Posts tagged “q & a

Thank You, Garrett Miller, for the Great Radio Interview!

Garrett Miller

I so enjoyed appearing tonight on  Garrett Miller‘s Rated G Radio.  We talked about everything from sex to Jack Black, parenting, condoms, Steven Fales, writing, my experience as chauffeur to Jennifer Beals, to my books (Songs for the New Depression and Gifts Not Yet Given) and more.  Lots of fun, and I hope you’ll give it a listen here!

Garrett’s radio show occurs Monday through Friday, 7PM Pacific/10PM Eastern and I think you’ll enjoy it.  He can be found on Facebook and Twitter as well as his website.  Thanks, Garrett!


Discussion Topic? ME!

Hi everyone! Given all that has gone on recently with my novel Songs for the New Depression, now seemed an optimal time to start a discussion group on Goodreads where folks could ask me any and everything about my book (and future books), writing, activism and life. Please consider joining in and chime in with your comments, questions, and opinions!

Also, the Goodreads Giveaway of the novel ends soon, August 15th, so don’t forget to enter!


Chapters and Chats Interviews Kergan Edwards-Stout, Author of “Songs for the New Depression”

Chapters and Chats is a fun blog focused on authors and reading.   Jodi does a great job both in leading readers to terrific books, but in interviewing authors as well.  I was flattered she both gave my book a glowing review, but took the time to interview me as well.  You can check out the full interview at her site, but here are a few of my favorite questions and answers:

C&C: First let me say what an honor it is to have read your book as well as the chance to interview such a skilled author. With your writing, directing, volunteer work and being a father and spouse how do you juggle everything successfully?

Thank you so much for the opportunity to discuss my work! I really appreciated your review of the book, and love it when a reader or critic “gets it!” As far as your question, juggling it all is a struggle, and the biggest reason I don’t write more. It is tough to do it all, and in my life, our kids come first–even if that means my next book will have to wait.

C&C: At what point did your sons Mason and Marcus realize you are incredibly talent and celebrated with many awards? How do they react?

(Laughing.) Well, I’m not sure they think I’m talented! I won’t let them read “Songs for the New Depression” until they’re older, due to some racy bits, but they are very proud of my accomplishments. When it’s won awards or gotten great reviews, the kids have done a family toast at dinner, which is really all the acclaim I need.

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Book Pleasures Interviews Kergan Edwards-Stout

I enjoyed being interviewed by Joseph Valentinetti at Book Pleasures recently, as he asked a lot of fun questions most people don’t.  Check out the interview on the Book Pleasures site, or see below for a taste!

Joseph: Here’s some fun questions to start. At least they’re fun for me. What is the most overrated virtue?

Kergan: Chastity. But I’m not telling my kids that.

Joseph: What is the one thing other people always seem to get wrong about you?

Kergan: Until the publication of my novel, I’m not sure anyone thought there was as much going on in my head as there actually is. Most folks just saw me as a “gay dad.”

Joseph:  If you could change one thing about the world what would it be?

Kergan:  I would erase the divide between the have and have not’s.

Joseph:  What pet peeve do you have about other people?

Kergan:  Wastefulness. Whether it is food, water, resources, or–for writers–words.

Joseph:  Is there any occasion when it’s OK to lie?

Kergan:  The trite answer is to say that it is alright to lie to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. But, as I grow older and–hopefully–wiser, I’m not entirely sure even that is justified.

Joseph:  Tell us your philosophy of writing?

Kergan:  Write from the heart and let the words flow.

Joseph:  Is your writing an art or craft or some combination of both?

Kergan:  I think of writing as an art, which is more passionate and emotional. Too often, writers treat it more as craft, making sure every syllable is perfectly placed, but–to me–that kind of perfectionism usually robs the writing of its soul.

Joseph:  If you could go back ten years and give yourself one piece of advice what would that advice be?

Kergan:  “It doesn’t get any better. Life is harder than you think it will be. The trick is to find the joy, even amongst the rubble.”

Joseph:  What’s the name and genre of you book?

Kergan:  My debut novel is entitled Songs for the New Depression, though it is neither a song, nor inordinately depressing. It is a work of literary fiction, along the lines of a Michael Cunningham book, but mixed with the humor of Augusten Burroughs.

Joseph:  Who is the audience for this book?

Kergan:  I believe the book is for everyone, as the themes of love, longing, sex, and redemption are very universal. But if you ask my publisher, the primary audience is the LGBT community and straight women, as the themes seem to resonate strongly for both audiences.

