Dennis: When did you start to write?
Barry: I wish I could say I've been writing since I was a child, but except for
school work, I never wrote until I was out of college. When I did begin, it
was very difficult at first to discipline myself to do it . I would time
myself and struggle to get in four hours per day. Nowadays, when I'm working
on a book, it's often closer to 11 or 12 hours.
Dennis: You are a member of the networking site www.bookmarket.ning.com. Do you belong to other networking sites that may be of interest to other authors?
Barry: I belong to several networking sites but as of yet, I'm not really active in
any of them. Too little time.
Dennis: What is the focus of your article topics that may interest other writers and readers?
Barry: Beside my novels, and there's only one extant, "Legend," the SF/fantasy
novel that won't die, I write on leadership, communication, motivation,
work/life balance as well as on workplace, career, management and sales
issues. That's what pays the bills.
Dennis: What does your web site www.barrymaher.com provide for other aspiring writers?
Barry: Though I've keynoted a couple of writers' conferences, my work isn't really
geared for other writers. Virtually all of the articles on www.barrymaher.com are articles on the topics above. They're meant to be entertaining but they don't focus on writing. There is streaming video of me speaking, which may offer aspiring writers a cautionary tale: "Try to make a living as a writer and you might end up looking like this bozo."
Dennis: How did you get started in being a motivational speaker?
Barry: Actually, though I'm often classified as a "motivational speaker," I don't
really consider myself one. Or maybe I'm a motivational speaker for people
who don't believe in motivational speakers. The subtitle to my book, Filling
the Glass is The Skeptic's Guide to Positive Thinking. I'm anything but a
"Let's all think happy thoughts and everything will be wonderful" types. To
me the secret of The Secret is how they managed to sell so many copies.
Dennis: What type of information is provided in your Filling the Glass Newsletter?
Barry: Like the book, Filling the Glass, the newsletter is about workplace and
work/life balance issues and about being the person you want to be in
whatever career you might find yourself.
Dennis: How does your filling the glass newsletter help other writers
Barry: Beyond perhaps giving them an odd sense of perspective and helping them with those work/life balance issues, I'm not sure it does help them, at least not
as writers. I would hope it might help them with their day job, perhaps even
with their life.
Dennis: You currently have two books listed on your web site Filling the Glass: The Skeptics Guide to Positive Thinking in Business and No Lie: Truth is the Ultimate Sales Tool. Could you provide a synopsis of what each of these books provide for the reader?
Barry: Filling the Glass is designed to help us deal with the dissonance many of us
feel between what we are doing in our lives and what we would like to be
doing in our lives in an entertaining and humorous and, I would hope, very
No Lie: Truth Is the Ultimate Sales Tool is geared for anyone who has to
sell anything: their products, their services, themselves, their ideas, their vision. It's particularly for those who feel they can't sell and really be honest or really be themselves.
Legend also there along with a couple of others. Legend has become a bit of
a cult classic over the years. It's about a world that's devouring itself
and the people who are trapped inside.
Dennis: You have an impressive list of clients and organizations. Do you have any recommendations for other authors to get started in developing a client list such as the one you have?
Barry: It took me years to realize that most of us don't get to start at the top.
Most of us have to start small and work our way up. Then when you're ready,
with a little luck, you'll be able to work with the larger companies
Dennis: How do you find time to write articles and give presentations?
Barry: Right now, I do it by working far too much (speaking of work/life balance).
Fortunately, I love what I do. It also helps that I've had tendonitis for much of the last five years. I live on a golf course but I can't play golf. If I hadn't had tendonitis I would have worked a whole lot less.
Dennis: You have an impressive list of articles whose topics are needed in society today. If you had to choose two articles for people to read which ones would they be and why?
Barry: What I would suggest is that anyone interested go to
couple that sound good to them.
Dennis: What advice do you have for any new or existing writers based on your experience as a writer?
Barry: Write. And do your research. Even if you're a novelist. Whomever you might
be, you're entering a world filled with writers who are more talented, filled with writers who'd rather write 16 hours a day than have sex. Research is the best way I've found to help level the playing field. You certainly don't want to give up sex.
Dennis: What advice do you have for any writer that has limited funds to become noticed for their work?
Barry: If you want to be noticed and you're on a budget, you've got to learn to be
your own PR person. You can't wait for the world to come to you.
Dennis: You have wide exposure with the media. Do you have any suggestions how others can become noticed by the media for their work and/or expertise?
Barry: If you want to be noticed by the media, you'll need to carve out a niche,
and promote it. Mass murder also works but it doesn't pay as well.
Dennis: Is there anything else that you want to cover?
Barry: If you really love writing, write. No matter who is or isn't reading.