Barry Maher – Author Interview

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

No Lie: Truth Is the Ultimate Sales Tool is my most recent. I wasn’t planning on writing a book at this point, but McGraw-Hill contacted me about doing a book based on my philosophy of selling: not just for salespeople but for anyone who ever has to sell their ideas, their vision or themselves to anyone else. We discussed the concept long enough to get me excited about doing it. It was fun to write and I’m very pleased with the way it turned out. It’s been translated around the world so I guess other people were pleased with it as well.

Tell us something about yourself.

I’m originally from the Boston area. I went to college in the Midwest at Notre Dame and as soon as I finished, fled the snow for California.

As far as my writing career goes, I started out as a poet, then a novelist and then discovering how much I enjoyed eating, moved into nonfiction.

What inspired you to write this book?

As I mentioned, the impetus for this book came from the people at McGraw-Hill. They got me excited about doing it. Then it was just a matter of clearing my schedule and putting my butt down in front of the computer at 7:00 AM every morning until the book was done.

How did you publish this book?

As I mentioned, McGraw-Hill contacted me and originally published the book.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

I always wanted to be a writer. When I wrote my first novel, “Legend,” I discovered that, though I certainly wanted to be a writer, I didn’t really want to write. It was annoyingly hard work plus it required more discipline than anything I’d ever tried before. In developing that discipline, I eventually, I learned to love writing.

What do you believe is the hardest part of writing?

Writing. Sitting down in front of the computer and doing the actual work, whether or not you feel like it, no matter what else might be going on in your life or in the world around you. Being able to do that consistently is what separates the writers from those who simply want to be writers.

How do you do research for your books?

Thoroughly. I research everything possible, everywhere possible: with interviews and massive amounts of reading, both online and in libraries. There are many people who are better writers than I am. Research is my equalizer.

Did you learn anything from writing this book? What?

I learned that, when done correctly nonfiction can offer as much insight into personality and as much humor as fiction. It can also be as much fun to write.

What are you reading now?

I’m reading a novel called “Sunset Limited” by James Lee Burke and taking a CD course from the Teaching Company called “How to Understand Great Music.”

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?

The bulk of what I read is fiction. And while I enjoy and appreciate the classics and “serious” literature, to be honest I’m also addicted to bestsellers, authors who can keep you turning the pages like John Grisham and Ken Follett.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

My first novel, “Legend,” has always been a book that refuses to die. I’ve been kicking around the idea of doing a sequel to it for years. I just might do that next.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

Write. Sit down and write. Treat it as a profession, as a job and you can master the necessary skills. Wait for inspiration and you’ll still be waiting while those willing to put in the time are getting published.

The inconvenient truth of writing is that if you want to succeed as a writer you’ve got to want it badly enough that you’ll want do all the little things necessary to make it happen. If you don’t want to do those things-the first and foremost of which is putting in your time–maybe you don’t really want to be a writer.

What are you doing to promote your latest book?

I’m a professional speaker, I do radio, TV, print, whatever I can do to get my name out there.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

Our website is www.barrymaher.com. All my books are listed there along with over 100 articles and more about me and what I do than any sane person every wanted to know.