Joseph:  Describe your protagonist and describe the challenges the protagonist needs to overcome and the motivation for overcoming them.

Kergan:  Set prior to the HIV drugs we now have, Gabriel is a gay man facing death, and wondering how the choices he’s made have led him to this point. Blessed with beauty and a sharp wit, Gabe has–more often than not–used words as a weapon, to keep others from getting close. Now, he’s facing the ramifications of such behavior, scrambling to make amends to those he has wronged. In particular, to find peace, he needs to reconcile an incident which, while it occurred long ago, continues to haunt him.

Joseph:  Quote a passage from your book that you love and elaborate on the meaning of the passage .

Kergan:  “James Baldwin once wrote that Americans lack a sense of doom, yet here I stand.” Over 12 years ago, that line popped into my head. At the time, I didn’t know who was speaking it, its context, or where it would lead, but that one line is now the opening sentence of my novel.

Joseph:  What surprising things did you learn while writing this book?

Kergan:  I think, most surprisingly of all, I learned that I am actually a writer. When I was younger, I would’ve never imagined that this could have been a career option, but here I am!

Joseph:  How has your upbringing influenced you writing?

Kergan:  My upbringing and life experiences have helped define my voice as a writer, so that everything I write has a certain shared sensibility.

Joseph:  Where do you live and how does that influence your writing?

Kergan:  I live in Southern California, and I think that kind of “laid back” attitude influences my writing style. I don’t obsess over every notation. While at times poetic, my writing is much more of a dialogue with the reader, putting all of my characters thoughts onto the page. And I think that “accessibility” is definitely influenced by my location.

Joseph:  Do you prefer fermented or distilled?

Kergan:  I’m drinking chardonnay right now.

Joseph:  Thanks once again and good luck with your book.

 


Kergan Edwards-Stout and Gregory G. Allen in The Advocate!

A special thank you to the staff of The Advocate Magazine for featuring Gregory G. Allen (author of Well With My Soul) and I in an interview on our commonalities and differences. It was a lot of fun to do, and I appreciate the opportunity!

Read the full interview here!


Author Spotlight: Ken Howard, LCSW

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Ken Howard since our days together at UCLA, many moons ago.  Since then, he has gone on to become a renowned therapist in Los Angeles, and has written a book, Self-Empowerment: Have the Life You Want, which I’ve been hearing terrific things about. Ken was gracious enough to answer a few questions about his book and work.  Welcome, Ken! 

Q & A: Ken Howard, LCSW

Thank you for taking the time to chat!  First of all, congratulations on your new book, which is getting great buzz.  What prompted you to write it?

I get great inspiration from self-help books written by others, and have done this both before and after I became a therapist.  I recommend books to my clients, depending on their situation, as an adjunct resource between sessions.  But most self-help books aren’t written by actual licensed psychotherapists who are currently in full-time private practice, as I am.  So I decided to write a self-help book for a general adult audience based on my 18 years of experience in practice at the time of the writing (now 20 years).  I wanted to bring my message of inspiration, hope, and support to more people than I can possibly see in my office in a week.  It’s also, I believe, the first self-help book for a general audience written by an openly gay, openly HIV-positive author, so I’m proud of that.

I know that much of your psychotherapy work has been within the gay community, but I understand this book has a larger reach.  What can people hope to gain by reading it?

This is a book for people who are struggling what I call the gap between how life is, and how you would like it to be, in important areas of life such as mental health, health, career, relationships, finances, family, community, and spirituality.  The main benefit is that it helps people feel empowered – self-empowered, hence the name – to confront their challenges, and take their quality of life to the next level.

Each chapter of the book – which corresponds to those different life areas – includes ways to empower yourself, a list of common challenges that get in the way (and what to do about them), and a “case study” vignette of how someone  from my practice actually put these ideas into practice (altered to protect their confidentiality).  This way, you look at things from all sides.

I was moved to become a therapist when I was younger and just coming out as a gay man, and many of the people I knew, or at least knew of, were affected by AIDS, or even dying from it.  I couldn’t just sit around and watch; I had to do something.  I developed a niche in working in HIV, but also with gay men who don’t have HIV, along with others with psychiatric disorders, since I have specialized training in those (Depression, OCD, ADD, PTSD, etc.).  Today, my practice is still largely made up of gay men.  Being in West Hollywood, I also see a lot of creative professionals from the entertainment industry, who are straight, gay, male, female, older and younger.  With this book, I wanted to share some of the lessons on self-empowerment developed in my practice with a broader audience beyond the gay community. (more…)