ABOUT REAL MEN
Real Men is a book about the plight of males over the last century, how they have become displaced by the changes in our society and lost of a distinct role.
Over the past few decades something is seriously shifting in the way men are operating within our society. Men are no longer the undisputed heads of the household or the family. Women have equal rights under the law and can compete against men for some of the better and higher paying jobs. Without a decided edge men are loosing their “king of the hill” status. Something must be done to at least redefine the role men should play. Whatever that role eventually becomes men will most certainly need to make adjustments from the way things were done in the past.
Hi Greg Middleton,
Welcome to Paperback Writer.
Q: Would you share with us how you came up with the idea for your book?
A: Basically I saw a need and a deficiency in society. I was able to recognize this need because of my personal experiences along with the experiences of most of the males that I knew. Most men aren’t taught what it means to be a “real man.” Most of the roles we are expected to fill aren’t taught to us. We learn to become fathers by producing a child and learning on the job how to be a father to that child. You learn by doing and that is not good. With little to no parenting skills we must learn on our own how to become better at parenting. Many men don’t even have the role model or a good father that mirrored what a good father should be.
Men in general are not that expressive about emotional things so sharing their feelings about how to do something is not the usual procedure. Part of the problem is men learning how to express emotions all together. This not only affects our parenting skills, but also how we communicate with our female mates. So many marriages end up in divorce simply because the parties have no idea what marriage (mainly males) really means other than having regular sex and coming home to a set location. How to be married is something that most people have to learn by doing. In essence most of the things we need to know or learn are done on the job and that is why more than 50% of marriages end up in divorce. My book addresses the male role and what a “real man” is opposed to the image that is portrayed through the media.
Q: Was it a light bulb moment or something that you thought about for a very long time?
A: It was something that I thought about for many years mainly because of being married over 25 years and struggling through learning how to make things work. I had to learn what women mean when they say what they say, what they want regardless to what they actually communicate, how emotions guide their beings regardless of what is said or done, and overall how different females are from males. This was a very long and sometimes painful lesson. Having survived and still married, I learned a lot of things that I think men need to learn. That is what I share in the book. I also realize that maturity usually come with experience, not education. I believe that knowledge is power so once you become aware (knowledge) you may choose to utilize it. I wish I had this information earlier in my marriage. I wish someone had pulled my coat and told me a few things about marriage, fatherhood, commitment, responsibility, leadership, mentoring and the like.
Q: How did you come up with the title?
A: “Real Men, What’s Happening with our Males?” The title asks a question but it implies two questions. What is a “real man?” What we grew up thinking a real man was, more than likely was different from what it became in reality. The qualities that a real man needs to have were not really drilled into most males. Men need to learn responsibility, commitment, reliability, moral character, fatherhood, how to be in committed relationships, how to relate with females, how to be the leader over others in the family, and the like. The title asks the question, “What is happing with our males” because somehow they are not learning the skills they need in order to become reliable and responsible men that others can rely and depend upon. I also address some of the things that are happening with young males and the need to mentor them. They are chasing false images that do not match real life situations and circumstances: All this lead to the title and the contents of the book.
Q: How did you find an agent and publisher?
A: For the last ten plus years I have tried to find a publisher that would recognize my writings. Since I could not find a mainline publisher I decided to self-publish and to this date I continue to self-publish. I find the world of book publishing and promoting to be quite challenging and have yet to find an agent. I can see value in having an agent that knows the business. Finding the right agent is an ongoing mission of mine. That is something I need to place higher on my to-do list.
Q: Who reads your work in progress?
A: I have a few friends who know me and have followed me over the years. I belong to several men’s groups and networking groups. I am a public speaker and have a network of friends who are similar that read my material and hear my speeches. I also have an editor who knows most of my material. In addition I hire professional editors to edit my finished manuscripts before I publish. Since I write in the spiritual and self-help genres my contacts are limited to people who cater to such information. I do have a following of a few people who know my work. They are my readers. I am also a spiritual advisor to several and teach classes and bible studies on a regular basis. I lead a men’s organization called Real Men Seminars, an organization dedicated to dealing with the most common problems that most males face. This group reads my material. For about five years I have been gathering groups of males in this capacity and developing a following.
