Tell us a bit about your family.
My father was a junior high school guidance counselor and my mother worked in the Kelloggs cereal factory. I grew up in the little town of Battle Creek Michigan. I’ve been married for almost 28 years (yep it was an arranged marriage and we were 5 years old) we have two great kids that are now making their own way. Life is good.
How do you work through self doubt and fear?
I pretty much try to ignore it. I found out a long time ago that everyone is scared and everyone doubts themselves sometimes but the people who are successful don’t let those fears and doubts stop them.
What are you most proud of in your personal life?
My two incredible children. I truly can’t believe how wonderful they are. Both my son and daughter turned out to be hard working, talented and caring adults. They must have taken after their mother.
Have you always enjoyed writing?
No, in fact I still have trouble thinking of myself as a writer. My spelling and punctuation have always been atrocious (when I was in college one of my professors asked if English was my second language). All I can say is thank God for my wife and my editor because without them people’s brains would explode trying to read my books.
What motivates you to write?
Helping people get healthy. I have always been one of those people who wanted to help others and I have always been fascinated by taking care of the body. It’s staggering how many people are out there with diseases that are preventable and reversible through simple changes in diet and activity levels. I feel it’s my duty to help them and a great way to get that information out there is through books.
What books did you love growing up?
The first real book I remember reading (and when I say “real book” I mean it didn’t have any pictures or things that popped up out of it) was Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I just remember being entranced by the story. Such a boy book. Then I fell in love with Conan the Barbarian novels by Robert E. Howard. I read every one I could find.
Who is your favorite author?
I have a lot of them. Non-fiction is Michael Pollan; I love the way he makes science both interesting and accessible. For fun fiction reading I like James Doss, Robert B. Parker and Robert Ludlum.
Do you plan to publish more books?
Yes, in my office I have a big cork board that says “books to finish by 2015.” There are currently 30 note cards tacked to that board with the titles of the books I’m going to write. It’s going to be a busy couple of years.
What else do you do to make money, other than write? It is rare today for writers to be full time
I’m a wellness coach and personal trainer. I also do a lot of healthy employee consulting for businesses. I have a program called “Creating a Dynamic Workplace” that helps businesses keep their employees active and productive at work. The program is aimed at lowering health care costs for employers.
What other jobs have you had?
Well I was an actor for a while which means I was also a waiter and a pizza delivery guy. I worked at a lumber yard for a while loading lumber into the back of contractors trucks. In college I worked as a raisin dumper at the Kelloggs cereal factory, that’s right I was the guy who put the two scoops of raisins in your Raisin Bran. They were 50 pound boxes of raisins that you dumped on a conveyor belt for 8 hours a day. The job was brutal.
Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support?
My wife Maria. She was the only person who really believed I could do this. When I said I couldn’t write she said “That’s not true, you’re a great writer, you’re just a terrible speller and punctuator. But I can help you with that. Your writing is very conversational and you do a great job of making things that are complicated understandable for people. That’s a gift and you need to share it.” My wife convinced me that I could write, then supported me through the process. Every time I wanted to give up she gave me the little push I needed to keep going. The woman is a goddess!
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Genre – Non-Fiction
Rating – G