Interview with Brian Flagg

When did you first start writing?
I recall a class in my senior year of high school, 30-odd years ago, which I believe was titled Creative Writing. The class project was to be a novel of significant length. Now, as a 17 year old, 'significant length' was a hundred or so pages; handwritten. After all, this was before personal computers, and my typing skills were such that it would have taken an eternity to convert my handwritten into a neatly typed work. The title was Firestorm and was basically focused on a government research program gone bad that caused a phenomenon whereby a localized storm of fire would appear, seemingly at random geographical locations. The cause, the ensuing cover-up, and the eventual climax when a solution is discovered are all part of the story. It was my first and final foray into fictional writing, and I may someday have the time to clean it up, create a typed manuscript and publish the story.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book, Parents As Detectives, is a handbook to help parents of children on the autism spectrum work through the maze of often conflicting therapies to help children with autism. Twenty-three years of experience, trial and error, and path-searching to help my son with Asperger Syndrome (a high-functioning form of autism) has given my wife and I a perspective on the process that is required to find the right path, a process rooted in the investigative work of a detective, and the work of a scientist. I discuss the observe - record - hypothesize - test process needed to make continuous progress in helping a child reach full potential. I also make the point that there is no cure for autism, just as there is no cure for freckles or Down's Syndrome. Also missing are the heart-warming anecdotes and stories. There are many to tell, but parents at the end of their rope, unsure where to make the next turn, need a concise handbook. The stories are great, but, at least for me, I wanted help. There are many places to commiserate and get emotional support, and the handbook makes no intent to bury the key messages within story-telling prose.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I have written many articles for magazines and ezines over the last couple of years. I started writing after leaving a position and being 'free' for 5 months. I decided I wanted to share what I had learned over the years in the call center industry and wrote several articles, sending them to industry-leading call center media outlets. That led to conference presentations and speeches, and the decision to take a series of 10 articles and compile them into a book.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords is a great one-stop-shop. I am able to easily get my manuscript and cover to exactly the way I want it, and then have it 'blasted out' to a wide variety of venues. Through the dashboard, I can keep track of download and sales activity.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I am an idea person. I am constantly looking at the world and envisioning improvements I can make, whatever the subject. The joy of writing for me is in the writing process itself, and the thought that perhaps I can get others to view the world a bit differently.
Published 2013-08-30.
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Books by This Author

Parents As Detectives
By
Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 11,710. Language: English. Published: July 24, 2013. Category: Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Mental health
Helpful approach for parents of children on the Autistic Spectrum. Parents As Detectives provides signposts for a journey through research, observation and action, helping to guide a parent through the maze of physical, biochemical and psychological challenges associated with children on the spectrum.