What inspired you to write?
I had lived with a deep sense of abandonment my entire life brought on by not knowing my father. I didn't realize the root of my dysfunction was tied to this issue. My sense of unworthiness led me to a messy life with some wretched consequences. I wanted to fix my life and live the life I knew I should have. When I unraveled my emotional, mental, and religious knot I knew I had something worth saying.
Did the inspiration to write come to you suddenly, or had you been thinking about it some time?
I have wanted to write since childhood. But, I didn't decide to act on it until my grandson was born in 2009. When his father chose to not be in his life, and I new the plight of the fatherless threatening him, I sprang into action. I refuse to stand by and and not prevent as much of his pain as I can. I discovered fatherlessness is pandemic so I addressed the issue in my book. I'm an incessant communicator. Rarely without something to say. And, I'm am interested in people and concepts. I'm an avid reader and researcher. I'm like a kid with a new toy every time I discover something new and I want everyone to see what I found. Writing is a way for me to share what is not mine to keep.
How did you tell your story? In other words, did you use an outline, or just write your story from start to finish?
I had no formal training in writing. I started with a heartfelt message and a rough outline. After nearly completing what I thought was a book I went to a writer's retreat. A more elaborate outline was formed as a result. I then joined two writing groups. I honestly believe I wrote about ten books to get to the book I published.
Did you receive any encouragement from family and friends, or did you work on your book alone?
Thankfully, I had a lot of encouragement from my wife and some close friends. As I got close to a final finish I hired a book coach to get me to the finish line. It was a great decision for me.
What was the most difficult part of writing your book?
The two things that challenged me was finding the courage to tell my story with the ugly warts left in and trimming the excess away so that the real message didn't get buried in the process.
What was the most enjoyable aspect of writing your book?
Knowing that my story has the potential to offer hope and direction for anyone wanting to validate their life.
Did you experience any personal transformation after the book was published?
My personal transformation happened during the writing of the book. When I read the endorsements from people I respected it also moved me. When I held the first copy of the book I felt consummated. When I received 5 Star reviews on Amazon I felt fully alive.
What’s something that gets in the way of your creativity?
I'm easily distracted. I have to control my environment when I write. Negative thoughts are also very disruptive to me.
What strategies do you use to deal with criticism?
I'm responsible for my beliefs and what I believe about myself. If I don't agree with what somebody says about me I'm unaffected by it. Harsh or bitter judgement is always more about the person giving it than the person receiving it. When it comes to what I feel I've learned to choose wisely.
Where did you grow up and what is your favorite/worst childhood memory?
I grew up mostly in northern Indiana, forty miles south of Chicago. But I left home when I was 15 and entered the service spending seven years in the Marines. My favorite memory is the love I felt from my grandmother and my worst memory is having no sense of belonging.
Do you have a favorite quote?
I have become quite attached to one of my own: "Follow your passion, purpose will find you, and clarity will give you a home."
What is your favorite show on TV?
The Voice. My wife and I watch it together.
Lonesome Dove. I've watched it at least one a year for years.
The Bible will always be my favorite Book, but The Power of Intention, by Wayne Dyer, is high on my list.
Who would you want to meet if you could? Dead or alive.
Is there a talent you wish you had?
Oh how I wish I could sing.
What’s something about you that would surprise us?
Shame nearly ruined my life.
Describe yourself in 3 words!
I'm not finished!
What inspired you to write?