An Interview With Joel Seath: Author and Creator of Beauty…

Joel Seath is an author who writes to find the beautiful things in the world and to explore the characters that make life wonderful and sad. I met Joel on my travels and immediately cottoned onto his love for all things literary. We set up and interview and he answered my questions with ease. I found myself sitting back to listen to what he had to say rather than thinking of another question. Easy interviews are rare– but this was one of the easiest.

Joel

Q) So Joel, why did you become an author?

A) It’s a compulsion, a drive, I suppose. When you write you just need to keep on writing.

Q) What does a compulsive drive to write feel like?

A) It often feels like blocking out, locking in, sinking in. You know? Some days it’s a rush. Some days you read and re-read and it’s like you’re looking at something that shines (or might shine) and you want to keep that, show that, have that, always.

Q) Do you ever find it hard to stop yourself from writing? Is it like a daze or a dream you can’t break from?

A) Physically writing (or typing), yes, I suppose. I mean, it can be extremely immersive, as many writers will know. However, that immersion also plays itself out in the day-to-day, pen not in hand, computer not on. Words (or the possibility of them) are everywhere.

Q) Words are your thing as a writer? So what is your favourite word?

A) What an excellent question! A barman asked me what my favourite book was recently (your question reminds me of that): how to pick one? You can tell by the long pause that this has given me cause to think. I can tell you what my most recently learned word is (and, by extension, a current favourite): tenebrous.

Q) Tenebrous? So what does tenebrous mean?

A) It’s to do with the obscure, the dark, as I understand it. This isn’t a reflection of my writing; rather, the word has a sort of rhythmic quality to me.

Q) Well, you have to learn something new everyday! So, lets reflect on your writing. What do you like to write about? Tell me about your writing.

A) In all its forms, long and short, my writing is intended as a means of finding the small gems of this world. There are hidden things in between what we just see on the surface– there are textures and layers to relationships, subtleties, moments. I’m looking for the moments that also linger. There are ‘objects’ of beauty, even in the laments, in many places.

Q) It’s interesting that you write about “beauty,” as everyone’s definition of beauty is so different. What’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever written about? What is “beautiful” to you?

A) Well, beauty is subjective, of course, but I’m sometimes taken aback by how things turn out. It’s unexpected. There are moments that happen which I read time and again because they still have some power over me. In one of my stories, a child’s brief interaction with the narrator takes me in every time; in another piece, it was something I wrote in a female voice because I needed to do this more, I was there with her, as her, in Venice because the words were in that flow state; poetry is a vanity, but there are lines of colour and there are lines that sink me sometimes. Questions such as these are like choosing between children!

Q) If you could write anywhere in the world– where would it be? What landscape would really incite your creativity?

A) On a beach, in the mountains, in a forest, all of these. Specifically, though I’ve done my fair share of overseas travelling, I’d come back to the west of Cornwall. Standing on the cliffs overlooking some of the little unknown coves down there, the sea and the wind in your hair and on your face, that huge sky (it really is huge, like they say in their tourism promotions), makes words just come in for me. The artists there laud it for the light; I just can’t get enough of the energy.

Q) I understand that you’re published so others can enjoy your creative energy. Which of your works are currently available?

A) I’ve got a collection out at the moment (Disintegration and Other Stories). I loosely label this as literary fiction (though that term can be interpreted in many ways). DaOS is out in ebook and print. This collection came together in an odd way: I didn’t realise that there’d been a thread running through some of my writings for a number of years. It was like seeing invisible ink slowly become visible. I’m working on a collection of micro fiction, which will be a first volume (Four Kinds of Wreckage) to be added to. Micro fiction is much misunderstood. Away from fiction, I’m also published in the field of what’s known as ‘playwork’ (a particular way of working with children). I’ve had writings taken on by the national/international playwork publication for the sector, as well as credits with the organisation concerned with psycholudic playwork practice. (Now though, I fear I’m stepping into the jargon of my other calling – though writing is also a big part of this, too).

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Q) So tell me Joel– why did you want to be interviewed by me?

A) You do a good job of finding writers, Nick. When I became aware of your work I came over to your blog, and yes, I like what I see here. What you’re doing is exactly what writers need– a way of getting their words out there.

Q) Thank you, Joel. One of my stock questions is to ask– if you could be any writer from any time who would it be?

A) As far as writers are concerned, I have a range (as we all do probably): Milan Kundera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jeannette Winterson, Iain Banks, Ian McEwan, Italo Calvino, Jack Kerouac, Neil Gaiman, Adrian Henri. There are others. I wouldn’t want just one small list to define me, though we start somewhere with questions such as these.

Q) Characters are important to you. What makes a good character for you?

A) The unusual wrapped up in the usual. Subtlety people often might not see. The strangely put. Love in odd places, ways; perceptions of this. Someone who aches in some way.

Q) It has often been said that “repeated readability makes a book.” Would you as an author agree with that?

