Introducing Saving Our Pennys by Roy Dimond & Jeff Leitch
Roy Dimond is an established author, having released The Singing Bowl and the Rubicon Effect. Jeff Leitch is a new writer and is very proud to have co-written this book with his great friend.
“Education is not filling a bucket but lighting a fire.”
~William Butler Yeats
When two thoughtful and dedicated professionals – a youth worker and a teacher – put their minds together, a great motivational book was created. These two gentlemen are Roy Dimond and Jeff Leitch.
Roy Dimond, (author of The Singing Bowl) asks in his latest release entitled The Rubicon Effect the question: Is humanity driven by hope or fear? In Saving Our Pennys he and his friend Jeff Leitch ask: Who are you and what do you believe in?
For futher information about Roy Dimond you can see more at:
Introducing Jeff Leitch, co-author of Saving Our Pennys.
Jeff Leitch is the co-author of the book, Saving our Pennys, which he co-wrote with his great friend Roy Dimond. Saving our Pennys, will be released shortly by TaoFish Books.
Jeff lives with his family in Maple Ridge, a proud community at the base of the majestic GoldenEarsMountain in British Columbia, Canada.
Honoured to be a teacher in his native Coquitlam, British Columbia, Jeff’s passions include his wife Linda, and their three kids, Amanda, Matthew and Adam, “all his families” and friends, and the great stories they share. You can find him at any sporting venue, or live theatre, with coffee in hand, cheering and coaching those who display courage and dare to chase greatness.
Along with writing occasional articles for local papers, Jeff’s current restlessness has him dreaming of many more novels, while writing at least one musical hit as he goes beyond the three chords he knows on his acoustic guitar.
Hello Jeff and thank you to take time to answer a few questions.
Who are you and what do you believe in?
It’s my pleasure. Thank you for taking the time to interview me. Those are two great questions. Who am I? Well, that’s a question that has been one of great flux in my life. I’d like to think I am a believer in hope, hard work and perseverance. I believe in my abilities, never giving up a cause, or the fight, and making sure goodwill triumphs over fear and dread.
How did you meet Roy Dimond and when and why did you decide to write Saving Our Pennys? What sparked the idea?
I first met Roy during my teaching practicum at University. He only spoke to us for an hour but his words were the defining moment for me and many of my colleagues. His take on students of all ages and how he understood people on the deepest yet most simple elements of humanity resonated deeply. It took me three times to actually get to work with him full-time (in his Program for at-risk youth) throughout my career, but when I had the opportunity I was thrilled. I learned so much in the year and half I worked with him. Roy would move up to the Sunshine Coast with his wonderful wife Lorraine but before he left, we both felt a story was being “built” in that time. We both wondered, me as a new teacher and Roy as a retiring youth worker, why so many students simply disappeared out of the schools. No one really knows where these lost souls go or end up. Saving Our Pennys honours those children. I truly believe that Roy and I always knew this story would find its way.
Why and who chose this title and how much truth is behind this story?
The story moved from the original title of From Shadow to Substance to Saving Our Pennys. I have to credit Roy for the title, as he created it years ago, but was generous enough to share it here. I love it. The story has so many truths to it, and we acknowledge one particular student (although we protect her identity) who serves as the shining exemplar of those children who are forgotten in an underfunded system that too often puts paper ahead of people. Penny is real, but is it also can be argued that she is a composite of all our students.
What is Saving Our Penny about? Did you play the”what if / maybe” game for a while, before you started?
Saving Our Pennys is an inspirational work on vision, education and how to be happy at what you do. We use the setting of the schools, the classroom, nature and family to communicate with our audience. One, if not all of these settings, we believe, have touched each individual on this planet in some way that they can relate to. There were honestly no “what if – maybes” for us. We had a great attitude about writing a book together, and knew that the story would carry the day regardless if it was officially published. Deep down, I had no doubt this story would be heard.
I would like you to tell us a bit more about Penny? What is special about this character?
Penny signifies a child that Roy originally worked with. Without giving too much away, Penny was one of those kids who come into our classroom, and there would have been every reason to ignore her in a “cold school” setting. But her story is tragic, triumphant and enduring to all. Again, she signifies how precious life is and the evolution of the human condition.
There are moments in our life when we just need a cheerleader, someone to keep us going. In your career did you have moments when your students rejected any kind of help? How did you manage that situation?
Absolutely, there are moments when a student rejects help. Moments like these speak to the heart of self-worth and how to a person we must fight the turning of our back on each other. It is a daily battle for many to achieve this. Even those who give faithfully, have moments when they act out of self-interest. The parent, the teacher, the coach – must never forget that lending an ear and a kind word is imperative. Students who reject this help, and it happens daily, must know that you will be there when they are ready for you. The key lies with them and their choice. They must be made aware of that choice daily so that they may step forward and grab it. I believe that Roy and I see the essence of the message is that you have to take responsibility and you have to trust someone.
Working with at-risk youth is all about being supportive, an encourager when needed. Tell us about an experience which impressed you the most.
