The Pleasure Of Your Company: Tom Ufert Speaks!

I wanted to interview Tom Ufert by himself as fan mail told me that his first interview with Cliff Roberts was probably the most successful interview I have ever been a part of. The hits were numerous, and many people thought Tom couldn’t beat that. Yesterday, I was lucky enough to take part in a webinar that took Tom to a brand new audience. Huge audience figures show that Tom is here to stay. A hit book, a hit personality, a bona-fide star of the book world.


Tom Ufert has struggled and beaten several disabilities that people believe should have confined him to a mood of misery. He has suffered with addictions, blown away his problems and is now proudly promoting his self-help guide “Adversity Builds Character”.


Q) Tom, I wanted to ask you, how do your disabilities define your daily routine? How do you manage to get so much done?


A) So much done? (Laughs) That’s a laugh! I don’t feel I get enough done. When I was at the height of my college/political/arts career, I was the editor in chief of my college newspaper, chapter president/state province rep for my fraternity, attended fifteen hours of classes, worked about thirty-five hours a week, was chairman of my College Republican chapter, on the alumni boards for my HS and college, was speakers chairman for college student government, was the youngest member of my state GOP central committee, consulted for political campaigns, raised money for the local summer music festival, and had an active social life. This seems dull in comparison to that!


Q) Your disabilities have caused you to slow down? You seem to get more done now than most people who are fully-bodied.


A) My disabilities definitely have forced me to slow downand many times inflict fatigue on my body. I guess having a pretty set routine has made getting anything done a practical reality. 6-8 hours of sleep is a must, and I have to remind myself to eat. Having a supportive partner, relatively strong upper body strength allowing for independent transfers, a determined will to do as much for myself as possible, and a state-funded home health aide to assist with daily household chores are all God sends.


Q) I’m sure they are! Okay, let me jump in with something I wanted to ask you. You were heavily involved in the ’80s “mad men” era of politics, Reagan and super economics. What is the difference between being involved in the politics game and just watching the politics game?


A) It’s the difference between being inside politics and watching from the side-lines. That’s a huge difference. I have actually run state-wide political youth campaigns for major Senatorial and Gubernatorial candidates where being able to juggle whole legions of volunteers in several locals, going door-to-door soliciting voter support, organizing rallies and candidate appearances, attending major conventions, maintaining huge letter writing efforts and dealing personally with media coverage was a daily routine and had no set time schedule. You could be called on at any time of the day or night!


Q) Do you keep yourself involved in current events through TV? Personal contacts? 


A) I have to settle with keeping myself abreast of current events via the media. I can no longer pick up the phone or leap into a car to deal with the immediate crisis of the day. Many times, I no longer feel the “informed expert” of local, national, or international political events. Sure, my gift of reasonable intelligence and past insider experience provide me with a credible understanding of the political process and its veiled realities. However, like any profession, inactivity results in a loss of connections and relevant facts that are often privy only to a select few.


Q) So, for a million dollars, how have your experiences in the political world helped your writing career?


A) My education provided me with a rather extensive knowledge of reading and writing.


My political experience definitely has made me very much at ease with public speaking, interviews, and the all-important skill of the personal touch that is so valuable in building rapport. This was also the case in approaching my self-publisher, IUniverse, and Barnes and Noble. I’m not intimidated by executive corporate titles or low level functionaries/bureaucrats whose primary responsibility is to protect the corporate structure from relatively unknown entities such as myself. I have no problems looking up the phone number for a corporate HQ, calling in, and working my way thru the bureaucracy until I find the individual empowered to solve my problem. Then, I introduce myself, make my pitch, gain their trust/respect, and ingratiate myself with them to the point where they feel the unquenchable urge to join my cause as a dedicated supporter.


Q) You are quite the troubleshooter…


A) Well, I coined the phrase, “Who you know gets you in the door. What you know keeps you there!” My past experiences in dealing with notable personalities, corporate CEOs, the press, managing large reams of information, and being able to multitask or compartmentalize my activities has greatly aided me in understanding how to market and promote my book.


