Hmmm.... I was making little scribble books of stories when I was a kid. Then, when I was 15, my best friend and I set out to write a fantasy trilogy. Unfortunately, somehow the notebooks got lost and we gave up on that project. I've always been a note writer to express many of my thoughts and feelings, more so than with words at first. But I really started writing with the intent to publish in 2010. And I *never* would have thought I'd be writing self-help books! It was when I discovered the title for my business "The Naked Life Coach" that something inside me clicked and said "Ok, now you have to write a book and call it 'Living the Naked Life' and I saw the cover in my mind. So I did! And you know? I've read several books or essays on writing or it's been mentioned in stories featuring writers that writing is addictive, and it really is! I have ideas for at least 5 or 6 more books after this (my 4th one) that I'm working on right now!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up out in the country, near a very small town in Michigan. My mother used to take us on all kinds of nature walks and teach us about everything. We also had a garden and a lot of variety of animals; horses, chickens, ducks, cats, dogs, rabbits, raccoons, etc. I raised a Monarch butterfly once, from the caterpillar stage. I'd have to say that I got a deep love of learning from my mom, but also, growing up in such an isolated locale, there weren't a lot of playmates for me (besides my brothers) on a daily basis. We also weren't allowed to watch much TV. So, books were my go-to for entertainment. And reading Sci-fi and getting familiar with concepts such as sociology, psychology, history, metaphysical concepts and so on from a very young age has definitely shaped my interests and that in turn has influenced what I want to write and share with others.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read a lot of everything! My favorite genres are science fiction and metaphysical allegory, but I really read titles from all sorts of genres, from my own self-help genre, to erotica, to mysteries, historical fiction, scientific research, even a little horror now and then, although since beginning my own metaphysical learning journey I find my appetite for horror has diminished quite a lot. They say "you are what you eat", I say, you are the ideas which you consume. So I try to feed my brain with interesting and imaginative "food" and leave out the nasty or scary stuff haha.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Oooo good question!
Ok, so.... like I said, I have ideas for several more books. This one was in the mix, but I had been holding off writing it. This one, 'Secret Weapons of Mass Orgasm' is my book on Sex & Relationships. I've been writing on all sorts of self-help topics. My first book, 'Living the Naked Life' was about the metaphysical principles I teach as The Naked Life Coach. My next one was on Time Management, and the one before this was on Daily Meditation.
The sex book was in the mix to be written eventually, but I'd been holding back on writing it, because I've already had an uphill battle to disassociate myself and my business from sexual services, because of the whole nudity thing. I use nudity in my coaching as a tool to help people in many ways, but it's taken me a long while to make sure that people understand it's NON-SEXUAL NUDITY. So I was really hesitant to write this book so soon.
But... in the space of a few months I suddenly had several clients who needed to work on sexual issues. As I was typing up the homework assignment for one of them, I got about 8 pages in, and realized, THIS is going to be a book! I mean, this person was absolutely ignorant about all these topics! And so that's how it started.
Oh! But shortly before that happened, I had also finally been inspired with the title of this book, so in this case it's partly a chicken/egg problem. All my other books were really started when I had the title. I guess it had been germinating since I got the title and then that particular client was when I finally started the material. However, I had already written a couple of blog posts and had a bunch of other notes on my phone of random things I'd thought to include, notes from my prior sex-ed classes, a notebook of outline, and also several other client homework assignments, so all that is going in there as well. But I'd say, when I sat down and started typing that last homework assignment out, and decided "this is going to be a book" is when the process really took off.
What is your writing process?
I have a list of ideas of topics I want to write about. However, it really starts when I have the title. So far every single book has been preceded by it's title jumping up and getting in my face and saying "write me!"
Next, I usually sit down and make a list of the specific points or topics I want to make sure to touch on in the book. Then I sort those into chapters. And usually the chapter titles appear during this process.
Then I usually just slog through writing from the start to finish. But with my latest book, 'Secret Weapons of Mass Orgasm', it's been a bit more all over the place. Right now I've gotten the first 6 chapters completed, and parts of 4 more, plus 2 bonus chapters. So I've been jumping around a lot with this one and writing different bits here and there. But I also started out with a bunch more material that I'd already created that is being included here, plus necessity being the mother of invention I decided to teach a 10 week class series on the book content, so I've had to flesh out bits of each chapter as I went along teaching the class, at least enough to prep my notes for the classes. It's been wild!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Well, I've always been an entrepreneur, and I like my freedom. It is a more difficult path to walk, as I've had to figure out the whole publishing thing on my own, and of course the marketing and doing it all on a limited budget with no advance... but I want to keep ownership of my work 100% and not be obligated to produce at anyone else's demand, so I chose this path.
I love how much freedom technology has given to everyone in the last two decades, ESPECIALLY independent authors and artists of all sorts!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
So far, holding the finished print version of the book! It is so amazing to see this object in my hands after months or years of tapping away at a keyboard! It suddenly becomes REAL. Everything else up to that point is kinda painful haha I mean, it's a good pain, like getting tattoos, but the finished product is what makes it all worth it. That and hearing how my work has changed someone's life for the better. Reviews! Reviews are the best!!!
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans are the reason I keep writing. Seeing a positive review, or hearing how I've impacted someone's life in a major way means everything to me!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Ooo I have a ton of hobbies and interests. First, of course, I love reading. I go through 3-5 books a week regardless of what else I'm doing. I also love to go sing karaoke, to shoot pool, to paint, to go camping, to go to alt-lifestyle events like fetish balls or burner (like Burning Man) events, art galleries, friends' parties, soak in the hot tub, go hiking, stare at the stars in the sky or on the silver screen, and really just live life to the fullest in every way I can! *I also write poems
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