Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’ve performed so many jobs in my life that my resume looks like a shot-gun blast; it’s all over the f’n place. One might surmise from it, that I was an aimless young man, who turned into a more aimless middle-aged one. Some of that is true.
I’ve published two books. The first one, in 2014, Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth: the Guide to Sustainable Shire Living, was a large book on how ordinary people can make small changes in the way they look at their place in the world, and affect significant change in their lives, their communities, and the world at large.
My second book, The End of Fear Itself, was just released in December 2016.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The End of Fear Itself: Crush Your Limitations, Manifest Success, Achieve Health, Happiness, & Save the World.
During my research for Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth, I was working through solutions to the world’s largest, most complicated problems. Late during the writing process, I came to the conclusion that FEAR was a very significant part of the larger issues facing the human species, and the planet as a whole. But the book was already over 500 pages long, so it found only a small part of chapter in that book.
Earlier this year, 2016, I was having a discussion online with a friend, and the topic of personal fears came up. I was trying to decided on several possible book projects at the time, and when the discussion came up I remembered the topic from Be a Hobbit, and decided that I would give it some more thought. During my research, I became aware, that ALL human driven problems, or challenges, are at their root, Fear driven. All of them. I knew then, that I had hit upon something big. A topic that affects everyone on Earth, every day.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I’m not sure how unusual they are, but I normally get up around 3:30am, sometimes much earlier to write, when I’m really in the groove. It’s the quietest time, and a time when my brain likes to write, I guess. I can write at any time during the day, but usually it’s in the morning.
As for unusual. I sometimes use a very large Gukri Knife (12″ blade) to hold open the pages of books while I”m typing. I have a fake skull on my desk, that I call Yorick. His left eye socket holds a small, Viking Sword letter opener. My Viking Pirate Kitties, Punkin’ and Squish, sometimes walk across the keyboard while I’m writing, which is very annoying. Punkin’ did this once while I was writing Be a Hobbit, and at the exact moment that I was writing something about HER. I left her typing in the book, and just wrote it IN to the paragraph about her.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
This is an enormous question.
My favorite fiction is Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings.’ I’ve read it like 10 times or something. My second would be Stephen King’s stuff, especially The Dark Tower Series, and The Stand.
I suppose my writing style combines a bit of King’s irreverent dark humor, with a twinge of Twain’s biting wit, though I wouldn’t claim to be anywhere close to being in the same league as either. I can wax poetic at times, like Tolkien.
What are you working on now?
Currently, I’m promoting my newest book, The End of Fear Itself, but soon I will be putting together a collection of blog articles I’ve written on the topics of overthinking, brain spin, and meditation, that I will call Seeking a Zen for the Un-Bendy. At some point I plan to follow up The End of Fear Itself with another book, entitled, The Other Side of Fear.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Hands down that would be Chandler Bolt’s Self Publishing School. www.self-publishingschool.com
I’ve been a member of their Mastermind Group for a few months now, and it has been worth every penny. Thanks to them, my new book has reached #1 in more than one category!
Do you have any advice for new authors?
I have loads of advice. In fact I’ve written several articles on writing on my blog, www.stevebivans.com.
In short though, I’d say to JUST F’N WRITE! Write every day for an hour. Don’t even think about what you’re going to write, unless you already have an idea. But don’t think about what comes out. Just type as fast as you can for an hour. Don’t pause, don’t stop. Fuck the mistakes! You can fix that later.
Then, forget about perfection. It never existed. Perfection is the wall through which success may not pass.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Your life is your story. Only you write it, no one else. You can also rewrite it: past, present, and future. Not sure where I heard that. It’s a compilation of stuff, I reckon.
What are you reading now?
Kitty Tweddle and the Wishing Well, by a friend of mine, H.J. Blenkinsop. It’s a really cute, teen story, about a girl in Scotland, who is apparently a witch. I’m only half way through, but it’s really good so far.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I hope to put out 2 or 3 books in 2017. They’ll be short ones. Zen for the Un-Bendy, and probably my How I Write articles in a book on writing, with a much catchier title than that, obviously. I also have a series of articles I’m working on entitled, Golf is Life. It’s a funny look at my struggles with the game of golf, but it’s really about attempting to calm my mind and taking lessons from golf and Zen Buddhism, and Taosim, and mini meditations, and woo woo stuff like that.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
That one is pretty easy:
1. The Hobbit
2. The Lord of the Rings
3. The Stand, Stephen King
4. The entire Dark Tower Series… also King (That’s actually cheating, since it’s really like 8 books)