Welcome to Author Talk. Today I have the wonderful pleasure of interviewing Lewis Harrison of “Ask Lewis” fame.
- What are your ambitions for your writing career?
To make a difference in the lives of others through motivation, inspiration and information.
- How long have you been writing?
- Which writers inspire you?
Lao Tzu, Suzuki Roshi, Alan Watts
- Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
- What is the easiest thing about writing?
- How long on average does it take you to write a book?
- Do you ever get writer’s Block?
- Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.
Mostly Wikipedia and online research. I.B. Singer
- For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or traditional paper/hard back books?
- What & whose book/s are you reading at present?
“Genius” about the physicist Richard Feynman By James Gleick
- Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
- Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
- When did you decide to become a writer? What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
I knew at 10 years old that that was what I wanted to be. My mother gave me a copy of “Writers Market” and that was it.
- Why do you write?
I can’t help myself.
- Do you write full-time or part-time? Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
I write 12 hours a day
- Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? How successful are you at achieving that goal?
I work on 20 books at a time. ½ hour daily per book.
- Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand? Do you use a special writing program, or just type away?
- Where do the your ideas come from?
In dreams, epiphanies, debates with friends about ideas.
- Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
All flow in fiction. From an outline for non-fiction
- How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I have less faith in what people consider facts. And look for the contrarian view.
- What is the hardest thing about writing?
For me…spelling and grammar
- What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? Always being drawn to think out of the box.
- How do you market your books? Why did you choose this route? Speaking and Social networking. Publishing is radically changing
- Would you or do you use a PR agency?
- Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
FB, Twitter, study how to market books through social networking
- What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?
I post what I write as blogs so there is not much division
- How do you relax?
Writing, watch a movie each night, cook, argue about politics and economic with my wife
- What is your favourite motivational phrase.
“If you live in the material world the dark side is your agent and gets a 25% cut of everything.” This gets me through challenges
- What is your favourite positive saying?
All you need is love
- What is your favourite book and why?
The Tao te Ching by Lao Tzu. Pure mystic and practical wisdom
- What is your favourite movie and why?
House of Games. It is all Game Theory and I love game theory
- Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?
Doing the same but wiser and richer
- What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t change a thing.
- Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Buckminster Fuller. He understood what was really going on
- If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
The Bible. Too many contradictions. Jesus got it right. The Apostle didn’t
Well, thank you About Your Books
- What genre are your books?
Self Help, Personal Development, Human Potential, Alternative Medicine, Political Science, economics, World Affairs
- What draws you to this genre?
My passion for ideas
- How much research do you do?
- Have you written any other books in collaboration with other writers? If so, with whom?
Yes. D. B Lawrence, Laura Jones
- Why did you do decide to collaborate and did that affect your sales?
One was my business partner, the other a student collaborator. No effect on sales
- What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
Unless I get a large advance I can do what a publisher can do unless they have a strong private list of buyers
- What do you do to get book reviews? How successful has your quest for reviews been so far? I have people post reviews on Amazon
- Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?
Yes. I give free copies to those who will review the book
- What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
- Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you? I often do free life coaching. Some of my students begin study groups in library book clubs and use my books
- What’s your views on social media for marketing? Which social network worked best for you?
The absolute future is in social media. I use it extensively
- Any tips on what to do and what not to do?
Face, Google plus, twitter, You Tube, Instagram
- Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?
No but I would
- Did you get interviewed by local press/radio for your book launch? Yes. I also have my own show on an NPR affiliated station WIOX 91.3 FM. It streams at WIOXRadio.org 4-6 on Thursdays (EST)
- Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?
- Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future?
Giving away free copies to the wrong people
- What do you think of “trailers” for books?
They are good
- Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book/s?
I will create one
- Do you think that giving books away free works and why? Sometimes
- What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Read great writers and your own writing will naturally improve
- Where do you see publishing going in the future?
Thank you Lewis. I have seen your inspiring posts on both Facebook and
Finally, we’d all like to hear mAbout Your Current Book
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
He is a Trickster who can see things going on physically that everyone seems to miss.
What are you working on at the minute?
Filling out this questionnaire.
The Official Barter Book
There is Hope (About mental illness)
Extraordinary Days in an Ordinary Life: Biographical Short Stories
Book of Power and Influence
Make Choices, Not Excuses: Tools, Techniques and Strategies for Solving Your Problem: Done
Healing Depression Naturally (an update)
The Trickster Project: (Alternative Title – “The Noble Trickster Guru’s Guide to Creating a Functional Reality” Done
Connecting the Dots: Conspiracy Theories and 1984: Is Orwell’s Reality Here?
Lewis Harrison’s Applied Game Theory: Systematic Strategies for Prospering in a Chaotic World
Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: 200 Visionaries, Heroes and Game Changers
The Visionary Project: Tools, Tips and Strategies for Thinking Like a Visionary
That was Zen, This is Tao: Teachings, Stories, and Koans refitted for the 21st Century
Understanding the Middle East- DONE
Living the Good Life: How to Live Like the 1% When You Are Part of the 99% DONE
The Problem Solvers (A novel about anonymous eccentrics who belong to a secret society of problems solvers). Game Theory
The Tao te Ching: A Micro Analysis on the Writings of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu with additional
Lucid Dreams: A Stream of Consciousness Novel
Is this book part of a series? What are your thoughts on writing a book series.
Some are. I have a series of e-books called“Ask Lewis”
Did you format your own book? In what formats is your book available?
I use outside vendors
If formatted by someone else, how did you select them and what was your experience?
Fiverr. I try many grogs before i find my prince
Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about. Who designed your book cover/s?
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
How are you publishing this book and why?
Please list all of your published books here.
- Massageworks – 1983 (Co-Authored with D. B. Lawrence (Putnam Books)
- Helping Yourself with Natural Healing – 1987 (Prentice- Hall)
- Making Fats and Oils Work for You -1990 (Avery Books)
- 30-Day Body Purification – 1994 (Prentice-Hall)
- The Complete Fats and Oils Book – 1996 (Avery Books)
- Hands-on-Healing: Massage for Total Health the Shaman’s Way – 1998 (Kensington Books)
- Master Your Metabolism – 2003 (Source Books)
- Healing Depression Naturally – 2004 (Kensington Books)
- Wealth Without Cash: Barter, Reciprocal Trade, and Alternative Economics – 2005 (Self Published Manual)
- Live Like a Millionaire on $17,000 a Year – 2009 (Blooming Twig Books)
- Harrison’s Massage Manual: A Book of Multicultural Approaches to Touch for Advanced Massage Practitioners and Mental Health Professionals – 2013 ((Self Published)
- Spiritual, Not Religious: Sacred Tools for Modern Times (Self Published 2014)
- Building Your Business in the New Digital Economy (Motivational Press 2014)
- Gamification for Business (Motivational Press 2014)
Amazon Author Page:http://www.amazon.com/Lewis-Harrison/e/B001H6W6Y4/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1427990374&sr=8-2
Do you have a Video link you would like included in this published interview? Please paste it here:
(* Any order you like and if I’ve missed anything, just type it in.)
The second photo is with 100 year old “professor” Irwin Cory one of the great comedians of the 20th century and a mentor of Lenny Bruce and George Carlin
The third photo is what is use for media
The fourth photo is with Spaulding Grey a pioneer in Perfromance Art
The forth photo is with the great Talmudic scholar – Rabbi Mintz