The Five Scribes are pleased to present: Margie Lawson's How-to Author Interview Series, featuring today's How-to Guest, Bob Mayer
Wednesday, May 27th
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The Novel Writer's Toolkit
A Lecture Packet from me ... Margie Lawson!!
New York Times Bestseller
-- And other Bestseller lists too: Wall Street Journal, Publisher's Weekly, USA Today
39 books Published
West Point Graduate
Served in the Infantry and Special Forces
Instructor at the JFK Special Warfare Center
Master Parachutist/Jumpmaster Qualified
Earned a Black Belt while living in the Orient
Taught martial arts
Graduate of the International Mountain Climbing School
Completed 14 marathons -- including qualifying for the Boston Marathon
"Something for every writer, from neophyte to old hand. My hat is off to Bob." ~ Elizabeth George.
An invaluable resource for beginning and seasoned writers alike. Don't miss out." ~ Terry Brooks.
Review for WHO DARES WINS:
"Bob Mayer gives us a unique and valuable window into the shadowy world of our country's elite fighting forces and [demonstrates] how you can apply many of the concepts and strategies they use for success in your own life and organization." ~ Jack Canfield, creator of the Chicken Soup book series.
M.L: On June 2, 2009 you have a new non-fiction book coming out. WHO DARES WINS: The
B.M. I’ve been writing this book for almost 20 years. I’ve been living it for 32. It combines everything I learned about being a warrior and evolved that into being an artist, starting in 1977 during Beast Barracks at West Point, through my time in the Infantry and most importantly, my time in the Special Forces, where I commanded an A-Team, was a battalion operations officer coordinating the deployment of 15 Special Forces Team worldwide, and was as an instructor at the J.F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center & School at Ft. Bragg, where new Green Berets are trained.
I added to the book every year. I actually have a much longer version covering individuals and team building, but I’ve decided to break that into two books, and the one coming out now is the one for individuals. Later this year I will write one for team building, based on the A-Team model, the most successful team in the world.
M.L.: Why this book? Why now?
B.M.: Fear is ruling a lot of people’s lives. I was talking to a CEO several years ago in
M.L.: How can WHO DARES WINS help the average person? The business person? The Writer?
B.M.: It works strategically and tactically: i.e., the big picture in changing your overall life and with specifics for improving day-to-day living. There are three areas: Who, Dares, Wins. In each area are three one-word Special “Forces”. To make it even easier to follow, the words in each area start with the same letter.
We begin with Wins and the three forces are:
- WHAT do you want to achieve?
- WHY do you want to achieve those goals?
- WHERE will you be achieving those goals?
Then we move on to Who:
- Assess your CHARACTER, both strengths and weaknesses.
- Learn what real CHANGE is and how to achieve it.
- Move out of your comfort zone and into your COURAGE zone.
Finally, we move into Dares:
- COMMUNICATE your change to the world.
- Take COMMAND of your life.
- COMPLETE the Circle of Success.
And then you start over again, building on what you’ve done. So it’s a circular program, not a linear one, which actually makes it more attractive to women as they tend to be less linear than men.
Who Dares Wins can help in business because it’s a combination of the Warrior-Artist: Discipline and Creativity.For an artist it gives you the Warrior’s Path to Creativity. Writers workshops tend to focus on the writing and not the writer. Maybe it’s not the writing that needs to change, but the writer. I’ve taught thousands of writers over the years, and the largest obstacle is not their writing, but their approach to writing. Who Dares Wins helps examine that in detail and learn how to change.
Seventy-eight (78%) percent of Americans say they want to write a novel. Yet only a very few ever make it to the level of getting published. Because Who Dares Wins focuses on the 5% of people who can achieve sustained action using their own motivation, learning its techniques can help writers achieve their goals.
M.L.: Has writing this book changed the way you think? Or approach things?
M.L: You do workshops across the country based on the principles in WHO DARES WINS. Who would benefit from taking this workshop and why? What would someone get out of the workshop?
