Red was pulling gingerbread zombies out of the oven when she was sure she heard grunting and growling in the café. When she rounded the counter, she knew immediately to grab two cuppa and head over to the booth where Dr. Ellis was trying to wrangle a Frankenstein behind a table, putting the patrons patiently awaiting an autograph out of the monster’s reach.
M3: Oh, pipe down, Frankie. Have a zombie cookie. Doc, tell the M3 Readers about the man behind the book.
GHE: I am a pathologist, a past president of the Central Indiana Friends of Jung, an avid gardener, a golfer, and a bridge player. I picked up my daughter’s copy of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein at mid-life and realized that it explained so much that I wrote Re-Membering Frankenstein to share it.
M3: Anyone you want to thank besides tall and cranky here?
GHE: Dr. Robert Moore, a Jungian analyst, and world-renowned author of the men’s psychology series: King, Warrior, Magician, Lover, spoke to my deepest inner experience, and I knew I had to work with this man. During my mid-life transition, I traveled monthly to Chicago for sessions. Being pursued by a groupie or stalker ranges from annoying to scary, but in psychotherapy it’s called idealizing transference. When it works, the analysand’s life becomes joyful, and the therapist becomes quite wealthy.
M3: And you rack up serious frequent flyer miles. How did you get from Chicago to frozen waters of the Arctic?
GHE: I’ve always been more interested in why people do rather than what people do. In college I took four psychology courses. In medical school I really wanted to be a psychiatrist, but my unresolved childhood issues intuitively warned me that I wasn’t ready to dispense psychiatric advice. After therapy and ten years as a Jungian leader, I felt I had something to contribute, and Re-Membering Frankenstein is that product.
M3: Almost as good as time travel. Knowing you were a doctor with mid-life crisis underfoot and airport security to handle, how did you find time for this book?
GHE: When serving the Self (one’s personal inner supreme entity) time is always available because it is a sacred process. One who doesn’t “have time” is in service to something or someone with a profane agenda that is giving him regret and agony. Just write your heart and ignore the scowls from those near you.
M3: Excellent scheduling advice. Any advice for the noobs in the audience?
GHE: Don’t quit your day job.
M3: (Grins) What is boiling on the back Bunsen burner?
GHE: I am intrigued with why the American political system is so polarized and vicious. The key questions I believe are what is it that conservatives want to conserve and to where do progressives want to progress? Conservatives seem to be under the spell of the great father-complex and experience defending the hierarchies of the status quo as a life and death struggle worthy of lies and deceit. The hierarchies most defended are: the monetary and capital systems, the churches, class discrimination, power or military and gun ownership, and the systems that reject social welfare participation. Meanwhile the progressives identify with the great mother and promote the distribution of assets, communal living, and mandatory participation in a consensus social system.
I’d try to write this book to emphasize the psychological rifts of the dozens of major political issues, but I can’t envision an optimistic ending. It’s hard to imagine Zeus and Hera getting along.
M3: Mythology I like; politics, not so much. I cannot imagine it either. Should the M3 Readers care about your day job?
GHE: Are you asking because you compassionately shudder at the image of a starving pathologist with a sign at a busy intersection that reads, “Will Cut Up Dead People for Food?” Or are you suggesting it’s important that my readers know I’m not a full time psychotherapist and more of a regular guy who’s been cooked in the oven of personal turmoil?
M3: I would answer your sign with a long list of people. Then, I could sell the parts to artists to illustrate zombie stories. You may have stumbled on a good side line. Do you ever take hiatus from the fracas?
GHE: Hiatus from what? A vacation break? Time not writing? Drop your wife for a girlfriend? No value in answering the latter. I’d definitely choose not to be like Victor Frankenstein who was a workaholic with no social life. As for writing, I cannot and never try to force words. If I’m not clear what I have to say, I’d just waste the time of me and my readers. If by hiatus you mean taking a break until the energy returns, it is the only way I can be creative.
M3: Do you take 110 or 220? Wait, don’t answer that. Let’s talk skeletons. Have a bone to pick with the traditional publishing industry?
