Like so many of us these days, I've led two lives - the professional life that provides security ... and the creative life that more deeply satisfies. Over the years I've thoroughly enjoyed both personas. As a therapist, mindfulness trainer, consciousness researcher and video producer, I've written around thirty mood-management, self-help and meditation books, some of which have sold quite well here and in Europe.
At last count there are around 600,000 copies of my non-fiction books in circulation in 17 languages - so I feel quite good about making a positive contribution to our society. I've finally mostly said all I have to say in non-fiction at this point, so I'm now helping other writers manifest their books and get them published.
Readers of my fiction will know that my characters tend do be interested in exploring the same things I write about in my non-fiction books - what is life really all about, how can we improve our attitudes and behaviors, how do we balance our male and female energetics, and how can we relate at deeper heart-felt levels? In other words, how do we heal old traumas, actively manage our thoughts and emotions - and at the same time set ourselves free to be spontaneous, compassionate, and open to new experiences?
In my ghostwriting work, which I also find deeply rewarding, I've researched and written books on quantum-based psychology, cognitive pain-management, the mentor/intern relationship, several intimate memoirs, executive performance texts, corporate coaching, shamanic healing, mindfulness meditation, etc. I love ghostwriting and author coaching because I'm continuously learning something new that helps me further expands my perspective.
In both fiction and non-fiction I tend to highlight the intuitive and creative rather than the data-based intellectual realms of consciousness. I lean strongly toward courage and adventure rather than comfort and security - and I focus on the emerging newness rather than the staid correctness of the status quo. Even in science-based writing I like to bring in the human elements being influenced by tech advances.
A BIT OF BIO
My very first non-fiction book happened rather by accident. My wife at the time (1980) got a contract to write a book on visual recovery, but she wasn't able to actually get the book written. Because I'd fully recovered from myopia at twenty-four, I was able to sit down and in three weeks (working against the pub deadline) take her notes and pound out a reasonable book on the topic - Visionetics with Bantam/Doubleday..
The book did well in several languages, and writing it had been relatively easy - I'd learned at Princeton how to write fast and well, so I just tapped the rewards of that education. And then I found that my work as a therapist led to writing more books about what I was observing about the human psyche - especially emotional release and healing, as I'd been trained in the early Bioenergetics and Neo-Reichian traditions.
I seem to have been born with a slightly esoteric edge to my otherwise pragmatic personality - and my early government/NIH research with psychedelics had taught me that consciousness is vastly more than we're programmed to experience. So it was natural for me to write meditation books, and actively participate in the New Age/Mindfulness revolution. I'd studied psychotherapy under Chuck Kelley, one of Wilhelm Reich's main students, so I'd also learned a lot about how breathing and bodywork are crucial to all aspects of a good life.
Right where psychology and spirituality coincide has been my personal focal point in many of my books. While I was living and doing therapy work in West Berlin I wrote my first book about breath therapy - and that book sold so well in Europe that I got a contract to create 24 'self therapy' books and audio programs in the German language. As a West-coast author and therapist, I learned a great deal from the more-cognitive European approach to consciousness and relationships, so that when I returned stateside my writing had evolved considerably.
I have also always loved Anthropology, and went on a number of extended adventures into native cultures in South Africa, Arizona, Mexico, Guatemala and Hawaii. I consider a balanced cross-cultural approach to understanding human nature very important.
WRITING ABOUT RELATING
My primary professional fixation has always been the nature and magic of human relating. We're hard-wired in so many ways to behave successfully as propagators of our species - and in the old days of clans and tribes, this genetic and cultural programming seems to have worked quite well. But especially after the second world war, with the nuclear family rather than the extended family becoming the American norm, everything has shifted. Kids imprint and model themselves not just on parents and relatives, but on sports heroes, pop musicians and media stars ...
But love does still hold our society together. Living in a family is still the norm. And how we are doing romance-wise influences and often undermines all other aspects of our daily lives. I've worked as a family counselor and I know just how messed up relationships can become. But I've also seen how two people, platonic or romantic, can learn to love and respect each other so that their relationship is durable, insightful and fulfilling.
In many of my books, both fiction and nonfiction, my aim is to present people successfully struggling to establish meaningful bonds of love. What I consider one of my very best books, Let Love Find You, felt remarkably satisfying to write - but I was living abroad so the American edition never got promoted in the States. The same happened with Finding Each Other which sold 70,000 copies in German but not promoted back home.
I never aspired to be an author celebrity, I'm a quite happy introvert who doesn't do talk shows and the like. My satisfaction in writing comes before the launch of a book - in the deep exploration and clear written discussion of a theme that highly attracts me. My personal favorites are: Quiet Your Mind, Mind Dance, Kundalini Awakening, Secrets Of A Good Night's Sleep, Jesus For The Rest Of Us, and Seven Masters, One Path.
FROM MEMOIR TO SCREENPLAY
I do love helping people tell their life story in an intriguing flow and style! I've literally never met someone who didn't have valuable and entertaining aspects of their life story that can evolve into a memoir or novel. Early on in my writing career, after studying screenwriting at the American Film Institute, I worked on several projects turning life stories into a screenplays - and recently I've returned to exploring this combination of non-fiction and fiction.
Most recently I've worked with Mai Le, a Vietnamese refugee after that devastating war. She was a champion who transcended abject poverty and is now a quite-successful business executive. We started work on her memoir (WORLDS APART) about her wild early life - and that memoir later evolved into an 8-part cable series that's just now being shopped in Hollywood. We took her basic storyline and characters and then step by step transformed that non-fiction account into an engrossing fiction story with universal, even somewhat-mythic overtones.
In like manner I recently helped a corporate CEO, Robert Khoury, write two books on the deeper experience of being an intern or an intern manager - and that non-fiction project (HOW TO INTERN SUCCESSFULLY) has now been transformed into the INTERN VENTURES cable TV series we're currently shopping with three pilot screenplays attached.
If you like, you can request to speak
with these two most recent clients
and several other former clients
about our work together.
WHAT'S COMING NEXT
Overall, every time I finish a ghostwriting or author-coaching project and raise my head to see who I might help next, I get very excited to see who fate and friends, synchronicity and good luck will bring me to work with next - I'm very lucky to have a profession that's continually changing and challenging and exciting.
Although I've been focused mostly on screenplays for the last 18 months (see Screenplays) I also hope that new non-fiction and novel projects come my way. If you have a project that excites you, do LET ME KNOW and we'll chat on the phone or Zoom.