Interview with Raymond Kenneth Kaelin

Who are your favorite authors?
I have a number and from different Genre's, but most of them all share one thing. They are (and were) all prophetic in nature, in some way: George Orwell ("1984"), Dr. Deming ("The 14 Points"), Aldous Huxley ("Brave New World"), Issac Asimov ("First Foundation"), Ayn Rand ("Anthem" and "The Fountainhead", ps..I disliked many of her other works), Jared Diamond ("Guns, Germs and Steel").

In addition, the philosophical works of Mortimer Adler ("Ten Philosophical Mistakes", "Truth in Religion") are especially meaningful. Plus the historians John Keegan ("The Mask of Command", "World War I"), Michael Grant (vis-a-vis Seutonius, Seneca, Livy on "The Twelve Caesars") and Shelby Foote ("Stars in Their Courses") are favorites of mine.

But my real love is poetry. I enjoy many modern poets (Bukowski, Collins, Dickey, Heaney, Dylan Thomas, Frost), the Spanish poets (F.G. Lorca, Pablo Naruda) and of course - the beat poets (Ginsberg, Kerouac, Burroughs). Plus anything by Shakespeare is genius.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm always writing but any time I can get to spent with my family and friends - eating, drinking, relaxing, etc is time well spent.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, it was a story poem I wrote for an assignment in the third or fourth grade about the birth of Christ

"In the shadows hiding
came Mary, Joseph and the donkey riding
to the manger and the star
and the shepherds afar"

that's as far as it got.
What is your writing process?
I don't have a process per se, but I do try to finish what I start, and once I'm finished...I edit, and re-edit and re-edit.

However, I often get a continuous flood of other ideas when I tend to concentrate and write on one idea - which obviously makes it hard to bring a single idea to closure. But I don't want to lose the other ideas, so I compromise - and write both at the same time in short breaks. So, I do give voice to all my ideas as best I can without sacrificing clarity and closure.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Although I 'read' many books in grammar school (not really, I just scanned them), the first book I actually read cover to cover was 'White Fang" by Jack London when I was 14.

I was blown away about a 'hybrid (half dog, half wolf) animal story told from the narration by the animal itself; and the wild cruelty and beauties of life - for both humans and creatures of will.
Describe your desk
Cluttered with a beautiful balance of disorder and order, Everything's there to remind, provide and deliver purpose, pleasure and utilitarianism
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born on my parent’s farm situated on a tongue of the Appalachian Mountains jutting into an economically deprived lower New York State. I was the eighth child of an eventual ten siblings. At age six my parents moved us all to the racially mixed working class neighborhood of Jamaica Queens, NYC.

Living in Appalachia was very poor to say the least, but the richness and beauty of the surrounding countryside made every day a wonder. However, when we moved down to NYC, there was still very little money but worse - there were no country sounds, no honeysuckle air, no stars at night, no streams, no frogs to catch, no trees to tame.

Plus, we were the only white family in a working class black and Hispanic neighborhood - and, they hated us. I was to eventually learn their anger was just payback, nothing personal. But what was far worse were the stares from white people as the family would pile onto the bus in our raggedy clothes, Catholic fecundity and no money in our pockets.

All of these experiences affect my writing to a small degree, but nothing like in my poetry. It's all there.
When did you first start writing?
Third grade.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I've just produced a series of non-fiction business related, self improvement books that focus on empowerment through self-instruction. Granted, the word empowerment is overused, and often misused; but in this instance neither is the case.

I call this series of books "The Self Mentoring Series". The books focus on “Seeking Empowerment
Through Personal Insight and Self Instruction”.

I’m not an academic nor someone who teaches business courses for a living. Essentially I am sharing what I’ve learned as both a front line, middle management director and as an operational reengineering consultant with many years experience in any number of Fortune 100 companies (as well as a numerous government contractors and non-profit research firms).
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I wanted to say what I wanted to say, in the way I wanted to say it - without compromise, editorial interference or delay.

The work is no less easier, but the simplicities of the final product delivery are incredibly advantageous. Being an Indie publisher provides the literary freedom I crave, the artistic license to create to my standards of excellence and most of all, it meets the time-saving needs of my sense of urgency.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has not only provided a means to an end - indie publishing; it has made me a more competent author with a wider reach in the marketplace. Through the extensive instructional information in the style guides, the advice and insights into proper writing and publishing, the incredibly invaluable tools available on the website itself (The Meat-grinder file converter, the Author's Dash Board, etc.); I am very thankful.
(Now if I can just fix that one problem with .ePub, I'd be in clover.)
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I don't really get 'joy' out of writing. I'm more of a compulsive writer. It isn't that I get joy out of it, it is more a question of satisfaction and fulfillment. If I don't write, I'm unsatisfied and unfulfilled. When I write, I'm the opposite of both.
Published 2013-12-20.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Entrepreneur's Toolkit
Series: Self Mentoring, Book 4. Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 31,890. Language: English. Published: September 24, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Small business and entrepreneurship
For those who find their “Right Fit” in career life will be owning a business; this toolkit will give step by step instructions on how to establish your business as an ongoing concern – quickly and efficiently. It will give you clear direction on how to “Inc Yourself!” by following a step by step guide learning where to begin, how to set yourself up as "You Inc".
Finding the Right Fit
Series: Self Mentoring, Book 1. Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 28,380. Language: English. Published: September 12, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Careers
A self exploration and research guide to help you find your right career fit. Discover your unique occupational ‘fit’ for lifelong satisfaction and happiness through a series of dynamic exercises in self analysis geared to reveal the right career for you. Uncover those jobs and careers that are indicative of your values and satisfy those highly personal things that are most important to you.
The Right Formula to Get Hired
Series: Self Mentoring, Book 2. Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 81,690. Language: English. Published: September 11, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Careers / job hunting
A comprehensive guide on how to get the right job, and keep it, with everything you’ll need to know, and do, to get the job you want. This book will provide the right formula to build confidence, acquire skills, develop action plans and ace any interview. It will show you how to turn job seeking uncertainties into assets and build confidence before, during and after the interview experience.
Self-Guided Reengineering
Series: Self Mentoring, Book 5. Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 73,670. Language: English. Published: September 11, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Management science
The basic premise of Self Guided Reengineering is: “Empower everyone within your organization to become a proficient reengineer.” My aim is a complete knowledge transfer that empowers you through self-guided learning to achieve lasting change without complicated disciplines, magic formulas, consultant slogans or some academic’s idea of useless instructions.
Discover Your Inner Mentor
Series: Self Mentoring, Book 3. Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 55,140. Language: English. Published: September 9, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Personal Growth / Success
This book is not just for post Graduates, but for anyone who's looking to find their place in this world. You can discover success in your personal and professional life through this powerful intuitive tool by uncovering your Inner Mentor, because in this life, no one's standing in line to mentor you.