BOOKS TO WATCH OUT FOR!

Friday, February 08, 2013

Interview with William Higgins, author of Your Road to Damascus


ABOUT WILLIAM Y. HIGGINS

The seed for this book was planted many years ago. Bill’s journey down his road to Damascus began as a senior in high school when he had his personal encounter with the risen Lord. Immediately upon graduation from high school he faced his first crossroad when contemplating what to do vocationally. He joined the U.S. Air Force because he really wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. It was while in the service that he began to see how his own internal GPS (God’s Positioning System) was calibrated.
As he began to follow the direction of his internal GPS, other crossroads led him to Biola University and Talbot Seminary where he earned a B.S. and M.A. respectively in Christian Education. Upon graduation, the next three destinations on his journey led to local churches in the U.S. and Canada where he served as a Minister of Christian Education for almost 10 years. These were opportunities to use his organizational, curriculum development, instructional design and classroom facilitation skills. These were delightful years.
Bill faced another crossroad at the last church he served when he resigned and then found himself in his prison years. For four years he traveled a dusty, pothole filled road as he consulted his roadmap. During this time he viewed the world from the prison cell of under-employment. His perspective through the cell bars was as an owner/operator of a commercial janitorial business. These were four tortuous years as he saw one opportunity after another disintegrate. These years gave him the ability to relate to others experiencing the same employment imprisonment.
At the conclusion of these four years, Bill faced another crossroad and selected a new direction in his vocational travels; looking to apply his skills and experience in the business community. He made stops along the way as he worked for about six years in three industry leading organizations as a Director of Training & Development, attaining the position of Vice-President of Corporate Training at one stop.
It was also during this time that he took a parallel road into the field of Career Coaching. He has spent over 20 years working with individuals and small groups as they struggle down their own roads to Damascus and conduct their own job searches.
While continuing as a career coach, where he has worked with over 5,000 clients, Bill also embarked down another path by starting his own consulting business, MindWare Incorporated (www.mindwareincorporated.com). MindWare pulled together the specialties of career coaching, instructional design, and technical writing. IN this capacity, Bill has worked with many Fortune 500 companies as well as numerous smaller organizations of a for-profit and non-profit status.
Bill’s writing experience has been primarily in the area of technical and curriculum writing of a proprietary nature. He has written literally hundreds of technical documents and curriculum courseware. This stop, writing Your Road to Damascus, is his first venture into writing for public consumption.
You can learn more about Bill at www.mindwareincorporated.com under the About Us tab.
Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Bill.  Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

A: I am a consultant and have been consulting with large and small organizations for over 20 years. I have consulted with many Fortune 500 organizations, as well as much smaller for-profit and non-profit organizations. My areas of specialization include instructional design, technical writing, and career coaching. As a career coach I have worked with over 5,000 clients in their career transition process.

As far as writing, I have been writing for as long as I can remember. I love the written word and think there is power in print. When a friend showed me a thank-you note she had saved from 10 years earlier, I knew there was a special kind of force in words.

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

A: Your Road to Damascus: 6 Biblical Secrets for an Effective Job Search is a book about hope, encouragement, renewal, and revival in the midst of the pain, anxiety, and frustration of a job loss and search. The book integrates insightful biblical strategies and principles with cutting-edge guidelines and techniques for doing search in our contemporary society.

I wrote the book to address a void in the marketplace. I have worked with numerous believers making a career change over the years and did not do anything in the program to address the aspect of faith in their search. God recently brought that to mind as I was wrapping up a program with a pastor making a change. I did a Google and Amazon search to see what resources were available to the Christian community on what the Bible has to say about a job search and found absolutely nothing.

There were a few Christian books on careers, but nothing on how to integrate a biblical perspective in your search. I was amazed and felt the nudge of God to see what I could put together.

When I recently did some research, I found that 85% of the U.S. population claimed some form of affiliation with the Christian faith. If the average 8% or so of those were unemployed, that equates to around 12 million or so people. Quite a large group to whom faith is important, and thus the book was born to address their need.

The book also came out of my own past struggles to try and understand how my faith impacted the challenge of a job loss. I have experienced losing a job numerous times, and while I was helped with the technical side of preparing for a job search; doing an assessment, writing a resume preparing for interviewing and all the rest, no one had ever provided insight into how faith in God impacted that search.

This book does that.

Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?

A: the biggest challenges for me in writing this book included relevance, insight, and brevity in reverse order.

When I first wrote the book, it was to tome of over 360 pages, 160,000+ words. Quite a hefty volume. Some of those on my reviewing team indicated this might be somewhat daunting and intimidating to readers, so the need to slim it down some. With the help of my copyeditor (bless her dear heart) I was able to carve it down by over 15%. It is still something that you work through, and not necessarily read for pleasure, but it’s quite manageable and hits the points it needs to hit.

