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Creative Spotlight on Author Duo Jeffrey Kippel and Mindy Blackstien
Did you catch this episode live? If not, check out the replay via the podcast above or YouTube video at the bottom. Here are some fun questions that are extra and may not have been covered.
Tell our readers briefly about yourself.
We are a husband-wife team who are also partners in business and in creating projects together that we are passionate about.
Having helped pioneer the natural bodybuilding and fitness model movements — with over 25 years of experience in the health & wellness industry — we are purpose-driven to course-correct.
By creating international organizations, our efforts inspired millions — personal trainers, coaches, athletes, practitioners, models, magazines, and businesses — to rethink fitness. Our properties, the FAME World Tour, the World Natural Sports Organization, and the BodyPROUD Community, introduced natural bodybuilding into Canada and fitness model search events into the world. Ordinary people became extraordinary as they were able to transform into their own visual superhero.
Once we discovered that looking like a superhero doesn’t equate to feeling like one, we went on a quest to course correct.
We spent over a decade doing experiential research and mentoring under some great minds in the fields of empowerment, self-love, movement, and nourishment. Once aware, we decided to put our new knowledge into the pages of fictional books. For some, it will just be content, and for others, it will be gold.
Turns out, days after we published it (much sooner than either of us expected), we found ourselves given a rank on Amazon! And in multiple categories. Both for Kindle and Paperback.
So now on our resume, in addition to producing a #1 show on TSN, we are #1 Bestselling Authors in the fields of comedy, science fiction, happiness, psychology & self-help. And our books were ranked amongst authors, actors, and comedians who inspired our own growth.
Can you tell us about your most recent release? Album? Song? Art piece? Etc.?
1. A Choose Your Own Life Adventure - community (online and live)
* This has been released in the sense that we are ready to invite leaders who wish to educate, entertain and inspire with their innovations, creations, and discoveries. (It is not yet released to the public).
2. The Ridiculous - Book 1:
* This is the reason for the community (above). The community is the Companion App for this book series. It is where fans can take action to love better how they think, function, feel, manifest, create & dream. It is where they are recognized for their breakthroughs, ahas, notable gains, and transformative triumphs. It is where they are celebrated for sharing their stories and recognized for their self-dedication. It is their successes that helps inspire others in the community.
* The book is part of a trilogy. It fits within the sci-fi category and the weird sci-fi category (which apparently is very big) - yet it is also a comedy, so we are finding out that people who generally don’t dig sci-fi do enjoy this book! It also caters to people growing up in our generation due to the nostalgia of certain storylines. Plus, it fits within the self-help and personal discovery category, which is exactly what we had hoped to achieve.
This is what The Ridiculous - Book 1 is about:
Dive into the craziest adventure this side of the Milky Way!
Hop aboard your spaceship and join Serbinand, the intergalactic adventurer, as he explores the weird, wacky, and downright absurd things the universe has to offer. From out-of-this-world cuisine to colorful characters, alien adversaries to outlandish adventures close to home, readers are invited to join a larger-than-life comedy saga that flirts with the bizarre, the sublime, and the head-scratching ridiculous!
Imagine finding out that your dream came true: You wake up, and you’re now in a new body. (Albeit, on a strange planet, interacting with others who don’t know you’re a new you.)
Well, that's exactly what Serbinand (from somewhere in space) and Jime (a teenager from Earth) got themselves into. When they miraculously switch bodies, they embark on a side-splitting yet strangely heartwarming saga that shares a profound storyline about resilience, friendship, self-discovery, and the surprising value of enabling a perspective switch.
From snack-themed adventures to sticky situations on planet Earth and all across the galaxy, this book strikes the perfect mix of anything-goes hilarity, interesting insights, and crazy imagination. (All while giving you a good chuckle along the way!)
Laugh with the characters as they, through fresh eyes, navigate ridiculous situations with wonder, joy… and confusion. Join them on their quest to step in and out of the pages to negotiate their experiences with Author. Learn through them as they come to new understandings about life, the universe, and everything.