A) Yes, I think I would. Who was it who said that journalism is read once, whilst literature more than this? Something like that. Anyway, it’s the sentiment here that counts. There are books on my shelf that I come back to time and again; there are passages on some pages that just astound me. Kerouac wrote about ‘fields the colour of love and Spanish mysteries’ in On the Road. I come back to that time and again.

Q) You strike me as an intellectual– someone striving for the beautiful things in life. Would you agree with that?

A) I don’t know about intellectual! I certainly am on the search for the beauty of the world though. That’s in words, in moments, in art, in love and lament, in the play of children, in the play of us, in nature.

Q) What would you personally deem as “ugly”?

A) There’s nothing so ugly as not wanting to see, perhaps. Ugliness is also wrapped up in the politics of power, greed, deceit.

Q) Power, greed, deceit are words usually entwined with politics. How do you feel about the political scene in America right now? Are you an Obama follower?

A) For me these words are part of Politics (as in that which a politician is involved in); however, these words are also within the politics of everyone, their relations. Lennon had an angle here! As for Obama, I don’t really get too immersed in Politics anywhere, if I can help it, because politicians bring the media to their door in many ways. That said, when politicians willfully ignore children and their play, this gets me going! Back to Obama, he strikes me as intelligent enough, though of course I’m not in the US and not directly subjected to American policy.

Q) Well, I think we’ll end there Joel. Thank you for a great interview!

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Save A Prayer: Author Paul W. Meier Chats To Nick Wale

Paul W. Meier sat down with me for a second interview. (Please see the first interview here.) This one was as fascinating as the first– we really wanted to expand our conversation and I really want you to know how great this guy is. I discovered that not only was he an excellent writer, he is also a great human being and a very forward thinking and compassionate guy. I present Paul W. Meier to you again and I hope you are all listening for that voice in your gut—that’s the voice you need to hear.

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Q) Hi again, Paul! So tell me what did you think of the last interview?

A) Great! It went places I never expected.

Q) That’s the way with me! So let’s talk about you as a person. What do you like to do for recreation?

A) I’m just now trying to find that out. In the last year, I’ve been working on getting four books out. Two were 80% written before the year started, and then two shorter books I put together during the year. Now that I’ve gotten those out of the way, I think I’ll have some time to go fishing – that’s my recreation. My wife and I are also catching up on some movies. We hadn’t seen any new ones in a long time, so they’re still new to us.

Q) How does it feel to have written four books? That’s an achievement in itself.

A) It’s a relief to get them done. I wanted to have several available so that my blogging and other activities might be more useful. The best part is that I learned more than anyone about the stuff I was writing as I wrote them.

Q) How about your congregation? Have they been supportive?

A) Very much so. They are an incredibly loving and generous group of people. It helps that the research I do for my sermons is much of what I include in my books, so the two activities go hand in hand.

Q) Tell me– how are the books doing? Are you reaching a strong audience?

A) I’ve had a good two weeks since the release of my new book. I’ve done some specific marketing for them because Lent begins on Feb. 13 and two of them will make good devotional books for the season – Praying the Gospels with Martin Luther and O Taste and See. I put together a plan on how to use each of them that can be downloaded from my website for free.

Q) I received an interesting question through my Contact Me page that the writer requested be passed onto you. Does God hear every prayer?

A) Of course. According to the New Testament, we are temples of the living God. God dwells within us. How else would God be able to know our heart? We just forget to look for God within…that’s usually where many of the answers to our prayers lie anyway.

Q) How would someone without any religious education find God within?

A) The same way the Himalayan masters find the Source that Christians call God. The same way people who have never been able to read have found God through the centuries– meditation, prayer, spending time in the quiet. Remember that religious education is simply that, teaching about what someone else thinks about God. You still have to choose whether you agree with them or not. Not enough people think they have permission to think for themselves.

Q) It’s interesting that you mention people following rather than thinking. Have you always had the ability to think for yourself? Or have you learnt that quality?

A) I trusted what others told me for fifty years. That’s when I began the practice of centering prayer and it changed my whole theology and life. It did lead me into spiritual leadership in the Christian faith because I had to start where I was. I think that’s how the Spirit teaches us and moves us along at the pace we are willing and able to hear. Writing my first two books was all about my learning who God is and giving myself permission to disagree where religion didn’t make sense.

Q) So what didn’t make sense to you about religion?

A) The question I always had was this: Why does Jesus’ Father not look much like the God of the Old Testament? They don’t have the same characteristics or personality. Jesus said God doesn’t kill people because of their bad actions. Is that a loving God? The New Testament says God is love, God is light – in Him there is no darkness at all. This is the good news!

Christianity has blended the Judaic faith with the New Testament revelation of God and God has a split personality.

Let me quickly say that I am not putting down the Judaic faith. There are many faithful Jews who have become kind, generous people because of their beliefs.

Q) For British readers I’ve got to ask this– What’s the difference between the Church of England (C of E) and Lutheranism?

A) That’s a broad question, and my only real contact with a group I assume to be related to the C of E (however remotely) is the Episcopal Church in the States. The Lutheran church has many more divisions than the C of E and Episcopal groupings. The similarities between us might best be found in the liturgical aspect of worship, with C of E being more “high” church than most Lutheran congregations are today. Liturgy is a treasure for all of us.

