A Decade: Rethinking the Meaning of Life (Author Interview)

A Decade: Rethinking the Meaning of Life, looks like a great motivational/life experience book.  Any plans to make this into a series or write similar books? 

We are currently working on a series of kids’ books and adult comic books, both revolving around the life and adventures of Chris Sheeply.  Chris Sheeply is the character on the cover of the book; sitting on the tree stump with the light bulb over his head. We are very excited with what we have in the pipeline for the kids’ book series and the comics. There is also a plan to create a few more poem books that will be entirely different from the content and theme of this book.

What do you think makes a great motivational book?

A book that is unapologetic. Something that makes you consider new ways of thinking and gets you to question the way you've been doing things. Life is all about the experience. As Morpheus says to Neo, "There's a difference between knowing the path and walking the path." I think it is important to encourage people to think outside the box. You may not like what someone has to say, but when you consider new possibilities, there are no limits to what you can accomplish. One reason I wrote and published this book was to reach not only others with thoughts and feelings similar to my own, but also to people who are questioning the meaning of life. I know not everyone has a great support system to help get them to where they want and need to be, but I hope this book can serve as a guide for those that need it most. Even though change can only happen from within each one of us, it's always nice to know that you aren't alone in the world.

What inspired you when writing A Decade: Rethinking the Meaning of Life?

Short answer, Truth and Knowledge. The funny thing is I never liked school. I hated being forced to read and learn things that didn't interest me. What I realized as I got older, wiser and dropped out of college in 2006, was that I really liked to learn, and the REAL purpose of formal schooling was to condition me to be someone I wasn't. I was being trained to work for some corporation and completing school with a 'diploma' or 'degree' was no more than a work permit to show that I was eligible for employment. So, I started to read a ton of books about a variety of different topics and watch documentary after documentary, that would challenge my existing worldview and what was taught to me growing up and throughout my schooling years. Having your beliefs and your way of doing things challenged at the deepest level is a very difficult and painstaking process, but I wouldn't change it for the world and these poems are my journey through that transition.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?  Full-time?  Part-time?

While I was organizing my book and working with various illustrators for publication, I started my very own publishing company.  I understood early on how important it was to have full control over the content and stories I wanted to share with the world. Starting my own publishing company gave me a platform to do just that. Short answer, I plan to write full-time. I am still in the transition process, but I hope to gain enough traction with the different projects I have planned to make writing a part of everyday life.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I can't pinpoint a specific timeframe when I said, "Hey, I'm a writer now," but I have always enjoyed drawing and telling stories from as early as the first grade. I spent most of my free time drawing pictures and comics throughout grade school into junior high. I guess my passion for writing became apparent during my junior year in high school. I am grateful to my Uncle John for spending time with me that year as I worked on my writing assignments. Even though it seemed like a grueling task, he helped me develop my own writing style and I ran with it. Writing suddenly became something I enjoyed and no longer felt like a chore. After a year of writing papers with my uncle's guidance, I'll always be sure to have a dictionary and thesaurus close by.

When writing A Decade: Rethinking the Meaning of Life did anything stand out as particularly challenging?

The only real challenging thing I can think of was being entirely satisfied with what I wrote. I knew the poems made sense to me, but my biggest concern was will it make sense to the reader. Because of this concern, I took some time to build up the courage to publish this book. Even though the poems were written nearly ten years ago, I'd say 99 percent of the words in the poems have remained unchanged since I originally wrote them. That I didn't have to go back and change what I had thought and written means I can honestly say I'm happy with the end result, no matter how the book may be perceived in the end.

What do you like to do when not writing?

I am always looking to expand my knowledge base, so I do a lot of research reading books, visiting websites, watching lectures, documentaries, and listening to speaker presentations and/or podcasts. I haven't had cable TV in over ten years, but I do like to download and watch animated shows like Archer, Rick and Morty, Adventure Time, South Park, Futurama and Gravity Falls. Some people may find cartoons silly, but there's a lot of truth and comedy gems in animated shows. I am also a huge fan of SciFi series like Dr. Who, the entire Stargate franchise, Farscape, The Hobbit, and Lord of the Rings, and you can't forget about the Matrix Trilogy. In my opinion, the Matrix movies are some of the best allegorical movies ever made and are far closer to reality than most would think. I also like hanging out by the pool or at the beach catching a few rays, hiking, weight lifting, bowling, darts, table tennis, poker, building and fixing computers, and listening to EDM.

How can readers discover more about you and your work?

Contact me directly or for more information about the book, including a free download, you can visit my website at thinksheeply.com. If you would like to contact someone at Sheeply Publishing, please visit our main website at sheeplypublishing.com. There you can check out our latest books, view our profiles, follow us on Twitter, subscribe to our YouTube channel and even download a free kids book.