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Thursday, 2 January 2014

Twenty Questions with... An Average Joe AKA David Shaw

I am delighted to welcome David Shaw onto my blog today, author of An Average Joe’s Search for the Meaning of Life, released last month by Carina (Harlequin UK).

Breaking away from my 'usual' genres, An Average Joe is non-fiction as David tells his own story. I have borrowed this review excerpt from Fiona's Book Reviews to give you an insight into the kind of story this is:

This is a totally different book to what I would normally read. I like fiction, and haven't read many non fiction books before. However I am extremely glad I did read it and I strongly recommend it to anyone who believes there is a spirit world running in tandem to ours.
The author has taken it upon himself, on advice from his spirit guides, to share his story. His past is not pretty at times, he is extremely honest about his life, and that of his family. But what he has obviously gained through his journey to share this story is something which, I feel, makes it all worth it.

ACT ONE – all about you…


My name is David and I am from Scotland, and yes, I often drink too much, sometimes eat food coated in copious amounts of fat, and occasionally I may even complain about the hideous weather!

I reside in an average home, in an average street, in the frightfully average town called Kilmarnock, which sits a decidedly uncomfortable 1-inch below Glasgow in your average road map - you may have heard of our local football team - Kilmarnock nil.

My passion for writing began after I was informed by a spirit guide that I would soon be working on a very important project that would involve searching for the true meaning of life. Several years later, after having enjoyed the privilege of writing spiritual articles for many publications and magazines, I now find myself as the proud author of a book containing my life-story. You can read about my amazing family, my appalling football team and the reason why I am still alive today.

My journey through every aspect of the spirit world may totally astound you, but when the dust finally settles on the last book cover, I will still only be an Average Joe - just a guy who wrote a book.


1) Have you always been a writer or is it something you fell into?

I started writing just over 4 years ago when I was instructed to write about my own life in order to find the true meaning of life. I never really had any inclination to write before then; in fact I was discouraged to write anything at school as I was deemed not good enough!

2) Do you have a particular writing style or ritual?

I prefer to write in a rather journalistic style – and always in the first person. I prefer to let my writing mirror my personality, which is rather light-hearted with a diminutive dilution of sincerity thrown in for good measure. I also write during the small hours of the morning as there must be no distractions to what comes through my thoughts.

3) Is there a book or an author that has influenced you in your writing? Or perhaps one piece of advice that has stuck with you that you’d like to share?

Strangely enough, there was one book that influenced my writing. ‘Watch my back’ by Geoff Thompson, was an autobiography about a nightclub doorman who used to hospitalise people for a living! This guy was a self-confessed thug – but what a writer! I knew that if he could get a publishing deal for the content of his book then I had a chance with my own rather avant-garde biography. The best advice that I ever received was ‘tell your story in your own words – or it’s not worth telling at all’.

4) Can you tell us three things about yourself that we probably don’t already know?

I once got arrested for being drunk and disorderly in Ibiza and spent the night in prison. 

My latest book ‘New Mediumship’ was written whilst in trance and was co-written by many friends from the spirit world, including the great American author Edgar Allan Poe.

In a previous life, I murdered innocent people (at least 4 that I know of) in Australia and I was never caught.

5) What five luxury items or gadgets would you hate to be without?

My Apple goodies – phone and tablet. My trusty Tassimo coffee machine. My electric shaver (I’m scared of blades, knives etc). And of course, television (I’ve got 5!)

6) With Christmas already behind us, we turn our attention ahead to the year ahead. Did you join in with the madness of choosing New Year’s resolutions for 2014?

The usual suspects – fitness regime, better diet etc. I find that the older you get the more determined you become, but the harder it is to achieve your goals. Writing and healthy living don’t tend to mix very well.

ACT TWO – all about your new release



David Shaw sees himself as an Average Joe.
He grew up an average kid in an average neighbourhood in Ayrshire. Like many an Average Joe, he does ordinary things: goes to work, supports his local football team, puts the world to rights over a pint. But this Average Joe is anything but average. Styling himself ‘spiritcounsellor’, he shares with us an extraordinary journey through the twilight world. Blessed with the ability to see and hear those who’ve passed on, and, helped by his spirit guides, Black Hawk and Mr Chung, David shares with us his extraordinary story of receiving messages from the other side. Here is an Average Joe – an ordinary man with an extraordinary story that will fascinate and intrigue.
7) Congratulations on your recent release of An average Joe’s search for the meaning of life. What was your inspiration for writing your own story?

I wanted to share my own personal journey, to show that anyone who sees, hears and communicates with the afterlife is actually a normal human being hoping to live a normal existence in a world that frequently associates mediumship with ghosts, vampires and devil worshippers!

8) Did the story flow from your finger tips or did some scenes take a bit of cajoling?