On the other side of the coin, I think Lutherans feel a little more freedom to depart from doing everything the same way. You can walk into three Lutheran churches and experience three completely different kinds of worship service. Theologically, most Lutherans “say” they believe we are saved by the grace of God, but in actuality, if you don’t think the same way, you may be suspect.

You might also take note that this is my opinion, and there are some who will disagree with my assessment.

Q) I’m actually fascinated because growing up C of E I was never really exposed to anyone who was Lutheran. It’s a huge learning curve for me. So what is the Lutheran stance on things like rock music, drugs, etc? Is it frowned upon as it is by the C of E community?

A) I’d say that if it’s legal by the standards of the state, who make laws that are hopefully built upon the desire to promote peace, harmony, and justice among large groups of people, then it might be done in moderation and without harm to self or another. Again, this is my dancing on the head of a pin. Let’s just call it the opinion of one Lutheran. Rock music – okay. Drugs – not legal.

Q) You strike me as a very fair, honest and just guy. I’m sure you’re well respected in your community. Do you find people coming to you for guidance and help often?

A) I minister in a relatively small congregation– 75-80 people in worship each week. I’m in a rural, non-farming community in the Bible Belt. It’s surprising to me that not many people in this area know what a Lutheran is either! The Germans and Scandinavians who immigrated to the states settled further north. So I help whoever God brings to me. Maybe that’s why I feel the need to write, to reach a wider audience.

Q) I had a lot of people ask me, “Who is that guy?” They just instantly liked you. I think you are touching a lot of people out there. How does that feel?

A) Anytime someone says you have helped them, it fills that space within you that wants to feel valued, appreciated, and put on this earth to fulfil a need. It’s like the beatitude: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness – for they will be filled. We always come away satisfied when we do the right thing that brings peace and hope to others.

Q) Yes, well you certainly helped me a lot. I was grateful for your support when my fiancée went home. It’s a trying time, but I talk to God as much as I can. Have you ever had an experience with an angel?

A) My definition of an angel is “a messenger from God.” I’ve encountered many messengers from God on my journey. Somewhere in the psalms it says a man might make his plans, but God guides his footsteps. I think that means go the direction you think you’re supposed to go until the light shines on another path or a door opens that just makes sense. And most of all, be open to appreciating the moment in which you are in.

  1. O Taste and See: Discovering God Through Imaginative Meditations is available now!
  2. Praying the Gospels with Martin Luther: Finding Freedom in Love
  3. In Living Color: The Lords Prayer
  4. In Living Color: The Beatitudes

Don’t forget to visit Paul’s website, Praying the Gospels and his Facebook Author Page!

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The Power Of Reiki! Deborah Lloyd Teaches Me About Reiki

Deborah Lloyd sent me a mail last week and asked for an interview. I thought perhaps she had written a novel or a biography. It turned out that she was an advocate for what we in England call “Alternate” medicine. I was hooked from that moment because I’ve always wondered about this kind of healthcare. I have interviewed many fascinating people– however, I have seldom learnt so much from an interview! Read on about the wonders of Reiki and how it can help you.

Deborah Lloyd

Q) Hi, Deborah! So tell me all about yourself. Who is Deborah Lloyd?

A) I am a person who is passionate about all kinds of healing – whether it be physical, emotional, or spiritual. I believe healing can be a long process – just as many of our problems increase over time, so does the healing.

I am a licensed clinical social worker who works with a hospice agency, a Reiki Master – and now a published author!

Q) I heard that you are now an author! How did that come about?

A) I truly felt that part of my life purpose was to share my own healing story, to help others to find healing in their own lives. My story includes having been stricken with polio at the age of three, losing my father when I was eighteen years old, and having other challenges in my life. As I turned to alternative methods of healing, I started to realize that many of these challenges were really opportunities to learn life lessons. For example, when I began to think that I could get physically better (after 50 years of being basically the same), new opportunities seemed to land in my lap. But, I had to say “yes” to these opportunities and take more responsibility for my own improvements.

Q) You mentioned saying “yes” to opportunities for improvements. Could you give me an example of an improvement you personally went through– after saying “yes”?

A) Sure. I had been diagnosed with post-polio syndrome, and my main symptom was chronic fatigue – and it was quite severe. I saw a physician who prescribed a medication that helped a little. Then, a coworker told me about Reiki, thinking the healing energy could help. At first, I thought it sounded rather “woo-woo,” but decided what did I have to lose? My chronic fatigue lifted some during the first session, and more after the next few. Now, I never have chronic fatigue. If I had not accepted this opportunity, I do not know what my life would be like….by the way, this was in 2001. And, I still use Reiki on a daily basis.

Q) If you stopped using Reiki– would the symptoms return? Do you have to continuously use the alternate therapy to stay symptom free?