Q) Your genie pops out of the bottle and asks what you desire as a writer. What do you choose, Tom Ufert?


A) I want to inspire others coping with adversity to the point where they no longer feel helpless. Like me, they too can overcome, rise like a phoenix from the ashes, and become true icons of the human spirit. I want people to scream with all their might that they are never surrendering! In turn, their achievements can be focused outward to help others; and perhaps, over time, an unstoppable movement of noble humanity can reverse the present trends of caustic selfishness and global destruction. I know it sounds naive, but I can’t help striving to march ever onward in my short lifetime down the “road less taken” towards a better world!


Q) You quoted Robert Frost there… What is inspiration to you, Tom?


A) That’s a tough one. I think for everyone inspiration is comes in different forms and appearances. However, regardless of the form it takes or the mode of delivery (music, literature, spoken word, visual art, shared life experiences, etc…), I think inspiration is anything that drives us to be better than what we are and give more than we ever thought we could. Inspiration is that which lifts us to a higher plane of accomplishment. It doesn’t have to be stupendous or even spectacular. It just has to bring us in touch with who we dare to become!


Q) You have a quote book coming out soon. You obviously want to inspire people to do what they can to live their lives. Who inspired you?


A) There are many people who inspire me. Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Popes John Paul II & Francis I, and Jesus Christ are just a few historical figures that inspire me. But the boy who gets up after being bullied and walks away with his head held high and smiling inspires me most of all.


Q) Thank you for your time, Tom.


A) Anytime, Nick. You can count on me—just remember—I don’t stand for handicap jokes.









 Join Tom on a journey through his life right here!


Scared Stiff? Yes… Alex Laybourne Has That Effect…

What is Horror? Let’s forget about the dictionary definition here. I will ask you again. What is Horror? What makes us scared? What scares you the most? What is your personal horror? Let me ask you this– what would you be most terrified of? It’s a dark nightand you are walking home from work. The wind is shaking the trees, and birds are calling. It is darkening further every second. You feel someone walking behind you; you can hear them breathing in the darkness. You break into a run and turn the street corner. You see your house straight ahead. You see the lights burning out into the darkness. Your chest pounds from the pain of prolonged exercise. You throw yourself through the gate, through the door. You are safe.

Horror could be a fear of the unknown? You will never know what was behind you, what was breathing?

Enter Alex Laybourne, writer. The man who brings horror to your neighbourhood.

Mr Laybourne, or Alex to his friends, at home with the family. Alex likes to relax with his wife and kids as much as he can.

Q) So, Alex, you have written several books most notably “Highway to Hell.” You have also written interviews and promotional materials. What do you think you are achieving as a writer?

A) That is a tough one to start with! I would like to think that I am starting to achieve a base level of understanding with regards to how the industry works. More than that is just wishful thinking. I’m selling a few books, but not enough. I am learning the basics of promotion, but do not do enough for myself. I have ten bodies of work available and would like to bring another few out before the year end, but, titles a writer does not make. I have yet to begin to define myself as a writer or as an artist.

Q) But you are growing as a promoter–you are learning the tricks. Would you say promotion is important to you?

A) Promotion to me is an extension of being a writer. I think too many people, especially when starting out, think that the two are mutually exclusive, when in reality they are one and the same. Promotion is generating interest in you as an artist and in your work. To increase interest, you need more work. So you see, in my mind, writing is promotion, and promotion is writing. Running a website and blogging comes down to writing.

Q) So, which is more important to you? Writing or promotion? Businessman or artist?

A) Promotion is interest, it is about working for each and every sale. Not a mass spree of purchases or a big campaign that draws a lot of attention, it is about every single sale as a single event. I am of the firm belief that every sale is a triumph, for it only takes one sale to create a groundswell. One person to read or see your book and mention it to a friend and momentum is suddenly gained. I have ten items available for sale–nine of them are short stories, chapter books if you will, that when put together form one novel. I guess I have promoted them the heaviest, but more due to their numbers than anything else. When my novel Highway to Hell came out, I promoted it like crazy. I went a bit tweet-happy for a while. I spammed a little you could say. I learned my lesson and reeled myself in.