GHE: The publishing industry is hellbent on preventing new authors from any distribution by requiring submissions from agents that are co-conspirators who refuse to read let alone represent first-timers. The result is that most books are uninteresting bad sequels from writers whose previously successful best works exhausted their wisdom and talents. I spend hours searching for something interesting to read.
M3: I will send you an invite to the RP launch. Do you think the conspiracy equates to dismissal as substandard?
GHE: Absolutely. All cliques demean non-members. As a physician I have witnessed many chiropractors, nurses, PhD’s, osteopaths, biologists, etc. dismissed with medical ideas or treatments because they lacked an M.D. degree, without having their ideas objectively evaluated. It is similar in the publishing industry that books are dismissed unread solely on where they were printed.
M3: Excellent parallel. Now that you have another clique to view, tell me how you take your new compatriots.
GHE: I have a truckload of compassion for most authors. Many people talk about writing their ideas, but the doers, the ones who have actually gone the distance, belong to the club. On the negative side, I am frequently frustrated by many authors who refuse to discuss their work or engage in philosophical conversation. I suspect they are too introverted to be comfortable engaging other authors.
M3: Sounds like some are candidates for traditional publishing after all. Any notable triumphs to date?
GHE: Nothing so far that warrants rubbing their noses in my success, but I cannot wait to experience such an unbounded joy.
M3: Perhaps, we can start a support group. Let’s talk about your book. Why is this work close to your heart?
GHE: In the preface remarks of Re-Membering Frankenstein, I confess that in hiatus from reading trash novels, my ninth-grade daughter’s copy of Frankenstein was lying about, and I read it. Instantly, I recognized it was a metaphor of my personal mid-life crisis experience. It isn’t close to my heart; it is my heart.
M3: Is it the personal story which makes it different from all the other books on mid-life crisis?
GHE: Its purpose is to accelerate a man’s progress toward an authentic life. Other books try to describe the destination of psychic health. Re-Membering Frankenstein lets the reader experience Victor’s psyche and its expression in society, then invites the reader to answer specific questions designed to expose those same psychic issues that are expressed uniquely in the reader’s life. The reader’s destination is not presumed; the reader is offered a menu of probing questions with a high probability that the reader will discover a more efficient course toward his individuation.
M3: So, it really isn’t about you. With your Jungian background, did the genre pick you?
GHE: The work told its own story. I’m not sure how I would describe the genre: psycho-literary therapeutic instructional assistance? Is there a 3×5 card in the card-catalogue with that title?
M3: No, we are totally digital now. It is a web page. How important is your own marketing to getting that page and this book found?
GHE: I have a clear conscience that my book is worth the reader’s time, therefore I have no qualms about promoting it. I do, however, suggest they borrow a copy or buy one on-line and share it with others. My marketing is about sharing with others; sales and profit if it occurs is a tag-along.
M3: Very noble gesture. With your life as the impetus for this book, is there a secret you would share with me you may rather I keep in therapeutic confidence?
GHE: I can’t sing a note and had the audacity to write a musical. That sounds like a snake oil salesman, doesn’t it? The readers might well deduce I’m a total flake. Well a genius composer wrote the music, but I did write the lyrics and the libretto. It’s a Jungian fairy tale, comedy, parody of King Lear, so I do at least feel I understand the psychology of the story.
M3: How far off-Broadway is this production?
GHE: Very far off: we are currently trying to find a workshop/theater to host it’s final development. Know anyone?
M3: We can ask the audience for suggestions. Be your own agent. Tell the M3 Readers in fifteen words or less why they should by your book.
GHE: $7 spent with this book will save you at least $200 of therapy.
M3: What a bargain!
Dearest M3 Readers,
Start saving money on therapy with Dr. Ellis’ Re-Membering Frankenstein. Find out more about the author. Visit his blog, hook up with him on Twitter and stop by to like the Facebook fan page. Enter to win one of three copies of the book!
As always, thank you for your fantastic support of the talented authors and artists of the M3 Coffee Shoppe.
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Until next week,
(c) Red Dwyer 2012
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