A) I doubt if the symptoms would return now, because it has been so many years since I’ve had chronic fatigue. I now use Reiki simply for several reasons – stress relief; and the possibility of more physical improvements in my legs. My legs have also become stronger and they are now always warm – before Reiki, they were often cold to the touch. Who knows what might still be in store for me? Also, Reiki helps me in my meditation practice – to get to that calm, centered place.

Q) Would you suggest alternate medicine over traditional medicine?

A) It really depends on what the problem is. If you broke your leg, I think you ought to go to the emergency room and have it set. But then, I believe the alternative methods could assist in a faster and smoother recovery. But, there are times when perhaps an alternative method may be the best solution to an issue. How many of our physical ailments are truly caused by an emotional issue, that could be ameliorated by energy healing? Quite a few, I believe.

Q) With American healthcare so expensive and health insurance because a less viable option financially, is alternate medicine going to become a viable substitute in your opinion?

A) Yes, and it is already starting to happen. There are a few insurance companies that are now covering acupuncture and massage therapy, for certain diagnoses. I think it will take more time, and more openness by the healthcare professionals. There is now some research demonstrating the effectiveness of some of the alternative methods. There are now a few studies showing that Reiki in recovery rooms decreases recovery time after surgery. Of course, we still have a long way to go….

Q) I mentioned the financial problems of healthcare earlier. Tell me, is alternate medicine expensive in comparison to traditional medicine?

A) Alternative medicine, in general, is much less expensive. No pills from the pharmaceutical companies, no high tech machinery, no corporate expenses. I believe the ideal will be a truly integrated system of using physicians when necessary, but using alternative methods as part of a treatment plan. How great would that be – for the alternative healers to be part of the team, rather than seen as an “outsider.” Perhaps, the first thing we need to do is get rid of the word “alternative!”

Q) Yes, it would make sense to integrate both forms of medicine and use both. Would you agree with that?

A) Yes, for sure. I do appreciate what western medicine did for me. I had surgeries as a little girl, and if I had not, my life would have included crutches and braces.

Q) I think surgeries are important, but the negative side effects from pills seem to outweigh their positive effects. Are there ever negative effects from taking, I won’t say “alternative”– let’s say, “natural medication”?

A) I like that term – natural medication – will have to start using that. I cannot think of any situation where there would be negative effects, unless you went to an acupuncturist, Reiki Master, or other practitioner who was not well trained. I’ve never had a negative effect with a Reiki client, or had any negative effects from Reiki myself.

Q) I think it’s a good term, too! I should copyright it! So what exactly is “Reiki”?

A) Reiki is an energy healing method, where the practitioner lays hands on the client. We recognize that the chakras are energy centers located in the physical body, along the spine. The hand positions correspond to the chakras. The healing energies can go to the physical, emotional or spiritual aspects of the chakras.

Q) So how often do you have people turn to you who don’t particularly believe it will work? How many shocked patients do you come across?

A) Good question! We actually have quite a few skeptics come to us – and that’s okay. Often, they make an appointment because someone else talked them into it, and they have the “what do I have to lose attitude” – just like I did. The first response is I usually get is how much calmer they feel, and how warm my hands got.

Q) So when did you start to write your book?

A) I started writing my book about five years ago and it took about three years to write. I was writing it as I was actually experiencing much of the healing. When it was complete, I started to send it to publishers and had a contract within six months. That was certainly an affirmation that it was supposed to be published!

Q) How are readers taking to it?

A) It is doing quite well. I have done a number of book signings, festivals and social media events. In general, people are becoming more open to the natural methods, and are curious.

Q) Other than book signings, festivals and such– how have you been promoting Believe and it is True: A Story of Healing and Life Lessons?

A) I do my Reiki work in a massage and healing arts center, that my husband owns. He has a website, advertises, uses social media, etc. I do Reiki trainings and presentations about Reiki, the chakras and similar topics. Sometimes, people learn about Reiki from the book. And, sometimes, they hear about the book from a presentation, or from a Reiki client.

Q) Can I ask? What made you decide to come for an interview with me?

A) I saw a reference about you and an interview with an author on Facebook. So, I googled your name and found your Novel Ideas website. When I read the interviews on your website, I was truly impressed! Your interviews were informative, interesting, and fun.

Q) Thank you! Well, I do my best! I’m so glad you enjoyed them! Tell me, where can people get your book?

A) The book is available on the Amazon’s, Barnes & Noble, Books a Million and Powells websites. Or, it can be ordered directly from my website, www.deblloydhealing.com – and you’d get an autographed copy. Or, it can be ordered through a local bookstore. It is available in paperback, or as an e-book.

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Q) Wow! You’ve really got it well marketed! I hope it’s a fantastic success for you Deborah! How much is it, by the way?

A) The retail price is $22.95 retail; and on Amazon goes from about $16 to $18. I’m selling the autographed copies for $19.95. E-books are around $9.

Q) Thank you so much for your time Deborah! I hope this book will help a lot of people!

A) Yes, the REAL purpose of the book…. Thank you, Nick!

You can contact Deborah via her website.

