September 13, 2009 | Comments Off
Dr. Kent: Welcome back to Sound Authors. It’s a beautiful day out here in New York. The sun is shining finally, and summer appears to have almost arrived, and that’s a good thing, because in two days it really does arrive. Well, my next guest on the show, Elizabeth Fournier, she has a great book called All Men Are Cremated Equal: My 77 Blind Dates. It’s a crass title and it’ll be fun to chat with her about the book. Welcome to the show, Elizabeth Fournier.
Elizabeth Fournier: Hi there, Dr. Kent.
Dr. Kent: Tell me about this book. It’s pretty off the wall, your title.
Elizabeth Fournier: Yeah, it’s actually a real life story. And of course, how I got the title is I live it every day. I am a mortician, so I in fact know that all men are cremated equal. And of course, blind dates, well, you know. Ladies will probably concur, in general, if it doesn’t work out, we can cremate them equally, too.
Dr. Kent: And it’s such a clever title. So tell us about, how is it as a woman of the industry of the funerary industry, I guess you call it. How is it being a woman in that industry?
Elizabeth Fournier: You know, it’s kind of a mixed bag because women are the natural caregivers. We’re the first undertakers, so to speak, the first layers out of the dead. So it’s very natural for us to be kind and caring and compassionate. However, once it became formalized with education, men came in because only men could go to school and go on and get the licenses and what have you. So it’s kind of a male dominated industry. There’s definitely a lot more men in it than women, and when people come to my funeral home on a daily basis to see me, they always say, “Oh, you’re the funeral director?” Or, “Oh, I didn’t think you were what a mortician looked like.” So I get a lot of that surprise. People think I’m the secretary or the girl answering the door or what have you. So that’s just a natural thing. And being in the industry as a woman is fantastic. I get to actually be myself and be there for people and love them and care for them. It’s perfect.
Dr. Kent: So have you ever had someone try to pick you up at the funeral home?
Elizabeth Fournier: Oh, I would say not so much because it was the excitement of being at a funeral home, but I’ve definitely been at funerals, or I’ve been at the cemetery at a burial and somebody, not of course the person who lost their spouse or whoever, but somebody a little bit further removed there, a friend of the family or somebody will kind of come up and ask me some questions about what I’m doing and how I got to be there and where I live. You know, you can tell if it’s interest or if it’s interest. You know, there’s kind of different things. Yeah.
Dr. Kent: Right. Well, so ok, so the book is about a blind dating spree, 77 blind dates. Now this really happened?
Elizabeth Fournier: Oh, yeah. It was one tiresome year of my life.
Dr. Kent: 77. I mean, that’s unbelievable. There had to be one good guy in that group.
Elizabeth Fournier: Well, they all were great. They really were fine, quality people, they just weren’t for me. And it’s not that I’m necessarily horribly picky, they just, they just weren’t for me.
Dr. Kent: And so talk about the book. You’ve got this book, and what do people think when they pick it up? First of all, it’s great as a gag gift, All Men Are Cremated Equal. Any woman can give that to her husband. But the book, what’s it about? It’s about your life as, in this industry that’s not common for women to necessarily be in, and then you’ve got these 77 blind dates, which seems like a big number, although it probably isn’t if you’re really looking for somebody that you click with.
Elizabeth Fournier: Yeah, exactly. The book is about my struggle looking for Mr. Right. I was 36 years old, I just left a fiancé, and I wanted to get married. I didn’t want another date. But when I had left a fiancé all the friends jumped up and down for joy and said, “Oh that’s great, I’m glad you left him, we’ve got a better candidate for you.” So everybody just, as soon as I had mentioned that it was over, they were showing up with the new great person, emailing me pictures and calling me and wanting my phone number to pass on to people, and I said, “You know, I appreciate, it’s a wonderful attention, but here’s the delio: I don’t want to have yet another relationship. I really, really, really want to find one.” So I wrote a list of ten things very important to me, passed that around to every co-worker, relative, neighbor, friend, whoever wanted to set me up with that great guy, and I said go with this list, that’ll work great. So the book was written to inspire women. Write a list, know what you want, he’s out there, you just have to know what you’re looking for.
