Welcome to our Author Interview series.
Today we're featuring an interview with Tim Hanson-Mayer, author of How Life Is: A Search for Meaning. Our author interview series provides an opportunity for our readers to get to know our authors on a deeper level and also learn more about the types of books we're publishing.
Tim Hanson-Mayer has worked as a rehabilitation counselor, health care case manager, supervisor, analyst and author throughout his long and varied career, with a focus on assisting clients in overcoming injury and disability. He was graduated from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA and received his Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Northeastern University in Boston, MA. He has published professional articles on disability, crisis, growth, recovery and counseling relationships. In How Life Is: A Search for Meaning he has broadened his focus to explore the commonalities of our subjective life experiences, and how we both define and overcome life’s challenges.
Synopsis: How Life Is: A Search for Meaning
How Life Is: A Search for Meaning speaks directly to Hanson-Mayer’s life experiences, memories, and perceptions, as he describes the challenges we hold in common in our quest for understanding and meaning in life. He describes, questions, and shines the light of reason on our shared subjective realities, and explores such concepts as life, death, afterlife, knowledge, faith, and love, and how they intertwine to form the fabric of our lives. He does not seek agreement, but rather a shared exploration of the mysteries that life and death present in our daily lives. Beautifully written and hard to put down!
Did you learn anything from writing your book that was unexpected?
One lesson that has been reinforced to me, although I did know it from previous publishing experiences, is, simply put, how demanding the use of language is. Unless one has experienced it, it is difficult to describe how exacting it can be to write the grammatically perfect sentence, perfect chapter, or perfect book. Despite multiple reviews and multiple edits, there are, it seems, always more opportunities for improvement and revision in the search and the quest to write a perfect book. It is a goal, alas I believe, that may never be fully achieved.
Why readers should pick up your book?
How Life Is: A Search for Meaning strives to meet two major goals for the reader; the first is to describe how life is truly and subjectively experienced by the average individual; the second is to build upon these descriptions to analyze and discuss the implications for individuals who seek truth and meaning within their own lives. While we all seek meaning in life in our own ways, there are commonalities to the challenges that we face, and to the extent that we understand these commonalities, the greater will be our appreciation of life as it is presented to us.
How did your book come to life?
As someone who has worked as a professional counselor throughout my career, I have long been interested in understanding how individuals cope with life’s challenges under stressful and challenging conditions, the extent to which we all face similar struggles, and what can be learned from our common experiences. In 2003 my father died suddenly, and I was left to come to terms with the implications of death and mortality, for myself as well as for all people, as well as our planet and beyond.
I began to reflect and to write about a variety of topics relating to death, including our quest for meaning in life, the limits of knowledge, love and death, and so on, as documented in the chapter titles of my book. My goal has been to pay tribute to life, to describe it is as it is truly experienced, and to leave a legacy behind as a person who did his best to describe and to understand life as it is experienced.
What other books are most similar to yours?
I have been most strongly influenced by authors who speak directly to the human experience in ways that we recognize ourselves clearly and openly in the experience of others, and who cause us to have that revelatory experience of “yes, that is exactly what my life is like!” Books that have captured this “gotcha” moment for me are Sartre’s Nausea and The Words, Camus’ The Stranger and the essays in The Myth of Sisyphus, Henry Miller’s Black Spring, The Colossus of Maroussi and various other writings, Kafka’s The Trial and The Castle, Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, the works of Freud, Jung, R.D. Laing, and the poets Wallace Stevens and Robinson Jeffers. While these writings certainly differ from mine in terms of style, what stands out is their ability to enable to share their direct living experience with the reader.
Why do you think your readers are going to enjoy your book?
I think that readers will enjoy my book because the writing, content and style are unique, and because what I write speaks directly and clearly to the feelings, perceptions and challenges that we all share as human beings in a world we did not create, and to a great extent do not understand. I am not an advocate for any particular belief system or point of view, but rather I am a strong advocate for our common questioning, fear and doubt about what is real and important in life.
How long did it take you to write your book?
I have been working on this book for close to ten years.What are you doing to market the book? Are you using social media?
I am open to using any and all means to market my book, and to work closely with the Infinity staff to ensure that I am getting maximum value from the services that they offer. I believe that the Infinity Online Author Interview service is a great jumping off point; I also plan to establish a website and/or a blog site, to reach out to friends, family, colleagues and social media to publicize my book, including Facebook, Twitter and any other available social media.Why did you decide to publish with Infinity Publishing?
As I neared completion of this book, which I have been working on for close to ten years, I began to make inquiries to my friends who were in or associated with the publishing industry, and without exception they told me that Infinity was the leader in the self-publishing industry. I did extensive research on alternative publishers, researched their websites, and spoke with many individuals on the pros and cons of their respective companies. I conducted extensive interviews with current and past employees of Infinity, and their consistent positive feedback convinced me that they were the publisher best equipped to meet the specific needs and challenges that my book presented. I have been consistently impressed with their responsiveness, their dedication to customer service, excellence and working closely with me to ensure that the book published is the book I envisioned. The services provided have met or exceeded all of my publishing needs.
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