Instructor writes motivational parody

By Yessenia Martinez

Professor Tom Atha, Speech Communication and Theater Arts Department, wrote a spoof on motivational books, named “Forever FWAP.”

The e-book is a fast read and mainly about the character Lucky. Lucky is failing without a pause, FWAP, in everything he attempts on doing and he is proud of it. An e-book version was published on August 22 by He started writing the book about ten years ago, thinking that it would be easy.

When he started it, he said it was not only easy but fun. He figured he would finish in a couple of months. Atha thought it was foolish of his friend to accumulate motivational VHS tapes and books. Atha one day borrowed a tape from his friend, thinking they were nonsense.

After watching one, he said it worked for him and after finishing the tape, he jumped up and wondered if anyone had created a spoof on motivational books.  Atha said that he always enjoyed writing and that he has written plays before but nothing serious. The plays that he would write were goofy comedy.

“This is why I started writing this. I have a goofy sense of humor,” Atha said.  He got his book proofread by group of people in Connecticut and they got it out to a few journals. Atha then found out that it was difficult getting his book published.

“This isn’t a romantic, adventure or the normal murder mystery. It is very different. I am trying to find my place on the market right now,” Atha said. Journals would write back to him saying that it was different and not what they were looking for at the moment.

Since he found out that it was hard to get a publisher, he started researching on how to publish his book himself through Amazon. “That was the feel I was getting, it was too different what I wrote. Maybe I should have written something more mainstream,” Atha said.

Atha created a Facebook page where he writes humorous posts relating to his e-book. As well as zingers on politicians, since he says he is a political animal. Atha started working at East Los Angeles College as a part-time faculty in 1991. He was pursuing his acting career and got a offered a job at ELAC. He says he had to choose between a pay check or starving.

He received his Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Master of Arts in Drama at California State, Los Angeles. Atha is a fight and sword fights choreographer for theatre and movies. He does professional sword fight choreography for the theatre at ELAC.

He choreographed a scene for a play, “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” that is currently playing at the Black Box Theatre. As well as fights for three movies that are coming out this year “Mansion of Blood,” “Cotton,” and “The Extra.” He also plays the Mummy in “Mansion of Blood.”

Currently he is waiting to see how the e-book version goes and is hoping to have a paperback version. Atha said that since he edited so much from “Forever FWAP,” his second book is already half written. An e-book version is only available at this time. “Forever FWAP,” can be purchased from

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