For me, the experience that impressed me the most was watching Roy working with one of our at-risk kids. This young lady allowed me to be part of the counselling process and I spoke not a word. I watched Roy verbally move her over the emotional edge about her life, as an orphan, as being alone, and how if she saw herself as a victim forever, then that is exactly what she would be. I watched her slowly respond to Roy in absolute tears, pick herself up slowly from the table she was sobbing on, and say that she didn’t want to be a victim anymore. Her smile broke into absolute joy when she realized that Roy had her look at her life on the precipice – Roy had shown that she had fallen off but she had managed to find her wings with his words. Roy took no credit for this, (he never does) as Roy simply told her to “Look who you are – who do you want to be?” For me, watching this was absolute magic. It is these types of experiences that spearheaded this book.
Saving Our Pennys is your debut as a writer. What are your projects for the future, do you have any work in progress?
And what a debut! To work with my educational mentor! – I promised myself I would do everything in my power to do to work with Roy. I am so proud to have my name on the cover of this book with him. It is the culmination of so many of the conversations between us. Projects for the future? Well, I definitely hope to write another book or books in the future. I have a couple of ideas that have been started. I have also written columns for local papers, as well as sports newsletters. I love the feeling of writing something meaningful. It is magic when you can create something that not only you, but others enjoy.
Please tell us what friendship means for you Jeff?
Friendship? To me friendship is knowing that you can call at a moment’s notice, and without hesitation, being there. Whether it be from my childhood, my teams or my colleagues, I love the idea of always being able to stand beside them and fight the good fight. Friendship to me really is the practiced act of commitment and courage.
How do you like to spend your free time and relax?
My free time is with “my families” and friends and whoever I am fortunate to run into in our local sporting community. I love sports and the life lessons I have learned through playing and cheering. I also love to read sports autobiographies, or any book with a great story. Relaxing? Ha ha… my wife would tell you I don’t understand the word. My mind is always racing. But I am truly blessed to have been surrounded by great people in my life who enjoy my energy and through that I find great peace. If that is a form of relaxation then that is good. My wife, Linda, has taught me so much. She has great perspective and is honest as the day is long. You need that to have perspective in your own life but it sure helps to be with someone who allows you to look at life differently. Like all great Moms, she really is the glue for our family. My kids make up most of my free time, Amanda, Matthew and Adam, who are so different but are a miracle to watch each day – I am so proud to call them my own. My parents, Bill & Sharon Leitch who made a home and lives for their boys from such humble wants, and my incredible brothers, Greg and James, who have given and continue to give me a lifetime of great memories. My brothers are two of the greatest foot-soldiers I know. Their loyalty and honestly knows no bounds. My In-Laws, Joe & Pauline, who embraced me as their own and who always, without fail, are there for me and “my families”. You cannot meet two finer people who consistently give more than they receive. And lastly, our little family dog named Sneakers. I really enjoy my daily walks with him and the unconditional love and care he gives us.
What was the most critical moment in the life of your children, why, and what role did you play in it?
The most critical moment in the life of my children was when our daughter Amanda, almost lost her life when she was given the wrong blood-type during her back surgery. Amanda was born with Spina Bifida and needed to have rods put in her back to help stabilize her spine and pelvis when she was a little girl. Somehow, during the day-long surgery Amanda was given the wrong blood and we almost lost her. Matthew was only a little guy at that time, but it had a significant impact on him, and Adam thankfully hadn’t arrived yet. Those moments and the following days were touch-and-go and defined my role as a Dad. Linda and I spent three days and nights in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) and then another week in the recovery ward just watching the oxygen levels and counting the heartbeats. We saw (heard) three children die in the ICU – it was truly the most surreal life experience I’ve had as a father. My role was sadly the only thing I could be – a supportive bystander as Amanda recovered – but it is a badge of honour Linda and I both wear in that we never left her side, we talked with Matthew to see if he was okay, and then found the words for Adam when he was old enough to understand.
And now another question from your book. Why are you a teacher and what gives you the right to teach?
Great questions! They are also two questions that Saving Our Pennys addresses so I will be careful how I respond. I am a teacher, and like the majority of my colleagues, we believe in better tomorrow’s and like parent’, we need to pass the torch of hope to the next generation. My right to teach comes from my intentions… but I will leave you with only that thought so that the mystery of Saving Our Pennys is left to the reader.
Thank you for being with us today and congratulations to you and to Roy Dimond for such a wonderful book.
Thank you, it has been an honour and a privilege to be asked to you speak with you today. Roy and I hope you enjoy Saving Our Pennys. There is honestly something meaningful in this story to anyone who dares and dreams for a better day. Thank you again.
Jeff Leitch co-author of Saving Our Pennys – a very promising writer’s pen
Saving Our Pennys by Roy Dimond and Jeff Leitch
A tale of redemption in finding life guides and mentors in the least expected places, while we learn the power of acceptance and the life’s daily message.
The most precious message which comes out from this book may just be
“Unlock the doors of a heart and let that heart begin to feel again.”
Saving Our Pennys will be released of the end of this month, just in time for Christmas.
A Spiritual gift – A Perfect Guide for New Years or Immediate Resolutions!
An excerpt from Saving Our Pennys here: