Paperback Writer would like to welcome once again, author Jerry Pollock, who is on here to talk about his second novel, a spiritual memoir, Divinely Inspired: Spiritual Awakening of a Soul (Shechinah Third Temple, Inc., Jan 09. This is also his second tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion.
WIN A PRIZE! As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors’ blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available.
ABOUT THE BOOK!Since the beginning of time, humans have tried to understand God’s Essence. However, not even the most brilliant and enlightened minds among us can comprehend Him because simply put, “God is.” If we understood the mystery of God, then why would we need to have faith? Perhaps the best we can hope for is to recognize when we are visited by God. We then have the opportunity to bring real change and meaning to our lives. Divinely Inspired is one man’s story to lift himself out of the despair of Bipolar disorder, near suicide, migraines, anxiety, neurotic behavior, and scientific cheating to emerge on a path to God. Jerry Pollock’s transformation from a damaged and ravaged soul to merging into God’s Light, as outlined in Divinely Inspired: Spiritual Awakening of a Soul, is seen through unusual miracles of Divine intervention that initiated the author’s spiritual journey. Jerry’s climbing of the spiritual ladder is a very gradual and personal process as he tries to improve his flawed character. He comes to realize that God is the master scientist responsible for both Evolution and Creation. As his story unfolds, readers are inadvertently empowered to embark on their own spiritual journey, as best as they can, by adhering to the Creator’s original self-help plan, The Ten Commandments. The author contends that the Ten Commandments are the basis for all self-improvement. This memoir represents the author’s first steps to stand in God’s place of Holiness. His own journey of belonging to God is continued in his new novel, the Messiah Interviews, to be published in paperback form in January of 2009 along with a printing reissue second edition of Divinely Inspired.
Welcome to Paperback Writer.
Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here once again. Last month we did the Blog tour for my ‘not so fictional’ spiritual novel, Messiah Interviews: Belonging to God and this month we are doing it for my spiritual memoir, Divinely Inspired: Spiritual Awakening of a Soul. Divinely Inspired could be considered a prequel to the Messiah Interviews, but it should be read after the Messiah Interviews if your readers decide to read both titles. Both titles were recently published in January of 2009. However, Divinely Inspired is being reissued as a second edition. Without the publication of Divinely Inspired, originally in 2003, I would probably never have written the Messiah Interviews, and without Divinely Inspired the complete story could not be told from the time of germination of my seed in my mother’s womb to the present.
Would you share with us how you came up with the idea for your book?
I have to defer to God on this one, but I can’t because how can a human defer to God? That makes God sound human and none of us understands God’s essence. God is the ‘Ein Sof,’ limitless and infinite. We on the other hand our totally limited. I make this blasphemous statement because I thought I had developed a close relationship with God, even though I have never had conversations with Him and He has barely spoken to me.
In the Hebrew Bible, God tells Moses that He will offer His blessings to anyone He pleases even to a sinner who doesn’t deserve it. I am that sinner. God intervened in my life with Divine miracles and that sparked the writing of Divinely Inspired. My editor, Gail Kearns came up with the Title and I the subtitle. The Title, Divinely Inspired, is an appropriate one, as the miracles have truly divinely inspired me to begin a new journey in my twilight years. Climbing the spiritual ladder began in early 1999 after incredible miracles happened to me. There was also a special miracle, a light bulb as you describe it below, in 1982. I thought I could show the transition of an emotionally ravaged human being through mental illness to one of hope again where his darkness was displaced by light, Divine Light. I am no longer the person that I was. I have forever been changed by these spiritual experiences and God’s splendor.
I think I was supposed to write Divinely Inspired even though it was my choice to do so. The same holds true for the Messiah Interviews (my Title). You can’t refuse your Creator even though He never commanded me to write the books.
Was it a light bulb moment or something that you thought about for a very long time?
I want to include what happened in 1982 by providing an excerpt from Divinely Inspired for your readers. This will in part answer your question.
“By the late fall of 1982, I had divorced Rhea, been promoted to full professor at Stony Brook University, and was planning to marry Marcia on Christmas Eve of the following year. My life focused around Marcia, our five children, scientific research, and Primal Therapy. I was heavy into my feelings, now that the therapy was so much a part of me. For the previous year, I had recorded all of my feelings, and by the fall of 1982, I had filled up seven research laboratory notebooks with my handwriting, each book consisting of three hundred pages. There was a lot of repetition and I seemed to have reached a plateau in terms of making further progress. In an unusual display of frustration, I brought the seven notebooks to the edge of my Poquott loft and proceeded to throw all of them in one thrust onto the floor below. I felt like Moses smashing the first set of Tablets on which the Ten Commandments were inscribed. Moses had become enraged when he came down Mount Sinai and discovered that the Israelites had built the Golden Calf. The sounds of the books crashing were subdued by a loud and strong male voice that was definitely external.