Q) Highway to Hell is an important book to you, correct? What’s the deal with that one?

A) Highway to Hell was my debut novel, and the first in a trilogy of novels. It is a good, old-fashioned horror novel. Inspired by Dante’s Inferno and the writing talents of Stephen King and Clive Barker, it chronicles the journey of six strangers who die at the start of the novel and find themselves unjustly sent to Hell.

The first half of the novel is not for the faint hearted. The novel sets up the story for the second instalment, which actually comes out in the next few weeks; however, when viewed on its own, it is a novel about sin and forgiveness.

Q) Do you think that there’s still a market for the kind of horror you write? Traditional horror?

A) I think there always has been, it’s just rebranded as thriller. Thrillers are easier to sell, and over time, horror,real horror, got edged out by what I call torture porn. It started in movies, thanks to films like Saw, and the reputation of horror soon spread. Horror is the greatest genre, because it gives complete freedom. There are no constraints in horror, or at least, there shouldn’t be. As a writer, I see an image in my head and describe it in words. There are taboos, there are rules and lines drawn in the sand, which I will cross and leave for dust if they help me tell my story. That is the difference between what you call ‘old-fashioned horror’ and the current crop. Torture porn breaks taboos for the sake of it, not because the story or the vision requires it.

Q) You mentioned “Torture Porn” back there in your last answer. Would you ever write that kind of horror fiction?

A) No, I would not. I would write body horror, and I have done so in the Highway to Hell series, but it is all for a point–for a vision other than for the simple need to show naked women and blood.

Clive Barker is my idol when it comes to horror. His visions and the epic scope of his imagination are frightening. He is not afraid. He writes and makes his art. That is what I hope to emulate, but it is a far cry from torture porn.

Q) Many people say that horror is only a small part of the fiction market. What do you think of that statement?

A) Horror is everywhere and can be incorporated into everything. In what other type of fiction can you allow your imagination to run wild. You can create a decadent word filled with romance and lust, and with a few tweaks, turn it into a nightmare, a place of terror. You can utilize everything at any time. Withhorror, the only limit is you, the writer. So, to answer your question, there are limitless forms of horror writing, and at the same time, only one: horror.

Q) Do you think that readers sometimes go for what they can understand, rather than what writers may call “great writing”?

A) Yes, I think that there are some great stories out there that are overlooked because they are too intense. I view writing as art, and art is something that does not need to be explained. It is there to inspire, to captivate and to invoke all manner of feelings and reactions. The artist him or herself are the only ones who ever need to know the true meaning behind their work.

Q) I have one final question. A biggie. What is horror? Can you define it for me?

A) Horror is unique. It is something, some part of us that we all have. It is a memory, a notion, a concept; it is a fear.

The real question is what does horror do?

What horror does is capitalize on that specific entity within each person and magnifies it. It twists it and turns it into something bigger and badder. To quantify horror is impossible. The closest I could come would actually be IT by Stephen King. The monster not the book – as great as it is. If you look into it, there is an entire mythos behind IT, and that is what horror is in my book.

It has no form, yet is everything; it is everywherebut we never see it, not truly. Horror is what happens in the corner of our eyes, in that instant when we blink. Horror doesn’t lurk in the shadows as many people think. It is broad daylight, it is all around us, waiting.

Horror is the best thing in the world because deep down, everybody likes to be scared.

Check out “Highway to Hell” by Alex Laybourne today for a creeplicious tale!


Rave Reviews For Nevwas’s Gold!

Nevwas’s Gold by Cliff Roberts a real page turner!


This was a very interesting read. The author’s ability at storytelling is truly unique. I often felt throughout reading this book like I was talking to a friend telling me of his experiences.

The story is about Nate who is a very colorful character. He seems to always find himself in a mess. He starts off just helping out a lady whose wallet was stolen in a bar and ends up in a huge mess. This one small act leads to numerous other crimes that end up being linked. Nate partners with his friend Mason who works for the sheriff’s department and the two of them manage to solve a major crime ring, the friendly banter between the two makes for a very enjoyable read.

