Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
My name is Mike Berry and my books are Confessions Of An Adoptive Parent: Hope and Help From The Trenches Of Foster Care and Adoption & Winning The Heart Of Your Child: 9 Keys To Building A Positive Lifelong Relationship With Your Kids.
What is/are the story(ies) behind your book(s)?
The Confessions book was created out of the reality that foster and adoptive parents often feel isolated, lonely, and hopeless. I wrote that book to let parents know that there is hope and you are not alone. Winning The Heart Of Your Child was written out of my experience in working with thousands of parents (particularly of teenagers) over a 17 year family ministry career previous to becoming an author.
What inspires/inspired your creativity?
I’m inspired by the many emails we receive, the conversations we have at live events, and the messages we receive over Facebook and Instagram. But mostly I’m inspired by the fact that we are former foster parents and we have adopted all 8 of our children. They inspire me daily!
How do you deal with creative block?
We change the scenery. If we are up against a wall we get in our car and go for a drive. Or we stop working from our offices at home and move to a coffee shop or a park. We also engage in conversations with our team and one another.
What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
I think the biggest mistake is convincing yourself that you don’t have a voice that you don’t have influence.
Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
Make sure your titles make sense and are Catalytic (meaning that they point your readers to action). Keep your covers free of too many colors, too many words, and make sure you have a strong tagline with your title.
How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
I don’t read comments or reviews. But I’m also not afraid of them. On Amazon there is really no bad review. The haters sharing your content or commenting on it still gets it shared with the world.
How has your creation process improved over time?
I take it seriously now that I am a professional writer. I used to downplay it or have this feeling that I wasn’t a real writer but now I know that I am and it gives me a deeper sense of creativity.
What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?
The best thing was the realization that a publisher believed in me and wanted to publish my words. The worst was producing my ideas into a full-fledged manuscript. I was surprised by how excruciating the process is once you sign the contract. When you’re no longer hobby-writing it becomes hard to produce content.
Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
Bottom line we want to serve readers. We take satisfaction in that. That’s how we balance.
What role do emotions play in creativity?
Very big role. You write the way you feel often. You have to keep that in check and show up even when you don’t feel like showing up to create.
Do you have any creativity tricks?
Write down thoughts you have, keep a running notebook next to your bedside or on your desk. Even if they are halfbaked ideas write them down. You never know what will turn into a full blown story.
What are your plans for future books?
We are releasing a co-authored title on August 6th this year, and I am working on pitching new projects currently. Many more to come.
Tell us some quirky facts about yourself.
I LOVE to stay in my pajamas and write all day long. I listen to Taylor Swift often if I’m not feeling creative. And I live on a farm with miniature horses and a donkey.