Tag Archives: spiritual

STAYING GROUNDED IN SHIFTING SAND: Interview with Dr. Linda J. Ferguson

Dr. Linda J. Ferguson is an author, speaker, coach, and seminar leader to support people leading a joyful and awakened spiritual life. Linda’s website, www.lindajferguson.com , contains videos, meditations, affirmations, and other useful resources for spiritual growth and personal development. Readers find inspiring and informative ideas in Linda’sblogto enrich their spirituality for everyday living- www.lindajferguson.com/blog/.

Dr. Ferguson is author of two books “The Path for Greatness – Work as Spiritual Service” and “Staying Grounded in Shifting Sand- Awakening Soul Consciousness for the New Millennium“. Readers find the exercises at the end of every chapter valuable and practical. They can apply the ideas immediately in their life and see results. Linda has conducted three national book tours, presented at national conferences, and conducted worship services to inspired and appreciative audiences. Linda also leads Shamanic Journeys, spiritual study groups, and retreats for people who want to dive deeper into the insights and ideas offered in her books on spiritual growth and transformation.

Linda has developed a seven step process of Transformational EmpowermentTM, for personal mastery. She developed this powerful process of manifesting and creating positive life changes from her own life experiences, her work with her coaching clients, and her study of mysticism.

She uses the spiritual principles found in her Transformational EmpowermentTM process in her coaching practice so that her clients more effectively move through their important life changes. Her coaching provides a structured and consistent venue so that people can make positive changes in their life easefully and confidently.

Linda has been on radio interviews and has featured articles in Interbeing, a journal of personal and professional mastery. She also writes a weekly blog to support people’s desire to integrate their spiritual life with their professional life- www.managementhelp.org/blogs/spirituality/

Dr. Ferguson earned her Ph.D. from Indiana University (I.U.-Bloomington) in Organizational Behavior with a Masters also from I.U. studying Social Psychology. She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in psychology and management. Linda did her coach training in 2004 from Coach Training Alliance, completed her certification in Team Coaching, and has CCE credits from International Coach Federation (ICF).

In 1994 she traveled abroad for six months to Asia, Australia, Israel, and Europe before moving to Virginia where she currently lives. Her personal spiritual practice includes daily prayer and meditation, Sufi Dances of Universal Peace, Integral Yoga, Native American Sweat Lodges and other Earth-based ceremonies.

Q: Thank you for this interview, Linda. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

This is my second book. My first book is called “Path for Greatness: Work as Spiritual Service” published now with Infinity Publishing. My second /latest book is “Staying Grounded in Shifting Sand: Awakening Soul Consciousness for the New Millennium”

Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

I got an offer with a small press initially, but turned it down as they were a new company and I was uneasy with their contract. There was no real promise that the book would be published and I’d have to go to court to get the rights back. So I decided to self-publish.

Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

With the self-publishing route it took me about 6 months initially and then when I re-issued my first book, only 2 months. With the second book, I self-published and it took me about 6 months to get into print.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

I was thrilled when I got the initial book contract. It was only in further conversations that I was more uneasy. I was very excited to see my first book (and latest one) in my hands! What a feeling of accomplishment.

I celebrated my first book with a big party with friends. With the second book, it was a smaller gathering with friends as I have moved. I will probably have a book party now where I live for the 2nd book.

Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

I don’t remember the first thing I did. I probably made some flyers and gave some talks around town. I set up 3 national book tours over the course of 2 years. It took A LOT of time but I was glad I did it and glad I had a job where I could take that kind of time off.

With the second book, I’m setting up speaking engagements and doing workshops. Now I’m promoting it a lot via Facebook and other social media outlets as well as my own website – www.lindajferguson.com

Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

I think I write a bit more clearly. I did a lot of academic writing prior to writing my book, so I write more as a lay person now. I’ve written a blog for 2 years and have learned to scale down the length and complexity of words I use. I can’t say I completely dumb down what I write, but I do write in more of a conversational style now.

Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

I was surprised that Amazon won’t tell me how many books of mine they’ve sold!! They said the only way I could get those records is to subpoena them! What a crock!

There’s no way to know how many books are sold on Amazon and since that’s probably the largest book seller now, it’s hard to know how well my book is selling.

I also learned that Author Solutions is horribly mismanaged and I wouldn’t recommend any of their divisions to anyone to self-publish.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

Having people email me and tell me how much they like my book, how much my book has helped them or spoken to them.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Stick with it. You’ll have to do a lot of your own promoting these days. You can’t just write a masterpiece and let it sell itself. You have to be willing to sell your work and do a lot of legwork on your own.

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Interview with Karen Glick, author of ‘Questions in the Silence’

Karen Glick lives outside of Philadelphia. She is a clinical psychologist whose other interests include writing, painting, and acting. When not feverishly engaged in these pursuits, she enjoys spending time with her four children, husband, cavalier king charles spaniels and cats.

Karen has just published her first novel, Questions in the Silence.

