Scott Stabile is the author of Big Love. Scott’s story is truly remarkable, having suffered an unimaginable hardship at the age of fourteen when his parents were shot to death; he has now become a beacon of light and a spreader of love. Scott Stabile has a self-confessed mission to spread as much love as possible, and he is doing a wonderful job. His inspirational posts and videos have attracted a huge and devoted social media following, including over 350K Facebook fans and counting. Scott Stabile is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, lives in Michigan and conducts personal empowerment workshops around the world. Please enjoy my interview with Scott Stabile.
How do you describe your occupation?
The short answer: A writer & speaker. The better answer: A person who encourages people to love themselves, and others, as deeply as possible.
I’m on a book tour right now, which isn’t typically the case, so along with wasting too many hours in front of the computer (which is typically the case), I spend a decent amount of time being nervous about what I’m going to say at my book events, and if anyone is going to show up to hear it.
What are you reading at the moment and what made you want to read it?
The Misfit’s Manifesto by Lidia Yuknavitch. I’ve been curious about her writing for a while and figured I’d start with her most recent book. I’m digging it.
Can you remember the first book you read by yourself?
Put Me in the Zoo by Dr. Seuss. At least I’m pretty sure that’s it.
Are you a page folder or a bookmarker?
Bookmarker, for sure. I’m way too anal to fold pages.
When did you fall in love with reading?
I fall in and out of love with reading. I can go months without reading a book, and then will read a book or two a week for months. It’s always been that way for me. That said, Agatha Christie’s books were the first to hook me on reading when I was a teenager.
If you could gift yourself books at age 16 and age 25 – what would they be and why?
At age 16, I would have gifted myself Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke, as encouragement to move forward in my life and in my creativity with as much freedom and passion as I could muster. At age 25, I would have gifted myself The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, both as a manual for the importance of living in the present moment, and as a stellar example of staying true to your premise and promise in your writing.
What are perfect reading conditions for you?
With the right book, any condition can be perfect, but I especially love to be bundled up on the sofa on a grey, rainy day, with a hot cup of tea by my side.
For someone starting out in your career, which three books would you make required reading and why?
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott is a wonderful guide to writing (and life) for all writers (and people). Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert helps creatives establish a different relationship will all the fear that keeps them from being free in their creativity. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron offers a practical, daily program by which artists can stay connected to and embolden their creativity.
If you could invite 5 authors (dead or alive) to a dinner party – who would they be and why?
Rainer Maria Rilke, Glennon Doyle, Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou and Pema Chödrön. The why is simple for all of them: they all integrate/integrated in their work the profound importance of compassion, love and freedom. They are/were all wise teachers with boundless gifts to share.
What is your favourite thing about reading?
I read mostly memoirs these days, and I love to see the ways in which people react and grow from the experiences they’ve had in their lives. Reading their stories is a way for me to connect with them on a deeper level, and deep connection with others is probably my favourite thing.
What’s the best book you’ve read in the last 6 months?
Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. It’s just so good from beginning to end.
If you could insert yourself into any book, which would you pick and why?
Maybe the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling, but only if I get to be a wizard.
Name a book that you feel everyone would benefit from reading and explain why.
Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed is a compilation of letters written to Cheryl when she acted as an advice columnist named Sugar, along with her responses. The letters touch on so much of the human condition, and Cheryl/Sugar’s responses reflect deep wisdom and empathy and offer readers so many takeaways they can apply to their own lives. Also, the writing is capital B beautiful.
What is the book that you feel has had the single biggest impact on your life? What impact did it have?
Wow, that’s a tough question, and I’m sure I’ve got many answers, but I’ll go with Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke. It rocked my world at a time my world needed to be rocked (early 20s), reminding me to live my life in accordance with my heart’s desires, reminding me to be honest about who I am and brave enough to live within that freedom.
Are there any books you haven’t mentioned that you feel would make your reading list?
I’d also include:
Narcissus and Goldmund by Hermann Hesse;
Carry On, Warrior and Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle;
Beneath the Lion’s Gaze by Maaza Mengiste;
Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle;
The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson by Ralph Waldo Emerson;
Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculee Ilibagiza.
That’s just a handful on an endless list.
Which book sat on your shelf are you most excited about reading next and why?
My Fair Junkie: A Memoir of Getting Dirty and Staying Clean by Amy Dresner. I love memoirs, and I love redemption stories, and I’ve heard this book is not just moving and raw but also funny as hell.