Dr. Kent: And what was on your list?
Elizabeth Fournier: Very non-superficial things there, Dr. Kent. They were just common things that we don’t always thin about that holds relationships together. Such as, somebody who likes to spend time with their family. Somebody who wants to get to know my family. Somebody who can make me laugh. How about this one, somebody who owns a set of tools. I mean, they’re just really some basic, common things we don’t always think about, but not everybody possesses these really simple items.
Dr. Kent: And tell us a little bit about how you came to write this book. It’s a fun story, and honestly, how did you come to this industry, and how did you come to the place of wanting the 77 blind dates? I’m curious, and I think every reader of course will be curious, and that’s why they’ll read the book.
Elizabeth Fournier: Oh sure. Well, I wanted to get married. So I thought I’ve got to go on dates to get married, that’s how you do it. And rather than go the traditional route, I figured set me up. So that worked great, that went along well. As I was going on these dates I would call my father who I’m very close to and say, “Ok, Dad, I got a live one, and we’re going to do this, and here’s the rundown sketch. This is his name, where he lives, you know, this is the book he’s reading, what have you.” And then about an hour or two after the date I’d come back to my computer and email kind of the happenings of what happened, the goofy things the guy said, the reason why it’s not going to work, why it’s just a kibosh on the idea of the second date, and this happened on and on and on. And my dad was taking notes on this, and he said this is really incredible. You know, you should really write a journal. This is some really good stuff. After a while he said, “Wow, I hope you’re writing this journal cause this is great, you should share this with your girlfriends, this is some great insight, this really could save them a lot of headache, and you could pass this on to your male friends. They could really take a look at it and see what issues and problems they’re having with their dating life.” And so, after I wrote all this, my father finally said, “You know what, you know ok, you found the guy, you have all these wonderful notes of these guys that you dated, you need to write a book because this is phenomenal stuff. You need to get this out here.” He said, “Look, I’m 70 years old, and I’m completely engrossed in this, enmeshed in it, it’s exciting for me, it’s fun. Just think about a woman who’s your age, how much enjoyment and entertainment and education she’ll be getting out of it.” So I thought hey, you know, the guy is always right. So he really is, so I went with it, and I’m really glad I did.
Dr. Kent: Well, and you’ve got what, 17 five-star ratings on Amazon, so I think people enjoy the book. What kind of things can we expect inside this book? Are there crazy stories and funny events? What’s in there? I mean, just the situation itself lends itself to a blockbuster movie, you know, 77 dates and a woman who’s a mortician. It’s just something we don’t think about very often. But what’s in the book?
Elizabeth Fournier: Yeah, there’s definitely a lot of chatting about my job, what I do. There’s times in between the dates where I’m actually hanging out with my girlfriends, hanging out alone, I’m at work, whatever, and I also write about that, too, in first person, and talk about my experiences in the funeral industry. And I give a lot of insight and education as far as what that goes. What’s it like working in a funeral home and working in a cemetery on a daily basis. So a lot of that information is there, and what do funeral directors do for fun, and I talk about my own friends and what have you. But there’s a lot of funny experiences with the guys. A lot of just bad behavior on the part of men. And it’s just ironic bad behavior, men who feel the need to continually pick up a cell phone or text people constantly. That goes on quite a bit. A lot of stories of men who just were extreme characters, and did just wacky stuff. Some who were, you know, in costume or some who just kept rambling and repeating things. Some who…
Dr. Kent: In costume?
Elizabeth Fournier: Yeah, I had one guy who was a huge fan of Harry Potter. Harry, that’s all we heard about, that’s all we talked about. I appreciated his passion for it, but he did kind of have the maturity of a 12 year old, so I was going to have to pass on that one, but nonetheless, nice man, very entertaining, I absolutely enjoyed the two-hour date. And you know what…
Dr. Kent: Were they all sorts of fellows, from old to young?
Elizabeth Fournier: Um, no, they pretty much were in the age range of…
Dr. Kent: The 30’s?