A New Career? “Try Writing Books!” says Lloyd Tackitt

Soldier, Construction Project Manager, Author. Lloyd Tackitt has lived and now he is on my blog for an interview. How did I meet Lloyd? Just another fateful meeting when two people start a conversation. I asked Lloyd over for an interview and he replied by asking me when would be a good time? Right now? Okay, lets talk….

Lloyd Tackitt
Q) Nice to meet you, Lloyd! So you’ve written a few books. Which of your works is your favourite?

A) Hi Nicholas, it’s a pleasure to visit with you.

I’ve published three books in a post-apocalyptic slash survival series. The first two books – A Distant Eden and Adrian’s War. They are half survival manual and half novel. I thought it would be interesting to mix real survival instruction with a fictional account of how they were used. The books are getting excellent reviews and selling very well – getting attention mostly by word of mouth. Top reviews have been given for both elements of these books, the instruction element and the story line.

The third book – Eden’s Hammer – is more novel than manual. Survival instructions are finite, at least real ones are. I covered just about everything in the first two books on survival without getting into the esoteric techniques – such as starting a fire with a candy bar and a can of soda. Eden’s Hammer includes tribal scale guerrilla warfare tactics that are explained, but mostly it’s about the adventures of the main character, Adrian Hunter. This book was released the first week of January.

I am writing the fourth book in the series now. I haven’t settled on a title yet. I think this fourth book may be my favorite so far.

Q) What drove you to become a writer and which book was your first release?

A) My first release was A Distant Eden. It was published in March of 2012. The second book Adrian’s War was released in August of 2012, and the third, Eden’s Hammer, in January of 2013.

What drove me to write the first book was a combination of three things. 1. A fascination with the subject of post-apocalyptic survival. 2. The advent of self-publishing at the level it recently reached, making it available to me. 3. I spend three hours per day commuting to and from work, leaving me a lot of time to think about what to write.

What drove me to write the others, and to continue writing, is a love of writing. I have written a considerable number of short stories (available for free at lloydtackitt.com). Those stories eventually led to writing the first novel. My novels, so far, have been on the short side of the classic novel definition, around sixty-thousand words each. My writing style is compressed and direct – nothing florid about it. I try to make every word count and not put any filler or fluff in. I could easily double the length of these books, but the story would be the same story with a lot of window dressing. Not my style.

A Distant Eden

Q) How are the public taking to your work? How are sales?

A) Excellent. Far better than I had dared to hope for. Sales have been truly wonderful and the feedback has been beyond my wildest dreams. I am developing a rapidly expanding reader base, and get emails every day asking when the next story will be available. My answer to that question is – As soon as I can get it finished, polished, and published. I write part-time, my days are very full and leave little time for writing, but I squeeze writing in every chance I get. I’ve published three books in ten months, so you can see that while my writing career is part-time, it is productive.

Q) So your latest release is Edens Hammer. Can you tell me what us a little bit about it?

With no spoilers? Okay, I’ll give it a try. Imagine a man who is in a post-apocalyptic world and has recently lost the love of his life. He has gone off into the mountains to be alone, but ended up in a war with a group of raiders that also practiced cannibalism. He’s just finished that war when his uncle sends word to come home as fast as possible, their entire village – Fort Brazos — is under threat of annihilation. Adrian, the protagonist, rushes home to find a large group of criminals about to descend on his village and overwhelm it with superior numbers and firepower. Adrian assesses the situation and goes into action to save his village. Much more than that and I start to tell the story itself.

Q) Where did the title Edens Hammer come from?

A) I’m not completely sure it’s explainable. Partly because it is a part of the Distant Eden series of course; but also partly because the protagonist, Adrian, is the one man that his family and friends believes can save them. Titles are strange, you try several out, roll them around in your mind for a while and then try some more. When one finally feels right you leave it alone for a few weeks, then try it again and see if it still feels right. Eventually, one feels right and keeps feeling right and you go with it. There’s a lot to the selection process that isn’t rational, more intuitive. Like working out the cover art.

Q) How would you describe the process of writing a book?

A) I’ve written tons of short stories and the books are kind of different and kind of the same. At least the process I follow is– probably different for each writer. First, I think about the story while commuting. I roughly shape it in my head, the introduction phase, the first couple of pinch points, the main crisis and the resolution. These are my guideposts.

When I have that firmly in my mind, I begin writing. The first draft is almost purely spontaneous, letting the characters lead me as I go along. You’ve heard of the characters taking over the story? That’s true for me. Often the characters are out there wandering around getting into and out of trouble and I have no idea what they’re going to be up to next. Other than they follow the general guideposts I mentioned earlier. That’s the first draft.

Once the first draft is complete, then I go back and start re-writing, changing the story here and there, adding and subtracting. That’s the second draft.

When the second draft is complete I go back and really tweak the “close to the ground” part of the story. Re-working dialogue, checking for conformity of details, adding descriptions of places and people.

When that’s complete, I go through it looking for spelling and grammar errors, or clumsy sentences. After that I send it to the editor, get it back from the editor and go through the comment review/approval process. The final version goes to the formatter to get it in shape to upload. I’ll have been working with the cover artist for a few weeks at this point and it should be completed. After formatting is done and cover art is done, I upload it and then start chewing my nails waiting for reviews.

