Author Interview: Danny Brown
About the Book: The Little Book of Inspiration
Yesterday, mortality may have caught up with me. Today, I welcomed it as a future friend who will simply help me remember the present…
Life moves pretty fast and, in this always-on-the-go world that we find ourselves in, it’s becoming ever-harder to pause and reflect on what we see. Yet, if we don’t, we miss the opportunity to experience the things that could truly change our lives.
The Little Book of Inspiration aims to be that opportunity to stop and savour not only the events around us, but the people, the experiences, the sights and sounds. Through these inspiring stories and poems of love, redemption, and change, take a moment to really see all the inspirational treasures that are present.
Inspiration is all around us. All we have to do is look.
About the Author: Danny Brown
Danny Brown is an award-winning marketer and blogger. His blog has been recognized as the number one marketing blog in the world by HubSpot. Other recognitions include Social Media Examiner’s Top 10 Social Media Blog in 2011 and 2013, voted one of Canada’s Top 50 Marketing Blogs, and the Hive Award for Best Social Media Blog at the 2010 South by Southwest festival.
His publishing credentials include Influence Marketing: How to Create, Manage, and Measure Brand Influencers in Social Media Marketing and The Parables of Business. The Little Book of Inspiration is his first non-business book. Currently, he lives in Ontario with his awesome wife, very funny son, adorable little girl, and two small Chinese Crested dogs. You can read more from Danny on his blog, or connect with him on Danny Brown on Twitter and Google+.
What you came here for: The Interview
I have had the pleasure of running into Danny quite a few times over the past few years on Google+, and am happy to be part of his online book tour for The Little Book of Inspiration. I had Danny answer a few pressing questions I had for him, some about his book, and some… just to take advantage of the fact that I could ask him anything I wanted.
Anti Guru: You’ve written about influence marketing and business… what motivated you to write an inspirational book? Should Tony Robbins be worried about losing business to a new motivational speaking tour from you?
Danny Brown: Ha! No, Tony Robbins doesn’t need to worry about a little Scottish author in Canada. I see them as very different approaches – motivational versus inspirational. Whereas motivational usually means “do as I say to succeed”, inspirational is all about accepting and liking who you are and what you mean to the world and your place in it. By doing that, you have more chance to succeed in your goals than trying to live up to someone else’s. As far as motivation to write the book, it’s simply something that I see myself relating to more. My blogging has moved from business and social media/marketing to more personal musings, and this book is simply an extension of that mindset.[clickToTweet tweet=”#Inspirational writing: all about accepting and liking who you are and what you mean to the world.” quote=”inspirational is all about accepting and liking who you are and what you mean to the world…”]
AG: What was your process when it came to writing this book?
DB: You know, it’s just been a collation of thoughts, hopes, ideas, and observations from the last 10-15 years. Originally, I was just going to self-publish, and then Morning Rain Publishing decided to take a chance on it (it’s their first non-fiction book), and that’s when the publishing process (edit, draft, amendments, additions, etc.) really came into play.
AG: If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
DB: Oooh…. Okay, I think if I could have any superpower, it’d be to emit sound waves of sarcasm whenever people made bigoted comments or promoted hate speech. Instead of hearing their message, you’d hear the very opposite, in a Donald Duck voice, just to add extra gravitas. 😉
AG: How do you feel about your book now that you’ve released it? Did you have to cut anything?
DB: There were some chapters that had to be cut, as they used quotes fairly generously, and there was some concern that – from a copyright point of view – there may be issues, which is understandable. Apart from that, MRP have been great to work with, and allowed me to leave pretty much everything in. Now that it’s out, I’m curious to see how it’ll be received, given it’s a very personal project and something very different for me.
AG: You have some great blogs and now four books under your belt. At what point did you first consider yourself a writer?
DB: Thank you! The Little Book of Inspiration is my fourth book – despite that, I still don’t consider myself a “writer”, which is ironic given I wrote a blog post recently about there being no difference between a blogger and a writer. 🙂 I like writing and enjoy publishing things that hopefully make people think about them, but that’s just the process of writing, as opposed to being a writer. I don’t know – it’s a weird one. Maybe if I ever get invited onto Oprah I might change my tune!
AG: When you are writing a book or blog post, do you ever get stuck? What do you do to get past the writer’s block?