Elizabeth Fournier: …mine. Yeah. I would say probably 30’s, 40’s, because I was looking for somebody who wanted to get married and wanted to have a child, pretty much in the very near future. So these were all candidates, so to speak, who were in that age range. All my friends went and scanned people and said, “Ok, I’ve got this great friend of mine, and she’s a mortician, and you know, she’s blonde,” whatever they wanted to say to run down my list of attributes, and then they would say, “Well, here’s the deal, this is what she wants.” And I think a lot of them, rather than holding the list up and saying, “Ok, can you answer yes or no to these questions?” they would just take a look at some co-worker, or somebody that they were thinking, “Hmm, I wonder if Elizabeth would like him?” and they mentally would go through the list and go, “Yeah, well, I guess he does do a lot of jobs and you know, I guess yeah, he does talk a lot about how much he can’t stand his family, and ok, forget that.” So I think that’s kind of how that worked out. I don’t think there was ever the clipboard in hand and the checklist.
Dr. Kent: Did you ever get back at your friend who set you up with the Harry Potter fellow?
Elizabeth Fournier: Well, you know, this is something that I think a lot of people who have been out blind dating have noticed. I think sometimes we think, “What were my friends thinking? Do my friends really know me?” I mean, obviously it’s somebody who knows both parties, and a lot of people think, “Oh yeah, you know, you’re both single, you’re both the same age, oh yeah, of course, of course she’ll get along.” So I was thankful to have the pre-screening because I think the setups would have been a heck of a lot worse. If I was just open to anybody, I definitely would have not met my goal. I would have probably got just any random guy who came along who my friends thought were cute, and that just wouldn’t have done it. I wanted all the pre-screening done ahead of time cause I didn’t want to get in a relationship with somebody who I thought was great and find out five months down the road, you know, they don’t believe in God, or find out that yeah, well they do have this habit that they do on a daily basis that I wasn’t aware of, that they concealed from me. I really just wanted all the meat and potatoes of the situation to be unveiled up front before I even met them, and then if he didn’t have any of these hang-ups then we could actually see, do we have chemistry? Do we actually have the same humor? Do we enjoy each other? And really, just in case, do we want to hang out?
Dr. Kent: And were there some close calls in those 77 dates?
Elizabeth Fournier: Yes, there were some close calls. There were some guys that I thought you know, yeah. I was matching up my first name with his last name, and I started, and I was texting the friend, and I was thinking this is great. But there was always some humdinger. There was always something that he did or said, and sometimes it can be as little as the wonderful political candidate who was just gorgeous, and he smelled good, and was charming, and we were at this wonderful event. And I saw my whole life unveil with him. But at the very end of our date he just made a comment that he hasn’t been in a relationship for years, and he doesn’t see himself getting married for years because he wants to go through the whole political foray, and I just had to think to myself, you know, that just wouldn’t work for me. That just wouldn’t work. So I had to say goodbye, and I’m just so thankful I did.
Dr. Kent: Yep, yep. Well, it’s been an honor chatting with you about this book. One thing I’ll say in closing here, I like that you’ve kind of confronted both things that I find most awkward in the world, and I think most people would. Blind dates are really awkward, and so are funerals.
Elizabeth Fournier: (laughter) Yeah, that’s a great, yeah, that’s a great way to tie that all together. You bet, and I try to, everybody I got to know I try to you know, break the stereotype and let them know hey, I’m a nice, fun, kind person, but just doing a job out there. It doesn’t have to be so scary, it can actually be tangible. And blind dating, you bet. What an arduous bag of tricks. And I’ll tell you what, I don’t recommend it for everybody.
Dr. Kent: Well, it’s been an honor chatting with Elizabeth Fournier, her book is called All Men Are Cremated Equal: My 77 Blind Dates, and it’s available on amazon.com and Barnes and Noble, and a bunch of other places it looks like.
Elizabeth Fournier: Thank you so much, Dr. Kent.