The was a very action-packed and suspenseful story that keeps you turning the page to find out what other trouble these two can get into. So if you are up for a suspenseful action-packed crime story you cannot go wrong with this book.

I give this 5 out of 5 stars

Happy Reading
~M  (Michele Ray-1book lover’s opinion)


Mr Roberts Meet Mr Ufert…

Cliff Roberts is a man accustomed to the public eye. He was a politician, a CEO, a businessman and a police commissioner. Now, retired, disabled and contented, he writes. He is a novelist.

 Tom Ufert, politician, world traveler, charity fundraiser and writer has met his own struggles with addiction, sexuality, illness and has turned them into strengths.

You don’t need to pity these guys, you can LEARN from them…

Chris Keys1

Cliff Roberts, a man at home with his family.


Nick: Thank you for attending this interview, guys. Cliff Roberts, meet Tom Ufert.


Tom: Thank you, Nick. It’s great to meet you, Cliff.


Cliff: Likewise, thank you for inviting me to be apart of this wonderful summit.


Nick: Now, you are both ex- politicians, correct?


Cliff: I claimed to be reformed.


Tom: Yes, EX. I recovered my brain and conscience.


Nick: Okay- no politics. Let me start with you, Cliff. You were a successful businessman, a wealthy politician, and you have run major companies in your time. Now, you are disabled, living in Tennessee, and you write. How do you feel about that?


Cliff: Being disabled sucks after having been a very active sportsman most my life, but I can’t just sit around whining, so I took up my first lover–writing.


Tom: Amen


Cliff: I know people who have just turned off and now just sit waiting to die, but I ‘ve never been that type.


Nick: Tom, you have a similar outlook. You struggle with several disabilities, and you have never given up. Do you think the time was right for you to write a book?


Tom: Well, I think that with the world in its present state of affairs, people need to be reminded that things can get a lot worse…we all need to be aware that adversity is part of life, and only your will to NEVER SURRENDER will keep one afloat.


Nick: You are a true inspiration, Tom. Cliff, do you think you are defying the way disabled people are usually perceived by many people out there? You seem to be throwing off the pity and striving for greatness, as you always

Tom Ufert, a man in thought.



Cliff: I would like to say that I, like Tom, believe the same. I read the blurb on Tom‘s site about adversity making you stronger and it’s true. Every challenge changes you. It can be for the better or the worse, it’s up to you. That is exactly how I felt when I became disabled. It was just another challenge for me to overcome. I think too many people believe that disabled means unskilled, incompetent and unable to think and do anything. I may need an editor, but I’ll tell you a story you won’t be able to put down or forget easily.




Nick: That was powerful, you really hit home there, Cliff. Tom, as a guy who suffers with HIV and MS, have you been faced with similar prejudices to Cliff?


Tom: Oh, yes! I prefer the PC term ‘physically challenged,’ Nick. I can tell you though one thing is for sure, being in a wheelchair means I don’t have to replace my shoes as often!


Nick: Do you two realise how inspirational you both are? You must realise that people can learn so much from your experiences.


Cliff: I don’t know about myself; he’s in a chair, I’ve hopefully got a few years before I’ll need one most of the time. I just try to do all I can and avoid getting down about it. You just have to keep plodding on and making the best of situations.


Tom: People need to remember we may not have all our physical attributes, but we’ve still got our minds. Take me–I have only use of three fingers on hand, two on the other, but can keep up with most typing fifty words a minute; plus, with modern technology like Dragon voice activated programs I can write damn well. What I do isn’t amazing; it’s just adjusting to what life has thrown at me, and I keep moving on forward. I try to inspire others to live life rather than just survive it! That’s my aim.




Cliff: I never felt that I was anyone special having overcome my challenges until a local newspaper writer interviewed me and he claimed I was the most inspiring person he’d met in twenty years of writing his column. I should have been in a home several times I guess, but I refuse to quit. It’s just as Tom said, people think because your body is broken, your mind doesn’t work. As long as I can think I’ll keep doing all I can to reinvent myself as I need to. But writing is totally freeing. I can do the things that I’ve always wantedbut never was able to even if it’s just in my mind.


