Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Today I have the exquisite pleasure of hosting everyone's favorite cocoa-nut Mark Koopmans and his debut biography REVIVAL; The David Braswell Story.

Mark Koopmans is originally from Ireland. After working in Holland, Spain, France and England, he won his U.S. “Green Card” in 1994, and is an American by choice since 2003. Koopmans began his writing career with a feature for a regional magazine in California. Since then, he’s worked as a staff writer for newspapers in Florida and Texas. Koopmans is also a proficient blogger and is working on his next book, a novel. Koopmans lives in Virginia and is a married, stay-at-home dad to three active boys under the age of nine. He writes at night.Visit his blog here.


Continuing the second week of the REVIVAL – The Donald Braswell Story Tour, Donna is my host and I bow down in humble gratitude, dearest Donna!

She wants to know the history of the title, and how I came up with “REVIVAL.”

Simplest explanation is to head down the Webster rabbit hole (and yes, I got distracted by the Monster of the Day feature, and now I know way too much about the Chupacabra!)

There’s several definitions to “Revival," but the two that struck me were the musically related one (a period in which an old play becomes popular again...) and the Christian “revival” (a period of renewed religious interest.)

Once I realized the significance—and connection—of this one word with Donald’s inspirational journey, I knew I’d found the winner.

Time wise, I came up with the title in about five minutes (the benefits of working as a beat reporter under a daily deadline) but then had to sit on it for years while I wrote the book and waited for last week’s official launch.

I did have to laugh then, a couple of months ago, when a certain blockbuster author (I won’t take The Stand or complain about IT) released his latest novel. It’s called “Revival.” Of course it is.

Really, Stephen. Really?

Thanks again Donna, for being so kind in hosting me today. I really appreciate it - and you!

Tomorrow, I’m heading over to spend time with Sir David Powers King, who's curious about the book's timeline.

Donald Braswell II is an American actor, classical crossover tenor and composer. Braswell was on a fast track to become an internationally acclaimed opera singer when he suffered a car accident in 1995 that made him unable to speak for almost two years. After that, he lived a quiet life outside of the spotlight until his appearance on the 2008 season of America’s Got Talent where he was a Top 5 finalist, which gave him another chance at a career in entertainment. Since then, he has entertained audiences both internationally as well as shore to shore in the United States in concerts, television appearances, inspirational speaking and radio. He boasts an international fan club with fans from over 25 countries.

Braswell has reentered the world of music by singing in concerts starting with the Symphony of the Hills in Kerrville, Texas in June 2009. He performs a variety of musical genres ranging from pure classical repertoire to soul to mainstream pop. He engages people of many cultures by singing in various languages outside of English, including Spanish, Italian, Neapolitan, French and Russian. His concerts are generally multilingual, and he has performed pieces that are themselves in more than one language.

Some of these include: Mario Frangoulis bilingual version of “Nights in White Satin” (Italian title “Notte di luce”), originally by The Moody Blues; “The Prayer”; and Andrea Bocelli’s “Vivere” (English title “Dare to Live”). His other non-English repertoire includes Aqustin Lara’s “Rosa” (Spanish),Mario Frangoulis’s “VincerĂ², perderĂ²” (Italian) and the Neapolitan standard “O sole mio”.

Some of his many compositions can be heard on his recent album We Fall and We Rise Again.

Donald is a testament to the powers of the human spirit in difficult times and he inspires all who come to know him. Find him at donaldbraswell.com

The book
Title: REVIVAL - The Donald Braswell Story
Subtitle: How a Tenor Lost his Voice, but Found his Calling
Authors: Donald Braswell with Mark Koopmans
Category: Non-fiction
Genres: Memoir, Biography, Inspirational
Publisher: Pen-L Publishing
Length: 236 pages
Release Date: November 03, 2015

Pitch: From Juilliard to jumper cables; from wasting all the talent in the world to America’s Got Talent, this is the story of the Texas opera singer who lost his voice - but found his calling.