Dr. Kent: Yep, and my next guest on the show is another author, and she has written a book called Wake Up Women – Be Happy, Healthy & Wealthy. And I’ll talk to Shann Vander Leek in just a minute. Come on back for that.
February 28, 2009 | Leave a Comment
Dr. Kent: Welcome to Sound Authors! Today on the show as always I have three author guests and one musician and as a little preview I’ll tell you about the upcoming guests. The third guest on the show will be Nina Burleigh and she’s got a book called Unholy Business: A true tale of faith greed and forgery in the holy land, that will be an exciting one talking about the ossuaries in Jerusalem and things like that. The second guest on the show I’m very excited to chat with Garen Thomas who is the author of Yes We Can: A biography of Barack Obama, and of course that’s a great book to look at these days with our new president in office for about three weeks and at the end of the show we’re going to chat with Snowblink, a great duo out of Canada. Right now, my first guest on the show is Jim Duzak. He’s the Attorney at Love, and of course this is the week of love, its valentine’s week and the book is called Midlife Divorce and the Rebirth of Commitment. Welcome to the show Jim Duzak.
Jim Duzak: Well thank you very much Dr. Kent, its great to be on.
Dr. Kent: So tell me a little bit; you’ve been dealing with marriage and divorce and all that and all the issues surrounding relationships for quite a while.
Jim Duzak: Well that’s right I guess you could say both personally and professionally as a 28 year husband and father and I worked at a fairly young age also and a single father afterwards. Meanwhile I was in law school and married my second wife as a result of meeting through a personal ad. I’ve been a divorce lawyer, a divorce mediator and it’s been a lot of different ways of approaching men and women relationships.
Dr. Kent: So tell me about this book Midlife Divorce and the Rebirth of Commitment. Of course we all know a lot of people that hit middle age and say this isn’t it for me anymore and they get divorced, so what does this mean rebirth of commitment?
Jim Duzak: Well the commitment part I think is crucial to the book and what I’m saying is that they don’t necessarily have to get divorced in order to make a commitment nor do they just have to stay in their marriage and make a blind commitment to their marriage no matter how unsatisfying that marriage may be. What I’m saying is that people need to make a commitment to themselves to live what I call an authentic life. A life that’s true to your own core values, whatever those values might be. I don’t try to tell people what they should believe and what everyone should do but what I found over the years is that so many people lose their sense of identity when they get married. They’d be less married to a partnership and so forth but it’s, you don’t stop being yourself, or at least you shouldn’t stop being yourself.
Dr. Kent: So Valentines Day is coming up so speaking of not stopping being yourself, it is a confusing day for most men. What exactly do those fellows go out a do? Do you go buy the proverbial flowers, the necklace; do you just be a nice guy for a day and then go back to normal life? What’s this thing about Valentines Day in our culture?
Jim Duzak: Well here’s what I have to say. There’s no question that Valentines Day with all the hype associated with it and needing attention, it puts a lot of pressure on both men and women for different reasons and I can certainly sympathize with men feeling they’re being manipulated and so forth but I have two things to say. If you have a woman in your life and she means something to you, chances are that she does look at Valentines Day as something that’s important. For one day go along with it and make her happy and take her to a nice place. If she’s worth being in your life, she’s worth splurging on. But the other thing is though that I feel Valentines Day should be the once a year event.
I mean literally it is but any more than say mothers day or fathers day should just be a once a year you know paying attention to mom and then forgetting about her. I think to make the spirit of valentines day to come through people, both men and women need to do little things every day to keep it going and you said before just go back to your old habits and that’s precisely what people should NOT do. Its true you don’t have to go out necessarily and spend a fortune 365 nights a year and I don’t recommend that but if you do little things that you just work into your daily routine that will enhance the romance in your life without breaking the bank.
Dr. Kent: So what is the working relationship and what’s the difference between I guess in this book you talk about midlife divorce. What’s the difference between young people falling in love, middle age people falling in love? The first time, the second time the twelfth time?
