Today we welcome author Greg Middleton, whose books are designed to bring self-reflection, healing and restoration to individuals and families. His latest book is Real Men. We'll talk to Greg about his writing, Real Men, and what he'll be working on in 2010.
Welcome Greg. We are excited to have you here. Can you please tell our readers a bit about yourself?
I am a writer, community leader, public speaker and advocate. I am the author of In Search of the Soul, Pearls of Wisdom, Food for the Soul, Living Christianity, and The Seeker, which are highly inspirational works designed to bring self reflection, healing and restoration to individuals and families. My writing career has spanned over a decade.
My most recent and prized work, Real Men, is a culmination of all of my life’s experience and spiritual pursuits. It is my clarion call to reach to young dysfunctional males and help them to reach their God given potential.
How long have you been writing?
I started writing officially back in the fall of 1999. Before that I had kept a journal of my thoughts and concerns. I started this practice when I originally moved to California back in 1974. I kept a journal of my thoughts, my experiences, prayers, needs, desires, and the like. My intent was to keep in touch with my progress after moving to a strange place with no friends or family. To fill in the lonesome times I wrote to myself. This habit eventually turned into becoming a writer much later.
Are you a morning or an evening writer?
I am basically a morning writer because I normally start early in the morning and many times continue throughout the day. Once I get rolling I can write eight to ten hours without stopping. I also like to get up and write in the middle of the night because everything is quiet and still. I can hear my thoughts better when it is quiet and still. Since I write practically full time now my days are usually filled with something that pertains to writing, reading, editing or seeking ways to promote my works.
Who is your greatest source of inspiration?
I suppose my children and grandchildren would have to be my greatest source of inspiration because it is for their sake that I would like to improve upon the world that I see. I know that we can become much better as people, but it does not appear that enough people draw very clear lines regarding moral behaviors. Since most of my writing has to do with the spiritual, religious, and self-help genre I am most sensitive about morality. As I see people behaving so poorly it breaks my heart. I realize that my children and grandchildren don’t have a chance of being great moralistic people unless we do something to change the environment. When I see them I see the hope of what may become. If I can say something that causes them to be better persons then I have done my job. I am inspired by my children to help create a better environment for them to live.
Do you have a favorite author?
Not really. I love reading inspirational and spiritual material. I love books that cause me to think deeply and take a closer look at my core values; books that help me determine my authentic self. Any book that causes me to think deeper grabs my attention. I love reading the Holy Scriptures and I try to understand what they are trying to bring out in us. I love philosophy, the study of the mind and how it works, science to a certain degree, all things spiritual, and I love studying people; the human nature. For a while Wayne Dyer or Deepak Chopra may have been of my favorite authors, but I have since outgrown them and grown more into my own philosophy. I love metaphysics. I read the Bible often and love many of those writers because they seemed to have heard the voice of God and communicated to us what God wants us to know about being both human and spirit beings. Usually books of knowledge and wisdom find me. I try to stay tuned to truth and seek it with all my heart, soul and might. I believe when we seek truth it has a way of finding us. I love the teachings of Christ, but He was not a writer. He was a teacher. I love many Buddhist practices and writings. What does that make me? Any writer that causes me to see myself would be a favorite author of mine.
Tell us about your latest book. What is it about and what inspired you to write it?
I have two books that are just being released now. One is Real Men and the other is The Seeker. The one that we are concentrating on is the first, Real Men. This book addresses a social issue that I feel is critical. Something has drastically happened to males and no one is addressing it as seriously as the problem entails. Our lives have changed so drastically over a relatively short period of time. We have not made our adjustments to these radical changes, especially men. The roles of men and women have changed so drastically that neither gender are the same as they were only a few decades ago. The problem is, if men are expected to be the assumed leaders and heads of the human family we need to re-define what that role entails. Women have new rights and freedoms as never experienced in western civilization. They are displacing many of the roles and responsibilities that men once held. We need to adjust to these changes. We need to make sure our boys are learning what a man should be in today’s era. It, more than likely, is not the same role as their father’s. The role young males see in women is not the same as it was just a generation ago? How do we make our adjustments to this radical change? This is what my book, Real Men addresses.
