Complementing my interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the three hundred and ninety-first, is of non-fiction and thriller writer, and travel addict Jeff Rasley. If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at author-spotlights.
Jeff Rasley is author of eight books, most recently Godless – Living a Valuable Life beyond Beliefs. He practiced law for thirty years in Indianapolis, Indiana and was admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court Bar. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago, A.B. magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, All-Academic All-State Football Team and letter winner in swimming and football; Indiana University School of Law, J.D. cum laude, Moot Court and Indiana Law Review; Christian Theological Seminary, M.Div. magna cum laude, co-valedictorian and Faculty Award Scholar. Jeff is currently partnered with his wife, Alicia Rasley, in Midsummer Books, president of the Basa Village Foundation USA Inc., U.S. liaison for the Nepal-based Himalayan expedition company, Adventure GeoTreks, Ltd., and teaches a class on philosophy of philanthropy for Butler University’s Honors Program. He serves as an officer or director for five nonprofit corporations.
For chairing the Indiana-Tennessee Civic Memorial Commission, Jeff received Proclamations of Salutation from the Governors of Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Pennsylvania and he was made an honorary Lieutenant Colonel Aide-de-Camp of the Alabama State Militia, a Kentucky Colonel and honorary Citizen of Tennessee. Given a Key to the City of Indianapolis for his report on the safety conditions of Indy Parks, Jeff also received the Man of the Year award from the Arthur Jordan YMCA and the Alumni Service Award from the University of Chicago Alumni Board of Governors.
Jeff has published numerous articles and photos in academic and mainstream periodicals, including Newsweek, Chicago Magazine, ABA Journal, Family Law Review, Pacific Magazine, Indy’s Child, The Journal of Communal Societies, The Chrysalis Reader, Faith & Fitness Magazine, Friends Journal, and Real Travel Adventures International Magazine. His photographs of the Nepal Himalayas, Caribbean and Pacific Islands have been published in several journals.
Jeff gives programs about adventure travel and philanthropy to service clubs, community organizations and churches, is an avid outdoorsman and recreational athlete, and leads trekking-mountaineering expeditions in Nepal, having solo-kayaked around several Pacific island groups.
Jeff is married to Alicia Rasley, a multi-published author, RITA Award winner, and University professor.
And now from the author himself:
I live on the White River in Indianapolis with Alicia and Bandit. I just finished a book in mid November, Godless – Living a Valuable Life beyond Beliefs. I started writing bad poetry as a teenager and graduated to short stories and feature articles in college.
I honed my craft at feature article writing as much as time permitted through graduate schools, practicing law, domestic husbandry and raising two sons. Newsweek, Chicago Magazine, ABA Journal, and other periodicals eventually published my feature articles.
My loves other than wife, kids, and writing have been sports and what has been called adventure travel. After one semester I dropped out of college and hitch-hiked across the country. I spent the next summer traveling around Europe by any means necessary. The following summer I motorcycled from Northern Indiana to Mexico City. Career, marriage and kids slowed me down somewhat, but I have set foot in over 40 countries. I’ve climbed several Himalayan peaks and have been leading Himalayan trekking and mountaineering expeditions for a decade. I managed to survive an avalanche and getting lost at sea in a solo kayak in the Palau Islands.
Eventually travel for the sake of adventure and personal curiosity was insufficiently meaningful. I began to “philanthro-trek” – combining travel with philanthropy and ethnographic research.. A special relationship developed with a remote Himalayan village called Basa. Two friends and I were only the third group of “white people” to visit the village. Leaders of the village and I established the Basa Village Project, which has morphed into a Nepal-based NGO and a U.S. nonprofit corporation to benefit Basa and other Himalayan villages.
My commitment to social activism and philanthropy began in high school when I co-founded the Goshen Walk for Hunger. In law school I fought for renters’ rights, and organized the first rent strike in Indiana as president of the Indianapolis Tenants Association. I was lead counsel on class action suits for prisoners which resulted in the construction of two new jails in Central Indiana. Our class action suit required two companies to clean-up of the White River after they polluted the river with industrial chemicals.
Indianapolis First Friends Quaker Meeting was a sponsor of the Basa Village Foundation. These dissimilar people on opposite sides of the world share fundamental values in their tolerant, peaceful, and simple approach to life. Godless blends what I’ve learned from the Basa Rai and Quakers about values-based living with the classic American philosophy of Pragmatism. It encourages a spiritual response of awe and gratitude and advocates replacing divisive ideological politics with pragmatic decision-making.
A last love to mention is reading. Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past was as great an adventure as climbing Himalayan peaks.
You can find more about Jeff and his writing via…
- His website: http://www.jeffreyrasley.com
- Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Jeff-Rasley/e/B004Q3D6B2
- Midsummer Books Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JeffRasleyAndMidsummerBooks
- Godless – Living a Valuable Life beyond Beliefs purchase link: http://www.amazon.com/Godless-Valuable-Beliefs-Thoughtful-Traveler-ebook/dp/B00P766NYO
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