Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Commuter Marriage

Sorry for the delay in posting this morning. My lovely ISP that I swear, was developed in 1992 and hasn't been upgraded since, was down. One of the hazards of living in the mountains in the woods with the animals.
Today, on K.C. Writer's Blog, I have a writer whose book I needed last summer while my husband worked in Kansas City and I lived down here in the mountains. Tina Tessina is a psychotherapist and author of 13 self help books. Tina talks about her latest book, “The Commuter Marriage: Keep Your Relationship Close While You’re Far Apart," and gives her own advice for writers wanting to write a self help book of their own.
The Summer Great Book Giveaway continues. Ask Tina a writing related question through the comments section by 5 p.m. today and if I randomly draw your question, you'll win a copy of Tina's book and she will answer your question on the blog on Thursday! You don't even need a google account to sign in. How easy is that?

Please tell us about yourself.
I'm a licensed psychotherapist in S. California, with 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 16 languages, including Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can
Ruin Your Marriage (Adams Media Jan 2008) The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again
(Wiley) and the forthcoming The Commuter Marriage: Keep Your Relationship Close While You're Far Apart. (Adams Media, June 2008)
I also publish The "Happiness Tips from Tina" e-mail newsletter; the "Dr. Romance" blog at
http://drromance.typepad.com/dr_romance_blog/and hosted a weekly hour long radio show:"The Psyche Deli: delectable tidbits for the subconscious." I am an online expert, answering questions at www.CouplesCompany.com and Yahoo!Personals at http://personals.yahoo.com/us/static/content_date.

Tell us about your new book, “The Commuter Marriage: Keep Your Relationship Close While You’re Far Apart.”
Between war deployment, different work shifts, business traveling and relocation, and jobs like trucking and firefighting which keep people away from home for days at a time, many couples today live in Commuter Marriages, or the equivalent. Commuter Marriage is designed to give them the information, examples and skills they need to navigate this treacherous terrain and keep the intimacy and connection alive in their relationship. It explores every avenue of long-distance relationships: communication, problem-solving, fairness, finances, intimacy, change, stress, and the growth that comes from successfully dealing with these issues.

What motivated you to write this book?
Working with many couples who are dealing with various kinds of separation and commuting.

Has answering relationship questions online helped you build a platform for writing your books?
Yes, it has. I get questions in my e-mail every day, and it helps me know what issues people have that they want help for.

What have you found to be the most challenging aspect of writing self-help books?
Promotion, and helping the people who need the book find it. Once people find my books, I get a lot of positive feedback; but the number of books out there is huge, and reaching the reading audience isn't easy.

How did you find your agent/publisher?
My agent, Laurie Harper of the Sebastian Literary Agency and I have been working together for twenty years -- she found the publisher.

How has being a psychotherapist influenced your writing?
It is the reason for my writing, and the reason I have the experience and knowledge to help people through books -- the books are an extension of what I do in the counseling session.

Do you do speaking engagements to help market your books? What is involved in your marketing plan?
Yes, when I speak at bookstores, and in lectures like the one I'm giving for IWOSC on June 21, http://www.iwosc.org/calendar/index.html#seminars it gives me a chance to reach an audience and let them know what is in the book that might be helpful to them. I list all my events on www.booktour.com, and then export the RSS feed to my website, my Facebook page, my Amazon Connect author page, etc.

What advice would you offer people planning to write and sell a self-help book to a publisher?
Platform, platform platform! Start building the platform even before you begin the book. Use pieces from the book in a blog, interview as an expert (try Peter Shankman's helpareporter.com), get out and speak. Keep a mailing list of everyone who is interested in your information. Search for groups interested in your topic, and get connected. Developing a platform will help you interest a publisher in your book, and help you sell it once it's published.

And now, Tina is ready for your questions!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been hearing that the military divorce rate is much higher than the non-military. Do you think the military as a whole is doing enough to keep marriages strong? If not, what do you think they could use help with?

9:43 AM CDT  

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