Q) If you could have written any book by any author– which would it have been and why?

A) “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. My all time, number one (with no number two even close) favorite book. Harper Lee creates a world that is completely immersive and inclusive. I cannot read that book without being pulled into it. I’ve read it perhaps fifty or sixty times, trying to understand her writing style – but I always get pulled into the story and can’t see the trees for the forest. Her style is completely invisible, you just can’t see it.

It’s also a story that has every element in it that you could ask for, and the characters become so real that I sometimes think of them when I am recalling family members of long ago.

Q) How many books do you have in mind for release?

A) Total? I have no idea. I am going to start a murder mystery series soon. The Distant Eden series has at least one more book to go– the one I am working on now. I may come back to it later and add more, it’s an open ended world that can be described in story for many books to come.

Adrians War

Q) How was your publishing experience? Would you promote self publishing?

Since I self-publish it’s a peaceful experience. It’s all in my control – other than the amount of time it takes to get material back from editing, formatting and cover art. I can’t control those time frames entirely, but by planning ahead with the various people involved the time is kept to a minimum.

Q) Do you have an editor or do you edit your own work?

A) I’ve worked with editors. I can’t edit my own work objectively. If I tried to self-edit I would never finish a book. I never look at one of my manuscripts without wanting to make changes, and sometimes a lot of them. At some point though you have to let go and move on, and by sending it out to an editor I can make that break while getting objective criticism on the final book. That’s a great way to work. Editors and editing were invented for a reason.

Q) Edens Hammer is out now, correct? Where can people buy it?

It’s out now and can be purchased on Amazon for the Kindle version and CreateSpace for the paperback. The paperback will eventually be available on Amazon also, but that always takes time. A Distant Eden has just been released in audio format as well.

Q) Have you got a website for readers to keep up with your work?

A) I do have a website that has many of my short stories on it. I’m not a computer savvy person so I don’t update the site often with recent news. It’s lloydtackitt.com.

I also have an author’s Facebook page that I can operate so it has more up-to-date information on it. http://www.facebook.com/AuthorLloydTackitt

I also have an email address where readers can correspond with me. I always try to answer within five days and usually do better than that. I’ll answer questions about the books, the upcoming releases, survival, or just about anything other than religion and politics. lloydtackitt@gmail.com

On the subject of politics, I sometimes blog at: libertyauthors.com/index.php/lloydtackitt/

I am also an avid fly fisherman and blog on fishing at: fishexplorer.com on the Texas part of the website.

So! Now, I have to go out and get a copy of Edens Hammer. I’ll do that just as soon as I click the publish button on here! I’m coming, Lloyd!

Patrick McMillan Has a Plan– Nick Wale Interviews Self-Help Author Patrick McMillan

Patrick McMillan is a single parent. In his efforts to be a better parent he devised new lessons and activities to teach his sons. Now he finds himself coaching, writing and promoting his own tips for parenting success. I wanted to meet him– and here is what happened when I did! I present an interview with A-1 dad, Law of Attraction advocate and self-help author Patrick McMillan…

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Q) Hi, Patrick! So tell me– why did you write a book?

A) Well, it started off as just a little book of lessons and activities I put together for my two sons and I to do at home together. I was an “at home” parent for just over seven years. It obviously had an impact on them because I was asked by my son’s teacher (following a bullying incident) what I was teaching him and is it something I could teach her whole class? Then the school principal got word of it and asked me to teach the whole school. Then the “light went on” and I realized this is something ALL children need, not just my own, and I felt compelled to share it.

Q) Do you think the American school system fails kids?

A) To a large degree, yes! But where I believe it can be turned around is by making “Character Education” or Social and Emotional Learning a mandatory part of the curriculum in ALL schools.

Q) Tell me about your book. What are you teaching kids?

A) It’s called Discover Your Happiness: A Guide Just For Kids and it teaches children through both reading and experience the true “science of happiness.” The lessons and activities are based upon research in positive psychology and “subjective well-being” and the activities have been proven to boost emotional well-being. It’s designed to help kids develop habits of thinking that lead to lasting happiness.

Q) How are people taking to it? Is it growing daily? What has the public been saying about your work?

A) Well, I just self-published it and I’m working on the “getting the word out” part.

The feedback I’ve received thus far has been amazing! It has been endorsed by some of the biggest names in personal development and parenting/self-esteem.

Q) Your endorsements are impressive! How did you manage to gain such credibility so quickly?

A) I conducted a huge on-line parenting event in 2010 and interviewed twenty-four of some of the world’s leading experts in the field and made some fantastic connections, so I sent the book off to them. In fact, after interviewing Marci Shimoff (Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul, Happy for No Reason, The Secret) she called me at home to find out more about my book and asked me if she could endorse it!!

Q) I noticed that you are a natural at making connections with people. Would you say that statement is true?

A) I certainly don’t struggle with it! I’ve been on my own since I was fifteen years old so I learned at a young age how important connections with others really are!

