Today’s guest is Daphne Michaels, author of the personal development/spirituality book, The Gifted: How to Live the Life Of Your Dreams. Daphne is an author, speaker and licensed psychotherapist whose institute has helped hundreds of women and men transform their lives through the "gifts" every human being is born with. Daphne began her own journey of transformation at a young age, pursued it fearlessly, and later studied formally in the fields of social science, human services and integral psychology. The Gifted: How to Live the Life of Your Dreams launches both Daphne Michaels Books and The Gifted series, whose goal it is to share with the widest audience possible the principles that guide the Daphne Michaels Institute. Daphne's earlier book, Light of Our Times, featured her conversations with such international figures in the fields of spirituality and personal development as Ram Dass, Julia Cameron, Dr. Masaru Emoto, and Thomas Moore.
Thank you for this interview, Daphne. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
Thank you for asking. I have worked with men and women of all backgrounds and personalities for over twenty-five years, guiding them to live the lives of their dreams. In addition to having a long-term psychotherapy practice, my institute offers transformational programs for people interested in living lives of endless possibility. While I have been writing since I was an adolescent, I began to write professionally about fifteen years ago.
Can you tell us briefly what your book is about?
My new book, THE GIFTED: How to Live the Life of Your Dreams is about the nine “gifts” that we are all born with. If we recognize and use these gifts, we can transform our lives forever.
Why did you choose your particular genre?
My own journey started when I was an angst-ridden adolescent. I smile today, because it was such a dramatic time in my life with classic teenage experiences. And even this was classic I’m sure, although I am still shaken today when I think of the first time I really saw the world beyond my limited scope of experience. I was devastated by what I experienced as a gut-wrenching discovery of two worlds existing side by side: the world of love and the world of despair. It was the world of despair - the fear and misery that I witnessed robbing people of the beauty in life — that propelled my journey to understand and help eradicate unnecessary suffering.
My personal journey took years and led to all sorts of experiences for which I am grateful today. After earning my degrees in human services and applied behavioral sciences, I launched my private practice in 1996 and my institute in 2001. Writing personal development books is a natural next step in my journey to take my message to as broad of an audience as possible.
What was your greatest challenge writing this book?
It is very difficult to use words alone — rather than being with another or having a two way conversation via phone or internet — to offer guidance that will really help people find greater meaning and happiness in life. Knowing that words were my only tool to use to deliver my message — and feeling such a personal need to offer my discovery of the “nine gifts” to as many people as possible, every single word, every phrase, every sentence had to be just right. I labored to make sure that my ideas were being communicated both accurately and with heart.
Are you published by a traditional house, small press or are you self-published?
THE GIFTED: How to Live the Life of Your Dreams is the first book from the Daphne Michaels Books imprint.
Was it the right choice for you?
It was absolutely the right choice for me to launch the Daphne Michaels Books imprint - for many reasons. First, it is great to be part of the personal development genre as a long tradition. Our interest in self-help and personal development is part of the American story, really. To make one’s life better — to reach one’s potential and pursue happiness was the intent of our declaration of independence. Many of the successes in the personal development genre started out as self-published authors. It is great to be launching my imprint in an era where POD publishing and ebook publishing helps one reach an even larger audience … and it’s nice, too, that this is the first year Book Expo America has invited self-published authors to exhibit and PUBLISHERS WEEKLY and other venues are featuring the best self-published books. Being part of this new era in publishing allows opportunities to help shape it. This means teaming in new ways with new people and being free to see our projects all the way from conception to publication and beyond.
How are you promoting your book thus far?
I think it is important to use an integrated marketing approach. This means getting the word out through social media, email marketing, virtual tours, and traditional advertising and publicity campaigns. It also means hand carrying books to stores that I love, scheduling speaking engagements and signings and taking every opportunity to let people know that my book is out and where it can be purchased.
How is that going for you?
My marketing approach is very right for me. It is my way of actively doing everything I can to offer my message to readers who I believe it will benefit.
Can you tell us one thing you have done that actually resulted in one or more sales?
Anytime I launch a book, I let people know. Just getting the word out is the goal.
Do you have another job besides writing?
I sure do. I am a woman which means I have several jobs, right? While I say this in jest, I believe that regardless of how much I write, having variety in work is important. In addition to writing personal development books I am a licensed psychotherapist and the director of the Daphne Michaels Institute. And I must say that being a mom is an important job that I treasure.
If you could give one book promotion tip to new authors, what would that be?
Dive in, have fun and don’t give up!
What’s next for you?
My book, The Gifted: How to Live the Life of Your Dreams is the first of a five part series. I will be busy planning my next launch!
Thank you for this interview, Daphne. Can you tell us where we can find you on the web?
Thank you, I appreciate your interest. Please visit me at www.daphnemichaels.com.
The Gifted: How to Live the Life of Your Dreams is available at Amazon.