Tuesday, December 28, 2021

📖Authors To Watch: S.M. Adams ARISE & WALK @arise_walk @pumpupyourbook #authorstowatch #authorinterview #interview


S.M. Adams is a licensed secondary school teacher and experienced college instructor with over 10 years’ experience in the field of education.  She holds graduate training in both American History and Adolescent Education. A confessed late bloomer Sarah returned to college as a student-parent to uncover her life’s passion for education and helping others. For years of community service and volunteer work, S.M Adams was awarded the prestigious New York Life fellowship from the Colin Powell Center for Leadership and Service in 2008 and received the Phoenix Award from Urban Resource Institute thereafter. She also briefly spent time on the policy committee of HEAASC, the Higher Education Alliance for Advocates of Students with Children. As a domestic violence advocate, she has appeared on NYC Fox 5, NYC Bronx 12 as well as in Marie Claire magazine. A graduate of City College of New York and Pace University this New York transplant by way of Jamaica W.I. loves the summertime, reading on the beach, eating mangoes and spending time with her son and husband.

Arise and Walk: From the Sidelines of Life to the Next Level is her latest book.

Visit her website at www.ariseandwalk.com. Connect with her on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

Whatever challenge you may currently be facing, Arise & Walk: From the Sidelines of Life to the Next Level offers a proven framework to assist you in making that much

needed life transformation.

During the pandemic with her classroom shuttered S.M. Adams an experienced educator and instructor shifted her focus from teaching adolescents to creating a different kind of lesson plan, one to help survivors of the Covid 19 pandemic and its devastating aftermath, reimagine and reinvent themselves.

Always a teacher first, this new author with over a decade’s experience in New York City classrooms uses verbal imagery, examples from her own life along with interesting analogies to make clear the mindset shifts and action steps which lead to a transformed life.

So, if you’re unsure of what to do, look no further.

Arise & Walk: From the Sidelines of Life to the Next Level will help you to think about:

  • How to begin to process change
  • How to emotionally and mentally deal with downscaling
  • Whether to continue with the old venture or start something new
  • Which relationships to embrace and lean into as you undergo a life change
  • How to clear the path to accomplish new money goals


  • How to better manage time in a way that suits the new you.

Welcome S.M.! Your book, ARISE & WALK: FROM THE SIDELINES OF LIFE TO THE NEXT LEVEL, sounds absolutely intriguing! Can you tell us how you can up with the


 The title kind of emerged as I wrote the book it describes the position of someone who is down and out in life and suggests how one can move away from despondency. Since most of this is based on my own experience I simply wrote what happened to me, one day I was on the sidelines of life and step by step, thought by thought, changed mindset by changed mindset I just got up and walked away.

Covid-19 played a huge part in writing your book. Can you tell us a little about that?

I’ve always played with the idea of writing but really found my voice and got serious at the start of the pandemic. I used to clap with my neighbors out the window every evening at 7pm when the nurses and doctors ended their shift. After a while I felt like that was not enough that I needed to be doing more to help out. The idea came to me that based on how devastating Covid-19 was many people would need to reimagine and reinvent themselves. And as someone who made a life transformation a few years ago I decided that maybe I could write a book that would be useful.

Reinventing yourself is mainly what your book is about. Can you tell us the first step we should take in our own goal to reinvent ourselves?

The first chapter talks about being truthful with ourselves as the absolute first step to reinvention.. If we refuse or are unable to admit our lives need changing then we won't be in right mindset to do the work needed.

In the back of your book, you outline your Next Level Life Plan that can be photocopied and used as a vision board. Would you tell us more about that?

 So the Next Level Life Plan is just a graphic organizer of all the mindset shifts and action steps outlined in the book. Readers can photocopy this and begin to fill it in with their own information to personalize it and help them focus, in the same way a vision board does

What’s next for you?

Working on my next book for December 2022.


Thursday, December 16, 2021

📖Authors To Watch: JD Wise Author of NOMOPHOBIA @pumpupyourbook #authorstowatch

JD Wise is a West Virginian-born author who believes that the world can be changed for the better, by one person, one time, doing the right thing.

“Just think what would happen if we all did that,” said Wise.

Wise is happily married to the love of his life. Together, they have four wonderful children, who are the true inspiration for the book.

Nomophobia is his latest children’s book.

