Author Interview & Book Giveaway: Miles Away World Apart by Alan Sakowitz

Welcome Author Alan Sakowitz!

Bio:
Alan is president of Pointe Development Company, a real estate development company located in Bay Harbor Islands, Florida, where he combines his real estate background and legal training. His company is a recognized leader in joint venturing, and is always open to considering worthwhile projects anywhere in the country from brokers, banks, developers, and principals. Alan has taught courses in law and lectured on a variety of topics, and he is a seasoned negotiator and business consultant.

Alan, a life-long resident of Miami-Dade County, lives with his wife Leah and their five children in the North Miami Beach area, the neighborhood proudly featured in Miles Away . . . Worlds Apart.

What earned you the title “the accidental author?”
That title came about because I am not an author by design. By profession I am an attorney and real estate developer. By chance I became an author after being the whistle blower in South Florida’s largest fraud ever.
When you discovered the fraud, why did you risk your life to expose it rather than do as so many others did, just be grateful you didn’t invest with the fraudster and walk away without saying a word?
I was frightened but I had no choice. I was not about to let other people become victims of Rothstein’s Ponzi scheme when I was in a position to try to put a stop to it. At the same time, since Rothstein was so well connected with law enforcement and politicians from the Governor on down, I needed to be careful not to choose an agency he infiltrated.

What inspired you to write Miles Away… Worlds Apart?
I could not ignore the fact that so many people closed their eyes because the benefits to them were too great to do otherwise or that so many decent people became complicit. To me, it seemed the facts of the massive Madoff-like Ponzi scheme needed to be presented in a simple way so they could be viewed without the trappings of unreasonable rewards. That way, each person could train himself in advance how he wants to respond before he reaches his next fork in the road.
It is hoped that understanding how these schemes work will prevent readers from being scammed.

What is one book everyone should read?
Who Moved My Cheese? It drives home the point that when a person makes a choice, he must select from the available options. All too often a person wants something that does not exist and therefore do not select the best available option that does exist. The author demonstrated that even though a person often likes to maintain his routine even if it has become untenable or a dead-end, he sticks with it because he is used to it.
Who Moved My Cheese prepares a person for change whether the change is necessitated by a change in health, personal relationships, employment or any other area. One quickly learns that ignoring the reality of the changing situation is a disaster and accepting the change, even embracing the challenge often leads to a better situation than the one that existed before the need for the change. The book is written as a parable. It helps the reader understand change happens. The reader learns to anticipate change, monitor change, adapt to change quickly and enjoy change.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Mint chocolate Chip

How do you react to a bad news?
I always look for the silver lining, even in a cloud. Whatever the “bad” circumstances are, they could always be worse. The first order of business is to assess the situation. Formulating a good strategy is usually the second step. After that I would tirelessly work the plan until I succeed. Throughout the process I would maintain good communications with everyone involved. Generally nothing is as bad as it first appears.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
Miles Away… Worlds Apart will inspire the reader to be the best person he could be while enjoying life to the fullest.

How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
Oddly enough, I celebrated by almost canceling the sale! My Blackberry registered the first sale so I raced to my computer to see if I knew the buyer. I did. It was the dean of the school three of my daughters attended in Israel . I was shocked that he even knew I wrote a book. It turns out he read an article about Miles Away… Worlds Apart and Googled the name and he found my web site, purchased the book and had it sent to his parents in the US so they could bring it to him when they came to Israel. The sale took place even before my first press release went out.
I say I almost cancelled it since the day before, when I received my first books, I mailed the dean an inscribed copy. In the end, I did not cancel it since I realized he made the effort to buy it quickly so I would have the pleasure and encouragement of receiving an order. That was not something I could take away from him. Instead I celebrated by writing him a thank you letter.

How would you describe the target audience for you book?
Attorneys, investors, teens, people that like True Crime, inspiring stories and thrillers.

How would you classify your book (which genre)? True Crime, Thriller, inspirational and business ethics. [A blend of a John Grisham novel (only nonfiction) and Chicken Soup of the Soul.]

Short synopsis:
Sakowitz tells the remarkable story of the biggest financial fraud in South Florida history from the perspective of a whistle blower grounded in an ethical tradition. After bringing us to the scene of the crime and explaining what transpired, he offers direction and tools to help make better choices in life. Sakowitz presents stories to demonstrate the importance of family, community, leadership, personal responsibility, integrity and other people. You will not be able to put this book down!

Description of the book:
Alan Sakowitz, a whistleblower of a Madoff-like Ponzi scheme masterminded by Scott Rothstein, fraudster extraordinaire, tells the story of his decision to turn in Rothstein regardless of the possible dangerous ramifications of such a decision. The saga of Rothstein’s rise and fall which included a Warren Yacht, two Bugattis, Governor Crist, the former Versace mansion, The Eagles, and even the murder of a law partner, is the stuff that Hollywood movies are made from.

Instead of the mere accounting of such a scandal, Sakowitz uses the Rothstein scheme as a cautionary tale in stark contrast to the stories of humble, ethical individuals living within Sakowitz’s neighborhood in North Miami Beach, Florida. Sakowitz’s neighbors are people who have spent their lives trying to assist others, not line their pockets, and through these stories Sakowitz creates a sharp dichotomy between the greed, of a Rothstein and its mainstream culture of consumption and the charity, kindness and selflessness of a principle-oriented community. Indeed, Sakowitz speaks to the symptoms of a culture that could create a Scott Rothstein, and, though acknowledging that the easy way out is not simple to dismiss, offers remedies to the growing ills of our entitlement society. The answer, Sakowitz says, lies in thinking first of others, and how one’s actions should benefit the lives of friends, not one’s short-term gratifications.

MILES AWAY…WORLDS APART can be purchased at http://www.legacyseriespress.com/

Giveaway Details:
1 copy of Miles Away…Wolds Apart by Alan Sakowitz
Open to US Only
Ends 2/4/11

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