Tony R. Zonca is dyslexic and as a youth found reading and schoolwork quite frustrating. He considers overcoming his challenges of dyslexia a victory when becoming an author.
“We are truly only limited by the limitations we place upon ourselves,” said Zonca.
A Kutztown resident and native of Reading, Zonca recently published his book "The Journey of Truth: Chronicles of a Peaceful Warrior," in hopes of inspiring others.
“It has been my heart’s desire for the last 25 years to in some way make a difference: to help bring people closer to God; to assist them in living a more fulfilling, peaceful and joyful life,” he said.
“The hope is (readers) will gain a greater sense of joy, peace and harmony; to better understand who they truly are, why they are here, and what is their Divine purpose. In the process, they’ll learn how the ego and the mind create emotional barriers such as worry, fear, anger and jealousy that inhibit your joy. Forgiveness, patience and gratitude may provide the key to some of the answers we seek.”
Book Inspires Spiritual Journey
Synopsis: His near death experience as a boy sets the stage for the journey. As a young man, Ray struggled with drug addiction and despair, thus becoming the catalyst for his desperate cry for help — a moment of truth that would change everything. It delivered him to the love of his life, his spiritual awakening and newfound faith — and in time, visitations from Jesus which he is now directed to share with the entire world.
While not written as a memoir, the story reflects on his life and personal spiritual journey. It is written in the third person and the character’s name is Ray which is based on his middle name Raymond. Following each chapter, there is an overview and an adjoining exercise designed to integrate the lessons learned into your everyday life.
“Through my life experiences: the heartbreaks, the struggles, and triumphs — it led and carried me on my personal exploration and realization of God and faith,” he said. “I have been ‘gifted’ many spiritual truths throughout the journey. It organically became the natural title to represent what is shared within the pages of the book.”
His hope is to help the community.
“As I am connected to everyone and everyone is connected to me, you, all — we are a global community spanning from our neighbors, to our town or city, to our country, and eventually throughout the world — we are more spiritually reliant on one another than most people realize,” he said. “We are all brothers and sisters, created from the same source, the same God, and with the same basic need — to be loved, to be secure and to be happy.”
The year 2020 was such a challenging and difficult year for so many people, for so many reasons, he said.
“Many have been burdened with various forms of loss, including the loss of loved ones,” said Zonca.”It’s a new year. We need to find a revitalized resolve for hope and peace. This can be achieved if we discover the Divine reasons for these struggles and find security and comfort in God’s plan for all us.”
Overcoming Challenges of Dyslexia
In his youth, Zonca said he labored with his reading and retention skills, and this continued through high school.
“In turn, this made me feel lesser than my peers. Frankly, I felt stupid, as traditional school work was such a struggle,” he said. “Interesting enough, I flourished in classes such as art, photography and architecture — anything that utilized my creativity and ability to envision something out of nothing.”
It was not until later in adulthood that Zonca first heard of and realized he was dyslexic.
“This was liberating! I wasn’t dumb, I was just different; my brain works and sees things differently than others do,” he said. “I came to learn that although it brought me challenges, dyslexia also provided me great gifts. I also found techniques to overcome the inherent challenges and now love to read. God gives us challenges, not to hold us back, but to help us to gain the strength to overcome, grow and experience.”
Becoming An Author
The first 30 years of his professional career were in advertising and as a business owner of Celebrations Disc Jockey & Photography in Kutztown so writing a book was quite unexpected.
“I have to say, two years ago I didn't choose the opportunity to begin writing the book,” said Zonca. “The universe and the path of my life choose me to begin writing ‘The Journey of Truth.’ The opportunity was presented to me.”
Creating a marketing plan or business proposal is one thing, but a 168 page book was at one point, quite unimaginable, he said.
“The writing process was quite creative and exhilarating!”
He came to “see” writing as painting a story and message with words. However, what then came to follow — editing, rewriting, editing, rewriting and then proofing, proofing, proofing was a good bit more daunting than he could have ever imagined.
Considering his early life challenges, Zonca said there is a great sense of accomplishment and pride to be able to say, he is an author.
“An author who seeks to make a difference in the lives of others,” he said. “To have put forth the effort and dedication to put something of good into the world is exciting. In hindsight, I equally discovered how cathartic it can be to look back on one’s life through the objectiveness that time so skillfully offers.”
“The Journey of Truth: Chronicles of a Peaceful Warrior,” published by Balboa Press on Sept. 24, 2020, can be purchased at local booksellers including Firefly Books (Kutztown) and Barnes & Noble (Wyomissing and Whitehall) or online including TonyRZonca.com, BarnesAndNoble.com or Amazon.com. The book is available in hardcover, softcover and eBook.