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Interview with Daphen Michaels: ‘The publishing industry is changing faster than anyone can predict”

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Daphne Michaels 7Daphne Michaels is an author, speaker and licensed psychotherapist whose institute has helped hundreds of women and men transform their lives through the “gifts” every human being is born with. Daphne began her own journey of transformation at a young age, pursued it fearlessly, and later studied formally in the fields of social science, human services and integral psychology. The Gifted: How to Live the Life of Your Dreams launches both Daphne Michaels Books and The Gifted series, whose goal it is to share with the widest audience possible the principles that guide the Daphne Michaels Institute. Daphne’s earlier book, Light of Our Times, featured her conversations with such international figures in the fields of spirituality and personal development as Ram Dass, Julia Cameron, Dr. Masaru Emoto, and Thomas Moore.

Visit her website at www.daphnemichaels.com.

About the Book:

In The Gifted: How to Live the Life of Your Dreams author, speaker and licensed psychotherapist Daphne Michaels celebrates the nine gifts that are our birthright, guiding readers in how to recognize and use them to transform their lives.  In her author’s preface, Michaels reveals how her own journey of life transformation began when she was young and realized that human existence wore two conflicting faces–one of love and The Gifted 7joy, and one of fear and despair. She decided then to commit her life to reconciling these two visions because she knew that, irreconcilable though they seemed, together these two faces held the secret to living a life of endless possibility and authentic happiness. Her personal journey and formal education in social science, human services and integral psychology led to the founding of the Daphne Michaels Institute, which has helped hundreds of men and women design the lives of their dreams.

In The Gifted Michaels shows us that the first three “gifts” we must recognize and embrace within us if we are to re-design our lives are Awareness, Potential and Stillness. These three allow us to identify and use the remaining six with a life-changing power:  Disharmony, Harmony, Ease, Clarity, Freedom and Engagement.  Each of these six relies on the “essential three” for its own power to change our lives, and each has its own gifts–its “children.” By approaching the nine gifts with real-world metaphors, Michaels answers in easily understood ways what for many readers have been lingering questions about personal transformation—such as how it works, what kind of commitment it takes, and why, if we’re committed, real transformation becomes inevitable—and addresses obstacles that readers may have encountered in the past in trying to reach in life a happiness every human deserves.

While the human universe’s face of love is celebrated in The Gifted, so is the face of fear that haunted a young girl decades ago. As Michaels shows us in her book, even Disharmony—the “quagmire” of life born of the human ego’s fear, defenses, delusions and despair—is a gift, too, and one as important as the others if we know how to see it clearly and use it. Once we understand Disharmony, we are ready to understand the real purpose of Harmony in our lives. Disharmony does not need to rule us.  It is ours to use as we design the lives of our dreams.

The final gift in The Gifted, Michaels tells us, is the gift of Engagement. Engagement—with the universe and with ourselves—allows us to use all of the other gifts with more power and joy than we ever imagined possible.

That mountaintop decision never left me. It drove my life’s work and over the years led me to understand that there are gifts – nine of them, in fact – that we are all born with but rarely experience in their full glory and potential. These gifts – which make each and every one of us “The Gifted” of this book’s title – are the keys to living lives of endless possibilities and, in turn, achieving an authentic happiness that cannot be lost. They are, in other words, the keys to achieving the life of our dreams.

Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Daphne. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

The Gifted: How to Live the Life of Your Dreams is my newest book. My first book, Light of Our Times was published in 2005.

Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

I chose to launch the Daphne Michaels Books imprint for many reasons. First, it is great to be part of the personal development genre as a long tradition. Our interest in self-help and personal development is part of the American story, really. To make one’s life better — to reach one’s potential and pursue happiness was the intent of our declaration of independence. Many of the successes in the personal development genre started out as self-published authors. It is great to be launching my imprint in an era where POD publishing and ebook publishing helps one reach an even larger audience … and it’s nice, too, that this is the first year Book Expo America has invited self-published authors to exhibit and PUBLISHERS WEEKLY and other venues are featuring the best self-published books. Being part of this new era in publishing allows opportunities to help shape it. This means teaming in new ways with new people and being free to see our projects all the way from conception to publication and beyond.

Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

I believe it took a similar amount of time to publish independently as it would have taken had I gone with a traditional publisher — about 18 months from conception to publication.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

I felt ecstatic and celebrated with friends and readers at my book release celebration.

Q: What was the first thing you did as far as promotion when you were published for the first time?

I worked with a marketing expert and the first thing we did was write and distribute on-line press releases. It was a great way to get the word out that my book was launching.

Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

Knowing that I am touching people through my books makes me feel a huge sense of responsibility to ensure that my message and the product it is wrapped in (the book) are both excellent. I have grown from thinking about the glamorous aspects of being published — the dramatic thank-you scenes at the academy awards if you will — to thinking about publishing as an opportunity to develop a platform to share my message and effect positive change in the world.

Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

The enormous changes the industry is going through. The publishing industry is changing faster than anyone can keep up with or predict. It is an industry that has gained tremendous complexity in the virtual (as well as physical) world in a very short period of time. An industry that is barely recognizable when we look backward and completely unpredictable when we look ahead. And yet I know there is no coincidence that I am launching my new book with gusto within an industry that has surrendered its static tight ship and is learning to sail a dynamic new vessel into unchartered seas.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

Being a published author expands one’s sense of self. It compels one to be a greater version of oneself — it offers room to grow into one’s life.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

If you feel called to share a message – a how to, inspiration, biography, humor, or guidance, or to tell a story – you have an important role in life. Celebrate it! Make developing and sharing your message a priority because it truly is a gift to your readers!

 

 

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