1.Tell us a little about life and your new book Better Your Life.
Well first, let me just say thank you so much for letting me share my life book on your show today. I really appreciate your interest in my work and am glad you felt that what I have to share, and what my book is all about, would be of interest and help to you and your listeners.
Reader's Digest types facts of my life are that I was born and raised in Southern California.
I completed my undergraduate studies at a small college just outside of Chicago – I did a Bachelor's degree in Music Theory/Composition and stayed long enough to complete another degree in Philosophy.
The bigger piece of 'background information' about me is that I really am kind of a geek at heart. I have a real passion for life learning, reading, understanding and being challenged by concepts and ideas. And, my interests are quite varied – everything from cooking to neuro-science and even quantum mechanics. Which is where my Book comes in.
Throughout my life – even in my childhood – regardless of my age, my role, my title, or job description.
There has always been something about me (my nature or personality), that has caused people to seek me out for advice, counsel, ideas or questioning. Maybe it's because I have, what might be considered, an odd or uncommon way of looking at things; maybe it's because I ask different kinds of questions. I don't know. But it does seem to be the natural flow of my life.
2.Why did you write this life book?
Making Life Better evolved out of more than forty years of living with questions. I wanted to prompt some new thought and offer some practical ways to process and engage what I have long-felt has been one of the “missing links” in the personal development discussion.
3.How did you choose your title? How did you choose your genre?
Well, the genre pretty much chose itself. I tend to be a fairly philosophical person by nature – kind of a personal development junkie. Even before I had the words with which to describe this innate life tendency, I've always been one who likes to question the questions. I've always felt that living with a better-serving question is far more valuable than having answers. And, as you can probably imagine, this can steer any unsuspecting conversation into some fairly unusual territories. But that's a “whole 'nother Oprah.”
4.What inspired you to be a life writer?
I don't think it's so much that I was inspired to be a writer and then set out to write a book. For me, it's much more that, over the years, I have found myself continually in the role of counselor, confidant, consultant, coach and the ever-ready “go-to” guy for help and advice – again, regardless of my job description or title. It seems to be just a part my nature – an important part of who I am. And, over countless thousands of conversations, I slowly began to recognize some patterns in both the issues being raised, and my own thinking – my own brand of help. I noticed that what each and every one of these conversations had in common were some very specific, “common to all of us” concepts and ideas that eventually came to be expressed in “Making Life Better.”
4.What inspired you to be a writer?
I don't think it's so much that I was inspired to be a writer and then set out to write a book. For me, it's much more that, over the years, I have found myself continually in the role of counselor, confidant, consultant, coach and the ever-ready “go-to” guy for help and advice – again, regardless of my job description or title. It seems to be just a part my nature – an important part of who I am. And, over countless thousands of conversations, I slowly began to recognize some life patterns in both the issues being raised, and my own thinking – my own brand of help. I noticed that what each and every one of these conversations had in common were some very specific, “common to all of us” concepts and ideas that eventually came to be expressed in “Making Life Better.”
5.Gives us some marketing tips on high you market your book/service.
One of the first pieces of advice I was given came from a long-time friend and colleague who also happens to be an author. His first words to me after I had received a contract to write Making Life Better were, “Don't quit your day job.” He went on to explain simply that no publisher will ever do all that you think they should do to help you promote your book and connect with a wider audience of readers. He counseled me to learn as much as possible about marketing, promotion, publicity – both traditional and online. It doesn't matter if you have written the greatest book ever – THE one work that can change the world – if no one ever knows that it's 'out there.'
6.Have you had a book signing, if so,what was the experience like.
So far, I have had only one signing, and I have another one scheduled for the end of this month.
The first one was a wonderful experience. It was held at Vision: A Center for Spiritual Living in San Diego, CA. There were about 100 people present. Although, to be fair, they weren't all there for me; the signing took place after one of their Sunday services. But I was given the opportunity to speak to the entire group for a few minutes about the book and really enjoyed the experience of talking with readers and signing their copies. Of course, it also was a nice boost for sales.
7.Are you writing another book?
Yes. Slowly, but yes. I don't even have a “working title” as yet to share (Although I've toyed with ideas ranging from “Kicking and Screaming” to to “Help Unwanted”). This work is shaping up to revolve around, as you might expect, learning and growing – only this time, the focus is on some of the most unlikely, unwanted, and most strongly resisted teachers: fear, worry, regret, pain, failure etc... It's about understanding that avoiding, ignoring or resisting those experiences that we find ourselves unable to interpret as anything but negative, is not the same thing as over-coming them. Over-coming and moving beyond them depends entirely on our ability to engage the lessons that they alone can teach us; to understand them – or, more accurately, to understand what they have to say to us, about us.
8.What do you feel is unique about “Making Life Better” that might set it apart from other books within this vast genre?
The first thing that comes to mind is humor. It's very “me” and I'm kind of funny – both “ha-ha” funny and just plain odd. Or, so I've been told.
9.What is it you hope readers will be able to take away and add to their lives from their reading of “Making Life Better” ?
I really hope to foster within each reader the kind of thoughts that will create choices where auto-pilot reactions used to be (and of course, I hope I have provided lots of practical tools to be able to engage those choices).
10.Final comment:What's on your book writing "Bucket List?" Top 5 things
you'd still like to do?
I am still writing at least one more book along these lines.
Number two would probably be figuring out and finding my own blogging voice. For some reason, it really has been quite a mental effort to wrap my head around how that world works – within the framework of my own desired output.
Number three, four and five would be three specific story-lines that have been hanging around playfully in my head for several years now. Maybe they're novels or perhaps they'll turn into screen plays – who knows. But I've been writing, story-boarding, character-sketching and mentally role-playing for so many years now, that they just HAVE to find life on their own.