1. Tell us about your latest book.
It’s called The Marriage Turnaround: How Thinking Differently About Your Relationship Can Change Everything. As I have worked with couples through the years I have noticed that most marriage books focus on behavior: “5 Steps to better intimacy”; “3 Steps to resolving conflict.” But what about attitudes, expectations and beliefs in marriage? Psychology 101 teaches us that these things definitely affect how we feel and behave. Same is true in marriage. I discovered this principle in my own marriage as well couples who were thinking about walking out. If our thinking is wrong, our beliefs and expectations based on the wrong things the outcomes will typically be less than desired. So a good place to start in turning a bad marriage around or taking a good one to the next level is make sure that our expectations, beliefs and thinking is accurate and realistic. This book identifies over 10 common myths that many couples buy into today. We tackle the myths and help couples replace the bad thinking with more realistic ones. My writing style reflects the real me. I am a guy who celebrates common sense and practical things and who is doesn’t like books that buzz way over the heads of its readers. I use a lot of stories, humor and practical common sense stuff to help husbands and wife start “thinking” about what makes a successful marriage and not simply emoting and reacting all over the place.
2. How did you get started as a writer? I
had all these great ideas about books and kept pushing them to friends of mine who were well recognized writers and their response was always: “You write it, dummy.” So, I did. I didn’t see myself as a writer because I slept consistently through High School and College English. Another thing that was against me was that I am from the south. However, I am a very creative person and I enjoy helping people see things about themselves, life and marriage that they possibly overlook in the everyday rat race. I also had a younger friend was an editor and English major. She kept telling me “Mitch, just write! It don’t have to be pretty, just write.” I took her advice and started putting pen to paper and fingers to key boards and years later topics, patterns and ideas began to emerge.
3. What does a typical day look like for you?
I am the Director for a large international nonprofit so my day begins early and often ends late. However, I write at least some every day: during a break, during work or in the evenings and weekends. I have found that daily blogging helps me keep my writing fresh and provides some great ideas for other books. I am contracted to write another book for the publisher of The Marriage Turnaround, so my fingers are pointed in accomplishing that goal.
My day begins in the evenings upon returning home by kissing my wife, talking about her day and mine (when she lets me), talking to each of my practically grown kids and then going out on the deck with a cup of coffee and leaning back in my gravity defying chair staring out at the Colorado Rockies watching the sun go down. That is my daily therapy and occasionally a few good book ideas will float past me in the process.
4. Describe your desk/workspace.
Moderately cluttered. But my intentions are clean. Everyone is in a cube at work so dreams of a nicely decorated office with a door is not realistic for me. I once had the nice office and door for about 14 years. I miss it. However, I have a corner cube so I get to hear everyone’s gossips and complaints. Provides great stories for my books. At home, I grab a quite place usually situated by a window for Mountain Inspiration in the basement or an unoccupied bedroom. My daughter and 10 month old granddaughter have been living with us while our son in law has been serving in Iraq. So, peace and quite has to be sought after creatively which often includes closets, typing out on the deck in freezing weather, ear plugs and long bathroom visits. The vent fan provides great white noise.
5. Favorite books (especially for writers).
Bird by Bird (Anne Lamont); Favorite Poems by Robert Frost; anything by Garrison Keiler.
6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you-
One of my friends was one of the band members for Lynard Skynard; I love to help hurting people, and I once won a Prize Ribbon at the local horse show for chasing down a goat and tying him up the fastest.
7. Favorite quote:
“When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”
8. Best and worst part of being a writer:
Best part: having permission to look deep into your heart and pull out the stuff that you would never say out loud with hopes that your vulnerability and realness will bring help and direction to others. Worst part: the carpal tunnel, ongoing neck and back pain and criticism from rude people who don’t know your own heart as well as you do.
9. Advice for other writers:
Write. Write. Write. You don’t have to have an outline or solid ideas, just let the words seep out of your relaxed thoughts. Save everything- notes on McDonald’s napkins, notes you wrote to your spouse and kids and even writing pieces you felt were terrible. Everything can be valuable later, down the road. Listen to your critic’s but go with your gut and heart.
10. Tell us a story about your writing experience.
I got a call from a publisher friend who turned me down: “Let me give you some advice, don’t pursue this. You have other talents, pursue those. Some of us have it, some don’t. I am sure you will help a lot of people in other ways. Hope this doesn’t hurt your feelings.” I got a call from a much larger publisher three days later and they asked me to sign a two book contract with a major marketing promise. What a dumb head! Glad I didn’t listen to him.
Where can people buy your books?