Most of the story flowed since I was really just recounting my memories from birth to the present day. The editing was extremely difficult though, as this was my first writing project and I had very little experience of actually compiling and formatting a complete book.

9) How long did it take for the initial spark of the story to make it onto the page and then onto the publisher’s desk?

It took two years from page to publisher’s desk. I initially self-published the book to gauge reaction before deciding on taking the next step forward.

10) Do you have a favourite paragraph or sentence from your story that you would like to tantalise us with?

This is an excerpt from one of many séances that I used to participate in.

‘A wise old man once told me that he would gladly give up every single moment left in this life for the opportunity to spend just one more moment with his wonderful wife who had passed over into spirit. Many people who attended those séances – got their moment! My own personal ‘moment’ was an occasion that I shall cherish for ever more. On this occasion I felt my wife’s grandmother physically touch me on my right hand. She had passed over to spirit a few months earlier and it was fantastic to hear that she was ‘alive’ and well. How did I know that it was my wife’s grandmother? Simple: she told me in her own distinctive voice, a voice that could never be replicated and the rest of the sitters in the room also heard her.
In that one solitary moment, after almost forty years of living in a world that we are constantly told ends completely with our last solitary breath, I had received that ultimate, one hundred percent, solid-gold proof, that life definitely does go on beyond the grave.
And how did it feel? Well, there is only one word for the way that my heart felt in that one incredible moment – magical!
For example, if you were to take that feeling in your heart when you first kissed your childhood sweetheart…that feeling in your heart the first time you saw your football team win the Cup…that feeling in your heart the first time you tasted vintage French champagne…that feeling in your heart the day you realised that you would spend the rest of your life with the person you love…that feeling in your heart the first time your child tells you that they love you…that feeling in your heart when your mother, lying in a hospital bed and about to breathe her final breath, whispers in your ear that she has never been more proud of you…
Then I want you to take all those instances of pure love and congeal them together, holding them in a place close to your heart. For only then can you begin to imagine how I felt that night in that wonderful séance room in Glasgow, on such a beautiful winter’s night in December 2007 – the night that my life finally found true meaning.’

11) Over to you; what can you tell us about An Average Joe to make us rush out and buy it?

Chapter 21 (The Passing) was transcribed to me through trance. That means that the information received came from someone else – not me. ‘The Passing’ describes how a soul returns to the spirit world and details the new journey that will commence. I was informed by my spirit guides that this would be the most important information ever written or read by anyone. The information is symbolic but the meaning is the same for everyone.

12) What can we expect from you next? Is there something you are working on right now?

I am just about to begin writing a new book. I have no title and no content. Everything will be dictated through trance. I have an inkling that it has something to do with other planets, but it’s still a mystery – watch this space!


QUICK FIRE ROUND – it’s pop quiz time…


13) Plotter or pantser?

Pantser

14) Digital books or print books?

Got to be print books – sorry Carina!

15) Tea or coffee?

Coffee

16) Extrovert or introvert?

I’m a split personality – so usually a bit of both!

17) Facebook or Twitter?

Facebook

18) Christmas or birthday?

Christmas

19) Morning person or night owl?

Night owl

20) Sweet or savoury?

Sweet

And that’s a wrap!

Thank you so much for taking part, David, I wish you every success with your new release.

To discover even more about David Shaw and to keep up with his/her latest projects and shenanigans, you can visit him at:

Website     Facebook     Twitter


Buy it now…


ISBN: 9781472055316
Release Date: 5th December 2013

Carina
Amazon UK / US
Nook UK / US (B&N)
iBooks

Excerpt…


‘It was a freezing cold night in Blackpool – no surprises there then! Heavy rain lashed the seafront and the only people near the Blackpool Tower were poor homeless individuals huddled together in the damp foyer at the entrance. Unfortunately my father wasn’t one of them. After waiting till 7.30 we decided to move to the relative shelter of the street behind the Tower. This street in contrast was extremely busy with tourists who were determined to have fun regardless of the weather. There was also a huge number of police on the streets as the Conservative Party Conference was currently being held in the town.

As I waited nervously for any sign of my father I couldn’t help but watch other families walk by, laughing with excitement at how much money they were going to spend on pointless entertainment.

I had loved Blackpool as a child, but now as an adult I hated it. I couldn’t understand why every year thousands of Scots would venture down the M6 motorway to stay in a place which reminded them of home – wet, windy and smelling of chip fat! But as I watched all the fathers, mothers and kids hurry past me in a race to the nearest amusement arcade – I wished I were one of them, any one of them. I was in fact jealous of them – why was this nightmare only happening to my family, and me?

In the distance I could hear a rollercoaster roaring down a steel track and suddenly I imagined myself in a queue of people waiting for a ride on that rollercoaster. I imagined more and more people just simply walking past me each time that rollercoaster came back to its starting position. And as I watched them slowly progress up the steep incline I would wave solemnly, knowing that I wouldn’t be joining them.’


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