Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Interview with Marc Bennetts, author of Kicking the Kremlin

What did you learn through writing this book?

I discovered how deep the divisions are in Russian society between those who support Putin’s rule and those who are against him. But I also learned that while Putin’s supporters are mainly passive, his foes are extremely active and committed. All of which could prove vital if the opposition movement ever manages to seriously challenge his long rule again.

What message do you want to get out to people about it?

Russia’s anti-Putin movement was championed by the West. But few took the time to examine the movement, which was made of very disparate groups, from the far-left to the far-right. While many in the West would like to see Putin toppled, it’s far from certain what ruler would emerge to take his place.

What's been the response to the book?

It’s had some great reviews. My favourite was in the Times of London Literary Supplement, by John Lloyd, the director of journalism at the Reuters Institute. It was good to have the book praised by such a qualified person. It’s also just been released in Poland, which I’m very pleased about. On the downside, pro-Putin supporters have included me on their list of Russophobes.” Which is laughable. I mean, I’ve been living in Russia for 15 years and have a Russian wife and daughter. Hardly Russophobe material. But “Russophobe” for these people means you are willing to speak to Putin’s opponents, I guess.

Anything else you'd like to say?

I’ve also just released an ebook on Russia’s long-time obsession with the occult. From Kremlin-backed psychics to urban witches and wizards, Russians have been fascinated with the paranormal and the occult since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The book’s called “Resurrections for Roubles: Adventures with Modern Russia’s Psychics, Sects and Sorcerers” and is available on amazon.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Q&A with Miranda Sherry author of Black Dog Summer

What inspired this book?

I was inspired by the way stories bind us together as families and connect us, even after someone dies. When the main character in Black Dog Summer is murdered, she finds that she’s still tied to her sister and her daughter by their continuing stories as they battle to make their way the a world without her. She becomes drawn in, unable to leave until her story has been told.
I was inspired by the possibility that within the violent reality of the world we all live in now, when things seem at their worst, there’s hope for redemption and healing. I wanted the book to take the reader on a journey: through the dark places in which the sinister spectre of a black dog (the embodiment of all that violent energy) stalks through the narrative, and into a space where the light finds a way through.

What was the best part of putting together the book?

I’d say the best part was the sense of peace I gained from writing every day, from chipping away, even when I didn’t feel like it, even when I was working on a part of the book that seemed so impossibly difficult that it felt as if I was being scraped raw. That discipline to keep coming back to the page, to keep defying that terrible, blinking cursor in its blank white space, to push through the doubt and the fear that comes when you’re trying to create something, that was incredibly empowering, and has left me changed.

What's been the response to the book?

The book has been out in the UK for a few weeks now, and has already received some truly heartening reader reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, mentioning that it was ‘beautifully written’ and kept them turning the pages. It was also made ‘Book of the Month’ on, which was a big thrill for me, and hugely encouraging. I hope my fellow South African readers find it as engaging, and I look forward to hearing their thoughts.

What new projects are you working on?

I never say much about the book I’m busy with until the first draft is safely done and dusted. I feel that telling anyone even a tiny aspect of the story tends to lessen the urgency to write it, and I need that urgency to power through the difficult writing days. I will say though, that it’s a new novel that features (amongst other things) a vegetable garden, a secret grave, and a dead horse. That’s all I'm giving away for now...

Anything else you'd like to say?