Q: Who made a difference in the book’s quality?
A: In my research to write a book as such I do speak with a number of males of various ages, economic stature, faiths, and other differences. Since I work with men on a regular basis I solicit their opinions by way of gathering their experiences in dealing with life’s issues. Some of the material in my book was gathered from real people in real life. I also did some research regarding certain statistics that are public knowledge. Perhaps the biggest difference came from my own personal experiences as a father, son, brother, husband, friend and many of the other male roles that I have played over six decades now. Many people were my teachers, but they come from life itself. Perhaps it would be correct to say that “life” made the difference in the quality of this book. It was through the reflection of people in general that made a difference in this book.
Q: How long did it take you to complete the first draft?
A: I think I am unusual in this respect, but I usually write my first draft for this type of book in about three to four weeks. I usually re-write two or three times after the first draft in order to make sure that I say what I want to say. This type of material comes out in one piece fairly close to what it ends up in the finish version. I have completed nearly 90 manuscripts to date. When an idea or concept for a book comes to me I write until I finish the message. Usually I do not have a problem coming up with my material. I usually have more of a problem forcing my mind to shut down so I can rest the brain. I usually write about eight to ten hours throughout the day once I am on a roll, and/or night until the message is out of my head. After writing so many manuscripts it becomes easier and easier because I know when and how my muse works. I write more from conversational style. When I know a topic I can almost speak it. My challenge is to type as fast as I think.
Q: How long did it take from start to publication?
A: With this book it took about four months because this particular book was written to go along with my Real Men Seminar business. I already had most of the material collected so I only needed to address the chapters and topics that I felt would enhance the purpose of writing this book. Most of the material in the book is what we speak about in our seminars and in our group meetings. Once I made my mind up to set up the seminar business the book wrote itself. I have already started book tow of this series because the male shifting of the male role is an ongoing project. The more we speak with various males the more we accumulate various opinions and comments that we feel are worthy of sharing. Inside six months I completed this particular book from the initial idea to the finished printed book being in my hand.
Q: Do you have any advice for new authors?
A: For writers who write non-fiction I would suggest that you know your subject matter to the point that you could speak it in a conversation with someone fluently. With this book I do not try to remember what I wrote because it comes from what I have experienced or know to be true. I see a need that I would like to fill. I understand things that I am not sure if everyone understands. I believe in sharing my ideas and encouraging others to share and express their views on a particular topic. Writers must feel free to share their views even if they are contrary to the masses. In dealing with spiritual matters there are also superior muses that comes into the picture. If you write in the spiritual genre I suggest that you communicate closely with the spirit that inspires you. Follow your muse.
Thank you, Greg Middleton for stopping by Paperback Writer on your virtual book tour. I wish you continued success through the rest of you tour.
ABOUT THE AUTHORWriting came to this author totally by surprise. God planted an urge in Greg to search for Him during the fall of 1999. That search led to a constant reading appetite of various spiritual, religious, inspirational, and even metaphysical subjects. After reading so much material he began taking notes of his many late night sessions in order to remember what he was learning. He later began expressing his personal views of what he was digesting and recorded it in his journal. This collection of notes became the pages of his first book, In Search of the Soul. It was published in 2002 by Dorrance Publishing Company.
From his first book Greg continued to read and record his thoughts and opinions as they were developing. Since that first book he has been writing feverishly ever since. His second book Pearls of Wisdom, was published in 2003 by GEM Publications. Cold Tree Press published his third book, Food for the Soul in early 2005. His goal is to get as many of his completed works as possible into the hands of the readers whom they were intended to inspire.
In addition to being a writer, Greg is also a professional musician, Realtor, and a Professional Seminar Speaker. He and his wife Cynthia make their “Empty Nest” home in Altadena, California, and are ready to start on Phase Two, enjoying the grandchildren. Be on the lookout for more works from this prolific writer in the years to come.
You can find Greg online at www.gregemiddleton.com. For more information about Real Men and Real Men Seminars, please visit http://realmenseminars.com/