Today, Norm Goldman is pleased to have as our guest Jared Bryan Smith author of hippopotamus sea; my viral sobriety.

Good day Jared and thanks for participating in our interview

Norm:

How did you decide you were ready to write hippopotamus sea; my viral sobriety? As a follow up, was writing your book a form of personal therapy?

Jared:

I began thinking about writing the book as I was going through Interferon. I remembered James Frey’s book and I was upset with its lack of detail and for me its noticeable lack of humility. I had written some things in the past and I knew I could make a written record of what I’d been through and that it could help me, my family and others. I would say it definitely helped me personally, therapeutically, but it also has helped others suffering with Interferon and Hep C.

Norm:

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? As a follow up, whom do you believe will benefit from your book and why?

Jared:

I learned a lot; the publishing industry is interesting and the process of self-publishing was much more detailed from start to finish than I’d assumed it would be. From picking the fonts, to working with the graphics designer on the cover, it was much more technical than I’d ever imagined. I also thought that by giving away the digital format of the book I would sell more hard copy books, and I don’t know if I really proved that theory or not. We’re right at about 100 books sold hard copy, with about 20 on smashwords sold and about 500 given away, so that was a theory tested, and unproven for sure. Also, I thought the domain name books4free.com would bring a lot more traffic than it actually did. To be honest Norm, now I’m thinking perhaps the book review business is the place to be.

As far as who will benefit the most from my book, I think I’ve had the most positive response from people who had actually been at the level of depravity and insanity that I’d gone to and actually pulled back from it. As we say in the program, “Earth” people may have a hard time relating to the madness I tried so hard to document in its every harrowing detail, and may end up either confused or even bored in the repetitive nature of the disease of alcoholism. That’s fine, it really is written for the suffering alcoholic and addict, and even more specifically for the suffering hep c sufferer as they generally are in recovery though certainly there are exceptions, many have battle the disease.

Norm:

What challenges or obstacles did you encounter while writing your book? How did you overcome these challenges?

Jared:

Writing while having a full-time job is a challenge, and ultimately you just have to overcome it by doing it. I even think in exaggerations, I literally believed I could finish it all in two weeks over Christmas break and that was just dead wrong. It took a lot longer than that. Just like with sobriety, a little bit at a time, perseverance, just keeping at it. Disregarding everything else but the goal and setting aside whatever time you have left over to write.

Norm:

What does your family and friends think of your book?

Jared:

Most of the response was very positive. I love the quote in the beginning I used from Henry David Thorough, paraphrasing, which stated basically write as if you were writing to long lost relatives. I mean with the Internet and blogs and Facebook, even these things may be out here for a long while, and though it certainly wasn’t written perfectly, it was written honestly, and I know alcoholism has genetic characteristics, so the idea that it could help future generations of my very own family, is cool in its own right.

Norm:

How long have you being sober and what is your life like now?

Jared:

As I write this I’ve been sober 4.5 years. It is much better on this side of the disease of alcoholism, than the slow steady downward spiral towards death. My father shot himself rather than go through the 12 steps because he didn’t know that they worked and that you can and will be relieved of the obsession to drink and drug if you work them. If he’d known that he wouldn’t have killed himself. I know a dozen or so people in that same boat, and it’s a shame, and I don’t know why I was one of the lucky ones who ends up getting it, but I have been.

The saying “I’ve never known anyone to dumb for Alcoholics Anonymous, but I’ve known a lot of people too smart” really helped me early on. I had to dumb down, be willing to listen and learn from people who’d obviously gotten sober, and then low and behold I received the very same miracle. I don’t ever think about drinking anymore and I just didn’t know that was a possibility. I still struggle with the side effects from interferon, but even that has been improved since writing the book, and new treatments, including Telaprevir shorten the time from 1 year of Interferon likened to low level chemo, down to 6 months, and improve those ratios of success from 50/50 to 80/20. Of course the pharmaceutical industry double the cost, and in the US that’s still a big deal, still as my book chronicles I was able to be treated for a year for 100% sponsorship through the drug maker Roche, so miracles do happen.

Norm:

What do you think of the new Internet market for writers?

Jared:

To me, it seems very similar to the old way. Hard to be heard among the masses of people trying to be recognized. Sure its easier to bring to publication, but getting noticed is still just as difficult it feels like. I’ve done a lot of social networking stuff, and it grows tiresome. I wish I could just write full -time. Maybe I just haven’t mastered all the right tricks yet.

Norm:

Are you working on any books/projects that you would like to share with us? (We would love to hear all about them!)

Jared:

I don’t think I’ll do anymore memoirs or non fiction. I flirted with the idea of going to Afghanistan and embedding, but Michael Yon has got that market pretty locked up and as a former Green Beret does some amazing writing and reporting from the field, if you’ve never heard of him look him up, his facebook posts are incredible.

So I think my next project will be a series that I can hopefully build a following. But I’m a ways off from really starting any project like that. Writing takes it out of ya.

Norm:

Where can our readers find out more about you and hippopotamus sea; my viral sobriety?

Jared:

http://www.youtube.com/user/books4free

http://www.facebook.com/jaredbryansmith

http://www.books4free.com

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984595503

http://books4freedotcom.wordpress.com/

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/19066

Norm:

Is there anything else you wish to add that we have not covered?

Jared:

Thanks Norm for your professionalism, courtesy, and brutal honesty, haha.. have fun in Nova Scotia.

Norm:

Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors:

Click Here To Read Norm's Review of hippopotamus sea; my viral sobriety

Click Here To Purchase Hippopotamus Sea