Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start writing.
I was focused on creativity from the time I was a child. Music, writing, acting … generating ideas for anything. My fascination with language comes from a growing up within a creative family and I always loved to play with language. Professionally, I have been generating ideas and concepts for over 36 years. As an international, award winning writer and producer, my creative experience spans radio, television, print, web, live shows and events. My work has been recognized in New York, Hollywood, and Toronto.
I have handled creative assignments for many organizations in the public and private sectors, generating ideas with teams for many different applications spanning advertising and marketing ideas and concepts to problem solving and strategic solutions The list of projects is diverse including branding development for Nightingale Conant in Chicago, to co-scripting and directing William Shatner’s live Canadian show.
Tell us about your books.
I am the author of “A Brilliant Idea Every 60 Seconds” (Gildan Media New York ) and I am also the author of “The Father’s Guide To Surviving With Kids”, the third installment for the Bachelor’s Guide Series, which has collectively sold over 300,000 copies in Canada.
“A Brilliant Idea Every 60 Seconds” introduces a tested ideation and creative thinking methodology developed over my 36-year career as a creative communications professional and ideation expert. This methodology and the associated tools are being applied in personal lives and professional careers, helping people connect to their individual ways of operating creatively.
This how-to book on ideation focuses an individual’s creative lens and makes the process of generating ideas highly tangible. It is not simply about techniques; it is also about understanding a context of personal, individual creativity that allows individuals to more fully understand and embrace the Brilliant ideation techniques. Most importantly it is about speed: generating ideas – right now!
The book is comprised of three components:
Examining individual creativity: understanding the nature of your individual creative process; exploring how you think and operate creatively; understanding how others think and operate creatively; and maximizing the way groups, teams, and think tanks work together creatively and reach their creative potential.
The ideation toolkit: understanding the nine inherent values (idea triggers) and how they work to generate idea strings and actionable ideas and the matrix of these inherent values, which makes the creative process and ideation tangible.
Case studies: examining over 30 case studies ranging from advertising campaigns and live events to problem-solving situations and innovative product development.
“A Brilliant Idea Every 60 Seconds” and the related workshop apply to all: entrepreneurs, marketers, advertisers, educators, students, professionals, writers, communicators, non-profit, industry teams, artists, scientists, researchers, inventors— anyone who needs an idea. It is a multi-platform toolkit for ideation and creative thinking. Ideas can change their world. This book is my small way of contributing to a better world (as fluffy as that may sound, I believe it).
How did you go about getting published?
I had worked with the Nightingale Conant team in Chicago where I met Dan Strutzel, former VP Publishing of Nightingale Conant. Years later I discovered he was an independent literary agent. We connected and the the next thing I knew, we had a publishing deal.
What is your writing process? Do you have a time, day or place you like to write?
Ever since I began writing (advertising copy), I always started early in the morning in my cubicle. Today, I work in my writer’s den, which helps me focus my creative lens. Some days, I write for hours, sometimes for short periods of time. And, music is always playing in the background … soft, textural pieces that harmonize with my mood.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Full-time job, pets, hobbies?
I love writing songs with my friends. I hunt for old printed material in any form, books, magazines, anything which connects me to social history. I putz in the yard, and I enjoy my time with my fiance doing many things from cooking to dancing, wandering the streets of any city we happen to be in.
Any advice for authors about book covers?
You have 6 seconds to communicate. Numbers, symbols, images, eye-bite language are critical. The objective is to attract curiosity and motivate the potential reader to open the book —- in answer to the question — I wonder what this is about ….
Any marketing tips you’d like to share with other authors?
Promote, promote, promote. Be engaged as an author in using social channels. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends to help you get the word out. Invest in active, consistent marketing programs like Google AdWords, BookTweep … there are many, and they do not have to be cost prohibitive to you. Start and sustain conversations with others about the things you know about and love. Don’t be afraid to challenge conventional thinking. Tell stories.
What’s your favorite book?
Oh my … Robertson Davies, Ayn Rand, Michael Chriton, Anthony Burgess, Stephen Covey …. perhaps I would place the auto-biography of Benjamin Franklin and the biography of Stephen Jobs near the top of the list.
What are you reading now?
I am reading “Sea Spray”, a collection of stories, some written by a good friend and colleague of mine … reminiscences of life in New England.
What’s your next book project?
“The Fourth Wall” (a theatre term); we watch a play through the 4th wall. It is how we have become both actor and spectator in our lives. It is an exploration of selfishness within us and how intrusive instruments like social media have changed the way connect and the way we view ourselves. It also explores attitude shifts and how we can invoke shifts to help us in our pursuit of goals.