“Just remember, I don’t stand for handicap jokes…” Tom explains with a smile.

Nick: I think you are right, Cliff. Okay, Tom, your book “Adversity Builds Character” tells of your life and struggles. What do you think was the hardest obstacle you faced?


Tom: The will to live and make the world a better place is what keeps me going. For me, the greatest obstacle was having all three disabilities—MS, an incomplete spinal fracture, and HIV. Divine inspiration and a whole group of support covering my back kept me going. My ability to inspire others to help the less fortunate is the drive that spurs me on every day.


Nick: So inspiring. Cliff, let me ask, did you ever believe that you would be writing a book, at what could be described as the lowest ebb of  your life?


Cliff: No, I never considered it when I was able to function. I  was always looking for the next business opportunity and trying to build my world financially. I fought the changing of my body as long as I could without even thinking about whether it might be something other than getting old. Then one day, the doctors said I should stop and focus on living because what years I had left were going to be a struggle. To me, writing was just that thing I had tried when I was a kid in college. Now that I’ve got several books done, I can’t imagine not having written all along. I should have, but life got in the way.


Nick: Tom, if you were still fit and healthy, do you think you would have written the book?


Tom: I’m not sure, but writing about the other adversities–struggling with my sexual identity, drug/alcohol/sex addictions, my mother’s tragic death, being sexually abused as a child, being “adopted”,etc…certainly was a cathartic experience, and I can only hope my insights help others. I am enjoying writing, and with three additional books planned, I think it’s become a new niche to mark my place in the tapestry of humanity.


Cliff: Tom, will all the books be in the same vein, the same inspirational memoir genre?


Tom: Actually, no, Cliff. My second will– it’s a sequel to my first book “Adversity Builds Character.” The third book will be a kind of unique travelogue about my year studying in Australia, while the fourth is a very philosophical text utilizing texting acronyms to guide people in our modern age.


Cliff: I’ll look out for them. I am really enjoying this interview, guys.


Tom: I am, too. My memoir was inspired by my godmother/grandmother who suggested my story could really help others. If I could survive all this in just thirty-four years of life, then others can survive their life struggles, too.


Cliff: Your website showed that you’re quite the world traveller with book signings and such all over the Far East. Have you considered motivational speaking?


Tom: Actually, my book is going to the Far East. I’m not. I’ve only travelled to Canada and Australia. I am, however, still young, and I am ready to travel anywhere to get this book to those who need help. I am working with my team to get a speaking career rolling. Do you know, Cliff? When I visited Australia, I gave twenty-six speeches, and I kept on speaking right through my political career. I have always enjoyed speaking in public.


Cliff: I know the feeling. I gave more speeches as a politician than I can even remember. I think it becomes second nature at some point. Your writing is inspiring, and you write very well. Nick, I am sure, is just sitting back relaxing as we do all the conversation.


Tom: Politics, the gift of the gab, not knowing when to keep quiet. Do you think your first book “Reprisal!” is your best?


Cliff:  No, I don’t think it is my best. My style of writing has improved from the blunt force approach that is “Reprisal! The Eagle Rises” into the books that I’ll be releasing as we go forward that are more subtle with better flow in the intrigue; but having said that, I firmly believe that “Reprisal!” is just as good as any action thriller you’ll read by anyone.


Tom: I have added “Reprisal!” to my reading list! They strike me as similar to other action thrillers I like in James Patterson’s style.


Nick: Cliff, do you think people will take to ‘Reprisal!’ in the same way they took to you as a politician?


Cliff: I hope they do. I won my election with a landslide victory!


Nick: Tom, what do you think makes your life fulfilling?


Tom: Community involvement. My adopted family and Jesuit educators stressed that. I have to say that family and friends are vital, but for me, sitting around and being complacent is a sin. I love contributing to my community, my nation, my world, and my species. In my opinion, it’s kind of what God had in mind when he made man in His image. Otherwise we’re just another animal struggling to survive which doesn’t live up to the higher power of human capabilities like Einstein, Motzart, DaVinci, and Christ Himself.




