As a child, I was taught that life was about kindness to others. I hope my book can give people an incentive to follow the golden rule “do unto others as you would have them do unto you!”
Aspart of my interview series on the five things you need to know to become a great author, I had the pleasure of interviewing Severyn Ashkenazy.
Severyn Ashkenazy was born in Poland in 1936. He survived the holocaust with his parents and brother. In 1957, Ashkenazy emigrated to the United States. He is well known as the founder of The L’Ermitage Hotel Group. Now he is an author. His new book, SWORDS OF THE VATICAN A Reflection of a Witness to Evil, is available at Amazon/Kindle and bookstores upon request.
Thank you so much for joining us Severyn! Can you share a story about what brought you to this particular career path?
Iwrite about this in my book. I was educated by my family, my friends, my professors (who then became my friends), and my love of learning. I have always had an insatiable need to read and learn.
Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?
Early on I did not hesitate to hire women for the most important positions in my businesses. I trusted women for their intelligence and their instincts long before feminism became popular
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
One usually forgets one’s mistakes. When faced with a dilemma I always chose humor over anger.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Promoting my book, Swords of the Vatican Reflections of a Witness to Evil
Can you share the most interesting story that you shared in your book?
There are too many to describe. The whole book is filled with solid facts and
What is the main empowering lesson you want your readers to take away after finishing your book?
Open your mind. And then open your eyes. That is the lesson.
Based on your experience, what are the “5 Things You Need to Know to Become a Great Author”? Please share a story or example for each.
1. Teach what you know.
2. Make sure that what you know is well researched to be true.
3. Make sure that you have distilled your knowledge to a minimum of ink.
4. Be convinced that the book will make a difference for future generations.
5. Make your family proud.
What is the one habit you believe contributed the most to you becoming a great writer? (i.e. perseverance, discipline, play, craft study) Can you share a story or example?
I had to constantly sharpen sentences and phrasing to arrive at simplicity. Do not get lost in intellectualism. “What one can conceive well can be expressed clearly.”
Which literature do you draw inspiration from? Why?
Essays. I have been inspired by the father of French thought and writing, Michel de Montaigne. He is most famously known for saying many things but my favorite quote of his speaks about not feeling shame. “Let us not be ashamed to speak what we shame not to think.” So if you are not ashamed of thinking about something, you should not be ashamed at voicing it.”
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I hope my book can give people an incentive to follow the golden rule “do unto others as you would have them do unto you!”
As a child, I was taught that life was about kindness to others. Jews educate their children and ask them to follow the golden rule. Why then was that not what happened to my family during WWII? I made it a point to research history, religion and the origin of hate. That’s why this book is so important. There is a Jewish biblical dictum, “He who saves a single life saves an entire world.” Shouldn’t this be the goal for humanity? Anyone who cares about truth should read my book, SWORDS OF THE VATICAN.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Thank you so much for this. This was very inspiring!