Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am a native New Yorker who has a passion for travel. I’ve visited almost 60 countries including completing a world cruise and a separate Round the World trip by air. I am a Wellness Coach and I sometimes refer to myself as The Stress Doctor when asked to explain what I do. Basically, my approach to wellness helps you learn how to relax deeply in effortless ways so that you can begin to feel better right away. So far, I have written 3 books but I have a total of 12 books in my pipeline in various stages of completion. I write a monthly Stress & Anxiety magazine column which helps you reduce and dissolve your stress, anxiety and chronic pain. These articles can be accessed at http://www.stressfreenow.info/articles/. I also co-host the popular podcast series Learn to Live Stress where we and our guests tell you how to rapidly improve the quality of your life including learning how to make fewer mistakes. My podcast series can be accessed here: http://www.stressfreenow.info/articles/
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The title of my latest book is Carol Ann Liaros & Project Blind Awareness: How the Blind Can Learn “to See” which I co-authored with my wife Christine Wright, M.A. The core of this book is based upon an interview with world famous psychic Carol Ann Liaros. Before I met Carol Ann, I was extremely skeptical of psychic phenomena claims made by so called intuitives but after getting to know Carol Ann personally and after researching the scientific literature, I know that certain psychic phenomena and experiences are real. I decided to turn the original interview into a book so that more people could learn about Carol Ann’s extraordinary abilities and be helped by her knowledge. The book also includes a glossary of terms and helpful resources which readers will find useful should they want to dig deeper into this subject. The most important inspiration for this book was the fact that Carol Ann had volumes of documented evidence that blind individuals could actually experience a form of inner sight. This included individuals who had no light perception at all since their eyes had been surgically removed. As Carol Ann accurately jokes “The more skeptical, the harder they fall when they experience their own natural psychic gifts…Look at how hard you fell Bob!” Since my educational background was based upon an underlying normative data driven scientific paradigm, I now fall into the “converted skeptic” camp.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Yes. First, unlike many people, I do not outline my writing. Any outline comes about when I’m approximately 50-75% done. Typically, my most difficult writing task is coming up with a title for the book or article I want to write. If it is a subject I already know a lot about, this tends to be easy. If it’s a subject that requires more research, I may spend endless hours re-working a tentative title. Once I have the title concretized, the writing process seems to happen almost automatically. Often, I will awaken in the middle of the night or in the morning and whole paragraphs flood into conscious awareness; if I don’t write them down immediately, just like with a dream, the ideas dissipate and are gone forever. Fortunately, I have developed the habit of writing down whatever comes to mind immediately. Second, to an outside observer, my process may seem “chaotic” and to a certain extent it is – but it’s an organized form of writing chaos for idea creation. Periodically, upon awakening, an entire fully formed article will simply stream into my conscious awareness and I will write it all down then edit with few modifications. Perhaps to someone who starts with an outline as their writing skeleton, my approach may seem unusual or counter-intuitive but I have spoken to enough writers and inventors who tell me “Oh yeah, I do the same thing…it’s a form of Automatic Writing when you’re in a super relaxed state…I get it!”
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Most of the books I read and enjoy are of the non-fiction variety; although once in a while, I sneak in a Mary Higgins Clark or John Grisham novel or a biography. Writing books reviews has also given me added insight into the writing process in reverse. A few of the books and authors which have influenced me and altered my worldview are Radiance of Being by Alan Combs; A Brief History of Everything by Ken Wilber; Beginner’s Guide to Jungian Psychology by Robin Robertson; Shaking Medicine: The Healing Power of Ecstatic Movement by Brad Keeney; Turbulent Mirror: An Illustrated Guide to Chaos Theory and the Science of Wholeness by John Briggs and David Peat; Open Focus Brain by Les Fehmi and Jim Robbins; The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell; The Fear of Success: Why and How We Defeat Ourselves and What to Do About It by Martha Friedman; Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & Wisdom; Human Tuning: Sound Healing with Tuning Forks by John Beaulieu; Your Brain and Business: The Neuroscience of Great Leaders by Srinivasan Pillay; Thresholds of the Mind by Bill Harris; and Sound Health: The Music and Sounds That Make Us Whole by Steven Halpern.
What are you working on now?
Currently I am putting the finishing touches on 4 books. The first involves nitric oxide spiking and how and why it affects your healthy well being and how to naturally spike nitric oxide to dissolve your pain especially with tuning forks. The second and third books are based around interviews with Master Integral coach Reggie Marra where he presents solutions to grief and grief recovery as well as how and why coaching helps improve the quality of your life. The fourth book deals with the issue of brain plasticity – how you can easily learn to change the way you pay attention and break up habitual thought and behavioral pattern rigidity that is negatively affecting your life. This includes how dissolve and rescript traumatic memories including PTSD and C-PTSD [bullying] type memories.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
My best methods are asking others to cross-promote my book launch and to mention my books periodically during my own podcast series which can be heard at http://www.stressfreenow.info/category/podcasts/
Do you have any advice for new authors?
The process of writing gets easier the more you do it. Although this may seem obvious, just like with physical exercise, there are points where you enter the Flow state or Zone of excellence and your writing becomes almost effortless. Getting into the Zone may be slightly different for each individual but your goal should always be to get into or at least approach the Zone or to be in Flow. Once you experience effortless writing, it can serve as a “natural high” where you are continually releasing pleasurable endorphins which make you feel extra good. You don’t have to know anything about neuroscience or neuropsychology to have that experience especially if you keep talking to other writers and authors; eventually, you’ll hit that sweet spot one day! So, my advice is just to keep writing no matter what and then when you’ve paid your writing dues, some others will consider you lucky because you found the “secret” formula: hard work and jumping through multiple hoops without giving up which are otherwise known as the behavioral habits perseverance, resiliency and stress hardiness!
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Don’t listen to naysayers. Find true experts or authorities in your field of interest to take advice from. Cut your losses and count your blessings. End each day listing your 5 top successes. Be grateful!
What are you reading now?
Currently I’m reading two books, both by the same author which I plan to review: Mindfulness in Action and What Your Body Says both by Sharon Sayler.
What’s next for you as a writer?
To not start any additional writing projects until I publish the 12 books I have in the hopper.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Unknown, although I’ve read my fair share of great books, I’m still in the hunt for the perfect book; just like I’m still in the hunt to find the perfect waterfall and beach while on vacation.