Today, Norm Goldman, Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com is pleased to have as our guest D. Michael Ferrare author of Walking The Unmarked Path: Notes From My Journey to Personhood in the New Millennium.

Good day D and thanks for participating in our interview


Norm:

Could you tell our readers something about yourself and how did you decide you were ready to write Walking The Unmarked Path: Notes From My Journey to Personhood in the New Millennium?

D:

Sure. I was in the third year of a master’s degree program in Spiritual Psychology at the University of Santa Monica, and the transformation in consciousness I was experiencing was extraordinary. I could feel myself healing old wounds I didn’t know I had, and I felt a level of freedom, peace awareness, and faith that I never had before. I just started journaling about what I was learning that was setting me free, and it became the basis of the book.

I am a lifelong learner, both outside of the classroom and in it. To me, it’s when you stop learning that you stop living.

Norm

Was the writing of your book improvisational or do you have a set plan? As a follow up, was writing your book a form of personal therapy?

D:

At first, I was journaling whenever I felt inspired. When I reached 15,000 words, it occurred to me that I might be able to turn my journal into a book. I submitted it to ABP to get their reaction, and it was very positive. From that point, I set goals, created a structure, and made it a formal writing project.

I know it might seem like writing the book would be a form of therapy, it really was not. The learning process at USM is where I did the real therapeutic work. Writing down the insights gained was an exercise in creativity, as well as a way to develop a practice of writing, which I had always wanted to do. I love to write, but I had never before felt inspired to write a work of this length. It was always short stories, articles, songs, and poems that were my form of expression.

Norm:

What do you want your work to do and how does your work differ from the thousands of other self-help books that touch on the same subject matter? As a follow up, what are your hopes for this book?

D:

My intention was to write a clear guide to gaining insights through shared wisdom instead of painful trial and error. In my work with youth and young adults, I could see how little guidance and wisdom they had received from their parents, and it saddened me. I always had my dad around (until the age of 20, anyway) to talk with, and he shared a great deal of wisdom that helped me get through the tough times of growing up. If my words on the page are able to provide some guidance that people find valuable as they face their own life challenges, then my book has succeeded.

How is my book different? Well, no two lives are the same… and my experiences are uniquely my own. However, the circumstances I found myself in as a teen, a young man, a husband, father, employee, and manager are not unique. I think that the path to maturity in modern society can be navigated using the same techniques that worked in the past, because even though technology has totally changed the way we interact and communicate, it has not changed the nature of who we are: We are spiritual beings sharing a human experience. I’m not aware of many books that start here and use that frame of reference to provide a guide to the path to maturity, with becoming a person as the ultimate goal.

Norm:

Where did the title of your book come from?

D:

After my father died, I felt lost and unprepared to take on the role of adult without his guidance to support me. I felt like I was wandering, looking for answers about how the world worked, trying to find my way as an adult, but falling down a lot, and feeling like I was trying to become something I didn’t fully understand. I was just out of my teens; what is an adult supposed to do? To be? And how? It seemed that everywhere I looked for answers—different schools, workplaces, religions, friends, bosses—they all had different agendas that didn’t feel like they were guiding me in the right direction. I felt that I had no one I could trust to help me grow into a good man, a good person, which is all I really wanted to do. In retrospect, it seems I was walking an unmarked path on the way to becoming a grownup, with no map or signs to help me find my way. As a kid, I relied on my dad to help me reflect on what was happening in my life and to draw the lessons from it. Without him around, the way to find my path seemed like trial and error, painful failure after painful failure, until I finally figured out the right answer. I’d really like to help people avoid that if I can.

Norm:

Where did you get your information or ideas for your book?

D:

It was really the inner work I was doing at USM in the Spiritual Psychology Masters degree program that brought forward the ideas and information. You earn your masters in two years. If you want to continue growing, you can sign up for year three, which builds on the lessons of the first two years and really deepens the learning. Completing the third year earns you a specialization in Consciousness, Health, and Healing. The learning for me was so profound during that third year, I just had to write down how I was progressing on my path to becoming a real person, a good person. I felt I had finally reached personhood as I defined it, and I felt moved to share my learning in hopes that others could benefit from it.

Norm:

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

D:

I learned that writing a book is really not the huge and difficult endeavor I imagined it would be. I had often read interviews with authors who had written many books, and they said it really wasn’t hard. They all advised pretty much the same thing: develop a practice of writing every day. It really is that simple, but it is not easy. As Marge Piercy said in her poem, For the Young Who Want To, “The real writer is one who really writes.” And she closed it with: “You have to like it better than being loved.”

Norm:

Can you tell us how you found representation for your book? Did you pitch it to an agent, or query publishers who would most likely publish this type of book? Any rejections? Did you self-publish?

D:

I did some internet research, and I found American Book Publishing. They are a traditional publisher, the kind of publisher I wanted to work with. I sent my manuscript to them, and only them. Fortunately for me, they felt that my book was the kind they like to publish. The editor they assigned to my book was excellent, and he really helped me shape it into a final product that I’m very happy with. I would recommend them without reservation.

Norm:

Where can our readers find out more about you and Walking The Unmarked Path: Notes From My Journey to Personhood in the New Millennium?

D.

You can find out more about the book and myself on my WEBSITE 

Norm

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

Click Here To Read Norm's Review of Walking The Unmarked Path: Notes From My Journey to Personhood in the New Millennium