What’s your writing background? When did you begin writing and what inspired you?
I have no writing background. In fact, I’m a high-school dropout who just has a go at things when and if they appeal to me.
So I was drawn towards actually writing a book because I knew I had a tale that needed telling. There are so many colourful stories in my life that I felt it would be a useful tool for people to use as examples of where I went wrong or to see where an addict’s life can take them. In addition, I wanted to make sure there was plenty of solution based ideas for people to begin to get a better understanding of addictive disease and to educate them to help their loved ones recover from their own addictions.
In terms of my own life story, for thirteen years, I was homeless statistic and an intravenous drug user and alcoholic. I dedicated my life to hedonism at the expense of everyone around me, until finally, I could take it no longer; I began to die from the insides out.
My book, It’s Not About Me!, takes the reader along my journey through using, petty crime, harder drugs, raving, drug trafficking, being on the run, and my path of destruction as I descended into my addiction to needles.
But it doesn’t stop there like most books where the author seems to arrive in rehab and the book finishes. The second half of my book is dedicated to explaining recovery tactics and ways of beating your addiction for yourself or your loved ones. It’s solution focused and so it complements a compelling story with some healthy lifestyles, education and ideas around self-development.
As a successful Addiction Specialist and an international speaker, I get to network and meet people from all backgrounds and all cultures. I began to get repeatedly questioned about having / writing a book. So I began by having two of my keynote speeches transcribed, which I then merged together to avoid repetition of stories. This came up at around 60,000 words. I then spent the next two years going through that and adding, editing and enlarging the stories within. I arrived at 106,000 words and decided that I could just keep editing this on and on, so it would be best to just put it out there now and let go. Each edit was costing me about six months of time. So I let it go as it stands before you now.
How often do you write? And how do you manage to fit in writing among other commitments?
I’m by no means a writer. It’s not something I aspire to do or be. I just am. It’s another thing I’ve set my mind at and gone for in my life. It’s freeing and encouraging to know what I’ve achieved by getting this book out. I’m very pleased with the result. But it took me about two and a quarter years to complete it.
In which genre do you most enjoy writing?
Well this is an autobiography, with some useful opinions dressed up as self-help tools.
What draws you to write in that genre?
My personal experience. I can only talk / write about that with which I’m familiar. In the case of It’s Not About Me!, it’s my life story into and through my addictions, followed by how I got sober and stayed sober, finishing with some useful self development ideas and a more formal explanation of a popular method to attain recovery.
Can you tell me about your current project(s)?
I’m really passionate about getting my message of abstinence-based recovery from addiction through spirituality (not the woo-woo sort, but a more down to earth and layman friendly type). So for the moment, I’m using the book to complement my profile as an advocate for such a type of recovery, including 12-step recovery. I’m passionate about the possibilities that life offers us, and I hope this book goes some way towards inspiring and motivating others to do incredible things with their lives too.
I’m back to building www.soberservices.co.uk my company that deals with addiction on a face-to-face basis. I’m also a Director of LivingBig, a coaching and mentoring network both online and off-line, with LivingBig Dinners being launched shortly.
Meanwhile I’m in talks for a couple of other projects.
I consider myself an entrepreneur on a mission from God. My mission is to co-create a green and harmonious world through laughter and love.
What are your writing plans for the future?
None really, although I’d like to do another edit of my book in a couple of years and release the second edition.
Where can people find out more about you?
It’s Not About Me! at Amazon.co.uk
It’s Not About Me! at Amazon.com