B.M.: As noted above, it forces you to examine everything about the way you approach writing. All the lessons learned in the workshop also work two ways: for you as the writer, and for the actual writing. For example, under WHAT we pinpoint what your goal is with your writing, and we also pinpoint what exactly your book is about. Both in one sentence each.
M.L.: You also do workshops based on your NOVEL WRITER’S TOOLKIT. How has writing WHO DARES WINS changed this workshop over the years?
B.M: I’m more interactive and more emotional. I always presented great content, but I’ve learned that people want to participate and also they want to be emotionally engaged. My Writers Presentation now has a workbook to go along with the Novel Writers Toolkit. I use examples from people participating. I put more of my passion into them because I’ve learned to open up more about how I feel about the subject matter. I care about what I teach but I was a bit reserved in the past.
M.L.: You have written under your own name, and various pen names. Why?
B.M.: Business reasons. Once you’re under contract, the publisher owns the option on your next book. To avoid that option, you can use a pen name. Also, most publishers want just one book a year and I was writing three a year.
M.L: You have written in many different genres. How did you decide which genre you wanted to write, and how or why did you move into other genres?
B.M.: I started in military thrillers, slid over to science thrillers with my Area 51 and Atlantis series for many years. I actually call them techno-myth books. Technology and mythology mixed together. I wrote romantic suspense with Jennifer Crusie—WILD RIDE is coming out next year and that’s actually paranormal romance. I’m focusing now on thrillers and non-fiction.
B.M.: The series is intriguing. But, honestly, title. The original title for the first book was Dreamland and we changed it to Area 51. I believe the same book with that old title would not be in its 16th printing and sold over a quarter million copies, and the series a million copies overall. Title is very, very important. It has to invite readers into the book and give them an idea what the book is about.
M.L: How do you think your writing has changed over the years? From book to book.
B.M.: I focus more and more on character. I’m actually toning down the plot of my current work-in progress, THE JEFFERSON ALLEGIANCE, and focusing much more on character.
M.L: Do you have a favorite book or series that you have written?
B.M.: I think for most writers, the next book is always the one they love. AREA 51 has been the most consistent and the best seller, but my collaborations with Jennifer Crusie are very fun books.
M.L: I heard you say many times that it’s important to study the craft, learn and be open. How do you study and learn?
B.M.: I talk to other writers. My friend Elizabeth George read my latest manuscript and gave me a lot of feedback. I think it’s important to be willing to listen to and accept feedback. I actually go to classes at conferences, rather than just teach. I learned a lot in
M.L.: What advice do you have for the new unpublished writer?
B.M.: Write a lot. Read a lot. Learn the craft. Too many people spend too much time on marketing rather than writing. The only thing we writers truly control is the quality of the writing.
M.L: What advice do you have for the newly published author?
B.M.: Find a mentor who is published in your field. Ask for help. There is so much agents and editors won’t tell you. Most writers are pretty open to answering questions. Don’t expect anyone else to give you your career. You have to make it yourself. Thus the first Force in WDW is WHAT—you have to specify your goals right up front and then use the other Forces to pursue them.
M.L.: What is next for Bob Mayer? What are you working on now?
B.M.: Rewriting The Jefferson Allegiance and starting a new dual book concept—where one is a novel and the other is non-fiction but connected to the novel.
M.L.: Where can people interested in what is going on in your world, specifically Cool Gus, find you? For those interested in any of the above mentioned workshops, or hearing you speak, how can they find out more information, or where you will be over the next year?
Everything is on my web site: www.bobmayer.org I also twitter at WhoDaresWins
M.L.: One final question – Did Cool Gus take to kayaking?
B.M: Cool Gus likes the water. He’s got his life jacket now and I’ll be taking him down to the Sound shortly.
Margie, thanks for bringing Bob to us today and, Bob, thank you for being here on Five Scribes. Readers: Questions or Comments?