Q) Who would you say has been your biggest supporter so far?

A) Hmmm! That’s a tough one… I would have to say Shelly Lefkoe who I met about six or seven years ago. She and her husband are remarkable at what they do and she was a personal coach and mentor of mine since we met. (http://www.thelefkoeway.com/) Additionally, because of the old adage…”It’s not about who you know, but who they know.” Shelly and her husband are founding members of The Transformational Leadership Counsel– a very select group of some of the most influential and powerful transformational leaders in the world.

Q) You’ve also moved into a new career as a personal coach, correct? How are you taking to that new role?

A) Well, it seems like something I’ve done all of my life, but as a career it developed after sharing my own personal story at several parenting/divorced parenting events  and on radio interviews. Then I started getting contacted about personal coaching, so its turned into more than just “life coaching” because much of it revolves around parenting and raising self-confident and happy kids, but that starts with the parent getting their “happy on” first.

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Q) Like me, you are, I believe, a great believer in “Law of Attraction,” right?

A) Very much so!

Q) Tell me, how has the “Law of Attraction” changed your life?

A) Understanding it gave me answers as to how I’ve created my life up to this point, and from this moment forward I get to use that knowledge to create for myself the life I want most.

Q) Do you believe people meet for a reason?

A) Energy and Attraction!! I believe these are the reasons people meet.

Q) From our talks you seem to be such a positive, forward-thinking guy. Do you have those dark moments of despair?

A) Certainly! But I’ve noticed clearly how being “positive on purpose” becomes a way of being after a while and it allows me to look at situations differently. I can pull myself out of a bummer mood much sooner than before and with much less effort.

Q) So what would your advice be to people struggling with problems right now?

A) That there is always a different way to look at what seems to be a problem, and intentionally trying to see other ways of looking at things makes them change. Dr. Wayne Dyer has a great saying: “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” Also, a problem cannot be solved by focusing on the problem, it just makes more of it. Recognize it, yes, but then its about getting to a better way of thinking and feeling to open up the mind to receiving a solution. Don’t ask “How do I make the problem go away?” because that will come to you when you are in a mindset to receive it.

With our interview over I began to think about the words Patrick had spoken. What good is negativity to life? I think he has the right idea– stay positive and things will indeed get better. If you have been looking down, change your perspective and look up!

To paraphrase from Patrick’s new book– I have this to share with you all…

Discover Your Happiness is a guide for kids filled with lessons and activities to boost emotional intelligence and overall happiness. Research in the “Science of Happiness” proves we can live the happiest we deserve to live if we understand where true lasting happiness comes from…Inside each and every one of us! Discover Your Happiness gives kids the tools and strategies to create for themselves the life every parent wants most for their child…A Happy Life!”

What more could anyone ask for?

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Check out Patrick’s book Discover Your Happiness- A Guide For Just Kids

Check out Patrick’s YouTube videos here

Follow Patrick on Twitter here

Everyone’s a Winner With Laura Kendall– Nick Wale interviews an Author and Self Publishing Guru

L J KendellI am one of those guys who always looks for a service offered. When people ask me for interviews, I am the first to explain what I offer. Searching through the internet I found Laura Kendall who offers her services as a “self publishing consultant.” I had never heard of one of those– so I emailed her and asked her to join me on this blog for an interview. Who I found was a woman who knew what she was doing and obviously gives more than she takes. Laura Kendall should be the first stop for all of you who want to publish a book.

Q ) Hi, Laura! So tell me about your experiences as a writer? How did you start?

A) I started in 1996 after reading a Patrica Cornwell suspense novel. I decided to write one myself and thought, “Well, how hard can that be?” I found out how hard. Mystery and suspense needs lots of plotting and twist and turns. Plus, I lacked confidence in myself so it took me until 2007 to finally finish my first book entitled A Simple Case of Suicide.

Q) How did Patricia Cornwell inspire you? What made her the catalyst for you to start writing?

A) Her novels drew me in to the point I forgot about my life and really felt like I was in the story. Her characters are real and complex just like people are. Her plots are also very intricate and keep you guessing. I loved her books and still do.

Q) So tell me about that first book you wrote– A Simple Case of Suicide— what’s it about?

A) I work as a paramedic and have for the last twenty-six years. We get called out frequently to do pronouncements of death as part of the job. I thought, “”What if I was ever called to a scene to do a pronouncement where the lead investigator said it was suicide, but clearly there were signs it was murder? What would happen if no one believed me and I set out to investigate on my own with the killer being someone very close to the investigation?” So, Paramedic Kendall Rose was born and her cohort partner CJ Wagner. Together they set out to investigate and all heck breaks loose. The book has been well received and people really seem to enjoy reading it to the point they can’t put it down and stay up all night reading. This just makes my day and it helps quiet the inner critic that often pops up in a writer.

Q) I know that inner critic well. Did you ever feel, as I have, that writing is just a dream?

