Natalie Robinson Garfield – The Sense Connection

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

My book: The Sense Connection: Discovering How Your Five Senses Determine Your Effectiveness as a Person, Partner, and Parent is a popular psychology reference book for all ages and stages in life. Its simple concept is that each of us has a hierarchy of how we take in the world through our senses: Kinesthetic, movement through space, Auditory, Tactile, Olfactory (smell)/Taste, and Visual; the acronym is KATOV. Since we falsely assume that those in relationship to us are in the same place at the same time we are often frustrated and disappointed. By knowing your dominant and least dominant mode and the other person’s and catering to theirs, relationships flourish, problems are resolved and people feel known. There is a simple test that will get you started as well as many examples of sense channel language and activities.

Tell us something about yourself.

I am from New York City (born in Brooklyn) and currently live and work there. I am a psychotherapist and consultant and have a graduate degree in infant and toddler development and administration. I have designed, led, and directed early childhood programs and started the very first mother/father baby groups in the ‘70s. I was inspired to write this book out of frustration in not understanding what the basic ingredients in parenting and partnering were; why some succeed and others flounder and fail. When I started to develop my sense mode theory it met with a great deal of success, excitement, and media coverage. It took me quite a long time (23 years) to fine tune the concept and examples and to have a book I am proud of for anyone to profit by.

How did you choose the title?

The title “The Sense Connection” came to me immediately; the rest of the title was worked and re-worked over a long period of time with a great deal of input. I wanted it to be self explanatory and I am still not completely satisfied with its length…too long.

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

I had a series of difficult and disappointing experiences with seven different agents and finally decided to self publish on line with iUniverse.com. Of course, by that time it was in nearly publishable condition and the editor there was like a good friend sitting at my side…actually “getting” me and my book. Since I don’t consider myself a writer this was very welcomed. I started making notes about people in my practice and since I work with individuals, couples, and groups there were many stories to tell. It didn’t start to take form as a book for a few years, when I realized I had something I felt was important to impart to a wider audience.

Do you have any writing rituals?

I have no particular writing rituals, as such, except to keep a notebook with me at all times, to use any free time such as airport waiting, vacations, or lousy weather for writing. I do consider any thinking about the concept incubator writing time; so, actual writing is only part of the process. When I wrote a lengthy section I didn’t read it for at least twenty-four hours.

How do you come up with the names for your characters?

My characters are inspired by real people and so to protect their identity I chose names that were far from accurate and relatable across ethnic differences.

Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?

I learned to trust my intuition and not to assume other people’s “expertise” through the process of publishing. I also discovered it is an expensive endeavor.

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

My favorite reading is an engrossing novel that also teaches me something in the process. Lately I recommend…”Cutting For Stone”, “Pillars of the Earth”, and “The Finkler Question”. Each is very different and each excellent. I belong to a wonderful book club of very well read women that meets monthly and have learned a great deal about reading and writing by being a member. I was so pleased that they read and commented favorably on my book.

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

I currently have two books on my back burner. “Color It Yummy, Expanding and Enriching Children’s Eating” is a light hearted answer to Jessica Seinfeld’s book on deceptive cooking. It is a recounting in real time of my discussing and making a color theme dinner for my grandchildren along with their comments. They were six and four years old and we expanded all the way to a Sponge Bob, black and yellow dinner over the year. It is a great way to introduce children to new and unusual foods. The other one is untitled and it is a memoir of my growing up in the most famous nightclub in the forties and fifties…The Copacabana. My uncle owned it and my father managed it. I include the story of the emigration from Russia in 1910 of my maternal family and their dreams of being Americans.

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

The best advice I can offer someone who has something to say is to sit down and say it! Silence your internal editor and critic! Do not think about your potential audience; just “talk” your thoughts and feelings through your fingers.

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

The perfect reader for “The Sense Connection” is anyone who is curious and interested in improving their relationships including the one they have with themselves. Since most people at some time have to be in an interview situation that chapter is very helpful.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

My book can be found at:
www.TheSenseConnection.wordpress.com where you can Take The Test.

It is sold on Amazon.com and www.BarnesandNoble.com and any bookstore can get it in a day or so.