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An Interview with Lewis Harrison

 

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Welcome to Author Talk. Today I have the wonderful pleasure of interviewing Lewis Harrison of “Ask Lewis” fame.

  1.  What are your ambitions for your writing career?
    To make a difference in the lives of others through motivation, inspiration and information.
  2. How long have you been writing?
    49 years
  3. Which writers inspire you?
    Lao Tzu, Suzuki Roshi, Alan Watts
  4. Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
    Bruce Willis
  5. What is the easiest thing about writing?
    Writing
  6.  How long on average does it take you to write a book?
    30 days
  7. Do you ever get writer’s Block?
    No
  8. Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.
    Mostly Wikipedia and online research. I.B. Singer
  9. For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or traditional paper/hard back books?
    Traditional
  10. What & whose book/s are you reading at present?
    “Genius” about the physicist Richard Feynman By James Gleick
  11. Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
    Someone else
  12. Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
    Sometimes
  13. 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.
  14. Why do you write?
    I can’t help myself.
  15. 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
  16. 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.
  17. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand? Do you use a special writing program, or just type away?
    Computer
  18. Where do the your ideas come from?
    In dreams, epiphanies, debates with friends about ideas.
  19. 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
  20. How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
    I have less faith in what people consider facts. And look for the contrarian view.
  21. What is the hardest thing about writing?
    For me…spelling and grammar
  22. What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? Always being drawn to think out of the box.
  23. How do you market your books? Why did you choose this route? Speaking and Social networking. Publishing is radically changing
  24. Would you or do you use a PR agency?
    I would
  25.  Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
    FB, Twitter, study how to market books through social networking
  26. 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
  27. How do you relax?
    Writing, watch a movie each night, cook, argue about politics and economic with my wife
  28. 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
  29. What is your favourite positive saying?
    All you need is love
  30.  What is your favourite book and why?
    The Tao te Ching by Lao Tzu. Pure mystic and practical wisdom
  31. What is your favourite movie and why?
    House of Games. It is all Game Theory and I love game theory
  32. Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?
    Doing the same but wiser and richer
  33. What advice would you give to your younger self?
    Don’t change a thing.
  34. Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
    Buckminster Fuller. He understood what was really going on
  35. 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

  1. What genre are your books?
    Self Help, Personal Development, Human Potential, Alternative Medicine, Political Science, economics, World Affairs
  2. What draws you to this genre?
    My passion for ideas
  3.  How much research do you do?
    Large amounts
  4.  Have you written any other books in collaboration with other writers? If so, with whom?
    Yes. D. B Lawrence, Laura Jones
  5.  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
  6.  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
  7. 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
  8. Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?
    Yes. I give free copies to those who will review the book
  9. What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
    They matter
  10.  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
  11. 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
  12. Any tips on what to do and what not to do?
    Face, Google plus, twitter, You Tube, Instagram
  13. Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?
    No but I would
  14. 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)
  15. Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?
    Giving talks
  16. Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future?
    Giving away free copies to the wrong people
  17. What do you think of “trailers” for books?
    They are good
  18. Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book/s?
    I will create one
  19.  Do you think that giving books away free works and why? Sometimes
  20. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
    Read great writers and your own writing will naturally improve
  21. Where do you see publishing going in the future?
    On-line

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?
Fiverr

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
Sometimes

How are you publishing this book and why?
Both

How can readers discover more about you and you work? www.asklewis.com, www.chihealer.com or just call me at 212-724-8782

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)

Website: www.AskLewis.com
Blog:www.chihealer.com
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/realuguru/?ref=br_rs
https://www.facebook.com/askLewis
https://www.facebook.com/LewisHarrisonsNaturalHealingAcademy/?ref=br_rs
Twitter: Twitter@AskLewisH
Google: https://plus.google.com/100989044867743006979
Amazon Author Page:http://www.amazon.com/Lewis-Harrison/e/B001H6W6Y4/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1427990374&sr=8-2
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/lewisharrison1

Do you have a Video link you would like included in this published interview? Please paste it here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCY-dKQme7nZPDT2x-FMODsg

(* 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

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Dear God, I want to live forever!

On our way up to Ettalong Markets this morning, I actually managed to stay awake to have something of a conversation with Greg. Not only that, we talked mostly about writing. My writing, his ideas and other people’s writing. Namely, books we had both read and enjoyed.

Then the topic turned around to me, personally “You’re like Beethoven with so many books half written and never finished” he said to me. “For someone who was once so good in business and had such good focus, now you’re flitting from one thing to another!” he continued.

My mind was reeling. All the ideas we discussed on the way up…how could he possibly know that I had that story line in one or two of my books. “Yes! Yes! That one two is in another of my books. Yes, that’s right and then it goes on….” I blabbed out aloud without thinking. The stories running rough-shod over my brain to the point of headache. It was bad enough I was having trouble hearing again (I really must investigate the idea of hearing aids soon!), but now he was accusing me of having all these stories started and not finished. “Well what am I supposed to do when I get another absolutely fantastical idea for a book?” I wailed. “You told me I should write my ideas down, so I do” I tried to justify

“Ahhhh” came the long drawn out voice of wisdom which was becoming all too familiar to me in recent years.”write the idea down, BUT” he looked across to me as he was driving “DON’T start the book!” he nodded and finished with “COMPRE?” If I had heard this word once, I had heard it a million times already. “ok” I whispered feeling dejected.

“It’s just that I have so many ideas and they come to me at odd times” I wasn’t trying to justify now, only to explain the way my writing came to me. “You know that I have to have a notebook and pen with me at all times, or I lose it. Sometimes, I resort to making another note on my phone.” he looked at me with twinkle eyes that said “I know honey, but you’re going to have to learn sooner or later”

“GyRRrrrrrr” I growled! I’m not a child anymore! I’m just crazy and mixed up and get all these ideas at the weirdest times and I have to get them all out of my system when they happen, or else I will go CRAzyyyyyyyyy!

Ilm like the kid in a lolly shop with all these delicious, delectable, tasty treats all around me and my head is reeling because I don’t know which one to devour first. Greg says I should try them out, but not ALL! He says to find one you like and eat that one – until it is FINISHED! But DON’T put all the treats in your mouth at once. “ok” I again whispered feeling dejected.

I was thinking if I made a pact with The Devil, much like Dorian Gray, could I live forever then? I might just get around to finishing all the books I start, much less follow on with all the ideas I have for books. Perhaps I could simply say a prayer for my wish. It would most likely start “Dear God, I want to live forever….”

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