Jim Duzak: Well, you would like to think that people learn from their mistakes and middle aged people would be maybe a little more careful, a little more discerning and that probably is the case. The flip side of that though I think is that when people who have gone through a tough divorce or they’re in their 40s or 50s or 60s, and they’re starting out all over again in the dating world, oftentimes they try too hard to especially very early in the relationship I mean as early as the first date to make sure that everything is right this time.
They want to be absolutely sure that whatever the problems were last time around won’t be a problem this time and I’m not saying it’s a bad idea to want to avoid making the mistakes of the past. You certainly want to do that but I think most people put too much pressure on the first couple of dates. They are so concerned about is this person right for me for the long term that they don’t even have any fun and unfortunately a lot of people that might otherwise have been a perfectly good match for them might get scared off. A lot of first dates these days between middle age people feel more like a legal deposition than a date. There’s all these questions and you can tell that the questions are there to try to exclude you or get rid of you from the list as you answer them wrong. It’s not much fun.
Dr. Kent: So you talk about also strategies for improving a marriage, how to be different, you’ve got a workshop entitled Marital Boot camp for Men. What is the key to a successful marriage?
Jim Duzak: Its sort of a variation of what I said before. My philosophy of life really is little things repeated often and for men in particular, those little things start with simply paying attention. So many women complain that “he’s always got his face in the computer screen when I try to talk to him” or there’s the guy who never compliments his wife. Before you can compliment her you have to notice, you have to pay attention that she got her hair cut today or that she’s wearing something you’ve never seen before. You have to get in the habit of noticing and then not just relying on the fact that well she knows I love her or she knows I think she’s beautiful, just say it. Say it once in awhile. Yes, she may at some level know that you care but we all like these little reminders that it really is still true and that’s typically the problem with men. That they don’t pay attention to the little things and if they would just do that, in most cases the big things will take care of themselves.
Dr. Kent: What kind of big things are we talking about?
Jim Duzak: The big things could be for example the fantasy about having an affair. I’m absolutely convinced that particularly for women, when women have affairs nine times out of ten its not she’s in search of better sex, she’s in search of somebody who will pay attention to her and appreciate her and treat her nice, treat her with respect. Most of the time, the kind of woman who has an affair is not really waking up someday and saying I want to have an affair but she meets somebody who seems to treat her the way that she feels she should be treated and quite frankly most people that have affairs would rather not be looking elsewhere.
I’m not trying to justify people who have affairs, I’m not saying just because there’s justification for it but I understand the motivation and other big issues might be money problems. Getting into big arguments over your spending habits and so forth and a lot of times if you had just expressed yourself over little things that come up in this area you wouldn’t get to the point where you’re $30,000 in debt on your credit cards but a lot of people just try to avoid conflict and they say well you know this is a problem but maybe it’ll go away and maybe it’ll get better, but usually it doesn’t.
Dr. Kent: I’ve heard a couple situations that just pop to mind that are timely right now. One is that a lot of soldiers that have been deployed for a long time will come back and their marriages will fall apart. The suicide rate is actually very high based on part of that and then there’s these economic times, most put serious strains on relationships. Are there ways to get through that? It’s interesting to think about that on Valentines Day.
Jim Duzak: Yeah I mean its not a pleasant thought but there’s no question that military marriages in particular are very high stress situations and because your combining a number of things that are in and of themselves high stress. The fact that most military people is a in some sense a predictor of divorce. Generally speaking the younger you are when you get married the more likely it is that your marriage will end in divorce and a lot of couples are people that got married in their late teens, early 20s, late 20s and the couples are used to being separated for a long time and certainly separation can be a huge stress if people aren’t properly prepared for it. Not to mention all the temptations that go with it.
The wife whose left behind who’s trying to raise kids without the father and all that kind of thing. There’s no easy answer to that; all I can say is I know there are a lot of military spouse support groups out there and I would say to anybody listening who is a member of the military, I would just urge them first of all you’re not alone. What you’re going through, thousands and thousands of other military families are going through so try to find support within your peer group.
Dr. Kent: Then there’s another thing happening now. My next guest of course is a biographer of Barack Obama and the new president and first lady really love each other and set such a beautiful example for African American communities that really need like an infusion of some of that positivity as well as all of us in these times.
