1) Tell me a little about your book and give a short synopsis.
My book “Sensitivity 101 for the Heterosexual Male” is a narrative non-fiction memoir that everyone, male or female, can read. It is the story of a young boy and the journey he takes after the divorce of his parents as he searches for the acceptance and happiness he thought he had lost. There are also ten basic lessons which I learned from the females of my life which everyone could learn from so I weave them into stories anyone can enjoy.
2) What gave you the idea for this particular book?
Once I moved my family from Illinois to Nevada I started having very vivid dreams about the people involved and the lessons they taught me. Once I started to write these individual dreams down they stopped, until I had all of them. I feel they were a way for me to end a part of my life and start a new one. As I say in my book, “There is no such thing as an ending, only new beginnings.”
3) Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
I am a part-time writer…most of my writing happens at night when I am on the road during business trips. My family doesn’t watch TV too often, so I use that time also.
4) When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I have always had a flair for writing; I just never thought anyone else would understand. I started putting my feelings down on paper when my parents were getting a divorce. This led to poetry, which finally gave me the idea for this book.
5) What do you hope readers will take from your writing?
That all people are the same inside. We all want to be accepted for who we are and to be happy. Even if you feel different or look different or feel alone, you have the right to these two desires.
6) What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it?
The hardest part is wondering if those who read the book actually like it. I continue to doubt myself, but with each and every nice e-mail or good review I get, those feelings ease somewhat. Marketing is also hard, especially if you are an introvert like I am.
7) What draws you to non-fiction writing?
I find it easier to write about things I have experienced. Being that it is narrative non-fiction I can take some liberties to enhance the stories so it is the best of both worlds.
8) What kind of research did you do for this type of book?
The book is basically my life. Everything you read about, every person you read about has been a part of my life somehow. (Although some of the situations have been enhanced and all the names and locations have been changed to protect the innocent, so to say.)
9) What about your book makes it special?
It has been called a “self-help book for those who don’t like self-help books.” There are ten lessons which I believe everyone can benefit from, but instead of just listing them, I have a story about how I was able to learn them and from who I learned them from. The book reads more like a story than a self-help book.
10) What is your marketing plan?
I am using social media and local networking to establish a base of readers. I am not very good at talking about my book, but others are, so I use their expertise to help spread the word. Book reviews have also played a big part. I am now looking for a traditional publisher who would like to re-publish the book and help me market it on a bigger platform.
11) Where can people learn more about you and your work?
Come to my website www.PhilipNork.com or my facebook book page www.facebook.com/sensitivity101
12) What are your views on self-publishing versus traditional publishing? I
used AuthorHouse to publish because I wanted the book published before my 30th high school reunion. They delivered a beautiful book which has sold many copies, but I need the strength of a traditional publisher to get my book into retail stores such as Costco and WalMart. Today, either way--self or traditional publishing--works, you just need to know what you want…and basically it is all in the marketing of the book. Although traditional publishing may help open more doors than self publishing, it really depends on the author’s involvement to make the book succeed.
13) Do you have an agent and do you feel an agent is necessary for non-fiction?
I do not have an agent, but am open if one likes my book enough and thinks they can help me spread the word.
14) Any tips for new writers hoping to write non-fiction?
I believe we all have a story to tell, so just do it. Some people will connect with it and some won’t. Do what comes naturally to you.
Book blurb for Sensitivity 101 for the Heterosexual Male
Following the divorce of his parents, a 6-year-old boy goes on a journey of self-discovery as he tries to satisfy the two desires all humans have in common: to be accepted for who we are and to be truly happy.
Phil finds out that the journey we are on is a difficult one, even more so for those children who come from a broken home. Follow him as he grows up and desperately tries to make those two desires come to fruition.
Through dating different girls, Phil acquires 10 basic lessons for understanding the fairer sex. As he pieces these lessons together to form the basis of the person he wants to be, he makes a series of bad choices and soon loses his way. This leads to an ongoing internal debate, is his unique approach to sex right or wrong? The thoughts Phil has regarding these sensitive situations are totally opposite from the girls’. They understand what his “secret gift” really is…but will Phil ever know the truth? And just who will be the one who finally accepts him for who he is?
Phil, thanks for being my guest today and sharing your writing adventures.