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John Fioravanti reading an excerpt from his book A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching at the official Iceberg Publishing book launch.
Lessons Taught and Lessons Learned: Reading an excerpt at my first book launch with Iceberg Publishing.

Cherish the written word

From the time I was a young boy, the written word was important to me. My mother, Jean (Ryan) Fioravanti introduced me to the magic of books and demanded that I read to her every evening while she prepared our dinner. I sat on the kitchen floor with my book and a dictionary beside me and read. Mom gave the impression of being focused exclusively on her food preparations, but she stopped me every time I read a word that she suspected I didn’t understand – hence the dictionary!

Every week she took me to the Children’s Floor of the Dundas Public Library, which was in the basement, and I was allowed to select three or four books. I loved sports so I went to the biographies of heroes of all kinds of sports. Mystery stories in the form of the Hardy Boys series had me addicted as well. Later in high school, I became enamored with historical fiction because I had become hooked on history.

No matter what I read, I’d often reflect upon the genius of writers who could conceive such complex plots, concoct the most interesting characters, and keep me spell-bound for hours on end. Writers were on a high pedestal in my world, and I never believed that I had the ability to write a book one day even though teachers told me that I wrote well.

In 1973, I entered the teaching profession. It wasn’t long before I became troubled by the writing levels of my students overall. Although my field was history, I used that as the vehicle to teach formal writing skills. Later I found out that I had been dubbed with the nickname “the essay guru”. Twenty years later, the booklets I had written to teach my students how to write reports, exam answers, and formal research essays were transformed into my first book, Getting It Right in History Class.

A few years later, a former student, Kenneth Tam, whose family had created an online publishing house called Iceberg Publishing, asked me to write an inspirational book about teaching. I hesitated for several reasons but decided to give it a shot. The end result was a book entitled A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching. I was thrilled to discover that it won an IPPY Award. Shortly thereafter, Kenneth approached me again to write a novel inside his science fiction series called The Equations. Despite my misgivings about having the ability to write a novel, The Genesis Saga series was born.

After retirement, I continued to write and Anne and I decided to launch our own publishing business – Fiora Books. 

The written word has always been important to me in my personal life and my professional life as a teacher. It has given me a second career as an author of blogs and books. I truly cherish the written word.

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