When I was little, there was a massacre on a rural farm that resulted in the death of someone I knew. It was the first time my life was touched by violence and it affected me deeply. Black Dog Summer was born from the fears and questions that had been plaguing me since.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

5 Questions with Marc Meyer

1. How did you get involved in T'ai Chi?
Once I reached my forties, I looked around for an exercise I could feel interested enough to adopt as a daily routine and continue with into my later years while avoiding the pitfalls of procrastination and injuries associated with activities like jogging and weight training. At that same time in the late 1990's, David Carradine, star of the long running and popular 1970's television series "Kung Fu" began advertising his T'ai Chi videos for beginners. His television commercials seemed fun, intriguing and coincided with a perk offered as part of a club membership I owned which began featuring a T'ai Chi Class on the beach. The idea seemed just different enough to be irresistible and I felt that if I had no time to exercise on a given day, at the very least I would attempt some T'ai Chi. Over time, practice of T'ai Chi became much more than that to me. I was hooked from the first class onward and the practice of T'ai Chi has proven itself to be of lasting benefit. I became a teacher in 1999 and have been teaching the art of T'ai Chi Chuan to students and friends up until the present day.

2. What is the difference between T'ai Chi and other martial arts?
T'ai Chi is classified is an "internal" martial art, meaning that martial skill and power are developed from the inside out through a process involving many years as opposed to the reverse theory practiced by "external" systems such as Karate or Tai Kwon Do, which can be developed in a shorter period of time but are by no means more effective.

3. Tell us about the Master and his nephews.
In the book, a T'ai Chi master named Kuo Yun San leaves mainland China in the 1960's for what he thinks is the last time. His goals are simple, he envisions opening a successful T'ai Chi school and strengthening the bonds between himself and his Asian American family in Chinatown with whom he has had little to no communication in years. The results are surprising as Master Kuo finds himself trading one Cultural Revolution for another and his newfound friends and family members, thinking they were going to educate him into adopting an American lifestyle, find he has more to teach them.  

4. What are some of the life lessons that can be realized from this book?
Using himself as an example Master Kuo teaches that patience, diligence and skill aquired through effort are some of the most valued lessons one can achieve in the course of a lifetime.

5. What's next for Marc Meyer?  Do you have other books in the pipeline?
I have at least three more novels in me that I have begun working on simultaneously. One is a memoir, one is about an elderly batchelor who finds his way toward the end of his life and one is a young adult novel about five very unusual preteens in the possesion of individual healing powers. Of course getting ideas is easy, setting them down in a readable form that will capture an audience's interest is very hard.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Q&A with Jennifer Storm, author of Blackout Girl: Growing Up and Drying Out in America

Q&A with Jennifer Storm, author of Blackout Girl: Growing Up and Drying Out in America
What was the inspiration behind writing this book?
I knew I had a story that was unique but not unique if that makes sense, I had been through so much in my life and as I began recovery, I couldn’t find any books that spoke to my story.  I started writing as a path towards healing and after a few years realized I had a decent book on my hands. I wanted other people struggling the way I was to be able to find a book that spoke to them and helped them on their journey. 

What's the most rewarding part of this process writing the book?
I love hearing from people who have read the book and it has helped them in someway.  I still get emails from readers who thank me for sharing my story with them.  I also love speaking and traveling with the book whenever I can.  I think story telling is the most powerful means by which we can create real awareness about issues. 

What did you learn about yourself through writing the book?
I learned that I am stronger that I thought and I can overcome anything and stay in a healing place. I was very scared upon the publication of the book fearing for what people would think of me laying all my skeletons out for public inspection.  It gave me a new freedom that I wasn’t prepared for but welcomed in a new way. 

Was it therapetuic writing a book?
Incredibly. I started writing as a way to heal from my past traumas, I knew that I had to go back and unearth all that ailed me, I had to find the root cause of my initial need to escape and deal with it to the best of my ability.  I didn’t want to ever live the way I was living again so I became willing to truly deal with it all in a healthy way. Every time I stand before a crowd and share my story, my soul heals a bit more.

What's next for you?
I have been working on screenwriting as of late and am really enjoying diving into this creative area of writing.  I’ve written a screenplay for the book and a TV show based on it. I am now moving into a more fictional area.  I love to write and cannot imagine it not being a part of my life.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

5 Questions with Ray Moynihan, author of "Sex, Lies and Pharmaceuticals"


What's this book all about for people who haven't heard?

