‘Dancing with the Stars’ champ J.R. Martinez writes memoir

October 25 00:56 2012

J.R. Martinez has written a memoir called Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength, and Spirit. The book, available October 30, covers topics like the Iraq veteran’s war wounds along with his win of the mirror ball trophy during season 13 of Dancing with the Stars.

Martinez, who is also a motivational speaker, wanted to write the book so people could learn more about him aside from his time serving in the military, as he told Lindsay Deutsch of USA Today

“What has helped me through my recovery is being open and willing to essentially be an open book myself. I wanted people to see more of me and my life outside of what people know, Iraq and the military,” Martinez revealed to USA Today.

After his injuries and facial reconstruction, he became known as an actor on the soap opera All My Children which then provided Martinez with the opportunity to compete on Dancing with the Stars.

“Apparently I was pretty good at doing a shimmy. I just love the concept of the show. In general, I think reality television is pointless in a lot of ways and I don’t like it. Dancing is reality television, but it’s positive and confidence building,” Martinez said when USA Today asked him about his time on the show.

According to Examiner.com, the book delves into his mother, Maria Felix Zavala’s, time when she was an illegal immigrant looking for a better life in America. Martinez talks as much about his mother’s “survival, strength, and spirit,” as the title says, as much as he talks about his own.

“It was nice to put words onto paper and find out more things about myself. I’ve always had this ability and willingness to say, ‘Don’t worry about it, it’ll all work out,’ and it kind of validated what my whole life has been about,” Martinez told USA TODAY about reliving memories of his past.

Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength and Spirit will be available in hardcover and in NOOK Book and Kindle editions this Tuesday.

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Kristen Porricelli
Kristen Porricelli

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