Five years removed from his 1990 Juilliard graduation, Donald Braswell is set to be “the next Pavarotti.” Braswell’s successful career ends, however, not with a standing ovation at Carnegie Hall, but alone, lying in a dirty ditch. Following the hit-and-run accident that steals his voice and future, the “Texas Tenor” struggles with depression and despair - until the night his daughter, Aria, is born. Understanding this new and immediate life change, Braswell fights to relearn how to speak, sing -and share this gift of second chances with others.

Working as a plasterer, a car salesman, and many jobs in-between, it takes thirteen years - and a musical miracle - for Braswell to battle back and sing on a professional stage. His dreams and ambitions collide with a tired and angry crowd when he auditions for America’s Got Talent. For his family, his faith and his entire future, can the Rocky Balboa of the operatic world find the courage and strength to win just one more fight?

click here to read a free chapter

purchase links
Amazon US
Pen L Publishing
Barnes and Noble

● GRAND PRIZE (2 winners): Donald Braswell to sing (Happy Birthday/Anniversary) via Skype or phone call. (A unique gift idea!)
● 1ST PLACE PRIZE: Signed Donald Braswell CD/REVIVAL book combo
● 2nd, 3rd and 4th PLACE PRIZES: Signed copies of REVIVAL (by Donald and Mark)
● 5th, 6th and 7th PLACE PRIZES: Signed copies of Donald Braswell CDs
● 8th, 9th, and 10th PLACE PRIZES: Signed Donald Braswell 8x10 picture
EMBED CODE: a Rafflecopter giveaway


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Stephen, how dare you???
Doesn't matter, Mark. He doesn't have an America's Got Talent top finalist in his book.
That title was a perfect match. And God does like a good revival with music!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

It's the perfect name, even if someone else stole it. I can't wait to read it, Mark.

Pat Hatt said...

Hey, maybe they'll find yours while looking for his and find yours better. title stealers, geesh haha

Blogoratti said...

Great, thanks for sharing that. Greetings!

Deborah Hawkins said...

It always reminds me of that choir in Sister Act 2. lol

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Donna and Mark - such an appropriate title - clever you I say! Pain about that chap SK .. but there we all go. It's great to be reading more about bringing your book to fruition .. so pleased for you - cheers Hilary

Mark Koopmans said...

@Alex: I know, right :) And luckily, Stevie and I are tight (he often writes me like, notes and stuff in the back of his books... I'm a Constant Reader, you know...:)

@L. Diane: Thanks... I really hope you enjoy REVIVAL :)

@Pat: Haha, I've had the same thought... that would be nice :)

@Blogoratti: Thanks!

@Deb: I can't remember that scene!! (Must go look it up:)

@Hilary: I'm so happy I thought of REVIVAL - and as you said, such an appropriate one:) Cheers!

Mark Koopmans said...

@Donna: Hey, I almost forgot to say thanks for hosting me today - and for the instant laugh that popped out of my mouth when I saw how you titled this post:)

LOVE IT... and *thank you* :)

Denise Covey said...

Hi Donna! Hi Mark! Revival sounds good...great title! I hope it goes gang busters!

Anonymous said...

Perfect title. I love words like that with more than one meaning since you can use them in different contexts. This looks like an inspirational read.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Hokey-Smoke and Hoo-Wee! This sounds great! This sounds like it's just my kind of story and book and storybook!

I'm pretty poor right now, but I might have to scrape up enough money to buy this book. I could use an inspirational story right about now, and this sounds like it's right in my wheelhouse!

God is great
God is good
Let us thank Him for this book

~ D-FensDogG
'Loyal American Underground'

Yolanda Renee said...

I swear I posted a comment on this site, and discussed the Stephen King title thing. (Don't want to call it theft) :)

But maybe it was a dream and I'm mistaken???

Mark has captured the blogosphere this Month, Congratulations!

klahanie said...

Hi Donna,

Incredibly wonderful to note that the dude, Mark, has reached your site. I have mentioned to Mark that I'm his mist starstruck groupie fan, following him around on this here tour! :)

Consider this post shared as I continue to spread the good news about Mark aka "Sir Mazza"!


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