Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I have written two published books, Hope And Possibility Through Trauma and my recent book, Overcoming A Mysterious Condition. These books are about my life and the trauma I endured. However, I don’t focus on the horror aspects. The details of what I’ve experienced help show my journey and the ways in which I healed. In my view, it is more important to show that not only did I endure horrific torture and abuse, but that I am finding a way through it into healing and recovery.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is called Overcoming A Mysterious Condition. I did not sit down to write a second book. It happened out of the blue because what I started to write that day was a blog post. The only thing was, it was way too long for a blog post.
I found that I had so much more to say on the subject, so I came back another day and another day. At the time the title I saved it under became “writing something.” Each day I kept sitting down to write and I’d easily crank out 2000 to 3000 words. It became obvious that this was more than a blog post. It was working its way towards becoming a book.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
When I write, there are times that I have an organized structure in mind or on paper. However, most of the time, I write from an inspired moment. If something catches me that pumps up my emotions, I can crank out a few thousand words easily.
When I’m in that inspired moment of writing, the words I write don’t often register in my mind. It isn’t until I read through it after I’m done that I truly see what I have written. When I create music, it is the same way as how I write. I don’t hear what I’ve created until it is finished. Thankfully, these days, we have electronic means for recording and writing.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
One of the fiction authors I love is John Grisham because he weaves the story through the book. Another new and upcoming author is Aiden L. Bailey because of how he brings the characters to life. Again, it is about telling a story and helping the reader become emotionally invested in the words you craft together.
When it comes to nonfiction authors, I love the ones that try to make a difference with something unique. I think of Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk who has written a timeless piece that was ahead of its time. Dr. John Sarno understood the Mind Body Connection long before it was an everyday concept. There are people like Mike Lew who helped so many by writing a book for male survivors. Dr. Peter Levine with his many concepts that offer a way for others to deal with trauma and not only from a concept-oriented way.
The way these authors present their words and how much impact they have on the world is the way I hope my books will always be received. I’m not in this only to write books. I want to make a difference in the world through what I write.
What are you working on now?
Throughout so much of my healing, I recorded various journal entries. As I was going through the healing sessions with Dr. Paul Canali, I would make observations of what was happening, from the good and difficult to the ah ha moments of realization. My attempt now is to put this in a format so that some of these healing concepts I’ve written about become more real and easy to understand.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I spend most of my time in two places. One is Twitter and the other is my blog. Each week I write a blog post that deals with some aspect of healing or a part of my own journey. Often these two parts intersect. The other way is that I try to tweet real and authentic concepts with compassion and empathy for others. I work to connect with people authentically so that they feel heard, listened to, and understood. I know I suffered horrendous torture and trauma in silence. If I can give someone the ability to break that silence and be heard, even if it is a small moment, I know that my life has helped make a difference.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Realize that writing is only half of what you need to do because promotion and marketing is the other part. Learn from those that are doing well and never think you’ve got it figured out. The minute you do, you’ll be running behind the crowd.
Write from your heart. Make your words authentic so people can connect with you. It is more important to have your book concepts explained well because you’ve reached that point where you really do know what you are talking about, not just regurgitating what others have told you.
The other part of advice I would give is edit your work and have someone do it professionally. I’ve read a lot of books that have great content, but the writing needs a great deal of editing. It is difficult enough to get a point across, but when the writing is poor, it makes it much more difficult.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Find the thing that in life that connects you to your heart and then give it all the energy that you can. When we connect to the heart, we find our true calling in life. In the process, it helps lift others up to higher places.
What are you reading now?
I just finished John Grisham’s new novel, The Guardians and was very moved by it. I also just finished reading the book, “The Shift Squad” by Rick Fortier and it was one of those books that I wish I could have read years ago. On my reading list is “The Mind-Gut Connection” and probably many more after that. I try to read as many books as I can.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I’ve only just begun as a writer in my view. As soon as I get done writing the next book on my personal healing experiences, then I’ve got a 5 part series I’ll be writing on the Mind Body. As I do this, I’ll continue to market and promote things and hopefully work to make audio versions of my books. I hope that my books could be translated into other languages at some point so more people could be helped by them. Another thing that I hope to bring about is doing some seminars and conferences where I can put these concepts into action with larger groups.
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?
The longest books I could find and probably the classics that I’ve not read. Anything that would allow me to slowly read the book and enjoy every page of it.