Jim Duzak: Absolutely and all politics aside, one of the things I remember reading something Mrs. Obama said a few months ago when she was interviewed for a magazine. She said they have always considered their date nights to be something inviolatable. In other words, whether it’s Saturday night, Friday night or whatever it is, I don’t know if they’re still doing it in the Whitehouse.
Dr. Kent: They are, I heard on the news they had taken a valentines date night.
Jim Duzak: And that’s a wonderful thing! They insist on nothing interfering with it and it’s a matter of importance to them and their little girls are growing up in that kind of environment where they can see that there’s nothing more important to daddy or mommy than the two of them and these are wonderful things to see. Again, all politics aside, you may or not agree with him politically but I think he’s a wonderful example for all of this.
Dr. Kent: Absolutely. So let’s talk about this book for one minute; Midlife Divorce and the Rebirth of Commitment. Why did you decide to write a book? Where can we find it? What else can we find and all that?
Jim Duzak: The easiest ways is to go to any of the major online booksellers like Amazon, or you can go on my website, which is www.attorneyatlove.com and you can read excerpts from all seventeen chapters of my book on my website as well as get direct links to Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all the rest. So that would be the easiest way to learn about it.
Dr. Kent: What inspired you to write the book in the first place?
Jim Duzak: As I said earlier almost 40 years or so of dealing with men and women relationships from just about every angle but particularly in the last few years especially when I was doing a lot of divorce mediation as a full time mediator for the divorce court in phoenix. I just have seen so many couples who had given up on their marriage prematurely in my opinion. My job was not to try to bring them back together per se although there were many cases where I sort of hinted that they might’ve been a little bit rash in filing for divorce after only being married a month or two and I had cases like that.
But I really do feel that a lot of people didn’t know how to deal with conflict or were just uncomfortable with all the accommodations you have to make when you live with someone else and a lot of them had unrealistic ideas about what marriage would be and so forth and I just felt that I tried to reach people who maybe hadn’t given marriage a try. Maybe hadn’t tried a lot of suggestions that I make about how to find the satisfaction you’re looking for within their marriage without settling for less. I don’t believe in that either. I don’t think you should stay in a horrible marriage; oh this is my fate in life. I honestly believe that most divorces are unnecessary. Not all but most could probably have been worked out to the mutual satisfaction of the couple.
Dr. Kent: So we’ve been speaking with the attorney at love, his website is attorneyatlove.com and his book is Midlife Divorce: The Rebirth of Commitment. It’s been such a pleasure chatting with Jim Duzak.
Jim Duzak: Well thank you Dr. Kent, I really enjoyed it.
Dr. Kent: My next guest on the show as I mentioned earlier is Garen Thomas. She’s the author of Yes We Can: A biography of Barack Obama so come on back for that and we’ll enjoy chatting with her.
December 11, 2008 | Leave a Comment
It was great to host Sound Authors with Sally. This is the chat we had at the beginning of the show about Sally’s book “The Daughter in Law Rules.” More about her from her website:
February 20, 2008, Denver, CO and New York, New York— Outskirts Press is pleased to announce the publication of The Daughter-in-Law Rules: 101 Surefire Ways to Manage (and Make Friends with) Your Mother-in-Law! by award-winning musician, composer, and author Sally Shields.
Your mother-in-law is coming! As your husband announces that his mother is due to arrive in a couple of hours, your hands sweat and your heart begins to palpitate as you quickly try to neaten and straighten the house to perfection. Help! Can you possibly live up to her standards? Will anything you do be to her satisfaction? Why does the mother of your beloved always cause such fear and trepidation?
Sound familiar? Millions of women have strained or outright hostile relationships with their “MIL” (mother-in-law). But does it have to be that way? Absolutely not! Author Sally Shields comes to the rescue with a delightful and witty book on how to deal with the other woman in your husband’s life- his mom. “Although my own relationship with my mother-in-law got off to a rocky start,” says Sally, “by implementing the devices outlined in The Daughter-in-Law Rules, we now enjoy a special bond.”