Visit him on Instagram and Facebook.


This is a somewhat true, mostly exaggerated story of modern-day children – children who have spent way too much time on their phones. One night the children are mysteriously turned into ogres. At first the children blame each other for their condition. When they finished blaming each other, they worked together to find a cure. They searched the house for a cure…but they could not find one. They tried to wash the ogre off…but it stayed on.

They had all but given up when sissy’s phone accidently falls into the fish tank. When the phone gets wet, a hidden message appears: YOU WERE TURNED INTO OGRES, BECAUSE ON THE PHONE YOU DID STAY! NOW, PUT IT AWAY AND GO OUT AND PLAY!

So the children rushed outside, where they returned to normal. That day the children learned a valuable lesson. OVERUSED CELL PHONES TURN CHILDREN INTO OGRES.


“I absolutely love this book!! This is the perfect book to inspire your kids (or grandkids) to set down their phones. There is so much more to life than just a screen. I am a cell phone addict myself, this book encourages me to stop and smell the roses.” – Amazing Supermom, Amazon

is available at:

Monday, December 13, 2021

📖Authors To Watch: Maria J. Andrade Author of Defiance and Redemption @andradeauthor @pumpupyourbook #authorstowatch #interview



Maria J. Andrade
 was born in Ecuador, South America, and raised in New York and California. She has a bachelor of arts degree in English literature and a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. As a licensed therapist and writer, Maria has been diving into other people’s minds and her own, through dreams, poetry, and books for over three decades. She traveled with the Four Winds Society where she studied and was initiated into Andean shamanism in 1990.

Before Maria retired as a therapist, she specialized in women’s issues and founded the Wise Women’s Circle a ritualistic and transpersonal study group that continues today. The women support each other through life’s challenges and in the growth of mind, body, and spirit.

Maria Andrade’s books for children and adults is found in a variety of genres. This is an unforgettable first novel that reflects her imagination and creative storytelling.

Defiance and Redemption is her latest release.

Visit her website at www.booksasfriends.com or connect with her on FacebookTwitter and Goodreads.


Based on a true story, Defiance and Redemption, A Lifetime of Unbroken Bonds, brings to life the joys, dramas, and triumphs of two sisters, Eva and Victoria Alisio and their loyal friend Marta. The sisters are raised by their atheist Grandfather Marcus and religious Grandmother Maria Luisa. Eva, a proud and strong-willed young woman defies her family, society, and culture, faces scandal and disgrace, for her forbidden love affair. Victoria finds herself in the center of a multigenerational conflict as her benefactor bestows a great inheritance on her excluding the rightful heirs. Marta, loyal to the childhood bond with the Alisio sisters, brings humor and support to their twists and turns of fortune. The young women’s bond of love, and perseverance, carries them through ordinary and extraordinary losses, triumphs, and ultimately to their destiny in the United States.

An important novel about 20th Century women, Defiance and Redemption, is an absorbing epic that moves through decades and destinies. It blends personal and historical events into a collective tale of self-determination, love, and sisterhood.

We welcome you to My Bookish Pleasures! Can you tell us how you got started writing fiction?

I started over twenty-five years ago when I wrote an eco-social story for children about a young bird named, “Youngen,” who lacks self-confidence and is invited to go on a journey with her owl caretaker, Rufus. The little bird is urged by her mentor to go on an “adventure” to find her unique song. This pulls her out of a lackluster

world and takes her on a journey of self-discovery but more, it teaches her that she is held in a loving web of life where all possibilities exist, and hope is alive. 


I also created the audio version of the story, Youngen Finds Her Song, An Inspiring Adventure from the Heart of Nature. The audio brought the book to life with exciting sound effects, music, and the voices of birds and insects who discuss their views about aging, war and peace, the human species, and many of the wonders of nature. I was able to make an audio to place inside the book’s cover so families could scan it with their phones and hear the book.  

At that time, I was a licensed Marriage, Family, Child, Therapist, and I did this to give kids a hopeful story about healing and improving self-esteem. I also wanted to focus on the power of friendship and the awesomeness of the natural world. This book has been loved by kids, parents, and grandparents, for over two decades and I am so pleased about that! It is one of five books of fiction I wrote for children. I sent many of those books to the Starlight Foundation and St. Jude Hospital which help children fight life-threatening illnesses. 

