What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.
Push Back! 15 Essential Keys to Overcome Anxiety and Crisis. In Summary: The book covers an intense three years of my life and the philosophies and lessons I learned to handle them. During those three years I lost my sister at age 39 to the same disease I shared with her. I flew to Thailand for an experimental surgery, underwent four open heart surgery’s which cumulated with a heart transplant in November of 2007. I battled Melanoma, and won, and through it all I have been able to maintain a lust for life that I am not yet done living. I pass on my mindsets and attitudes to the reader.
Tell us something about yourself.
I was born in Whittier California and I am still live in Southern California. I was a professional baseball player when I was diagnosed with heart failure at age 27. I have always enjoyed writing but my book was my first effort in getting something down I felt its readers could get a lot out of. I enjoy public speaking and have formed my own company, The Clay Heart Company in 2008. I am a father of three great boys and still enjoy dating my wife of 11 years.
What inspired you to write this book?
When I began telling my story and hoping I could help people, a lot of audience members told me, “you need to get your story out to be shared; you need to write a book.” I dwelled on it for a long time and decided, ‘yes’ this book my help a lot of people who are dealing with heavy issues about overcoming struggles.
How did you publish this book? Why did you decide to self-publish?
I self-published because I did not want to wait for some type of approval process and the demand for a book was large when I would do public speaking venues. I loved the process of self publishing. If in time a publishing house wanted to pick it up I would be open to it but I am having fun doing it myself so far.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
The thought of being a writer was that I felt intimate with my material to write about. It was my story; I did not have to make anything up in terms of fictional situations.
I started with taking some of the points that I shared during my speeches and realized I had some solid foundational aspects to draw upon.
What do you believe is the hardest part of writing?
Getting the words down on a screen and keeping that flow going.
How do you do research for your books?
I used internet descriptions and online resources along with interviews.
Did you learn anything from writing this book? What?
I learned that you have to take the process seriously. A writer must carve out time to put words on paper and follow through with all ideas that come through on a daily basis. Be willing to take advice and change things about your book. “Pride Kills.” Get as many opinions as possible. Also, believe that people would want to read your story, believe in your talent. After it is done, bask in the achievement, allow yourself to register the fact you have done something most people never do.
What are you reading now?
Integrity, by Dr. Henry Cloud
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?
I like to read fiction and non fiction. James Patterson, Vince Flynn, Joel Osteen, Max Lucado. I like to be taken away by a good suspense novel and balance it out by reading spiritual “Christian” books.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
I will start my next book soon, entitled “The Reunion.” It will be about my reunion with the mother of the donor of my heart. How we felt and the connections we will always share.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Have fun with it. Understand the process and become educated on what it will take. Don’t be hard on yourself; you are undertaking something that few people understand. Feel special about that, and learn as much as you can about marketing it.
What are you doing to promote your latest book?
Booking more public speaking appointments and driving as many people as I can to my website to purchase it.