The  book is about the making of the new big blockbuster medical condition -a condition called "Female Sexual Dy sfunction". It reveals how drug
companies are actually helping to construct some of the basic scientific
building blocks of this condition - in order to help build markets for their
new products.

How did the book come about?

I have been an investigative journalist reporting on the business of
healthcare for many years - and I became interetsed in the way part of drug
company marketing strategies were aimed at "creating the need" for their new
products. One of the ways they help to "create the need", is by shaping
perceptions of the conditions their drugs target.  In about 2002 I attended
a "medical education" seminar on female sexual dysfunction, and I realized
there was a big fascinating story here.

What's the main idea you want people to realize?

That marketing is merging with medical science - and that when they hear
claims about sexual disorders and dysfunctions being widespread- they need
to be a little skeptical.

What's the response been to the book?

Very positive. all over the world. The only important criticism that I have
seen has come from the association representing the pharmaceutical industry
in Australia. They accused me of using sex to sell something.

What's next for you?

Growing some vegetables, playing some music, doing some more dancing,
hanging out at the beach some more, and getting on with the journalism.

Monday, June 23, 2014

5 Questions with Simon Maier, author of "Speak like a President"

What's a quick tip to speak more like a president immediately?
Have one proposition and stick to it.

Which president was the best speaker? Clinton was excellent, Lincoln wasn't. George W Bush was actually extremely good too (as a speaker) but got little credit. That will change. Washington was excellent, but had problems with his teeth. Kennedy was fabulous and had a terrific writer (Ted Sorensen) working with him. FDR was measured and very good. If you want one only, then I'd pick Kennedy.

What's the greatest speech you've seen? A speech made in 2009 by Stephen Fry. And, as an option, a speech made by James Rubin who was President Clinton's Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs and Chief Spokesman for the State Department. A third option was a speech made by Lord John Browne as CEO of BP. Barack Obama’s speech on November 10th 2009 at Ford Hood was extraordinary rhetoric. Brilliant – and that’s probably the greatest I’ve ever seen and heard from a politician.

What's a big mistake a lot of new speakers make?
Not understanding the people who comprise an audience, not knowing what your audience knows or doesn’t, not knowing what an audience needs or wants. Not understanding period. The other big mistake is that business speakers use vast quantities of PowerPoint. PowerPoint doesn’t make a bad speaker good or a dull subject more interesting. None of history’s great orators used PowerPoint. Also, many new speakers think that speeches are for themselves, not their audiences.

What's the best way to get back an audience if you're losing their attention? Tell a story that's relevant to your proposition and one that you know unequivocally will press people's buttons - and make it one that amuses; if the story’s slightly tilted against yourself, then that helps.

5 questions with "The Laws of Charisma" author Kurt W. Mortensen

Do you have any tips on how you can try and feel and radiate confidence when you're not really confident?

Lack of confidence can be summed up in one word: fear. Fear can be defined as a magnified doubt. All worries, questions, concerns, insecurities—can ultimately be traced back to fear in one form or another. Fear breeds doubt and doubt destroys confidence. You need to make sure that your confidence is bigger than your doubt. What does your audience really sense in you? Are you afraid to exercise confidence and charisma? The desire to overcome your fear needs to be bigger than the fear itself. When you are afraid, that fear will breed doubt and suck the energy right out of you. While it is okay to have fear, you must be able to handle and manage that fear. When you doubt yourself, doubt your abilities, others will doubt you and your charisma.

For people who are not very charismatic at all, what's a good easy way to get the ball rolling?

The challenge is that most think of charismatic people as movie stars, CEO’s, politicians, or even religious leaders. Sure we born with a few of the skills, but the studies show charisma can be learned. Remember with charisma that people want to be around you and be influenced by you. I would have an honest moment with yourself and choose the one area that is causing people not to want be around you or influenced by you. Find others in the workplace that that have that skill you want and watch how they use it with others.

Who is the most charismatic person you've met and what specifically made him or her so charismatic?