I also wrote several fiction books for adults which you can see on my website: www.booksasfriends.com 

Describe your writing process. Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? When and where do you write?

I write when I get an inspirational idea. I may wake up with such an idea or it appears like a full-blown dream when I am awake. I write on my computer looking out on my garden or on my patio which is well described by Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poem, “Renascence,” All I could see from where I stood/ Was three long mountains and a wood.

Can you tell us about your most recent release?

This is my first fiction novel entitled, Defiance and Redemption, A Lifetime of Unbroken Bonds. I translated it into Spanish to honor my culture and for a larger readership.  After all, the story takes place in 20th Century Ecuador, South America! Here is a short description:

Based on a true story, Defiance and Redemption, A Lifetime of Unbroken Bonds, brings to life the joys, dramas, and triumphs of two sisters, Eva and Victoria Alisio, and their loyal friend Marta. Eva, a proud and strong-willed young woman defies her family, society, and culture, faces scandal and disgrace, for her forbidden love affair. Victoria finds herself in the center of a multigenerational conflict as her benefactor bestows a great inheritance on her excluding the rightful heirs. Marta, loyal to the childhood bond with the Alisio sisters, brings humor and support to their twists and turns of fortune. The strong bond between them helps them overcome their life’s challenges and forge ahead to discover a new world of opportunities in America!

An important novel about 20th Century women, Defiance and Redemption, A Lifetime of Unbroken Bonds is an absorbing epic that moves through decades and destinies. It blends personal and historical events into a collective tale of self-determination, love, and sisterhood.

How did you get the idea for the book?

My sister and I had heard the story of our parent’s love affair all our lives. So, I wanted to write about that love story. Their love for each other lasted a lifetime, and yet there were lessons learned from these soul mates who didn’t stay together.

I also witnessed the sisterhood of three women in my family that also lasted a lifetime. These three women, my mother, my aunt, and my godmother, had a close bond for over eighty years, longer than most marriages! How they became close in childhood and what they went through in young adulthood were fascinating dramas that I felt had to be told. The three women overcame personal challenges because of that mutual support. When things were toughest, they had each other, and this helped them get through their circumstances. Those dramas filled with humor, romance, scandal, and redemption, are why reviewers call the book a page-turner.

Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?

I love the three major female characters in the story, but of course, my favorite is the protagonist Eva, based on my own mother’s character and the true events in her life.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?

I think the editing and translating I had to do in two languages. I had completed the English version that entailed 77,000 words. I then translated the story into Spanish. A few days I went through the editing process in English. After that, the Spanish editor checked my translation and grammar. It was a daunting process!

What projects are you currently working on?

I am working on a book for children about going to Dreamland. I will also be sharing my personal life journey told through dreams and poetry. Wish me luck!

What advice would you offer to new or aspiring fiction authors?

There were poets in my novel whose estates I could not contact for permission to use their work. I was able to get around that creatively but even fiction may contain information that has to be researched and permission granted if another author’s work is used. As writers that is our legal and moral responsibility and takes some effort.

Other than this, I think my advice to other authors is to believe in your work and write and re-write until you have your story at a level you feel is your best. You will need to have it edited so be patient, because you will write and re-write again. Hang in there! Every step from writing to publishing requires your patience and determination. If you believe in your story, you will need help, to get it out there. This where the work of people like Dorothy Thompson and others such as yourself, who love books and communicate with readers is so important!

The public won’t know your work as an author exists unless you find a place for them to find it. I also think you need to get away from writing and the sitting lifestyle. Get outside, get some sun. Play with your child or your pet, enjoy your partner, your friends! Then in the moments when you are alone or meditating, or daydreaming, in the moment when you least expect it, an idea may visit you and demand you put it on a page.

I want to thank My Bookish Pleasures for inviting me to your site. I hope it was as enjoyable for you as it has been for me!

Monday, December 6, 2021

🎈Authors To Watch🎈CT Liotta Author of NO GOOD ABOUT GOODBYE @ctliotta @pumpupyourbook #authorstowatch #interview



CT Liotta
 was born and raised in West Virginia before moving to Ohio for college, where he majored in Biology. He now uses Philadelphia as his base of operations. You can find him backpacking all over the world.

