Friday, August 19, 2011

World of Writing

-- Brummets in the Media --

Apologies to everyone expecting me to appear on the Grand Haven Talk Radio - we had some intermittent power issues here that kept me from calling in to the show. I'm hoping the hosts will understand and reschedule us for some future date... and I do apologize, once again, for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

I hope you enjoy the interesting discussion below:

-- World of Writing --  

As many of our readers are aware, we enjoy featuring World of Writing interviews quite regularly. ...Here's today's installment... Oh, First - I’d like to start with a shout out to Kat Sanborn, Editorial Associate with Cleis Press and Viva Editions  ( for sending a query our way for today’s featured guest.

Dr. John Duffy is a clinical psychologist and the author of: The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens. He has been working with families in a very busy practice for about 15 years. “It took me a while to identify my vocation. I worked as an accountant for several years before retuning to grad school.” He says of his work. John currently resides near Chicago, in the US – along with his wife and teen-age son. 

Q: Who inspired you to pursue a career in writing?
My two best friends from childhood are both writers, one an editor at GQ magazine and the other a successful freelance writer. They are both major inspiration. About four years ago, I started reading some of Wayne Dyer’s work, and found that it affected my life profoundly. I decided I wanted to write about topics that would touch lives in that way.

Q: How does writing help you make a difference in the world?
I have a very specific message for parents, and I have found myself repeating it over and over again, one-by-one, in my private practice. I decided to write about it, in a colorful and entertaining way, to help a lot of people in a far more efficient manner. The result has been incredibly gratifying.

Q: Can you tell us what editors typically look for in a query letter or project proposal?
 My editor was looking for a project that was clearly derived from a sense of passion, not a piece written just to get published. She liked that my work was based directly on my experience as well. Finally, she wanted to be sure there would be a need in the population at large that the work would meet.

Q: What do you do when you are not writing?
I maintain a very full private practice working with families. I protect time to be with my family – practicing what I preach! I also like to take a run every day I can, and play the guitar. I find that these activities clear my mind for writing, and my best ideas often arise when I’m engaged in them.

Q: What gave you the idea (inspiration) for this book?
Teenagers I’ve worked with actually provided the idea for my book. They taught me that, though it may appear that the teens themselves are seen as unavailable to parents, parents are often unavailable first. It was quite a revelation to me. In the end, I’ve found the concept to be highly empowering to parents.

Q: What were some of the challenges you faced in writing your non-fiction books?
First off, I found it tough at times to protect time to write. I also wanted to capture the core concepts in writing as best I could. I also have a desire to write fiction, even music, so I had to really focus on my non-fiction work.
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