AJT: Why did you choose to present your book at this Book Festival?
Coles: My wife and I love the MJCCA and the Jewish Book Festival. I was so honored to be invited to present my book.
AJT: What are your connections to the Jewish community and Atlanta?
Coles: I have been involved with many Jewish agencies over the years. I am currently on the board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, the American Jewish Committee, and have served as president of Hillels of Georgia for the last six years.
AJT: Are there Jewish values that guide your writing?
Coles: Over the years, when I have faced adversity, I learned early on that my strength is very much tied to my Jewish heritage. The history of the Jewish people is about finding the strength to face the challenges before us. The story of David and Goliath, which I referred to in my book, is a great example of that. It is not about conquering the giant; it is about having the courage to face him without knowing the outcome.
AJT: How long are you going on a book tour?
Coles: I have tried over the years to tell my story to business groups, universities, as well as first-grade classes. My story of struggle and modest success is one that can connect to first-graders, to business leaders, as well as university students. I wrote this book not to brag about my accomplishments, but to inspire others that they can do the same. I will go tell my story with my book for as many years as people want to hear it. I have multiple engagements already going through March of next year, and hopefully more to come.
AJT: How many books have you sold?
Coles: The book was released on Oct. 1, but pre-sale orders already total over 12,000 books.
Michael Coles and Catherine Lewis present their book, “Time to Get Tough: How Cookies, Coffee, and a Crash Led to Success in Business and Life,” at the Book Festival 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15.