Book One of The Ridiculous is a hilarious novel that reads like one giant comedy skit. A must-read for fans of classics like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Monty Python, The Jetsons, Futurama, Ted Lasso, and Rick and Morty. For children of the 70s & 80s, you’re in for an extra treat. #RidiculousNovels
What inspires you?
People emanating love, those who sport a slight smile, give love to animals, are kind to people, and who are present in their moment. People who have discovered their passion, who are pursuing their talents, dreaming their dreams, and creating their creations.
On our end, we are inspired to help others love better how they think, function, feel, create, manifest, look, and dream. We are inspired to do this by writing our book series and creating a conscious community full of people inspired to help themselves and each other.
What is your creative work routine like? Do you balance it with another job?
Our job is about creation: writing books, empowering connections, building communities, producing videos, and strategizing. :) Creating is something we both enjoy. And don’t look at it as a job. It’s more of a joy.
Do you plan out your creations? What is your creative process like?
We go with the flow…
For the community, Mindy typically gets downloads and conveys that to Jeff. Together they strategize how to make a lofty vision work. Jeff typically creates the first draft, and Mindy goes in and deepens it up.
For the book, Jeff typically gets downloads and conveys that to Mindy. Together they strategize how to make it all work. Jeff typically creates the first draft, and Mindy comes in and Mindyfies it up :)
Do you have a self-care routine, or want to have one? What do you do or wish that you did to take care of your mental health?
Connecting to breath, meditating, learning new skills, spending time in nature, taking photos, listening to birds, connecting barefoot to the ground, doing circadian resets, paying attention to nourish our body, participating in drum circles, focusing on our passion projects, and attending community events.
What is your favorite creation thus far?
So many… the biggest impact we’ve had so far is the FAME World Tour and World Natural Sports Organization… we produced TV Shows, Expos, Event Tours, Magazine and online communities… while that was awesome, the most favorite creation is The Ridiculous Series.
Do you have a character that is your favorite over others you've written into creation?
Serbinand and Jime, as there is a part of each of them in Jeff. Mindy likes Orville for his lines and Free because she is modeled after her.
Are there any recurring themes in your work?
Yes, self-love, self-growth, and laughter; yes, laughter How much research was required on your topic of choice?
We spent over a decade getting personally mentored by leaders in their fields. We stayed with some on their property, traveled with some, shared the stage with some, and shadowed some.
What does success look like to you, considering your creative passion?
Feeling proud. Hearing stories of transformation: fit advancements, meaningful mindset shifts - and memorable laugh-out-loud moments. Knowing people took self-loving steps as a result of our efforts. (Self-loving steps that led to notable gains in happiness, health, confidence, or fulfillment.)
What has been one of the biggest lessons you've learned since starting this journey? Remember that to be successful, you need a team around you, and you can’t do it all yourself. So, in particular with writing books, that means hiring a graphic designer for the cover, a graphic designer for formatting, a copy editor, an editor, and specialists that write book descriptions and keywords… and then, well, there is marketing too :)
What advice would you share with new or aspiring authors/singers/artists/etc?
It’s okay to go slow and with the flow. That’s when the greatest ideas pop in.
Dream your dreams. Dream big. And choose to believe. Feel as if you already succeeded. Then take action.
Where do you get your ideas for world-building?
Being open to receive. Following intuition. Embracing downloads. Following signs.
What genre do you prefer to read?
All kinds; sci-fi, fantasy, and sometimes horror too, and business and empowerment books too (Jeff).
Not sure the genre name they fit in, but the type of books I like: Empowerment, psychological, energetics, kundalini, love-fuelled, self-discovery, and uplifting. (Mindy)
What hobbies do you have?
Nature. Relaxing. Learning to play instruments. Reading. Writing. Self-think time. Playing with hippie sticks. Netflix n chill.
Do you have any outside experiences that influenced your work?
The kick-off to the book series was Douglas Adams and the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
Where can our viewers/readers/listeners find you and your work?
Amazon, Kindle, and other locations, too; visit www.ridiculousnovels.com to see more.