinese students to study abroad. In addition to managing, he produced staff training programs, presented at various industry events, and taught his own writing and communications skills courses.

Today, he oversees Shanghai EDGE Consulting, an online education services company where he teaches English, Business, and Writing, and is a consultant to international students. And after more than 10 years or planning, writing, researching, rewriting, revising, pausing for unexpectedly long periods of time, and finally renewing his production process, he is proud to finally enter the realm of the “authorpreneur” with his new book, Escape from America.

With his inaugural, and perhaps only formal authorial work, he sought to pour several years of experience, insight, and lessons-learned into the pages of EFA, which he cites as a “complex and sometimes combustible blend of critical and creative thinking” designed to shift people’s perceptions of the world around them and challenge their belief systems for the better. In the future, he hopes to use his book as a platform to develop additional methods for making a positive impact on society and inspiring others to improve their lives and pursue their passions.