Sally knew she needed to take matters into her own hands and change the dynamic with her MIL for the better, or risk her relationship with her husband. So she started jotting down every bothersome incident, misunderstanding, and irritating encounter and created a rule and a solution for each and every one of them. The Daughter-in-Law Rules covers everything from everyday household matters to unwanted advice on childrearing. It is chockfull of real-life situations and scenarios and how to deal with them all with grace and humor.
“The point of The Daughter-in-Law Rules is to help you stay one step ahead of your mother-in-law,” says Sally. With a little effort and patience, every new wife will be able to coexist peacefully with her mother-in-law!
October 10, 2008 | Leave a Comment
About Devon Vaughan Archer (R. Barri Flowers):
Award-winning author R. Barri Flowers is one of the most multitalented writers on the scene today with nearly forty published books of fiction and nonfiction, two dozen short stories, a handful of poems, numerous articles, and seemingly endless ideas for more.
Born in Detroit, Michigan as the second of five children, Barri was always an avid reader and writer of short stories with dreams of becoming a published author someday. The dream turned into reality as a young man with the publication of a western mystery short story, “The Hired Gun,” by a small publisher, Inky Trails Press. A number of other short stories followed, along with poems.
A literary criminologist, Barri began his book writing career with criminology and criminal justice textbooks, after receiving a B.A. and M.S. in Criminal Justice from Michigan State University. Many of these books went on to become bestsellers, including THE PROSTITUTION OF WOMEN AND GIRLS (McFarland, 2005), MURDER, AT THE END OF THE DAY AND NIGHT (Charles C Thomas, 2002) and THE ADOLESCENT CRIMINAL (McFarland, 1990).
Barri branched out into true crime writing with THE SEX SLAVE MURDERS (St. Martin’s Press, 1996), which became a bestseller. Excerpts of the book appeared in the January 1997 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine. He co-wrote the bestselling true crime reference work, MURDERS IN THE UNITED STATES: CRIMES, KILLERS AND VICTIMS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY (McFarland, 2004).
Barri expanded to fiction with the critically acclaimed Jack the Ripper historical thriller, IN THE DARK OF NIGHT (iUniverse, 2001). His first commercially published novel was the legal thriller, PERSUASIVE EVIDENCE (Dorchester, 2004) followed by JUSTICE SERVED (Dorchester, 2005) and STATE’S EVIDENCE (Dorchester, 2006).
JUSTICE SERVED was nominated for a Romantic Times Award.
Following in the footsteps of such great male romance writers as Robert Waller and Sidney Sheldon, Barri added mainstream and contemporary romance writing to his repertoire. Under the pseudonym Devon Vaughn Archer, he became one of the first two male authors to write for Arabesque with the romance novel, DARK AND DASHING in the two-novels-in one volume, SLOW MOTION (Harlequin, 2005). The book quickly became a Black Expressions selection and was a Top Pick by Romantic Times.
After this, came LOVE ONCE AGAIN (Harlequin/Kimani Press, 2006), in which he became the first male author to write a solo novel for Arabesque. In the eHarlequin newsletter, the hero of the story placed number three in the Top Ten Heroes We Want to Marry.
Devon Vaughn Archer’s holiday tale, CHRISTMAS HEAT (Harlequin/Kimani Press), came out in December 2007. His newest book, DESTINED TO MEET (Harlequin/Kimani Press), will be published in June 2008.
Barri is thrilled to be able to write in different genres as well as fiction and nonfiction, readily taking on the challenge and succeeding beyond his wildest dreams. “I feel so fortunate to have been blessed with the talent to write whatever I choose to pursue and get published,” he says. “I am sure an angel is looking over my shoulder, keeping me on the straight and narrow, while putting my best foot forward in pursing a lifelong passion.”
In October 2006, he received the prestigious Wall of Fame Award from his alma mater Michigan State University and its renowned School of Criminal Justice.
So what’s next for this talented author?
“I never rest on my laurels or take for granted accomplishments,” Barri insists. “I hopefully have many years left in me and want to continue to write books, short stories, and articles for my fans, family, and the readers yet to discover me.”
