Wednesday, July 18, 2012

ANGER MASTERY: Interview with Kevin B. Burk

Kevin B. Burk has been helping people around the world to improve their lives and relationships since 1996 through his astrological counseling and relationship coaching practice. His humor, wisdom and compassion are always present, in his books (ten so far, including Astrology: Understanding the Birth Chart, The Relationship Handbook: How to Understand and Improve Every Relationship in Your Life, and his newest book, Anger Mastery: Get Angry, Get Happy), his classes and workshops, and his interactions with his clients and students. Kevin’s focus is always on the practical, exploring how we can actually use astrology and spiritual practice on a daily basis to transform our lives.

In the astrology world, he is best known for making Classical Astrology accessible to everyone, taking complex and abstract concepts and showing how they can be used to create concrete, specific and practical interpretations. Kevin’s website, The Real Astrology with Kevin B. Burk is one of the premiere astrology resources on the Internet. His book, Astrology: Understanding the Birth Chart is a textbook used at Kepler University in their Undergraduate Astrology Degree program, and has been translated into Russian, and is currently being translated into Bulgarian. Kevin’s articles have appeared in The Mountain Astrologer, the Australian publication,Well Being Astrology, and in Llewellyn’s Moon Sign books.

In the non-astrology world, Kevin is best known for his unique approach to understanding and improving all human relationships through The Relationship Handbook andThe Relationship Workshops.

Kevin has released a series of DVDs of his Law of Attraction workshops: the self-contained Prosperity & The Law of Attraction, and Astrology & The Law of Attraction, a series of 7 DVDs recorded live in Houston, TX at a weekend workshop for the Gulf Coast Chapter of NCGR.

Kevin has developed a revolutionary program for spiritual growth called Archetypal Astrology: The Hero’s Journey. This intensive program guides participants through the process of meeting and moving into Right Relationship with each of the seven Astrological Archetypes (you may know them as the seven personal planets).

Kevin is currently synthesizing astrology and spirituality into his next series of books: Astrology & The Law of Attraction, Prosperity & The Law of Attraction andRelationships & The Law of Attraction.

You can visit Kevin’s website at www.GetAngryGetHappy.com.
To get your paperback copy of  ANGER MASTERY by Kevin Burk: http://www.amazon.com/Anger-Mastery-Kevin-B-Burk/dp/0975968238
To purchase a copy of ANGER MASTERY at Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/anger-mastery-kevin-b-burk/1104012568
Buy the book directly from the author at www.GetAngryGetHappy.com
Like Kevin Burk on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AngerMastery

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Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Kevin. Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing and how your journey led to writing your latest book, Anger Mastery: Get Angry, Get Happy

I suppose my first book was my senior honors thesis in college. All I needed to do was write a brief essay around my acting project. Instead, I turned in a 400-page, in-depth exploration of Farce. My advisor said it was the first thesis he had to grade by the pound.

I began writing my first published book in 1999. It was accepted for publication by Llewellyn, and released in 2001 as Astrology: Understanding the Birth Chart.

The path to Anger Mastery began in the summer of 2006. I had just finished teaching the last series of workshops based on my Relationship books, and I was asking myself, “What’s next?” I decided I wanted to revisit basic astrology and make it even more practical and accessible.

During this time, I was going through intensive training as a spiritual counselor, expanding my counseling practice, and immersing myself in the consciousness research of Dr. David Hawkins. I began to synthesize this material, and spent the next three years writing a new book, Astrology & The Law of Attraction.

Astrology & The Law of Attraction presented a very powerful, practical system of spiritual development that helps people to get from wherever they happen to be right now, to “happy.” The manuscript itself, however, was quite long; it wasn’t a good fit for Hay House at the time, and I decided to set it — and my now former agent — aside.

I realized that the concepts in Astrology & The Law of Attraction were too advanced for most people. What I needed instead was to create a book that was accessible to everyone: a book that could help people to move out of Victim Consciousness, which is the first critical step to becoming happy.

After more than four years of writing, exploring and teaching this material, I was finally comfortable enough to have fun with it, and I was able to complete the entire book in less than 2 months (if you don’t count the four years of preparation that it took to get to that point).

