What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?
Since the majority of what I write has to do with the Hero’s Journey, as mythologist Joseph Campbell so beautifully relayed in his work, my intent for readers is they recognize the Hero in themselves. We’re all on this evolutionary journey to different degrees. Ultimately, I hold that readers find inspiration, and more so, ways through tricky places, perhaps by identifying with my fictional characters or the examples from real people in my nonfiction books.
How do you come up with an idea for a new book?
The ideas present themselves. It may be something I want to explore myself, or a point I want to get across. When a central theme keeps showing up in my own life or that of my clients, then I begin to write about it.
Are you traditionally published or self-published? Why did you choose that path?
I’ve published articles through professional journals and magazine since the early 1990s. When it came to my books, I specifically chose to self-publish through Kenosis Press, my own small press, for these important reasons: 1) they never go out of print; 2) the publishing process is truncated; 3) I have control over the content. Since my books are vehicles for my work, I continue to feel this is important.
How do you work through self-doubts and fear?
I’ve gone through quite a process in the last 25 years. I felt like I was on a high-speed train going through one station after another, dropping things off and picking up others along the way until I realigned my life for a right fit.
This is what I’ve noticed. When I’m ready to go through a threshold—the next evolution—the residue of whatever fears may still be present becomes strongest, They can present themselves through critical internal voices, body stresses, or even dreams. I know that any of these are just internal signals that I’m moving out of what has been familiar. I’ve seen this to be true for virtually anyone. I do some objective exploring to see if there’s any validity to the messages. If so, I fine-tune but move forward if it’s a direction that’s beneficial. I tell my mentoring clients that it’s actually a marker of progress! Intent will prevail and the fears lessen over time as you get used to the (now) familiar.
What are you most proud of in your personal life?
About 20 years ago, I moved out of a life prescribed for me by societal expectations into a lifestyle that truly enlivens me, the work I’m doing now. I was essentially working in corporate environments that didn’t support creativity, or much out-of-the-box thinking at all. In most areas of my life I was “settling.” My energy was slowly being depleted, which happens when an environment is an ill fit. My need to thrive overcame fears and I left the “secure” cocoon, albeit a stifling one. I made a leap of faith. At one level, it took a lot of courage. But my core intent was strong. Now I guide others on how to live through their deeply held values.
What books did you love growing up?
My mother read to me a lot as a young child. I remember lying with my head in her lap and listening to stories: Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, a series called Mother West Wind’s Neighbors and many more. It was comforting and probably why I’ve always loved books. Jane Eyre was a favorite when I hit adolescence.
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Genre – Nonfiction, Spirituality
Rating – PG