When I think of charisma, I think of Anthony Robbins. He is the author of Unlimited Power and made famous by having everyone in his audience walk on fire. You probably have seen him on an infomercial promoting personal development programs. Stop and watch him and you will see the definition of energy and charisma. He can engage an audience for 4 straight days and those events will last very late into the evening. He is so powerful, engaging and charismatic that his audience does not realize they have been with Tony for over 12 hours. His transfer of vision and hope cause him to be charismatic.

What is the biggest breakthrough you've made in your life in terms of getting to the next level of charisma?

My biggest breakthrough during my life was the ability to influence others. We all influence for a living and need to make sure we have mastered this skill. I learned that the ability to influence others how they want to be influenced was a critical factor not only to success, but with charisma. Long gone are the days of force, the data dump, closing skills and hype. People are more skeptical than ever before and if you don’t know how to influence the right way – there will be no charisma.

Out of the Four Core Qualities of Charismatic People, which one is most difficult to master for the vast majority of people?

The most difficult charismatic quality for most people to master is the ability to communicate and present their ideas. Yes, this would be your presentation skills. The studies show that the ability to give presentations is the most critical skill needed to move up in today’s business environment. Charismatic people have excellent communication skills that captive, inspire and rivet the audience. They can articulate their vision and make that vision come alive in the audience’s mind. Communication includes phone skills, face-to-face interactions, group presentations, negotiations, and even text and email. How are your presentation skills?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Q&A with James Graham-Campbell, author of The Viking World

What can our world today learn from the Viking world?

The Viking Age, from the 9th to 11th centuries AD, was a spectacular period in northern history and its legacy is substantial – and not just in the Scandinavian homelands of the Vikings themselves. All those of Scandinavian blood have their roots in the Viking Age and thus need to learn of their origins to better understand how they come to be who (and where) they are today. As for the rest of us, there is much to appreciate in the many achievements of the Vikings, particularly in their remarkable voyages of raiding and conquest, of discovery and settlement, and of commerce – from the North Atlantic to the Black Sea. Indeed, English-speaking peoples use many Norse words without even realising it – from ‘egg’ to ‘die’!

Which artefact was most impressive for yourself?

The Viking longship is the true symbol of the Viking Age and there is no more impressive experience of the period than entering the Viking Ship Museum in Norway for one’s first encounter with the elegant prow of the Oseberg ship, recovered from a royal burial mound constructed in AD 834. It is in the shape of a snake’s head, turning the vessel itself into a ‘sea-serpent’, with its stern ending in a coiled tail – the cover-image of The Viking World.

What were the Vikings like as personalities?

The ancient sayings or ‘wisdom’ of the Vikings, contained in the contemporary collection of poems known as the Hávamál , reveal something of the attitudes and culture of these Scandinavian peoples who lived a millennium ago – not surprisingly they seem very like us!

What was the most interesting thing you learned from putting together the book?

Two aspects of the Viking experience that interest me most closely are the immense wealth of silver which they accumulated, from their extensive raiding and trading, and the nature of their enigmatic art and ornament. Overall, however, a theme of particular interest to emerge from such a book as The Viking World is the development of the nation-states of Scandinavia from their pagan barbarian past to become part of the Christian civilisation of medieval Europe.

What new projects are you working on?

I have just recently published a survey of Viking Art (for Thames & Hudson) and am now working to complete a project researching the pagan Viking graves from Scotland.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Q&A with Laurelyn Whitt, author of Tether