A) Absolutely. I thought, “Who will ever want to read my book?” Well, it turns out lots of people do and really enjoy the ones I’ve written. Now, with the advent of the internet and the amazing opportunities for self publishing authors, the sky is the limit. I believe that every book you write and publish can be a mini-business earning you income. I haven’t mastered the marketing end yet, but I’m working on it. After writing the first book and gaining confidence and quieting a little that inner critic, the other eight just seemed to fly out. It is my passion in life to now to empower other writers to squash that inner critic and write their book – self publish it and be a published author.

Q) Are you looking for authors to work with you actively? Could readers get in touch and talk to you and gain help?

A) Yes! I obtained my Professional Coaching Certification in 2011 and discovered the niche I am passionate about is self publishing. Nothing lights me up more than seeing one of my clients write, self publish their book on Amazon, Nook and Kobo and have a new outlook and belief in themselves. It is an awesome feeling.

My website is www.adaringwriters.com and my email is ljkendallcompany (@) gmail.com for anyone who is interested in exploring self publishing and the opportunities out there. I coach clients through the writing process and publishing. I also will publish the books for my clients in paperback and ebook form if they do not want to do it themselves. What is unique about me as a publisher is I publish the book for a flat fee and hand over the reins to my clients. Their royalties are theirs to keep–100%.

Q) So, what is your flat fee?

A) My fee for publishing a book to Amazon.com as a paperback and Kindle is $750.00 US. Pubit (which is Nook) is $350.00 as it requires more work to format; and Kobo is $250.00. I do not do editing as I am just not good at that, but I do have an editor I work with who is a professional coach and editor. My coaching fee is $75.00 an hour. The only time there may be an additional fee is if the formatting is horrible for the paperback version, but I coach clients through the basics so the book is usually well-formatted before it gets to me for upload. I also provide a unique cover for the book as well.

Q) Well, your fees sound very reasonable to me. How many books have you worked with? Do you prefer any particular genre?

A) I prefer fiction, self-help and metaphysical books. These are what I have mainly done for my clients and myself, but I’m always open for learning.

Q) How does it feel to be working with authors and making their dreams come true?

A) It is my passion. I believe that everyone has the answers already within them and, through coaching, we not only work on the book, but the inner critic as well. My clients are so excited and happy when they see their book live on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo as well as their own website with a digital store. This has really restored my excitement and sense of purpose in my life. I absolutely love coaching, publishing, writing and most of all, my amazing clients.

Q) I know the feeling– that’s why I love doing these interviews. Just to share some of the excitement of publishing a book is a thrill. So what is next for you?

A) I’m currently in the process of writing a sequel to my book Witches Enchantment and it is called Vampire – Seduction of a Cougar Witch. I also have a third book in the Simple Case series in the works. Plus, I get to work with other authors and coaches publishing their books. I have the most amazing and awesome job.

Q) Could you give me some titles of books you’ve worked on? I’ll make sure there’s links to them with this interview.

A) Sure! A Simple Case of Suicide and A Simple Case of Revenge are my suspense thrillers; Witches Enchantment is my paranormal romance; Goddess School is an empowerment book for women over 50; Hurricane Deadly is a book I wrote after living through the terror of Hurrricane Sandy; A Daring Writer’s Handbook and its companion workbook A Daring Writer’s Workbook help writers with plotting, formatting, scene setting, character development etc.; my medical books are The Top Five 911 Emergencies and How to Handle Them Until the Paramedics Arrive and The Top Five Winter Emergencies and How to Handle Them Until The Paramedics Arrive. I write under the name L.J. Kendall for my fiction novels and Laura J. Kendall for my self help and medical. They are available as paperbacks on Amazon.com, Kindle and ebooks for Nook and Kobo.

Q) You are certainly prolific. I think a lot of authors would be making the right move to work with you. Do you ever turn down manuscripts sent to you?

A) I don’t want to say “turn down,” but if they are poorly written, formatted and edited I will try to work with the writer and coach them in those areas. With coaching, my clients are able to work through many of those areas and getting a non-judgemental opinion can really be refreshing for a writer used to rejection or criticism. I will say it is very important to have your book professionally edited. I made the mistake of putting A Simple Case of Suicide out there after having friends good at grammar and English edit. Let me tell you I got three reviews from people telling me how badly they were edited. They all said they loved the story, but my editing sucked. Reviews show up on Amazon and influence how people will buy your book. Now that the book has been professionally edited, those negative reviews have stopped and sales are picking up.

Q) That’s wonderful news! I get the feeling that you truly care for the authors you work with. Have you had any success stories yet? Or would you say each new entry on Amazon is a success story?

A) I say each person who dares to write and put themselves and their books out there are heads above the average person. That is why my writing books are called A Daring Writer’s because we as writers really do open ourselves up for review, critique and criticism. So I say all my authors are successes whether they only give their books away to family members or they sell a million. For them to have taken that leap of faith makes them winners in my book!

So there we have another godsend to Authors! If you have a manuscript and you don’t want to make the journey by yourself– or you need someone to help you make it to success– you need to meet Laura and work with her. Thank you for coming over for the interview!

A Simple Case Of Suicide!