Liotta takes interest in writing, travel, personal finance, and sociology. He likes vintage airlines and aircraft, politics, news, foreign affairs, '40s pulp and film noir. He doesn't fear math or science, and is always up for Indian food. His favorite candy bar used to be Snickers, but lately it's been 3 Musketeers. He isn't sure why.

He is author of Relic of the Damned!Death in the City of Dreams and Treason on the Barbary Coast!

No Good About Goodbye is his latest book.

Visit him on the web at https://www.ctliotta.com.

Sign up for Liotta’s newsletter at https://ctliotta.substack.com.

Fifteen-year-old Ian Racalmuto’s life is in ruins after an embassy raid in Algiers. His mother, a vodka-drunk spy, is dead. His brother, a diplomat, has vanished. And, he’s lost a cremation urn containing a smartphone that could destroy the world.

Forced to live with his cantankerous grandfather in Philadelphia, Ian has seven days to find his brother and secure the phone—all while adjusting to life in a troubled urban school and dodging assassins sent to kill him.

Ian finds an ally in William Xiang, an undocumented immigrant grappling with poverty, a strict family, and abusive classmates. They make a formidable team, but when Ian’s feelings toward Will grow, bombs, bullets and crazed bounty hunters don’t hold a candle to his fear of his friend finding out. Will it wreck their relationship, roll up their mission, and derail a heist they’ve planned at the State Department?

Like a dime store pulp adventure of the past, No Good About Goodbye is an incautious, funny, coming-of-age tale for mature teens and adult readers. 308p.

“So many treats are in store for the discerning reader of CT Liotta’s brilliant YA novel NO GOOD ABOUT GOODBYE. There’s a diverse array of multi-racial/cultural characters, organized criminals with complex political goals underway, and keystone-cop humor/blunders often sparking from the evergreen enchantment of a push-pull romance between two young people, neither of whom have yet decided to identify as ‘gay.’ Rich with often realistically crude boy lingo, NO GOOD ABOUT GOODBYE is an utterly charming teenage LGBTQ falling-in-love adventure while simultaneously rocking an international crime storyline.” – C.S. Holmes, IndieReader

★★★★★ “Sharply observed and sarcastic as hell, CT Liotta’s debut is the gay teenage spy thriller we have long needed.” -Matt Harry, author of Superkid and Sorcery for Beginners.

★★★★★ I found this YA spy novel to be an utter delight! Fast-paced and witty, we traverse the globe with Ian, who just lost his mother and is charged with stopping a war with China. All the while he’s 15, enrolled in a High School from hell in Philadelphia and struggling with his identity. The author offers his own particular take on the importance of friendship and found family. He also very cleverly features different viewpoints, so the reading experience never feels stale. Honestly, I did not know what to expect going into this story – I however finished it converted into a fan! – Thomas S., Netgalley

We welcome you to My Bookish Pleasures! Can you tell us how you got started writing fiction?

Thank you for having me!

Whether writing LGBT young adult spy novels like No Good About Goodbye or journaling for my travel & opinion newsletter, The Bag May Not Inflate, writing gives structure to the clanging, banging thoughts in my head.

My late father, the son of a night-shift steelworker in Pittsburgh, was a gifted storyteller. He never wrote a novel, but he had an innate sense that the way a story was told was as important as the story itself. At bedtime he’d sit between me and my brother, drag out all our stuffed animals, and improvise stories. They never had a plot or made sense, but they were magnificent, and even a little edgy.

I would practice storytelling with my friends at school in rural West Virginia and discovered fiction had power. Fiction could frame ideas and feelings as idiotic or saintly, help me empathize with people unlike me, or chew over problems.

Of course, this concept is as old as homo erectus, the advent of fire, and cave wall paintings, but it was new to me at the time. It helped to have parents who not only encouraged creativity, but were creative role-models, themselves.

Describe your writing process. Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? When and where do you write?

When I write by the seat of my pants, I can come up with amazing scenarios not unlike my dad’s stuffed animal puppet shows. I can’t combine them into a coherent narrative, however. For that, I need to outline.

Many people hate outlining. I find it to be like any other creative endeavor. It takes about 20 minutes to settle into a rhythm before the creative gates open. Then, it’s as enjoyable as anything else.

One of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t develop a story Bible for No Good About Goodbye and its potential sequels. I have great ideas for a second book in a series of young adult spy thrillers, but no idea what I’ll do for a third. That isn’t good.