What was the inspiration of this book?
I suppose there are books that have a single 'external' inspiration. One source, that called the myriad poems within the collection up, out of that place where they wait. That has not been my experience however, with Tether or elsewhere, although I am open to it. Tether is more a record, or reflection, of where I have been and what I have been responding to over a certain period of time - in this case, over the 7 years or so between the completion of my last collection, interstices, and the completion of this one. 
During this time I immigrated to Canada, and there is a thread in Tether that offers a sustained reflection on the phenomenon of borders and boundaries. Borders tend to be dangerous places, where a great deal is at stake, where much can be lost, and where power - in its many forms - is a significant factor. Some of the poems in this thread focus on how both language systems and natural systems are affected by the indiscriminate breaching, manipulation, and re-drawing of borders. I am especially concerned with whether and how these things survive. A number of other poems in this thread consider the present and future of endangered human languages and cultures, as well as of threatened nonhuman species and habitats.
Shortly before I started writing the first of the poems that found their way into this book, both of my parents passed on. So there is another thread interwoven with the first, poems which are taut with the struggle to live with this.  To move past the sense of suddenly being parent-less, and toward what still holds us together.
So themes of preservation and restoration interweave with those of loss and destruction in both threads of Tether. The collection is an effort to appreciate, and better understand, the tenuous yet tenacious nature of the continuities that bind us as individuals and peoples, to one another, and to the natural world.
What has been the reception from readers and colleagues and your friends?
Hmm. I'm not sure I have a good grasp of this, but let me try.       Since many of these poems have been with me for a while, I have had a chance to get them 'out there' - to editors, for publication, and at readings. They tend to be fairly diverse - in form and in subject matter. One thing I have noticed is that their diversity has been embraced. By that I mean that different people have settled on quite different poems, or groups of poems, that they are especially drawn to.  That has been gratifying.
Which part was the most pleasurable to write? Do you feel lost in the moment when you are writing and are very much in the "now"?
I am combining these two questions since the second seems to me to be a way of understanding what you mean by "pleasurable' in the first. Seeing it this way allows what is painful to still be experienced as pleasurable. Certainly, the kind of full immersion you describe in the second question is part of, maybe the whole of, the great delight of writing. My partner likes to observe that the whole house could crash in on me when I am working and I would remain as I was.
But now I am puzzling about 'most' pleasurable, since I don't have any sense of more-or-less associated with this.  I find I cannot write if I don't care; writing poetry is a way of caring. And for me at least they are simultaneous. Of course I sometimes do write without caring, but I wouldn't call the result poetry.
I will, even so, single out a group of poems - mainly because the writing of them was unusual, and something I hope to repeat. "The Medicine Line" sequence is the first poetic sequence I have written. Having realized after the first poem that there was more to be said about this, and that it built directly on what I had just said, I moved on to a second. Then a third, fourth and fifth. (And I am still not sure I am done with it.) The initial drafts of these poems came very quickly, in (what for me is) a blur. A poetic sequence enables a sustained perception - and reception. It lets you dive and not come up for a while. Long poems do the same I suppose. The other thing about sequences is that the poems in them are often a kind of ideal community - able as individuals to stand well alone but also dependent on one another. In this case I was carried to the form by the subject matter - the sequence being a kind of a compressed history of that particular line on the map. I would welcome being carried away like this again. I may even go there on my own.
What new projects are you working on?
Borders and boundary phenomena still have a grip on me, though increasingly they are being contrasted with, and sometimes displaced by, that of horizons. I am completing a new manuscript that examines the significance of the horizon for us as a species, as cultural and historical beings, and as individuals bounded by communities of various sorts. Horizons surround us with the world. They hold us in while drawing us out, but are not fixed. The manuscript explores how horizons contain us without restraining us, and what is lost or gained as a result. It also reflects on their expansiveness, on how they protect and prepare us. All of this is responsive to and informed by place, by particular environments - their history, cultural dynamics, flora, fauna, geology and climate.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Q&A with Diane Sanfilippo, author of Practical Paleo

The book is very thorough and comprehensive, how long did it end up taking to complete?
The hands-on work of the book took me about 8 months, but the time researching and developing the ideas and content took several years leading up to that hands-on time.

Have you received a lot of thanks from people who achieved positive results?
I've received countless emails, over 1200 Amazon reviews, and comments daily on my FaceBook and other social media outlets about positive results. I've heard of everything from massive weight loss, to putting deeply painful symptoms of MS into remission. It's been astounding.