The second challenge was insight. I had never heard anyone speak on what the Bible had to say about a job search, nor had I ever read a book that addressed this. Therefore, I needed to do some personal research to discover what it did have to say. Fortunately, God brought many verses to mind, and many biblical personalities that experienced the same kind of challenge. I chose Joseph, of Old Testament coat-of-man-colors fame, and Saul of Tarsus, who later became the apostle Paul, to be the main characters whose lives we would study to see what God had done in their lives in making a career transition. Wow, was it an exciting study!

The third challenge was that of relevance. A Bible study is great, but if it doesn’t apply to contemporary society it can be pretty dry and dusty. That was not the case. God enabled me to identify practical applications from these two lives and apply them to individuals making a job change today. The Bible speaks directly to us in this kind of a painful experience as well as it did to people living hundreds of years ago.

Q: Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it?  Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link to where we can see it?

A: I am in the process of assembling a press kit at this very moment. An appropriate compilation of documents will be distributed to large churches, Christian bookstores, Christian universities and seminaries, Christian talk radio stations, newspapers, Christian magazines, faith-based organization, and others. Included in the press kit are:
·        A list of endorsements from Christian leaders.
·        Book reviews received to date.
·        Suggestions for how organizations can use the book to speak to the unemployed in their organization.
·        Press releases distributed to date.
·        A book flyer that provides an overview of the entire book.
·        A promotional post card.
·        An 11x17 poster.
·        A link to the book trailer.
·        A book tour schedule and link to the book tour site.
·        An author bio.
·        A contact us page that also includes where the book can be purchased.
·        Interviews conducted to date.

The individual components can be found starting at http://mindwarepublishing.com .

Q: Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV?  What are your upcoming plans for doing so?

A: I have not spoken to any groups or on any media outlet at this point. I have a whole series of press releases and will be reaching out to various radio and TV stations in the very near future.

Q: 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 don’t have an agent, and at this point don’t feel one is necessary.

Q: Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it?

A: The book is yet to be released, and we are in the midst of working with the media to get the word out about the publication date and focus of the book.

We are using a virtual book tour, book trailer (http://youtu.be/LULi5srSf80) and a series of press releases to announce the release date, focus, and uniqueness of the book.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

A: This has been an exciting adventure and to date I have about 20 new titles on the drawing board. As soon as Your Road to Damascus is up and running, I will be starting on a series of spin offs targeting specific audiences. There will be a Your Road to Damascus for college grads (or about to graduate), the military, legal offenders, and entrepreneurs.

Other topics in the planning stage, and all will come from a biblical perspective, include:
·        Teaching techniques for adults.
·        Human resource management.
·        Performance management.
·        Personal effectiveness.
·        Planning strategies.

So you can see there is plenty to keep me busy for years to come.

  
Q: Thank you for your interview, Bill. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

A: The best place to find out more about me is at www.mindwarepublishing.com and then go to About Us. I am on LinkedIn also and Facebook, but don’t really keep up with Facebook much.

I also have another website that is dedicated specifically to consulting activities; www.mindwareincorporated.com. There is an About Us link there as well.

The book is currently available at a pre-release special offer of 30% discount from the retail price, plus FREE shipping, at www.mindwarepublishing.com. Readers can also order a PDF copy of the book for the low price of only $7.95, deliverable within one business day. The PDF version comes with two files; the first is the manuscript of the book, and the second is all of the worksheets and resource pages for easy reference and printing.

Once published (early in February) it will be available at Amazon.com, B&N.com, and other online bookstores as well as local Christian bookstores.

Thank you so much for the interview. I appreciate the opportunity to share a little about myself as well as this engaging book; Your Road to Damascus: 6 Biblical Secrets for an Effective Job Search.

YRTD_Cover_Damascus3DABOUT YOUR ROAD TO DAMASCUS

The crisis of a job loss is the story of struggling souls hidden behind the walls of the Christian faith. They valiantly forge forward with little in the way of biblical or faith-based instruction. No one talks much about it. No pastor dedicates a sermon to it. Good luck finding a book about it written from the Christian perspective. For most it’s a difficult time, for many it’s a crisis of faith and life. With nearly 20 million people out of work that claim a Christian affiliation, this is a national crisis of faith.
Your Road to Damascus addresses this issue by presenting biblical strategies and principles, and practical guidelines, on how to conduct an effective job search. It examines in detail biblical strategies and provide pragmatic guidelines for all aspects of a job search. The message of Your Road to Damascus is one of hope, encouragement, renewal, and revival in the midst of the job loss. It boldly proclaims that God is at work and isn’t finished yet, and He wants to have a new encounter with the believer through their job search.
Your Road to Damascus will capture your imagination and transform the way you view a job loss. From identifying your GPS (God’s Positioning System), to weaving your resume, to seeing God’s hand in job opportunities and offers, it will revolutionize the way you see God’s involvement in this aspect of your life, as well as how He touches many other crisis points.

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