Tell me a bit about yourself….
I'm 39 years old living in Cincinnati, Ohio USA. I'm an author, poet, and mental health advocate. I've been diagnosed with bipolar disorder with psychotic features, generalized anxiety disorder with panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, agoraphobia, and claustrophobia. I'm also the founder and administrator of a social media page with almost 900 members from around the globe.
What genre/s do you write in?
I guess you would say non-fiction because all 4 of my books are about living with mental illness.
How long have you been writing? I started writing simple poems in grade school, and it progressed from there.
You could say 30 years, I guess.
Do you have any published books or articles? Tell me a bit about these and what publishing route you took.
I have 4 published books, and many articles and interviews.
My 4 books are titled:
1) Millions Like Me: My Struggle with Mental Illness
2) Poems from a Bipolar Mind
3) The Last Day of July: 13 Years of Madness
4) The Entropy of Bipolar Disorder
Did you use an editor? If so who? No
Did you use a book formatter and cover designer? I did it myself.
Did you self-publish or get traditionally published? How did this go for you?
Self-published. It worked out well for me as far as exposure goes, but I haven't made enough money to make a living. I liked that I had total control throughout the whole process.
How do you market your work and promote your brand?(Include links)
I am easy to find on social media. My books are available on Amazon.
I post my link in various social media groups for writers, authors, and also mental health support groups.
What social media and writing platforms would you recommend?
I use Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I used Kindle Direct Publishing for all 4 of my books. It's a free service through Amazon.
Do you use an agent? No.
Do you use paid advertising? If so, what? No.
Do you have a blog or website?
I have a personal blog. Just search my name on Facebook.
What inspires you most to write?
Helping others who may be struggling with mental illness. I write my best after either a symptomatic day or a pleasant day. Any time I feel the inspiration, really.
What do you do to help with writer's block? I don't force myself to write.
How do you plan your writing and start? All of my writing is off the cuff.
Is writing your full-time job? If not, what else do you do?
No, I'm on disability and I also buy and trade sports memorabilia.
What are you working on at the moment?
My fifth book. It's really just a collection of thoughts and stories from my life.
What is your target audience? Anyone who may be struggling with mental illness primarily, but anyone really. I think there needs to be more awareness of mental health issues.
How long does it take you to write a book?
About a year, but it varies.
When did you first discover you enjoyed writing?
Grade school. I liked the freedom of expression and the creativity of it.
What is your writing schedule look like?
I don't have a schedule.
What does your family think about your writing?
I am lucky to have a supportive family. Many people who suffer from mental illness do not.
What do you do when you are not writing?
I like to read, listen to music, and watch sporting events.
Where do you get information and ideas for your writing?
Most of my writing is original thoughts and ideas, so I don't need any sources. If I do use a source, I find a scholarly article on the Internet.
What do you think makes a good story?
I think what makes my life a good story is that it is inspirational to anyone suffering adversity or difficulties. There are a lot of teachable moments in my books too.
Thank you for the chance to get to know you better, John, all the best in your writing and publishing journey.
If you would like to be interviewed by The NZDream blog, please contact Elise at firstname.lastname@example.org