What was the most rewarding part of writing this book?
Meeting readers and fans in person at signing and seminar events has been truly astounding. I get goose bumps every time someone tells me their story of healing, and how my book or my work has helped them in their journey, especially when the advice or prescriptions from their multiple doctors were failing. Just this past weekend I met a woman who was almost in tears when she met me, simply because she felt that my work saved her life. There is absolutely no better reason to do this work than to help even just one other person in that way.

Have some athletes noted successful results from adhering to advice from the book?
Absolutely. The coaches at my own gym are all high-level athletes and have taken a lot from the meal plan I've outlined in the book and have seen gains in their achievements over the past year and a half. Additionally, one blogger in particular named Janelle Pica (of followed my 30-Day Meal Plan for Athletic Performance and realized pretty quickly that she had been under eating to support her training goals. Her experience was eye-opening and it didn't even require following the outlined 30 days of meals to the letter. As I note throughout the book, it's all about customizing the approach you take to what will suit your own needs and support your goals.

What new projects are you working on?
Oh, so many! I just released my "Healthy Holiday Recipes" eBook that is a free resource for anyone interested and is available on my website ( Up next will be the release of "The 21-Day Sugar Detox Cookbook," the companion to the first 21DSD book, and then the Beyond Sugar Detox program, which will enhance the amount of resources available to those on the 21DSD program as well as support them far beyond their 21 days. After that, there's a lot more on-deck, but you'll have to stay tuned on social media and on my website to find out!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Q&A with Rea Frey, author of Power Vegan

What is something a lot of vegans miss in their diet that they need to have?

Many vegans assume if they cut out meat and dairy, then all their nutritional bases are covered, but this isn’t always the case. Being vegan comes with a bit of responsibility. You have to do your homework. Unfortunately, our food isn't as nutritious as it used to be (thank you, processed devils!), so you have to be aware of lacking nutrients. Ask yourself: Where do I get vitamin B12? Nutritional yeast and Kombucha. Vitamin D? Shiitake mushrooms and sunshine. Iron? Beans, greens, raw cacao beans, dried fruit, sea veggies, and molasses. Calcium? Seeds (chia and sesame), collard greens, beans, and pseudograins. Popping a vitamin doesn’t always do the trick, so know your sources.

Are there any new vegan products which have come out lately you are a fan of?

I’m really impressed by Better Life cleaning products (so safe, you can actually ingest them!). What we eat is so important, but what we clean with, what we wash our clothes with, what makeup we use, what styling products we use… these all contribute to our overall health. In terms of eating, I’ve always been a fan of Garden of Life. I enjoy their Raw Protein products. Vega is always pushing the boundaries as well, especially for those who want to live extremely active plant-based lives. I’ve never found a more complete supplement line for active individuals - Vega has it all.

What would you say is the breakfast of champions for vegans?

Starting your day with a giant green smoothie is one of the best ways to supply your body with easily digestible fruits and veggies, as well as flooding your body with vitamins and minerals. Blending kale, parsley, romaine, apple, lemon juice, banana, chia, hemp or flax seeds and some nondairy milk can wake up the body and “cleanse” after fasting all night. Following that up an hour ater some delicious nondairy pumpkin hemp protein pancakes can’t hurt either.

What are the best sources of protein for vegans?

People so often focus on not getting enough protein as a vegan, but it is extremely easy to bypass the fake meat and get more than you need from natural sources. Remember that all plant foods have protein (50% of most greens’ calories are made up of protein!), and plant-based proteins are cheaper and easier to digest. My go-to list: soaked and sprouted legumes (beans and peas), nuts, seeds, quinoa, teff, amaranth, hemp-pea-brown rice protein, greens, organic, sprouted tofu, and tempeh (for those with no soy aversions).

What new projects are you working on?