Visit her website at http://www.bellalunavoicecompany.com/.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon Kindle | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble

Q: Thank you for this interview, Karen. Can you tell us what your latest book, Questions in the Silence, is all about?

I always wanted to write a novel and had many false starts where the idea or the characters just didn’t sustain my interest.  Finally, the idea for Questions in the Silence emerged from two of my life passions: (Don’t ask about the others!)psychotherapy and a spiritual approach to life.  The protagonist, Ari Rothman, is a young Jewish woman whose childhood is flavored by unusual dreams and visions. Some of her dreams are derived from her Jewish education, but others are more mystical and cryptic. These experiences inspire her to become a seeker of spiritual truth, not limited to her own religious upbringing.  At the same time, she is driven to find her life purpose and feels she may find it in helping people through psychotherapy.

Questions in the Silence chronicles Ari’s personal growth from her childhood when she feels like an outsider because of her precocious approach to life, to her search for a life partner, and her attempts to initiate a mature relationship with her parents.  At the same time, in her professional life, Ari faces mounting conflict when she tries to integrate her traditional training as a psychologist with her intuitive abilities.  Her struggles come to a head when she treats her first long-term client whose problems resonate deeply with some of her own issues.

Q:  Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

Ari Rothman is a sensitive dork who really doesn’t fit into her peer group very well.  Her loneliness reinforces her interest in the spiritual world and she spends a lot of time searching for meaning in life and worrying constantly whether she will ever find her true purpose.  Since she spends so much time living in her head, her real relationships sometimes suffer.  Once she decides that she can best fulfill her purpose by becoming a psychotherapist, her next challenge becomes balancing the advice of her supervisors and her strong intuition about patients.

The supporting characters include a neurotic but loving mother who teaches Ari about the importance of boundaries in relationships, her boyfriend, Evan, who starts out as a study partner and becomes the key to Ari’s discovery about meeting her own needs, and James, Ari’s first long-term client, who comes from a very different background, but whose therapy forces Ari to question her own family relationships.

Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

There are some components of my characters that are drawn from my life.  To some degree, Ari’s struggle to incorporate things she knows intuitively into her work mirrors my own.   I must emphasize she is truly a fictional character, as are all of the other characters in the book, although I am fortunate enough to have experienced people who may have added some of the dimensions to the characters.  In particular, some of Ari’s experiences such as her Jewish education, meditation adventures, and training as a psychotherapist were suggested by some of my own experiences.

Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?

My writing began with a strong sense of the fictional characters, their backstory, and their current struggles.  Each day as I wrote, I felt that the plot should be driven by the way the characters would interact, knowing them as I do.  When I was finished with the first draft, I had a better vision of the plot and my revisions were all about cutting out  a lot of writing that didn’t further either the plot or key knowledge about the main characters.

Q: Your book is set in Philadelphia.  Can you tell us why you chose this city in particular?

I love the Philadelphia area and have lived here since college.  Philadelphia is a great city for the exploration of ideas like spirituality and psychotherapy.  My familiarity with attending college and graduate school here provided a strong foundation for Ari’s development.

Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

Not really.  Much of the story really takes place in the minds of the characters.

Q: Open the book to page 69.  What is happening?

Ari, the main character, has just attended her first college party.  In her attempt to reinvent herself, she overindulged and is suffering the consequences.  On page 69, she is filled with remorse and is worrying how her overdrinking may have affected her relationship with her roommate and with her romantic interest, Charlie.

Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts?

Saturday morning. Ari rolled on her side to read the time on her clock…six thirty five. She groaned. Why was she awake?  She peered at Evan who was sleeping so silently she watched the sheet over his chest to make sure it rose and sank with each breath. His face was totally relaxed, and she loved to look at the way the early morning light played with the golden highlights in his wavy hair and his long eyelashes. The stubble on his chin seemed so dark, forming a blue gray contrast to his pale skin. She lay quietly next to him, trying to match the rhythm of his breathing, wishing to fall back asleep and to share his dreams, he looked that peaceful.

But sleep wouldn’t come. So, she slipped out of bed and walked over to the couch. Pulling a soft old afghan around her shoulders, she sat down and closed her eyes to meditate, a form of Sabbath observance for her. She immediately felt as though she were drifting in a downward pathway, but she was able to maintain a relaxed, detached posture and she did not pull back from the sensation of slowly falling. As she descended, she became engulfed in a glowing indigo light. She sensed another presence with her and curiosity briefly coursed through her mind. She heard a voice answering her unspoken question…Eliyahu. And then there was complete silence. Ari’s old blue afghan had grown to encompass the entire universe and everything was wrapped in its comforting softness. At some point, when she opened her eyes, Ari wasn’t sure how long she had meditated, or even if she had fallen asleep. She patted her blanket with affection, thinking how much she loved the color blue. She could hear Evan stirring faintly in the alcove, so she went to investigate.

Thank you so much for this interview, Karen.  We wish you much success!

 

 

 

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