Thank you so much to author, Charbel Tadros, for taking the time to answer some questions for us. We appreciate it, and we know that your readers will as well!
1. What inspired you to write this book?
Answer: Each of my books was inspired by something different; however, my latest book “Developing the Spirit Personality” was actually the product of almost a decade of work in studying people’s personalities and observing how they interact and evolve over time and through experiences. You can also say that I was my own inspiration for the book in the way my personality evolved over time, at first unconsciously and then intentionally.
2. Can you tell me about the book?
Answer: Developing the Spirit Personality is an easy-to-use self-help guide for each person to understand his personality, the personalities of the people around him and the way each personality is created. Not only does it discuss personalities, but it also offers challenges for developing each personality and then merging all personalities together into the Spirit Personality.
3. What is your writing process like?
Answer: I am autistic. When inspiration strikes, I go into hermit mode and start writing almost non-stop until the book is done.
4. What did you learn when writing the book?
Answer: As always, when I am writing about a topic, I learn more about it as I actually write it down. My mind just makes these new connections, and my hands do the typing. I eventually have to re-read the whole thing because I don’t know where it all came from.
5. What surprised you the most?
Answer: After I released the book, I was quite surprised by the reactions of readers all over the world. They just loved it, and each person found himself in it.
6. What does the title mean?
Answer: I think it’s self-explanatory. It’s about merging the four elemental personalities into the paragon called the Spirit Personality.
7. Was the character inspired by a real person? If so, who?
Answer: While there are no “characters” in this book, all the personalities are based on real groups of people that we can identify with.
8. What advice do you have for writers?
Answer: Stop thinking traditional. The world is changing faster that we can anticipate and people are moving more towards blogs and online articles when it comes to self-help, more than they are going towards books, especially that there is almost never anything truly new in that front. It’s always the same old information in ever-newer ways.
9. Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Answer: That’s a tough question. I don’t really know. I’m energized when I find the new ideas within me, but I am exhausted by all the energy I spend translating it into words.
10. What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Answer: I think that many aspiring writers (and I worked with quite a few) want to get published as they are. They believe too much in their work as it is and don’t want to listen to criticism. They stick too much to the flukes – the authors who succeeded just by being themselves – and don’t see the vast majority of authors who fail because they cannot take advice or adapt. If you want to get published, you need to think of the audience and your message and understand that neither is more important than the other.
11. What is your writing Kryptonite?
Answer: What I can’t stand is people who believe that they are too smart and too good for the world. They come to book signings, ask a few weird questions which have close to no point, and then leave triumphantly. What’s even worse is when they come to book signings, discuss your book for an hour and then leave without buying it.
12. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
Answer: I wouldn’t remove that thought from consideration. Who knows when such a need may arise?
13. Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Answer: A successful author is both: original in the way he presents the idea and common in the way he communicates it with people. You cannot be successful in anything without both.
14. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
Answer: Most of my books stand on their own as each has a different role and target.
15. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Answer: I lost count, but I believe that, just like in my second book “War of the Heavens”, a few of these works in progress will eventually come together as one complete idea.
16. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Answer: It depends on what I am writing. Sometimes I research places and people, other times I need to find statistics.
17. How long were you a part-time writer before you became a full-time one?
Answer: I don’t want to be a full time writer. I enjoy having a dual life as it helps me stay connected with people and their needs, get inspired, and enlarge my network.
18. How many hours a day do you write?
Answer: Sometimes it’s zero, sometimes it’s twenty. It depends on the inspiration.
19. What period of your life do you find you write about most often? (child, teenager, young adult)
Answer: I have written for children, young adults and adults. I have no preference; it all depends on the inspiration.
20. What did you edit out of this book?
Answer: Nothing. I actually added more stuff during the editing process.
21. How do you select the names of your characters?
Answer: It depends. Sometimes it’s names that have alternate meanings; sometimes it’s based on the first letter of the name of the person who inspired that character.
22. If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
Answer: I am the CEO of a training organization in Sydney among other things.
23. What was your hardest scene to write?
Answer: It was probably a sex scene in my first book. I was barely out of my teens.
24. What is your favorite childhood book?
Answer: Harry Potter.
25. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Answer: Around two to three weeks when I go into hermit mode.
26. Do you believe in writer’s block?
Answer: Yes. I actually believe it’s important to have it as inspiration builds up behind it. When it’s broken, it’s time to write.
27. What works best for you: Typewriters, fountain pen, dictate, computer or longhand?
Answer: My laptop.
28. When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?
Answer: When I was twelve and I wrote a short story for school.
29. How hard was it to sit down and actually start writing something?
Answer: Not hard at all. I enjoy it when I am inspired.
30. Do you aim to complete a set number of pages or words each day?
Answer: No. I let it flow as it does.
31. Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?
Answer: I go with the flow and get surprised by it.
32. Any tips you would like to share to overcome it?
Answer: Be patient. It’s saving you from writing crap.
33. Do you read much and, if so, who are your favorite authors?
Answer: I do. My favorite author is Terry Goodkind.
34. What is the most important thing about a book in your opinion?
Answer: In a novel, it’s definitely character development.
35. How would you feel if no one showed up at your book signing?
Answer: Shit happens. Try again another time and work harder on marketing.
36. Do you recall the first ever book/novel you read?
Answer: It was the Fantomette (I don’t know if it exists in English) series when I was in middle school.
37. How much of yourself do you put into your books?
Answer: It depends on the book.
38. Who are your books mostly dedicated to?
Answer: My wife and kids.
39. Who is the most supportive of your writing in your family?
Answer: My father was the one who actually funded the publishing of my first book.
40. Writers are often believed to have a Muse, your thoughts on that?
Answer: I wrote all about muses in War of the Heavens. Each book has a different one.
41. Another misconception is that all writers are independently wealthy, how true is that?
Answer: If I could spend words and letters, I would be a billionaire… so is the next guy who chats all day on the phone.
42. Is it true that authors write word-perfect first drafts?
43. Did any of your books get rejected by publishers?
Answer: I only approached a publisher once, regretted working with them, and always published through my own company ever since.
44. What is your view on co-authoring books; have you done any?
Answer: I haven’t, but I would be open to the suggestion.
45. Is writing book series more challenging?
Answer: Yes. Keeping up the momentum is tough.
46. Does it get frustrating if you are unable to recall an idea you had in your mind some time earlier?
Answer: Sometimes. That’s why if I have a good idea, I write it down on my phone.
47. Have you ever destroyed any of your drafts?
48. Can you tell us about your current projects?
Answer: Many works in progress which are yet to merge.
49. Had any of your literary teachers ever tell you growing up that you were going to become a published writer one day?
Answer: Yes. My Arabic teacher back in high school even though I sucked at Arabic. He claimed he was a seer.
50. Were your parents reading enthusiasts who gave you a push to be a reader as a kid?
Answer: No. No one in my family reads much.
51. Do you enjoy discussing upcoming ideas with your partner? If yes, how much do you value their inputs?
Answer: Sometimes. It depends on the mood.
52. Have you ever turned a dream or a nightmare into a written piece?
Answer: Yes. Again in War of the Heavens, it was mainly inspired by the death of a close friend in a car crash.
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