Although my sense of humor is evident in all of my books, in Anger Mastery, it’s front and center. I decided the best way to get people to look at subjects that might not be comfortable is to make sure they’re laughing out loud while they’re doing it.

Q: How did you choose your title and was it your first choice?

The title showed up organically. I knew I wanted to focus on the power and energy of Anger as the subject of the book. I also wanted to make sure I made it clear that this isn’t your typical book on anger—and it’s certainly not a book about anger management.

As popular as “anger management” is, it doesn’t do very much. When you manage your anger, you still experience it in painful, negative ways. The purpose of anger management is to teach you how to keep your anger to yourself, so it doesn’t bother other people. Anger management doesn’t help you to take back your power, it doesn’t help you to move out of Victim Consciousness. But most importantly, managing your anger won't help you to get happy.
And besides—anyone who’s ever worked in an office knows first-hand that “management” is a colossal waste of time and energy.
When you master your anger, however, you take back your power. You’re no longer at the mercy of your anger. In fact, when you master your anger, you make anger your bitch. The surface results are the same as with anger management—others see you as nicer, less aggressive, and less prone to inappropriate expressions of frustration and rage. That’s all on the outside. On the inside, you’re no longer miserable. You feel empowered, you feel energized, and you feel infinitely happier than you did before.


Q: We all know that publishers can’t do all of the publicity and that some lies on the author.  What has your publisher done so far to publicize the book and what have you done?

Since I’m both the author and the publisher, it comes down to me, either way, and I’m still coordinating things. From the start, I knew that I wanted to create a series of videos promoting the book. In addition to the book trailers, I also filmed and produced an episode of the game show, “Whose Business Is It?” that demonstrates how to use one of the most important tools in the Anger Mastery toolbox. You can watch all of the videos at http://www.GetAngryGetHappy.com.

I’ve also created a free book study facilitation guide, and plan to begin marketing the class to spiritual communities around the country.

Q: Open to a random page in your book.  Can you tell us what is happening?

It’s talking about the appeal of “Other People’s Business.” In order to master your anger and become completely happy you have to learn to stay in “My Business,” and out of “Other People’s Business.” This section explores why that’s so challenging, and what, precisely we get from being in “Other People’s Business.” (Spoiler alert: we get to feel Anger and Pride — and recognizing why those negative feelings are so attractive to us is a key component of mastering your anger.)

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

At the moment, my subsequent books are my previous books. I’m planning on splitting Astrology & The Law of Attraction into two different books. Archetypal Astrology: The Hero’s Journey will address the practical spirituality, and would be the next step for people who have mastered their anger and are ready for more. The second book would be primarily for people who would like to be able to speak the language of astrology, but find the traditional methods and options too complicated and not practical enough.

Q: What is the one thing you learned about your book AFTER it was published?

I really manage to push people’s buttons in Chapter 1! My intention in the first chapter is to make you feel angry, because that will give you the motivation to actually start to improve your life and become happy. What I didn’t expect was how polarizing the first chapter would be. Everyone experiences it through his or her own, personal filters. I sometimes have to convince people to keep reading—but when they do, they’re usually glad they did.

Q: What is your most favorite time of the day or night to write?

Generally, I find it easier to stay focused in the mornings. If I haven’t gotten my writing done by lunchtime, it’s more of a struggle.

Q: What is usually better – the book or the movie?

The book.

Q:  You’re about to write your next book.  What did you learn from your previous book to help you write your next book?

Limit the scope. I’ve had to learn that it’s okay not to address every possible question and every possible scenario. I don’t have to provide my readers with a complete toolbox. It’s enough to provide a few tools and techniques, and give people time to use them.

Q: Finally, what’s your best tip you can give to writers who want to be published?

Be absolutely clear why you want to be published. What is it that you really care about? What do you hope your book will accomplish? In my experience, “money” and “fame” are not good enough reasons to do anything. When you’re clear about the why, then you can explore your options about the how. Going with a traditional publisher is not necessarily the best choice anymore, but that really depends on your objectives and your subject matter.
  
Q: Thank you for your interview, Kevin.  Do you have any final words?

Sure: Get angry, get happy!




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