Interview with Dr. Mitchell Gibson - Author of Nine Insights For a Happy and Successful Life

Dr. Mitchell Gibson is one of the world’s leading authorities on the interface of science and the frontiers of human consciousness. He is the best-selling author of Your Immortal Body of Light, Signs of Mental Illness, Signs of Psychic and Spiritual Ability, The Living Soul, Nine Insights For A Happy and Successful Life, and Ancient Teaching Stories. Dr. Gibson has been a consultant for Fortune 500 companies, Hollywood celebrities, professional athletes, A&E Network, NBC, ABC, and CBS regional affiliate television stations, newspapers, radio stations.

Welcome to The Writer's Life, Mitchell. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

A: I am a board-certified psychiatrist, author, and lecturer. I grew up in very small town in rural North Carolina and I started writing at a very young age. Fortunately, I have been very successful in selling my works and I have been able to retire from the practice of medicine and write full time. Even when I practiced medicine, writing was my true passion.

Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

A: The Nine Insights is a book that is designed to be a guide for those who wish to rise above the suffering and confusion that so often marks this path of existence. As a medical professional, the Creator has given me thousands of profound moments of transformational insight. I began keeping notes on these insights and stored them away in a journal that over time, became the basis for this work. From time to time, I shared these insights with friends, family, clients, and colleagues. Simple in their presentation, profound in their scope, The Nine Insights are meant only as a reference. Each chapter presents one insight as a unique entity. The stories and vignettes that support each insight are in large part based on my personal clinical experiences. From time to time, I have included a number of famous stories from history that help to outline the deeper perspectives of some of the insights.

What kind of research was involved in writing The Nine Insights?

A: I probably completed over 1000 hours of research on the book...internet research, clinical observation, talking with friends, colleagues, and family took a great deal of time as well.

Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?

A: Bumpy does not begin to describe the process. Getting a book published is a time-consuming and challenging experience. Publishers only want to look at books that can guarantee some modicum of sales. The writer's first task is that of salesman. We have to convince the publisher that our work will sell. That takes a lot of time, research, and focus.

For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?

A: I started the book over two years ago. From the time to outline, rough manuscript, rewrites, cover design, marketing plans, book trailer design, and final release has taken over 30 months.

Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

A: I had a really good agent, Patty Schmidt. She was well informed, well connected, and really good at supporting me through the process. She writes her own material now and I don't think she represents anyone at this time.

Do you plan subsequent books?

A: I am completing two books. One is a sci-fi fantasy entitled The First Darkness. It is a story about an angel that develops a fatal illness and comes to earth in search of a cure. The second is a follow up to Ancient Teaching Stories. It is a book that contains a series of concise and thought-provoking stories from a number of spiritual traditions from around the world. That book is entitled The Pot that was Cracked.

Can you describe your most favorite place to write?

A: I write in my home office on a word processor. The keyboard is ergonomically perfect and I can type for hours without any problem. I invested in a good keyboard years ago after the flat models started giving me some trouble. I have a wonderful sound system built into the room and I play classical and new age music while I type.

If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?

A: Television appearances, without a doubt. Good Morning America, Today, Larry King and shows of that type are invaluable resources for authors. Unfortunately, only the biggest NY Times best-selling authors get those spots these days. I still keep my fingers crossed.

How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?

A: I used virtual book tours, blogs, guest posts, and emails extensively in promoting my books, CDs, and lectures. Agents and advertising agencies help, but there is no substitute for the writer's own sweat and blood. Book tours in brick and mortar stores are useful, but the returns are not what they used to be.

What’s the most common reason you believe new writers give up their dream of becoming published and did you almost give up?

A: Writing is a wonderful avocation. But when a writer tries to turn the corner and make enough money to support themselves or a family, they quickly find that the biannual royalty check are not nearly enough. With the advent of ebooks, Amazon, and other online venues, we are starting to see a more democratic field of opportunity for writers, but breaking through to the masses remains a challenge. For this reason, most writers will give up after a couple of books.

Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?

A: Never Give Up! If you love writing, write about those topics that you love and write something every day. My rule of thumb is, ten pages by midnight is a good day.

Thank you for your interview, Mitchell. I wish you much success!
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