When things go wrong as they sometimes will
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When life is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit!

Life is queer with it twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit,
It’s when things seem worse,
That you must not quit!




Tom: Beautiful prose, Cliff.



Cliff: Thank you, Tom.




Cliff Roberts first published work is called “Reprisal! The Eagle Rises.” You can get this great book here!




Tom Ufert‘s first book is called “Adversity Builds Character” and tells an important story. How did Tom overcome the traumas, trials and troubles he faced in life? How did he survive? You can get his book right now, right here!


A Deal?


The book is called A Deal With God.


The writer is called Michael Haden.


Michael Haden is a successful Tampa businessman and volunteer girls Division 1 competitive soccer coach. His inspiration for this book came from the girls he’s coached. He currently coaches for FC Tampa and has coached some of the most amazing and fascinating young women to ever play sports in West Central Florida. Dean has coached well over two hundred young womenand each one has their own amazing story. His first book, A Deal With God, tells the could-be story of just one of the girls he has coached.


The Deal


When Deana Murphy died, she told God she would do anything if he would let her come back. Deana didn’t realize what she was getting herself into. God granted her request but in the form of a Deal. He had a mission for Deana that would change everything. Follow Deana as she takes on this mission with full commitment.


Deana is sent on a path that will require her absolute faith and devotion. She is tasked with stopping a high school massacre that would destroy many lives. She will have to move hundreds of miles away from any family or friends; she will have to leave urban Tampa and acclimate to rural Dothan, Georgia.


One element of God’s mission is for Deana to help heal a broken family in this small town. Part of the deal is that Deana has to get the man of God’s choosing to marry her, and she has no say on who this man is. Her faith keeps her going and what starts as a mandate develops into an amazing love story.


This is a story of family and faith, love and inner strength, healing and conquering obstacles, and an absolute triumph of the human spirit.


What Are The Critics Saying?


A Deal With God – The Power of One is a unique love story inspired by a true story and real events. Author Michael Haden, delivers an entertaining and delightful fictional novel that is full of romance, real-life drama and intrigue. A true testament to the love and grace of God, revealing the power of perseverance and the power of one, this novel exemplifies absolute trust and faith in God.


Follow Deana Murphy, a promising young woman with a bright future ahead, abruptly cut short when she was hit head on by a drunk driver. Upon her death she begged God for another chance. He gave her that chance, but in the form of a mandate. Her mission-to leave the familiar, forsaking the past and to fully commit herself and her future to a man of God’s choosing. This will require complete trust and dedication, a forsaking of one’s own will to fulfill the call of God, in the pursuit of saving others.


It is not often that I rave about books like this, but I found this book to be extremely engaging
and inspiring. The main character’s self-sacrificing ways truly epitomize something we should all
aspire to, and the way the plot evolves (and finally ends) is truly amazing. A great read, which
helps put the big picture of life in proper perspective. Great job by the author.


This book is one of the best I’ve ever ordered. It shows that life is precious and should not be taken for granted. One woman in the book hated her life. Most of it was due to lack of effort. The second woman in the book, Deana, wanted any life because her first life had ended. She was willing to do “anything” to have any life. Even though the life she is dealt is one basically another woman didn’t really want, she made the best of it. The last 3-4 chapters were really brilliant. I really loved this novel.


What Are Fellow Writers Saying?


Haden is the epitome of a great writer!“~ Chris Keys- Author of “One Mistake”


What Haden has shown here is true talent!“~ J.W. Northrup- Author of “The Gold Slaves”


Haden is a joy to read!“~ Ellen Mae Franklin- Author of “The Unseen Promise”


Just read it!“~ Patrick Mcmillan- Author of “Happiness For Kids”


Reprisal! The Eagle Rises!

Well folks, it’s here and it’s going to blow you away. I told you that I would be releasing it soon, didn’t I?


Reprisal is with you as we speak.

The story is a little ditty about two men who want to take the war on terror into their own hands. It tells the story of a billionaire and a General who decide that they can defend America…

What do the critics say?

Well, so far! It’s doing dang well…

Get your copy now!