Look at the Star Wars trilogy that started with The Force Awakens, or the Daniel Craig James Bond series. They’d have been stronger if the writers knew where they were going from jump. Instead, they’re like grade-school progressive stories with awkward transitions and retconned facts.

As far as where I like to write, I like to write as I travel the world—to find a coffee house with WiFi at some far-flung location, and settle in.

Can you tell us about your most recent release?

I mixed the tropes of LGBTQ+ YA books with a teen & young adult spy story. 15-year-old Ian Racalmuto loses his mom, a vodka-drunk spy, in a coup overseas. He relocates against his will to his grandfather’s house in Philly, where he has 7 days to find a top-secret smartphone as his mom’s killers resurface. Fear of death, however, doesn’t come close to Ian’s fear of his best friend finding out he has a crush on him.

As I tell my 9-year-old nephew while having him pour two fingers of Johnny Walker Black in my morning coffee, “it’s gay as hell and funny as f**k.”

I’m kidding. I prefer Grand Marnier in my coffee. I pour Johnnie Walker Black on my cornflakes. Plan your purchase accordingly—especially if you’re a middle school librarian.

What do you think teen and young adult readers want from a book? Who’s your audience?

I don’t see teen and YA readers as a homogenous group. They all want different things. 

The readership of teen fiction from traditional publishers will look like the people selecting and editing the books. Highly educated mostly white progressive women clustered in the Northeast comprise 75% of publishing. I’d therefore surmise most YA fiction readers are women and girls who share those values. What surprises me is that something like 50% of YA readers are adults in their 20s and 30s.

Adventure and YA spy books for boys drop off after mid-grade, while the YA readers and writers who remain have massive Twitter arguments about who should write about whom and how. It fascinates me, because when someone like Scott McEwan pops up with a blimpish conservative YA book for boys like Camp Valor, nobody in the liberal YA ecosystem even acknowledges it. Instead, they eviscerate Amélie Wen Zhao on Goodreads for using the words “tawny” and “bronze” in a book that’s better written and more thoughtful.

The future of publishing may well be micropublishing—writing to very specific niche market segments that exist in isolation.

I wrote No Good About Goodbye at mid-life to my 14 year-old self and anybody else who wants to come along for the ride, rather than to a broad audience. “Who’s going to read it?” Who knows? Who’s going to read Amish romance?

Where does your book fit with other LGBT YA books?

Women write most MM YA books for audiences of women and girls—a fact I find both disappointing and confusing. The prototypical gay boy many of them write about is de-fanged: non-toxic, plucky, sensitive, scared, and emotional. Either that or he’s troubled, homeless, beaten, and ignored, and in need of a platonic girlfriend. 

Maybe women who read LGBT YA books centering gay boys are sick of cishet boys with their toxic masculinity and love of sports. Or, maybe fist-throwing gay boys are playing Gears of War and don’t buy LGBTQ+ young adult novels. 

Either way, it’s a strange dynamic. Why are young women and girls so fascinated by stories of boys becoming lovers? And where does it leave gay kids who go deer hunting with their dads, or dream of winning a Super Bowl ring? As a rural teen, I learned how to shoot guns and fly Cessnas. I had an offensive sense of humor, an abundance of self-confidence, and good friends, but I didn’t know what the hell to do about being gay, or where it might carry me. It was scary, but hardly the same experience as an at-risk gay kid living in the margins and teetering on homelessness, or a sassy sasspot wanting an enemies-to-lovers romance with Prince William.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book? Do you have any advice for young writers?

When you begin writing, especially teen and young adult fiction, you’re inundated with missives and screeds and tweets about who has license to write and how people need to “stay in their lanes.” It’s often tied to a judgment about whether a person is good or bad, enemy or ally.

Most of us want to be good, fair people—or at least seen that way. It’s not uncommon to ask, “why should I bother writing?” or worse, “should I cancel my project so someone else can write?”

As Kwame Anthony Appiah once said, however, “you can’t predict the effect of a self-denying ordinance.” Just because you step aside doesn’t mean someone more deserving will step in. 

I realized with rapidity that I wasn’t simply outside my lane, but upside-down in a ditch, waiting for someone to extricate me with the jaws of life. It didn’t stop me.

