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Interview: David Charles, Author of Think For Yourself: The Importance of Maintaining Individuality and Freedom of Thought

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In a society where individualization seems to be the exception, rather than the rule, David Charles brings readers a book that helps shed light on ways to get back to living a life that is your own, rather than what someone else thinks it should be.  As a professional construction manager involved with public school construction in the Southern California region, David Charles has experience with people and viewing the aspects of everyday living.

David Charles' past writing experiences include web based reporting, project progress documentation and classic business correspondence on all aspects of the public school construction progress for the projects under his jurisdiction.

I hope readers enjoy getting to know Mr. Charles a bit better, as much as I did.  Also, if you haven't checked out Think For Yourself, please be sure to do so. 

First of all, could you tell us a bit about Think For Yourself?

Think For Yourself: The Importance of Maintaining Individuality and Freedom of Thought, discusses the significance of taking charge of your destiny and living life on your own terms. With a personalized look into today’s growing global society, this book succinctly explores the necessity of maintaining clear and enlightened thinking on a variety of key subject matter. Filled with personal anecdotes, practical insights, and inspiring messages on topics that everyone can easily relate to in our daily lives, Think For Yourself aims to be a passionate and provocative manifesto for the self-determined individual, who forges a unique path in life.

Do you have a favorite excerpt from Think For Yourself? Could you share that with us, please?

I have several favorites. This one is from the last page and reappears on the back of the book. It sort of sums up the whole point of the book.

“The individual life always matters. What we say and do truly does affect those around us. If you have something inspiring to say, then say it. If you disagree with something then speak up. Be heard. Take charge of your life and your destiny. Think For Yourself.”

What do you want readers to take away from reading Think For Yourself?

The book should inspire the reader to ask questions, seek answers, and take appropriate action. The message is to be a participant in life and in all of the decisions that are required on a daily basis. Live in the moment. It is up to the individual to make his or her own way and take personal responsibility.

What was the most fun about writing Think For Yourself?

I really enjoyed the creative process. Being able to listen to the words in your head and translate them onto “paper” is a very gratifying feeling.

What was the hardest part about writing Think For Yourself?

The very same thing; being able to listen to the words in your head and translate them on to “paper.”

What kind of research did you do for Think For Yourself?

I wanted to touch on subjects that I felt were universally important and would strike a chord with almost everyone. Anecdotes are relatively simple to come by. Almost anyone can relate stories such as I have done on any of the covered subject matter. This is real life experience being translated on paper. There was also a fair amount of old fashioned research using traditional resources to verify any historical or technical references.

Could you please tell us about your writing process?

The book itself is actually written in a program on my computer that displays the document in book format. It was very pleasing to be able to see the book actually come to life as you are writing it. I would gather my information, sometimes on a notepad, sometimes with my digital voice recorder and other times it was straight to the keyboard. Then it was time to write. Having the technical platform that I used really made the difference.

Do you have any particular habits that you take part in while writing? By that I mean certain music you like to listen to, foods you like to eat, environment that helps you write better, etc.

I prefer a quiet atmosphere when I am actually writing. On the other hand, gathering information, using the digital recorder and so on happens on the spur of the moment, anytime, anywhere.

Where do you get your ideas and inspirations?

I like to consider myself a student of the human condition. Always wanting to know more. This constant quest for knowledge I think is the inspiration and motivation to take a look at certain issues and explore pertinent subject matter, and then comment on it and offer up a point of view or fresh insight.

How did you decide you wanted to be a writer? Was there any authors or books that made you think "Wow, that's what I want to do – craft stories of my own for others to read"?

For as long as I can remember I have had the desire to express myself via the written word. I write professionally as part of my responsibilities as a construction manager in the public school arena. There are many documents and specifications that need to be written as well as numerous pieces of correspondence. I have always been complimented on my technical writing as it has been related to the construction management process and often heard things like “you should be a professional writer” and so on. For me those kinds of things were an affirmation that I might just be able to go through with the process and actually write a book.

What make you take that leap from "wanting" to be a writer, as opposed to "becoming" a writer? Many talk of being a writer and dip their toes in, but it seems there is often a sort of "push" to bring one over that wall.

I had actually been planning this project for several years and was always gathering information and posting ideas into the outline knowing that one day I would ultimately compile all of my notes and complete the book. I think this book is important now because so many of the covered topics seem to be taking a hit when it comes to freedom of choice. With so much propaganda on either side of a given issue, it is paramount that the individual stay involved in decision making process in order to make effective choices. What triggered the action to move the project forward was something that I read by a very famous businessman. He put it quite frankly when he said; “Twenty percent of your priorities will yield for you eighty percent of your productivity. If you have something important to do, then get to it”. His advice was right on target. That combination of factors is why I decided to move forward and finish the project.

Were you an avid reader as a child? If so, what were some of your favorite books?

I enjoyed non-fiction books about ancient cultures and past civilizations. I also read adventure books and some science fiction books, as well as inspirational and motivational books by such authors as Napoleon Hill and Kahlil Gibran.

If you had to summarize your life and give it a book title, what would that title be?

“Think For Yourself”

What are you working on right now? Could you give us a taste/teaser (aka excerpt) from your current WIP?

I have a couple of possibilities in the works. I don’t mean to be vague; however I do want to keep the readers guessing just a little. One book will be about time, and another will be about redemption. I do have a few other outlines in progress and as it sometimes goes one of those may jump out ahead. We shall see.

What are you reading right now?

The Seven Spiritual laws of Success by Deepak Chopra. I have read it several times and continually refer to it. I am also reading Wisdom of the Ages by Dr. Wayne Dyer.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

Napoleon Hill, Deepak Chopra, Dr. Wayne Dyer, John Steinbeck to name a few. I am also fond of the work of Stirling Silliphant who was a screenplay and television writer, he had a certain style about him and a unique persona that is quite inspiring to me as a writer.

If you could have lunch and chat with any author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

I think I would have to say Stirling Silliphant. This man had such a great outlook on life and was extremely creative in his work. The testimonials I have heard to this man are touching. I think it would be an honor to share some of his creative insights. Even though my book is non-fiction, where there is a story to be told, creative writing is right in the mix.

What do you hope to accomplish within the next five years?

I would like to release my next two books and also attain the project objectives that are projected for the school construction projects that will be moving forward later this year.

Is there anything that you would like to add? That you would like readers to know about you or your writing?

This book is a friendly reminder of why it is important to take charge of one’s own circumstances. It’s written from the perspective of an ordinary individual and is based on real life observations. There is not an abundance of technical or clinical language. It’s a down to earth look at key topics from everyday life that all of us can easily relate to.

Where can readers get in touch with you? Twitter, Blog, Facebook, etc?

My website
Myspace
Twitter

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