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2012 Twenty Questions Interviews : Tina Verduzco

20 Questions Interview with Tina Verduzco

Writer, Artist, Owner of 2gouls Ghost Tour Company in St. Augustine, Florida


Tina Verduzco1. What's your name?

Tina Verduzco.

2. Where are you from?

Originally from Iowa but I have been living in Florida for almost 30 years.

3. Who are you today?

Honestly I am 'an ordinary person living an extraordinary life.'

4. What do you do? (Elevator speech)

I am a writer (I co-wrote a book that will be published in November 2012 — Storm and the Mermaid's Knot — AND I am almost 50 years old so it CAN happen!) I make art and I own a tour company called "2ghouls" based on Victorian Spiritualism!

5. What's your story (how did you get here)?

I came from a small town in Iowa. My family didn't have a lot of money but they had a lot of creativity and encouraged me in that direction.

I went through several career changes (or as I call them 'recent past lives'). I started out in radio broadcasting when I was 14. (How? It was a small town in Iowa and no one said "I couldn't.") I moved to Florida with $200 in my pocket and a dream of becoming a hotshot disc jockey. Corporate radio and small town radio are two different things! Completely disillusioned, I was suddenly faced with people telling me I "couldn't." I then went into retail management and after almost ten years became a broker in the Natural Food industry. All the while making jewelry and dreaming of living more creatively.

I married an artist and was living my wonderful 'Fairy Tale' life. A husband that adored me, a 1940's cottage close enough to walk to the beach with three cats in the yard, and a good job! Then my husband developed lung cancer. Nothing like the death of your best friend to teach you how to live! I realized how precious and short life really is. That was five years ago!

Since then I turned my back on what my life should be. Meaning I walked away from everyone else's expectations. For two years I drove a vintage hearse giving ghost tours at night so I could write and make art during the day. I have been featured on the Bio Channel's "My Ghost Story" — I am an author, an artist and I own a tour company! Not a bad life coming full-circle from that awkward kid from Iowa!

6. Why is creativity important to you?

Creativity is the essence of life! It's the spark that makes us human. For me creativity is as important as food and water. It feeds your soul.

7. When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?

It was always there. We all have the desire to do something meaningful and creative. It doesn't matter if you paint, write, cook or dance. Being an artist is not just for the chosen few. It's for anyone that is quiet enough to listen to their own small voice within. Unfortunately, it took the death of my husband for me to OWN the fact I AM an ARTIST!!

8. How did you embrace it?

Honestly, it scared the crap out of me! Was I crazy to walk away from a job and do something everyone said was not going to work? I guess I was a little crazy but I knew it was something I HAD to try. Really, what was the worst thing that could happen? I would fail and have to go get a real J-O-B!

9. How did that feel?

Completely liberated!

10. Where has your journey taken you?

The journey has been the most fulfilling adventure I have ever done. I have discovered myself. I learned that I had the ability to take control. We don't always have the ability to control things around us but we do have 100% control over how we to react to them. In the past five years I have realized life is not about how much you have, but how many experiences you get to have!

11. What challenges have you faced?

The list is too endless to mention. Overcoming fear and the 'what if's.' Learning to trust myself and follow my heart. Being afraid of not having enough _____ (you can fill in the blanks!). Challenges are stepping stones and learning tools to help us get where we need to be.

12. What worked for you?

Living life without regrets. I was at a point in my life when I finally had the courage to stop doing what everyone expected me to do and follow my heart. I quit a corporate job to make art and write. I recently quit working for someone else's tour company to open my own!

13. What didn't work for you?

What never works is following someone else's dreams and expectations.

14. What three tips can you share with those starting on a similar path?

  1. Find the courage within yourself to follow your passion. No matter what anyone else says you "should or shouldn't" do.
  2. Never give up on a dream. Ask yourself really what is the worse scenario? If your dreams don't work out, find another dream! Just make sure it is YOUR dream and not someone else's!
  3. Do whatever it takes to live the most fabulously creative life you can!

15. What are you working on now?

My writing partner and I are working on Book 2 in the Storm trilogy. I am developing my tour company and making art for an upcoming show.

16. What's coming up for you in the next year?

Endless possibilities for mischief and magical dreams!

17. What else do you desire/dream to do?

My dream is to have our books turned into movies!

18. How will you make that happen?

Work to finish writing the series and pitch the idea to our publisher. Not taking NO for an answer. It's a matter of just finding someone that the story resonates with. Never giving up on a dream and a passion.

19. What question would you like to be asked (or are just itching to answer) that's not on this list?

What advice would you give a 'younger' you?

Life will not work out the way you planned, and that is okay if you understand that it may not always be 'okay' but things will always be 'alright.'

20. What's your Web site addresses?