Billy Arcement – Author Interview

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

My book was co-authored with Jodi Moscona and is entitled, Journeying on Holy Ground—Christian Strategies to Reach Your Personal, Professional and Spiritual Destiny.

Readers that are looking for help in setting their life priorities will like the book. And, if you want to give your personal spirituality a bit of a lift, you will really like the book.

We began with what we call the “God Connection.” In this part of the book, we provide ways for readers to bring a stronger presence of God into their life and to help them realize that God is always present and at their beck and call—if we initiate the contact. And that is our first priority.

The second priority is making the “Family Connection. There are lots of ways to strength the marital bond and help the relationship grow. The other part of this section deals with parenting tips. The ideas have proved to be so sound that a local church included them as part of their parenting classes.

The third priority in life is work. If readers are looking for ways to grow their career, create stronger leadership skills and generally make a more positive impact on the job, they will find many techniques to accomplish all three. Good things will happen in your career if you apply the ideas shared.

The book closes with a discussion on some of the best success principles we could find and a great list of books to add to your success library.

All together, people have labeled the book as a “Life Manual” that has helped them move closer to their personal, professional; and spiritual destiny.

Tell us something about yourself.

I’m a former teacher; senior corporate manager now turned full-time professional speaker, and consultant on leadership, safety and environmental issues. My presentations are sprinkled with the unique brand of “Cajun Humor” that covers the antics of the most famous Cajuns in the world, Boudreaux and his friends. My primary speaking and training topics provide solutions on leadership issues for both business and education leaders. I’m a former school board member and state president of the Louisiana School Boards Association and often work with school board members in retreat settings or as a keynote presenter at state conferences. I’ve been a member of the National Speakers Association since 1980 and a charter member and past chapter President of the New Orleans chapter. In 2004, NSA New Orleans instituted and honored me with the first “Billy Arcement Leadership Award” in recognition of almost 20 years of service to the chapter.

My co-author, Jodi Moscona, is an attorney who currently works for the Louisiana Attorney General’s office. He is an ordained Deacon in the Catholic Church and created Moscona Ministries through which together, Jodi and I have developed a mission based upon the content of our book. We’ve presented at several local churches and are seeking to expand that ministry throughout the United States.

What inspired you to write this book?

This may sound a bit hokey to someone reading this but I believe I was literally pushed a bit by “Divine Intervention.” Let me explain. I had just finished reading a self-help book. It was nearly 1:00 am. I turned out the lamp and was sitting for a few minutes in the dark when I saw what appeared to be a glowing message that said, “The Journey.” Having no clue what that meant, I moved to my office, took out a piece of paper and, within five minutes was outlining the basic premise of the book. I also added a note to call my friend Jodi Moscona to co-author the book with me. I have no idea why I did that.

I have had the idea to write a spiritually based message in book form but was not considering that project now. I actually had about 75% of another book written. So, I suspect someone more influential than me felt otherwise and tapped my thoughts in another direction. It’s pleasing to have written the book. It’s turning out to be a powerful message that readers are telling us is truly a ‘Life Manual” on how one should set priorities in life.

How did you publish this book? Why did you decide to self-publish?

We decided to self-publish in order to get the book out quicker. I self-published my first book and knew how to do this. We selected a friend of mine that has published a number of books as our publisher. That worked out very well. We have a quality product that was developed at a reasonable cost per book. We also control the destiny of the book in a way that opens doors for multiple options, including digital downloads. Self-publishing makes book distribution difficult but the other benefits are more important to us right now. We may seek a publishing house in the coming year. That decision hasn’t been made yet.

What do you believe is the hardest part of writing?

This actually was an amazingly easy project. Sometimes, one doesn’t know what to write next but in this case, we mind mapped the book outline and just “filled in the blanks.” We started off with each of us having an assigned portion of the book. Then, we exchanged our writings, offered our own additions to the text and continued exchanging ideas until we were both satisfied we had properly completed that portion of the message. My first book was a huge undertaking compared to this book and it was half as many words.

The hardest part of writing is to come up with words that will impact people in the way we wanted to with the message. We truly wrote for others, not our own benefit or personal satisfaction. In doing this, sometimes finding just the right words was a bit difficult but honestly, the overall process was very smooth. We got along well exchanging messages and never had one disagreement. I knew the editing process would flush out stuff that didn’t work so we simply wrote as we felt in the moment.

How do you do research for your books?

Because our message was spiritual, we used Scripture to blend into our “secular” message. Sometimes it was a scripture passage that inspired us. Sometimes we looked for a spiritual passage to support our message. Sometimes, using the internet to grow our idea was a successful technique. Sometimes a passage in another book helped. But overall, we used personal experience and personal stories as the core message research factors. It’s also important to mention that Jodi and I have both engaged in many years of study on spiritual matters so finding relevant messages and life experiences to support the message was greatly enhanced by these studies.

Did you learn anything from writing this book? What?

My most important lesson was building my confidence for my writing skills. Learning to write has been a long, long process. I’ve been working on my writing skills for 40 years. It’s still a work in progress but I’ve truly grown as a writer with this book. This was Jodi’s first venture at such a project and he certainly has gained a lot of skills by undertaking this project.

We both walked away understanding that we had created a book that has lots of potential to help others. Thus, our mission work based upon the book content has become an important component of this undertaking.

What are you reading now?

I’m actually reading a book by Alan Weiss entitled, Money Talks—How to Make a Million as a Speaker. I am constantly looking for ways to improve my presentation and business skills in my profession. Alan is a great speaker and writer that shares tons of ideas on how to achieve the goal of his book title. So, I’m working on that undertaking…a million dollar revenue generation from my speaking business.

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

My personal favorite readings include personal development, management and leadership topics. I have so many people I admire—Og Mandino, John Maxwell, Jim Collins, Steven Covey, Ken Blanchard, Peter Drucker, Jack Canfield, Napoleon Hill, John Powell, SJ and William Barry, SJ are some of my favorites.

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

Yes, I’ve already begun another book I should have written first. It’s a book on leadership, the major topic focus of my work as a professional speaker / trainer / consultant. It’s entitled, Common Sense Leadership in Uncommon Times. It will cover about 200 leader characteristics and how to apply them in the real world. I’m excited about this book.

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

Find a great editor that has no personal interest in your other than helping you create an outstanding work. There must be brutal honesty between editor and writer. You must be willing to dump content and revise it many times. It’s a tedious process that may take months but it’s the most significant component of writing a book.

Secondly, put together a quality book if you self-publish. Let professionals design your cover, help with the title and layout of the book interior. You’re a writer. Let others do what they do best. Trying to do it all yourself will make you work look like is was done by an amateur. And, let’s face it, you probably are when it comes to the other components of putting together a book.

Lastly, if you want to become good as a writer, you must write. Publish articles, newsletters, write blogs and utilize whatever venure you have available. You can only get good as a writer if you write.

What are you doing to promote your latest book?

Right now, we are hosting book signings, promoting it in our talks, on our websites, in radio interviews and in print when possible. We have been in discussion with a world-wide multi-level marketing organization about selecting our book as a “book of the month.” The potential sales with this group are staggering. We are also looking at opportunities for organizations to use the book as a fund raiser.

Within the next year, we will probably seek out a publishing house. But for now, we try any venture we sense can help sales.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

We have books in local book stores in the Baton Rouge area. My website, has information about the book content and how it can be ordered via the internet.