DB: Not really. I’ll go through periods where I might feel I don’t have anything to say on something (or, rather, not publish it). But ideas are there all the time – sometimes more fleshed out than others. But, if there are times when I’m not 100% sure I want to publish something, I’ll simply leave it alone until the idea becomes more solid. I’m a big fan of publishing when you feel you have something to say, and that tends to negate “the block”.
AG: What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing versus going through a publisher?
DB: The main thing is distribution and “control”. With traditional publishers, you have more outlets and distribution networks to access. That can be a big bonus, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll sell more – a book still has to be worth buying, regardless of how it’s published. On the flip side, self-publishing allows more control – you choose the content, the pricing, the market, etc. With a publisher, that’s done for you. That being said, I’ve been pretty fortunate with the two publishers I’ve worked with, that they’ve essentially allowed me to publish the book I wanted to write, while supporting it with a great editorial team and community. I’ve been very impressed at how Morning Rain has gotten behind this and arranged things like this tour, and how they’ve managed it. Bigger publishers should take note!
Anti Guru: What is one item off your bucket list that you haven’t yet done?
DB: I want to walk in space. Just the true feeling of isolation, being alone, but not, because right below you is the beauty of our planet, and all that means. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to afford that, mind you, but yeah, space walk for sure.
AG: You tend to talk a lot about storytelling. If you had to sum it up for our readers here, what would you say is at the core of great storytelling?
DB: Emotional resonance. Stories should connect us and make us really feel what the author is writing or talking about. That can be emotionally (a memory, a feeling, a forgotten event), physically (make us feel we’re in the same room as the storyteller, or transport us to a far-off place in their mind that becomes physical through description), or metaphorically. However the story plays out, we should feel part of it until it reaches its end.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Stories should connect us and make us really feel what the author is writing or talking about.” quote=”Stories should connect us and make us really feel what the author is writing or talking about.”]
AG: Do you have another book in the works, Perhaps The Bigger Book of Inspiration?
DB: Haha, we’ll see how this one does first! I’d like to write more books, but I think I’m done with business books. I really enjoyed the more personal approach of this book, and I feel I might have a good children’s book in me (I have a five year old and a three year old, and make stuff up for them all the time). So, we’ll see – but nothing Tony Robbins needs to worry about!
Because We Never Failed
An excerpt from The Little Book of Inspiration
As children, we have unbridled aspirations.
We dream to be astronauts. We dream to be explorers. We dream to be princesses. We dream to be the world’s greatest sports star. We dream.
Looking back at our childhood dreams, we rarely feel we failed because we didn’t become the astronaut. Or marry the prince. Or found new lands. Or had stadiums cheering our name.
Instead, we look back and remember a time when dreams had no limits and anything was possible, even if, in reality, it never was.
Yet, we never use the fail word. Because, in truth, we never failed.
Just because something didn’t happen doesn’t mean it’s a failure. Far from it.
That failed astronaut? Perhaps he became a doctor and found a cure for cancer.
That failed princess? Perhaps she became a politician and ended global hunger.
That failed sports star? Perhaps he became an author and wrote the book that changed the world forever.
Failure is simply a word. A perception of what might have been versus what is. Another path on an ongoing journey. Something that exists because we allow it to.
If we allow failure to exist, we can also disallow it. And if we disallow it, we can think the way we did as children. Where one dream not realized becomes another dream still to happen.
Because if something can still happen, it hasn’t failed. And if failure hasn’t yet happened? Then perhaps it never will.
Pick up your own copy of The Little Book of Inspiration with a 20% off discount if you buy directly from Morning Rain Publishing.
But be sure to move fast – this deal only lasts until the end of Danny’s online book release tour on October 18, 2015.
The publisher is also giving away a high rez inspirational poster, suitable for printing, to anyone who provides proof of purchase during the virtual tour. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to enter.
Extra Bonus Question Round!
I asked Danny to play a round of Two Truths and a Lie with us. These were his three claims:
- I can play any tune (as long as I know it) with a pencil on my teeth
- James Bond used to deliver milk to my grandma before becoming famous
- I was once interviewed on STV (Scottish Television) news about my writing career, as they confused me with Dan Brown of The Da Vinci Code fame.
Which one is the lie? Do you think you know? Try and guess in the comments, and be sure to ask Danny yourself at his interview on Blam.im.