So, write! Write whatever you want as often as you want, however you can. You may not get things right, but simply trying to understand people and situations different from you and yours generates a higher level of empathy than sitting in your bedroom restricting yourself to autofiction.

Finally, a quick plug: if you’re concerned about what people will say about writing “outside your lane,” grab a copy of Writing the Other by Cynthia Ward and Nisi Shawl. It’s an old-but-wonderful introduction to help writers write more fairly and a fearlessly.

What are your hopes for NO GOOD ABOUT GOODBYE?

They aren’t super-high, to be honest. It’s been fairly-well ignored on the galley services and has received few giveaway requests compared to the books surrounding it. Traditional YA readers hate the cover, and the giveaways haven’t generated tons of engagement, so it’s hardly buzz-worthy. I’m glad I have a day job.

But, whatever. I love the way the book turned out. The people who like it seem to like it for all the right reasons, and I don’t mind upsetting the people who don’t like it. I hope it ruins their day, in fact. Maybe it will be a slow burn. And, if it reaches just one person who connects with it as I would have at 14, I’ll have done my job.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

🎈Authors To Watch🎈John Neral Author of YOUR MID-CAREER GPS @john_neral @pumpupyourbook #authorstowatch #interview



John Neral, MA, CPC reawakens, energizes, galvanizes, and innovates the mind think of employees, corporations, associations, and systems. A celebrated executive/career and professional development coach and in-demand, mindset-shifting public speaker, John’s professional walk included a 25-year career in education and a longstanding corporate consultant for Fortune 500 giant, Casio America, Inc. He now leads John Neral Coaching, LLC, one of the most progressive, mindset-shifting professional and organizational coaching and public speaking firms in the U.S. He is the author of Your Mid-Career GPS – Four Steps to Figuring Out What’s Next and SHOW UP – Six Strategies to Lead a More Energetic and Impactful Career and the host of “The Mid-Career GPS Podcast.”

As a Master Practitioner in the Energy Leadership Index, John’s experience has made him an impactful and valuable coach to his one-on-one and group coaching clients and organizations. With Energy Leadership™, John identifies where people perform at their optimal levels and when they are under stress. Combining the Energy Leadership™ principles, a client’s workplace strengths, and their “unique professional value,” John helps his clients create their career GPS so they can take action toward achieving their professional and personal goals.

A former church organ prodigy, John is an avid traveler–having sojourned to 5 of the 7 continents, a professional bowler and the winner of a Professional Bowlers’ Association Regional Title (2010), and a game-show fan, having appeared on previous episodes of GSN’s Chain Reaction and Make My Day. John is happily married and lives with his spouse and their rescue cat, Amy Farrah Meowler (named after the Big Bang Theory character), in the heart of Washington DC’s Dulles Technology Corridor, Tysons Corner, VA.

You can visit his website at https://johnneral.com or follow him at TwitterFacebook and Goodreads.

Are you considering a career change but doubt yourself or get easily overwhelmed by the entire process?

Are you a mid-career professional ready to level-up, but unsure of what steps to take?

What if there was an easy and supportive way to plan your next career destination?

Your Mid-Career GPS will guide you to create your own professional roadmap so you can find the job you love or love the job have. John Neral, Certified Professional Coach, will help you strategically position yourself in the marketplace while teaching you how to leverage your unique skills from a place of value and service for any organization.

Learn how to prepare, position, and promote yourself as you create a tactical and strategic plan by building Your Mid-Career GPS. Let this book be your guide to answer many of the current questions you have about creating your next advancement opportunity.


“This book is for those of you who feel like you know everything and nothing about what’s next, you can’t fathom writing yet another cover letter, and you wonder “why bother” when it comes to updating your résumé. If you are feeling alone on this journey, bring this book, and all of the insight and tools it contains, along with you. You will have John’s company along the path and you will be one step closer to finding your way!”–Natalie Siston, Best-selling author of Let Her Out: Reclaim Who You Have Always Been and Founder, Small Town Leadership

“John expertly guides readers through the trials, tribulations, and common pitfalls of mid-career professionals and managers. He also provides information on the effective career strategies and mindset needed to be successful. This book is a must read if you are looking for professional support and could use a career GPS! — Porschia Parker Griffin
Founder and CEO of Fly-High Coaching Millennial Coaching Institute

