Interview – Gino Arcaro, author of Soul of a Lifter
Self-Publisher’s Showcase: Today we are joined by Gino Arcaro, author of Soul of a Lifter and the SWAT football series. Welcome to the Showcase Lounge, Gino.
Gino Arcaro: Thank you for having me.
SPS: For any of our readers that haven’t come across your work previously, can you take a moment to tell us all a little about yourself?
GA: I have a 40-year professional career. I am an ex-police officer (15 years, 1975-1990), ex-college law enforcement professor/program coordinator (20 years, 1990-2010), current gym owner, football coach (40 seasons) and writer. I started as a factory worker carrying 140-lb flour bags in high school. I was hired as a police officer at 18. I become a member of the SWAT team at 20 and a detective at 26. My first head football coach unpaid job also happened when I was 26. I’ve been a gym owner for over 13 years. I started writing law enforcement academic textbook. Now I write non-fiction motivational books. I have worked out continuously for 45 years, starting at the age of 12 as an obese, dysfunctional child. Lifting weights changed my life.
SPS: What are your perfect writing conditions, and how often do you write?
GA: In the sun. I write something every day. 365 days a year.
SPS: Can you put your finger on the moment where you decided that you wanted to publish your work?
GA: August 1990. A college student asked me why we were using a law enforcement textbook published in California, in a Canadian college.
SPS: Why do you think it is that you have found yourself writing in the style/genres that you do?
GA: My writing style and genres have been shaped by my life experience. Every word I write and how I write is based on lessons learned in every profession I’ve worked in. I developed a communication style and ideological philosophy through decades of professional life that I have translated into writing.
SPS: What do you think a reader may find in your work that they may not be able to get anywhere else?
GA: Soul-lifting – a deeper, longer lasting drive that ordinary motivation.
SPS: Can you take a moment to tell us all about Soul of a Lifter?
GA: It’s a non-fiction book based on true stories that I have experienced in policing, fitness, football coaching, and business, that represents a soul-searching journey intended to inspire the reader to achieve goals physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.
SPS: What made you decide to use your own history to help others achieve?
GA: Feedback from my ex-football players and former college students. I’ve been blessed with countless unsolicited messages that explained how lives were changed. These messages were a sign that I had to share stories of underdogs who achieved incredible goals.
SPS: You make reference to your own childhood obesity. Emotionally, were any parts of the book difficult to write?
GA: No, no at all. I consider past adversities to be part of a struggle that builds us into what we are. I’ve never had a problem sharing my adversities.
SPS: Can you give us an example of an idea used to inspire?
GA: One of the best examples is how working out as a team transformed my first football team in 1984 from a winless season to a perfect, undefeated championship in 1985. The commitment and dedication of the student-athletes who I coached had to be experienced to be believed. Each workout became a spiritual experience.
SPS: Have you been fortunate enough to receive feedback from people that have had positive results after reading Soul of a Lifter?
GA: The quantity and quality of unsolicited feedback has been incredible. The common theme has been how the book made an impact on the way they think and how the book has inspired them to do things that they didn’t think they could do. Each testimonial has exceeded the ordinary feedback. I’ve kept each one as my own personal research data bank to remind me of what people are searching for in their lives.
SPS: Can you take a moment to tell us all about your SWAT series?
GA: This series is for football coaches. It explains my one-of-a-kind no-huddle offense and defense that I developed over my coaching career as solution to extreme adversities. The system is not a conventional playbook. It’s a limitless system that helps develop student-athletes from scratch to the next level with limited resources.
SPS: Are you confident that it is an approach to Offense and Defense that can succeed anywhere?
GA: Extremely confident. Based on sales and feedback from several countries, the system can work any level of football in any country.
SPS: Are they books that are written directly for coaches or can anyone pick up a copy and enjoy the books?
GA: Yes. I have written a 5 book series called Fourth & Hell: seasons 1-5, based on my experience coaching Canada’s only collegiate club football team against American colleges. It’s a behind the scenes look into a modern David versus Goliath.
SPS: Have you managed to take away the need for learning a playbook with the SWAT offense?
GA: Yes, that’s the major benefit of the SWAT offense. No conventional playbook has been instrumental in the teaching-learning process that has skyrocketed game performance and developed underdog players to the next level.
SPS: You say the SWAT defenseapproach ‘teaches defensive coordinators and players to make the right calls – those split-second decisions that have to be made about 60 times per game.’ How so?
GA: Defenses make calls blindly, guessing what the offense will do. When the offense lines up, the defensive call may not match the offensive formation. The SWAT system includes a rapid-fire decision-making model that adapts to whatever the offense has called. Generally, an offense runs about 60 plays per game. Our no-huddle offense runs many more. That means that defences are challenges to pass about 60 or more tests every game.
SPS: Before we move on, you have written across various genres – is there a particular book that we haven’t covered that you would like to bring our readers’ attention to?
GA: Soul of an Entrepreneur, a 3-book series that explains my business philosophy including how I made tough career decisions to leave “dream” jobs to start 2 businesses from scratch. The books also include our strategies used to survive in traditional “high-risk” businesses.
SPS: What kind of responses have you received from people who have read your work?
GA: The general theme has been that my books strike a chord for readers at a time in their lives when they need it.
SPS: What’s next on the self-publishing horizon for Gino Arcaro?
GA: I am writing sequels to Soul of a Lifter – Hashtag Peace, Lifter’s High part 1 – working with the dead, Lifter’s High part 2: midnight shift from hell.
SPS: Was the Self-Published/Indie-Published route always your preferred route for your work?
GA: Definitely. I’ve been blessed to have my academic textbooks published by 4 publishing companies. I learned that I needed to become my own publisher.
SPS: Has the experience so far been all that you thought it would be?
GA: Yes. It’s been a purposeful challenge that adds more meaning to my life.
SPS: If you could give one piece of advice for someone looking to get into writing, what would it be?
GA: Build you confidence and style by writing every day. Broken self-confidence destroys writing careers. Practice your craft.
SPS: Before we bring this interview to a close, it’s your chance to name-drop. Anyone who you feel is deserving of more recognition at present or someone whose writing you have recently enjoyed? Now is your chance to spread the word…
GA: Jerry Kramer’s book Instant Replay (1967) changed my life when I was 10 years old. It revealed my calling – coaching football
SPS: Thank you for joining us today Gino, and all the best for the future.
GA: Thank you. Greatly appreciated.
SPS: For more information on Gino and his work, please do visit his Showcase Author page here.