When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I started journal writing in 2008 after my best friend Adam died when his RV hit a utility pole while he was under the influence of alcohol and drugs and then stepped on a live wire. The second reason I began journal writing was the continued absence of my daughter, Amelia, in my life.
How long does it take you to write a book?
I actually wrote two books simultaneously over a period of six years. The second of the two books needs more work, so it may end up being my third book, as I am planning on publishing a book on skincare next. I believe in quality books, not quantity of books. I put my heart and soul into the writing of “Never Surrender Your Soul.” I put part of me into the writing of this book, like an artist puts part of them into their work of art.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
While writing “Never Surrender Your Soul,” I usually spent ten to twelve hours a day, six days a week writing. For two years during this time, I averaged two hours of sleep a night. Due to my full schedule, in addition to a lack of sleep, I had poor eating habits/diet, a lack of exercise, and a lacking social life. I was trying to run my skincare business at the same time. I am really good at multi-tasking, but I don’t know when to quit. Because I tried to take my life, I have become a very driven individual.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
As I write a book, I share the writings on my website (www.BestToLive.org) before I’ve actually published the book. I did this with “Never Surrender Your Soul.” I took the pages off the website when the editing process began. A chapter from the next book is currently on the website here: www.besttolive.org
How do books get published?
By sheer determination. For me, my thoughts kept flowing; I couldn’t stop thinking about the book. My body was totally exhausted, but my mind was full of energy and inspiration.
Where do you get information or ideas for your books?
Most of the information for “Never Surrender Your Soul” came from my life experiences. Research took me several years. Most authors do all their research before they start writing. In my case, I would get an idea for a chapter for my book and write it from my own perspective; then I would add any research that might back up the chapter. I think I did it the opposite of most authors.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
“Never Surrender Your Soul” is my first book and I wrote it between the ages of fifty-three and fifty-nine.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I maintain a vegetable garden. I’m currently growing four tomato plants; three types of pepper plants, including banana, red bell, and hot peppers; four basil plants; scallions; and about fifty green bean plants. Also, in the summer, I enjoy fishing.
In regards to my books, I spend time marketing on several accounts on Facebook and Twitter. Six weeks ago I did a two-hour podcast: www.blogtalkradio.com/powerofperceptionradio/2015/02/04/power-of-perception-with-brian-michael-good.
What does your family think of your writing?
My family thought I was crazy averaging two hours of sleep a night while writing “Never Surrender Your Soul.” The lack of sleep, spending all my time writing the book, and not taking care of myself physically and mentally led me to becoming homeless for several months.
After finding an apartment and publishing my book, my family is now quite proud of me. My parents are both eighty-six years old, and I come from a large family. My grandmother had over fifty grandchildren, yet I am the first author among them. My mother has told me that she brags to her sisters that I published a book.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your books?
By writing my book to help others, I actually helped myself. I found that I was healed from all the abuse in my life, and I no longer have self-pity. I think a quote from my book sums it up best:
“I accepted the abuse that I allowed others to bestow on me. It took me a lifetime to discover that people do not scar you or give you pain. It was my acceptance of their mistreatment. I blame myself for not being able to heal from the hurt and the scars that I now realize were self-inflicted. I found that self-pity was one of my greatest weaknesses. Self-pity does not do anyone any good. We are all much stronger than we initially think when something bad happens in our life.”
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
“Never Surrender Your Soul” is my first and only published book. A follow-up book, which is in need of a strong edit, is titled, “Choose to Live: Through Your Hurricanes of Life.” I am also working on a book about organic and natural skincare.
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Pick a topic that you are knowledgeable about, experienced with, and enjoy. The decision most writers need to make is if they are going to write a quantity of short-read books or a quality book that takes thought, time, and effort. There are over 655,000 books published this year, as of April 6, 2015, which is one newly published book every fifteen seconds. Write a book that people are going to talk about.
This reminds me of one of my quotes: “Fear not. Never look back. Never give up. Never stop trying. Never quit, not even a bit.”
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I am surprised how many readers have direct-messaged me through Facebook. A few have mentioned that they were at their wits-end, needed a friend to lean on, or wanted to find peace and happiness. I am very grateful for my readers and very honored to be able to help them.
Do you like to create books for adults?
So far, my books are for people of all ages. This most likely will be who I will continue to write for. I write for humanity.
What do you think makes a good story?
A good story is based on a topic that most people can relate to. The more universal the topic, the more people will read it.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be a lawyer.
What would you like my readers to know?
Two quotes from my book say it best:
“A scar often reminds us of the past. Sometimes a scar is an invisible wound that was not mended and never healed. When you accept that people do not scar you or give you pain, you will realize that your open wound was self-inflicted. It is your acceptance of their mistreatment that stops the open wound from being healed, and that prevents you from moving past the hurt that only you view as a scar, no matter how fresh or old the wound.”
“When you forgive…you will have made the decision to move forward. Only you can heal yourself. It is a choice.”