I was inspired to write this book because I realized that no one taught me all the aspects I needed in order to perfect my role as male, father, head of household, or how to deal with infidelity issues, marriage, and the female dynamic and the like. I learned all this the hard way. I think we need to redefine the male role to the point that we actually pass it on to our boys. With too many males disappearing in the family structure, boys are not getting this “man thing.” We need to correct this problem. We cannot afford to lose a generation of males while we figure out the new roles. We must act now and decisively.
Who is this book written for and have you always written for this market?
This book is written mainly for males, but I think women can equally benefit when the role of males is fortified. Women are the anchors of humanity. If males continue to stumble then women will continue to do what they must do, but what a loss? Males are supposed to add something very significant to humanity. It is like cutting the body in half and expecting it to still function efficiently. Society needs what males should be offering. Children need fathers. Men can be much better but we must correct our dysfunctions. A book like this read by someone like Tiger Woods or any of the entertainment greats would make them think about their role more seriously. Each man needs to figure out what his role (a real man) should be. We must become the best of what is possible as men. My usual market is the spiritual or religious market, but this one is for all people of all faiths and beliefs.
What is different about your book compared to other books out on the market?
My book deals more with a social issue than most similar books. My call is for each man to take a look at himself and determine how he can improve as an individual. This book does not condemn people, but it encourages them to look at themselves and decide if they really desire to become better. Once a man decides that he wants to be better, then he changes. If not, real change never happens. I want men to see who they are and how they were designed. It is intentionally different from females. Men need to learn the reality of the masculine role and get out of the myths. Society needs to redefine the new roles and bring them up to today’s reality. Life has changed. Technology has changed. Society needs to adjust to the changes.
What was the most challenging part of writing this book?
The most challenging part of writing this book is identifying the root of this problem and convincing people that we really have a serious problem that needs to be addressed. It is hard to paint the entire picture because we are so engrossed into the totality of things that we can’t see the forest for standing in the trees. We need to step back and look at the big picture. If we did, we would see that society is on the verge of major changes; where we are headed is not necessarily a good place. We can be better, but we must actively and physically make it better. It will not get better unless we the people make it better. Convincing people to take an active stand is the challenge.
The most rewarding?
The most rewarding part of writing this book is actually speaking to men about these issues and seeing them wake up. When men learn to express their emotional issues it is like taking the monkey off your back. It is not that we don’t have emotions or feelings, but we are discouraged from showing them. Seeing men be their authentic selves with the full package is rewarding. Men cry, hurt and are deeply compassionate, but we are forbidden to show that side. A real man is not afraid to show the full package.
What do you hope readers will learn from your book?
I hope they learn that we are at a serious crossroads where we need to come together and define our roles in a way that is right, fair and decent. We must realize that gender roles and responsibilities have changed. We must be willing to deal with matters from a realistic basis and not just based upon tradition. Tradition can’t make things better, but people can. Men and women need to realize that they are different by design and stop trying to make this a unisex society. Men have great features and strengths while women have also. We need to realize that we are just different sides of the same coin and we should come together as a unit, not as adversaries. Men and women need to learn to understand each other’s differences and make them work for the better.
Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?
My books are available through www.Lulu.com as the print on demand publisher. They can be found on most of the online book sites like www.Amazon.com and the like. I am currently working with www.CreateSpace.com to carry my book as well on their site. My own website: www.gregemiddleton.com will direct readers as well.
Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more about you and your work?
I have several websites where I blog: I have a company website in dealing with my Real Men Issues and the Seminar business as well as www.realmenseminars.com In addition www.gregemiddleton.com is my writer’s website. I have a Facebook page: www.facebook.com/gregmiddleton/ - twitter: www.twitter.com/realmenseminars/ YouTube channel which is: realtalk4realmen - and others.
What is up next for you?
I’m currently in process of setting up a road tour with my Real Men Seminars this coming spring 2010, taking my seminars to men in various parts of this country. I have a workbook that goes with the seminar and the hope is to have men deal with many of the issues we face daily in smaller group settings in their own neighborhoods. I know that we can become better and I intend to prove it. At our seminars men learn what it means to be a real man and stop going through what society calls a media made man: “Real men” have character and integrity as part of their being.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Read the book or go to our real men website and see what we are all about. I think you will see our mission once you visit.
Thanks for joining us today, Greg. We wish you continued success.