ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Roland V. Tyler was born in Minneola, New York. As a small child, he moved to Roosevelt, where both he and his brother Andre were raised. As a teenager, both Roland and Andre came under the loving care of Aunt Rosa Witsell in Lakeview, New York. Aunt Rosa Witsell raised not only Roland and Andre, but also her three sons - Gerod, Mark and Chad. Roland fondly calls them all his brothers. Roland attended North Carolina Central University, and later transferred to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES), in Princess Anne, Maryland. It was at UMES where Roland received his Bachelor of Studies in General Studies.
When Mr. Tyler thought that he had successfully completed all of the requirements for graduation, he was faced with yet another storm that tried to blow him off course. Graduation would not happen unless he fulfilled just one more course. Dr. Diane Showell, his advisor, and one of the many guiding angels in his life, asked him to write a five page essay on his life. Little did Dr. Showell know that Mr. Tyler would come back to her office a month later with a 76 page essay entitled, Strength Within, Surviving by the Grace of God. His essay received an A, and it also caught the attention of the then President William P. Hychte, who not only said that it has the potential to become a movie, but also encouraged many advisors and faculty members to read the story. President Hychte and Dr. Showell advised Mr. Tyler to publish the story because it is a healing process for many.
In 1997, Mr. Tyler along with a Christian subsidy publisher set out to publish Strength Within, Surviving By The Grace of God. Due to monies being misappropriated, the venture between the two failed. Mr. Tyler did not give up but instead he improvised by going to Staples where he made copies of the manuscript and then had them banded. While working as a manager at Wards Dept. Store in Hillcrest Heights, Maryland, in Iverson Mall, he sold 300 copies of the story. Publishers and literary agents were sought, but nobody took an interest. Mr. Tyler decided that the story served its purpose by allowing him to receive his college degree. From there, the original manuscript and all copies were destroyed.
Mr. Tyler may have thought that it was over, but God said, my son, it has just begun. There was another guiding angel that advised Mr. Tyler that the testimony he has needs to be told. Mr. Stewart Newton, a friend and supervisor to Mr. Tyler at Comcast Telephone, encouraged him to publish the story. Unfortunately, all copies had been destroyed, there were no copies available. Fortunately, Mr. Tyler ran into an old friend who still had a copy of the story that he had given him six years ago. Mr. Tyler was puzzled why he still had a copy of the story. He told him that his testimony has helped him through many tragedies and also helped him to cope with a lot of demons that he had to deal with. This is a story that has to be treasured.
Mr. Tyler fueled by faith, went ahead and self published his story in April of 2006, and in nine days 200 copies were sold. The acceptance of his true life story has been phenomenal, but it does not stop there. Mr. Tyler has three more stories in store for you that will also make you cry, shout, and hug someone close.