Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
So far I have written about 10 books. However, I have only published one of them so far. I have a lot of interests I have followed over the years. I tend to learn as much as I can about a subject, then move on to another one. The books I have written in the past were just information on my interests I wanted to get down on paper and maybe give to my kids and grandkids one day. I tried in the past to get published, but it was next to impossible, unless you wanted to spend a whole bunch of money doing it. Just recently I looked into Kindle and Create Space and realized how easy and inexpensive it was to publish books now, so I decided to jump in. I’m going to publish the other books as soon as I can get them edited and uploaded.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The Wisdom and Peace of the Teachings of the Tao Te Ching is my first and latest work. The Tao Te Ching has always inspired me, and has always been one of my “must read” books. However, whenever I have recommended it to others in the past, they have had a hard time understanding it. The book was written thousands of years ago in another culture. I began translating this book to give to my friends that were going through hard times. I wanted them to be able to get from the book what I got from it. So I translated the book, many times, updating every time someone had a hard time understanding a part of it. Recently, a friend suggested I publish it. When I say how easy it was I jumped in. I have had several people so far comment how they never could understand the other versions, but that now they are breezing right through. That is what I wanted.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I tend to be obsessive about my writing- making change after change after change. I want each sentence to sound exactly a certain way. Other than that, just the weird mix of topics seem to be unusual to many people. I’ll write a Tao Te Ching, then an investment book, then a health book, then self defense books- definitely a wide variety. But those are my interests.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Too many to name really. I used to love Jonathon Livingston Seagull and Illusions by Richard Bach. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. Most Zen books I have come across, but especially Bankai Zen.
What are you working on now?
I am currently getting my financial book ready, and hopefully also setting up a newsletter to go with it. I’d really like to help people, like myself, that are self-employed and will not be able to rely on a pension for retirement.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I have no idea yet. This is my first book and I am just now figuring the marketing out. I really enjoy creating the books, not so much the marketing.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Not yet really. If I am successful I’ll be happy to give advice though.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
To only take advice from people who have what you want.
What are you reading now?
Multiple books- mostly on Zen and Self Defense right now. I am specifically reading about a Zen master named Yunmen.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I want to publish all my works and create newsletters on the main topics. I am hoping to find somebody to help me market them so I don ‘t have to worry with that part.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Not totally sure, but The Tao Te Ching is right up there. So is Leaves of Grass. Peaceful Warrior books by Dan Millman was my favorite for years.
Author Websites and Profiles
Matthew Barnes Amazon Profile