“LinkedIn is the most powerful tool to help you network, build professional relationships, learn, search for jobs, and much more. I always say if you are not on LinkedIn you might be left out. Your Mid-Career GPS provides valuable tips and guidance to help you navigate LinkedIn and start growing your network and create your next advancement opportunity.”— Rhonda L. SherLinkedIn Specialist, Author, Speaker

“I picked up this latest book after enjoying John Neral’s previous book, SHOW UP – Six Strategies to Lead a More Energetic and Impactful Career. In Your Mid-Career GPS, John Neral provides clear, actionable steps to put his six strategies into play quickly and effectively. I really enjoyed his conversational writing style as well. As a mid-career professional, I love that my cohort is the focus of his attention and expertise. He demonstrates throughout the book that he knows the benefits mid-career professionals bring to an organization and his thoughtful observations and exercises will help anyone define their professional value and market not only their skills but themselves. Reading and employing the strategies in this book can position you to be a more valuable resource to your current employer or challenge you to spread your wings and find your next, great career opportunity. The underlying message is one of empowerment and encouragement and that’s a message everyone can benefit from.”Victoria A. Bourgeois

Welcome to My Bookish Pleasures. We would love to get to know you and your book! When did you begin writing?

I began writing about 20 years ago in my professional career, first as a mathematics specialist, and then launched my coaching practice full-time in 2018. I’ve always enjoyed writing growing up but would gravitate toward more journal writing than research papers and such.

Describe your writing process. When and where do you write?

I always start with a massive Excel spreadsheet! I use that spreadsheet to capture all of my ideas. Then, I start sorting and organizing those ideas into columns that eventually become the chapters. Once I’ve mapped all of those ideas out, I began organizing each column into how I wanted to tell that chapter’s story. As a start writing, I change the column of that cell’s topic to green once I’ve written it and am happy with it for now in the writing process. Yellow means that it’s in progress but not finished. No color means that I haven’t started it yet. Once the column is all green, I close that chapter until I send it to my editor.

I worked with a book coach on Your Mid-Career GPS, and Andrea Seydel from Live Life Happy Publishing helped me fine-tune my process to map all of these ideas out to best see them on the spreadsheet to start writing.

I wrote in the evenings and on the weekends. I’m not a morning person and like to get into my day before I start writing. I also used the voice dictation feature on my computer this time. While it allowed me to get my ideas down more quickly, I’m not sure I would do that again. For me, there is something about slowing down and typing the words that I like better.

Can you tell us about your most recent release?

Your Mid-Career GPS – Four Steps to Figuring Out What’s Next will help my readers find a job they love or love the job they have. Mid-career is a dynamic time. While your career is progressing and advancing, you also have to deal with life events, maybe a growing family, taking care of elderly parents, etc. So, when you think you need to find a new job, you may be wondering how you will get that done amidst everything else. That’s where my book will help you. I walk my reader through my four-step process that will help you strategically position yourself in the marketplace and help you take care of all of the logistics like your resume and LinkedIn, along with great networking and interviewing tips.

How did you get the idea for the book?

I got the idea to write this book from my clients. As my business grew, I met more and more mid-career professionals who weren’t happy or satisfied in their jobs. They wanted something more but weren’t sure how to go after it. I wanted to write a book that would help mid-career professionals navigate their career path competently and confidently find that next job or create their next advancement opportunity.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?

My most challenging aspect was the pandemic. Things changed quite a bit while writing this book, given the lens the pandemic provided. Work has changed. Values have become clearer. People learned how to work remotely, and companies found out they could still be productive and keep everyone safe. It’s been a challenging time for certain, and I wanted to make sure that the book honored this time in our lives and careers.

Do you find it easier to write nonfiction?

Yes. My hat is off to all of the fiction writers out there. I love how they tell their stories in that way.

Do you have plans to write fiction?

I do not. I’m going to leave that to the experts.

What projects are you currently working on?

I’m working on growing the public speaking side of my business and looking to workshop or keynote at various companies, colleges, and universities. I don’t have any immediate plans to write another book, but there may be an online course in my future.

What advice would you offer to new or aspiring nonfiction authors?

You have a message and someone needs to hear it. If your book can help one person because of your experiences and insights, share it with the world. You have the power to impact someone’s life for the better. Share your story.