Why did you decide to create a new genre book—self-help fiction?
I will start by telling you that I am not a fan of traditional, non-fiction self-help books. I have read parts of many such books, but have found none of them sufficiently engaging to read from cover to cover.
Generally, those books are authored by gurus who attempt to repackage self-improvement ideas into their own branded approach and terminology. The books are usually written from a point of view of telling the reader that following the author’s formula will produce life-changing results. Moreover, those gurus’ basic premises are in conflict. On the one hand, they are asserting that each of us has the power within us to produce the desired improvements. But, it only takes a few pages into many of these books for the author to reveal where the real self-improvement source lies. And, it is often some magical or mystical source outside ourselves that has the ultimate difference-making power. Those gurus try to convince us that we can have it both ways—feeling empowered, while ceding the power to another/higher power.
You might counter with examples of people you know who have changed their lives from following the advice of some self-help gurus. I know some of those people, too. But, those changes were short-lived, as the person typically lapsed back into previous bad habits.
So, those are the reasons I did chose to not follow the conventional course. Rather, Realizing You, is aimed at engaging readers empathetically in the lives of fictional people who are becoming aware of and dealing with their bad habits—showing readers through the examples of believable characters how they, too, can improve themselves, rather than telling them how to do it. I believe this is the best approach to help people openly accept their personal bad behavioral habits, confront them, and commit to changing them. In approaching personal behavior bad habits openly and non-defensively, I believe that readers will achieve permanently happier, more fulfilling lives—on their own. I believe they have the power within themselves to do so.