I heard the words very clearly, “And you shall be Mine.” I remember being both startled and afraid, because I didn’t knew whose voice this was nor could I figure out how the voice got into my cottage. There was no bipolar disorder or manic depression back then, so I couldn’t blame the voice on the illness. It was about two weeks later when I heard the voice again. This time the words were slightly different: “And you shall have.” Could this be the true voice of God, I thought. However, I didn’t dare tell anyone what had happened, not even Marcia, until ten years later. I simply ignored these mysterious events and went on with my life, but the words of the voice never left me. Why did this happen? I had no explanation. I kept the books, recording my Primal feelings, for many additional years before dumping them in the garbage along with my three Primal Therapy textbooks. I was to discover twenty years later that I would need these books again.”
The Light bulb (Voice) in 1982 has never left me. Once I had additional spiritual experiences in late 1998, early 1999, and thereafter, the light bulb turned on and I knew that I had to write a book. For twenty-five years, I was a scientific writer, but Divinely Inspired was my first attempt as a would-be-writer of the arts. I couldn’t wait to publish my memoir. I thought who wouldn’t want to read about God’s miracles? The proper question should have been, who would want to read about a non-famous person who claims unexplainable out of world happenings? I sold few books but that did not deter me five years later from writing the Messiah Interviews and reissuing Divinely Inspired. You have to stay the course to reap the benefits even if they are not monetary rewards.
How did you come up with the title?
I think we answered this question above. There is a Hebrew term. It’s called Ruach Hakodesh, which translates as a Holy Wind. It is given to individuals who are using their intelligence and fortitude for good things in this world and will receive Divine support and guidance in their endeavors. That’s what Divinely Inspired set in motion although the Divine support came before the doing good and meaningful things. The Title sounds egoistic and there is truth to this. However, it was also meant to convey Holiness.
How did you find an agent and publisher?
I tried but could not find an agent for Divinely Inspired. Selling memoirs is only for bestselling authors the agents told me. The hell with them. I tried for a publisher as well and wound up self publishing.
Who reads your work in progress?
No one until I give it to my editor.
Who made a difference in the book’s quality?
My son-in-law Magnus who is a genius at Graphic Design did the Cover design. My editor Gail Kearns and my copyeditor Barbara Coster, who was like an editor brought out the quality of the book. That’s what editors are supposed to do.
How long did it take you to complete the first draft?
My first draft was two to three times the size of Divinely Inspired. When I showed it to my editor, her comment was, “This is not a book.” How’s that for being crushed. I’m paying her for telling me my book is crap. She was right. I chopped and chopped and reorganized and surprised her. “Now you have the potential for a book.” You are about 80% there. So with little more work, I had a second draft of Divinely Inspired and with further adjustments a final version of my memoir.
How long did it take from start to publication?
For Divinely Inspired, about six months.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Yes. You learn best when you learn yourself. The Publishers and the Distributors can get you into the chain bookstores but you can with a lot of hard work get into Independent Bookstores and Libraries. You do not lose control of your book when you have your own publishing entity. I chose to have the publishing wing of our nonprofit do the Messiah Interviews. I feel that my books will stand the test of time and will not be pushed off some bookstore shelf to make way for the next wave of new books. You have to shape destiny, not be controlled by it. I realize this is a more difficult road but there is an old saying, “Those who sow in tears reap in joy.” This is not only true for books but the struggles that we endure in this mad, mad world. If there is a book in you write it, no matter whether you publish it or not.
Thank you, Jerry for stopping by Paperback Writer on your virtual book tour. I wish you continued success through the rest of you tour.
And thank you for the chance to share. Please have your readers visit my website at www.shechinahthirdtemple.org My Blog is on the website and there is information about me and the book publicity. The 2 ½ minute movie trailer is now up and running on You Tube, Google Video, and Veoh. We hope to have an audio book for the Messiah Interviews by mid February. If I can rob a bank, I’ll do an audio book for Divinely Inspired. Take care and be well. May the Shechinah (Divine Presence) be with you.
The DIVINELY INSPIRED VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR ’09 l officially begin on February 2nd and ends on February 27th. You can visit Jerry’s blog stops at www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com in February to find out more about this great book and talented author!