R. Barri Flowers currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and enjoys spending time in Hawaii, California, and Michigan; with dreams to someday visit Australia and New Zealand, among other places around the world.
Stay tuned for much more news from this one-of-a kind author.
In the meantime, he invites visitors to explore the site and enjoy!
April 25, 2008 | Leave a Comment
We spoke with Tim Kellis today about marriages and why they break up so often in this country. Kellis analyzes the break ups from a Wall Street perspective.More information from Tim Kellis’ website:
Why is knowledge of mathematics important to understanding relationships?
Almost without exception, observed the great 20th Century philosopher Bertrand Russell in his exhaustive study of the history of Western philosophy, modern Platonists “are ignorant of mathematics, in spite of the immense importance Plato attached to arithmetic and geometry, and the immense influence that they had on his philosophy.
Russell aptly sums up why modern psychology has been remarkably unable to grapple with the very human struggle of modern relationships. Tim Kellis calls today’s relationship gurus Freudian failures as one out of every two marriages are dissolving in divorce. The approach by Dr. Phil and others is merely psychological and intuitive, when what’s required is a more analytical and scientific evaluation of the philosophy in human relationships we call happiness.
According to Kellis, mathematics is the very basis for science as well as a prerequisite for understanding logic and philosophy. A student of mathematics and engineering, as well as a brilliant Wall Street analyst, he tells his clients: “Happiness is a philosophy not a psychology.” The ability to comprehend the causes of relationship struggles requires the skill to analyze, comprehend and then write, he says. His mathematically derived analytical skills provide the foundation for his ability to find the relationship solution that can save marriages.
For Kellis, writing this book has been a life experience involving his professional and personal life, as well as his imposing intellectual and emotional development, that has led him to understand how to make a relationship work.
“Too often I’ve heard ‘I’d rather be happy and single, than unhappy and married.’ Yet my parents taught me that divorce was not an option in life, something they taught me not by what they said, but by how they lived. They had a very unhappy relationship for a very long time, but they stayed married. The only reason I was able to come to understand how to make a relationship successful is because I was able to overcome my own childhood shortcomings, forgive my parents and see them for who they really were–my parents.
Ambition and a strong aptitude for math helped lead Kellis to discover how to make relationships work. His math skills led directly to an engineering degree, nine years in the telecommunications industry, an MBA in finance, and finally on to Wall Street, where he became the very first semiconductor analyst to focus on the communications market.As an analyst you are required to be an expert in your field. The research completed before writing Equality: The Quest for the Happy Marriage was pursued in the same fashion as that required before becoming an analyst. The search for the truth requires a critical mind.
After publishing a 300-page initiation piece entitled Initiating Coverage of the Semiconductor Industry: Riding the Bandwidth Wave, Kellis became a leading semiconductor analyst at one of the biggest firms on Wall Street. As an analyst, he was in constant contact with investors, honing his presentation skills to the point that he became an expert presenter, a skill he believes is essential in his new role as relationship advisor. The experience he gained as a Wall Street analyst provided an excellent backdrop for researching and writing a book on relationships. As an analyst he had to deal with many egos, some healthy, some not. During this time, he learned why corporations and systems functioned at their best or worst and today applies much of what he learned to smaller, more intimate systems embodied in relationships.
What is the thread common to all corporations? Regardless of industry, almost every company starts out initially with the sole purpose of providing a product or service that makes its customers happy. The exception here is relationship therapists who have simply rationalized unhappiness. Competition exists to keep every corporation on its toes. Try to think of a product that makes customers unhappy or a television commercial where the actors are portrayed being unhappy using a specific company’s product or service. There aren’t any.
According to Kellis, “working with so many people who loved their jobs on Wall Street exposed me to many happy relationships. Their happiness was not simply a result of how much money they made, many of the happy relationships were with people who were not making a lot of money, but because they found working on Street incredibly intense and exciting. The common notion within mainstream psychology that relationships without arguments are impossible is simply a fallacy.