I’m currently writing a new book called My Daughter, The A**hole. It is a very comedic account of my first-time pregnancy and foray into motherhood. All the mishaps, emotions, and ups and downs that come with being a new parent are on full display. I guarantee if you've thought about it, I'm writing about it. It's good to be honest about how tough being a parent can be. Each chapter also supplies a recipe for pregnancy, post-pregnancy, infancy and even plant-based recipes for those picky toddler years.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Q&A with Will Buckingham, author of Happiness: A Practical Guide

What's an easy tip to gain happiness?
I’m not sure that there are any easy tips. One of the things I’m interested in is that “happiness” refers to quite a few different things, so it depends what you mean by “happiness”… Different kinds of happiness might require different kinds of “tips” and advice. 

But at the same time, if you have a fairly modest view of what happiness is — if you are not looking for something earth-shattering, or world-changing — then often the things that help with developing happiness are also relatively modest: spending time with friends; being engaged in work that you feel is fruitful and of benefit; a degree of autonomy… and cake. Cake helps.

Of course, there’s also the question of other people’s happiness, because there might be things that you can do that can help others gain happiness, or at least not cause them misery. So ethics always comes into it as well.

Is happiness proportional to gratitude?
I think that gratitude is already a kind of happiness, and ingratitude already a kind of unhappiness. It doesn’t make much sense to me to say, “She’s very ungrateful, but she’s happy…”  So, yes, I think that gratitude is one aspect of the kind of happiness that matters to me. 

Does money make people happy?
In terms of what researchers call “subjective well-being” (which is one kind of idea of what “happiness” might involve), the research seems to suggest that having no money or very little money is a significant cause of lack of well-being. But once you have sufficient money to live on, then the benefits of money—in terms of happiness at least—are subject to the law of diminishing returns. Once your basic needs are met and you have a degree of financial stability, the more you have, the less and bang you get for your buck when it comes to happiness. If, however, you give some of that surplus that isn’t making you particularly happy to other people who don’t have the same surplus, then that might increase your happiness and theirs!

Which are the habits of happy people?
Again, they are often quite simple: friendship, work that feels valuable, time to relax with friends. But, of course, different things make different people happy. I have a friend who is in the habit of jumping out of airplanes, claiming it makes him happy. It seems a strange habit to me, but then, I’m not him…

What makes you happy?
I love writing, and I love teaching: I teach in a university, and whilst universities are very weird kinds of places to spend your time and there’s a lot about them that doesn’t make me very happy (so many meetings!), the teaching is great. I love travel, and playing the guitar, and hanging out with the cat, to whom I’ve apprenticed myself in an attempt to more deeply study the art of happiness. 

What's next for you?
There are a couple of novels on the go, a further philosophy book about hospitality, and a book for children that I’ve just been working on editing, so there’s a lot on at the moment, which I like. There’s a kind of happiness that comes from being absorbed in interesting projects.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Interview with Tammy Credicott, author of Paleo Indulgences

Which dessert in the book has turned out to be the most popular?
That’s a tough one…there are a few that have gotten lots of buzz. But I would have to say the Skinny Mint Cookies. People were surprised they could have a Girl Scout type cookie that was delicious and grain-free! 
How would you describe the paleo pizza's taste?
The Paleo Pizza Crust has been another popular one because it’s the only grain-free crust I’ve ever had that tastes like the real thing. Crispy on the edges, chewy inside, you’d never know it wasn't gluten-filled! 
What's the most common indulgence from your book that you eat?
That would have to be the Antipasto Salad! It makes a great on-the-go meal or school lunch so we make it quite often. 
What's the fastest indulgence to make in the book?
Well that one’s easy! The One-Minute Chocolate Cake! In just a few moments, you can have a moist, decadent chocolate cake that satisfies the most intense chocolate cravings.
What new things are you working on?
Right now I’m working on adding lots of new recipes to my recently updated website, as well as getting started on my next grain-free cookbook which will include lots of delicious, simple and easy to make recipes.