Jerry Pollock is represented by the interviewer's Pump Up Your Book Promotion, an innovative public relations agency specializing in online book promotion.
Jerry Pollock is the author of 75 scientific publications. His background includes both a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Pharmacy from the University of Toronto, a Ph.D. in Biophysics from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, and Postdoctoral training in Microbiology at the New York University School of Medicine. Dr. Pollock is currently Professor Emeritus in the Oral Biology and Pathology Department in the School of Dental Medicine at the State University of New York at Stony Brook on Long Island. Jerry’s first writer of the arts book, Divinely Inspired: Spiritual Awakening of a Soul, was a spiritual memoir originally published in 2003. The second edition of Divinely Inspired will be reissued in Paperback on Jan. 1, 2009. His ‘not so fictional’ novel, Messiah Interviews: Belonging to God, due out also on Jan. 1, 2009, is Jerry’s way of giving back to the Creator. Jerry is married to Marcia, his bashert or destined one. They reside in Florida.
Thank you for this interview, Jerry. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
Thank you. My pleasure to be with you. I apologize at the outset that I may be a tad wordy in my answers. My wife, Marcia, always tries to keep me in line. A not so brief description of myself might be:
“Neurotic, Pharmacist, Biophysicist, Ph.D., Microbiologist, Professor, Scientific Researcher, Bipolar Disorder, Primal Therapy, Suicide Attempts, Womb Regression, Divine Intervention, Spiritualist, Would-be-Writer of the Arts, Still Flawed Human Being.”
I was born in Canada in 1941. I became an American citizen in 1990. I grew up in a dysfunctional family, beginning with and unwanted pregnancy and a miraculous survival of an abortion attempt. I have been a neurotic all my life, but have moved toward normalcy through Primal Therapy and Womb Regression. I would say that after 25 years of working with either a therapist or on my own, I am ninety-nine percent better or normal. Through spirituality, I have kicked out Bipolar Disorder (acquired at age 50) which is no longer welcome in my body and my brain.
I completed my Bachelor and Masters of Science in Pharmacy at the University of Toronto. I then went on to do a Ph.D. at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and then spent four years a s a Postdoctoral fellow in the Microbiology Department in the New York University School of Medicine. In 1973, I joined the faculty in the Oral Biology and Pathology Department at Stony Brook University, carrying out scientific research, teaching and administrative duties. I became Professor in 1981 and am currently Professor Emeritus, having retired in July 2006. The Bipolar Disorder or manic depression began in 1991, and in 1995, I was forced to take a five year long term disability leave because of an acute refractive clinical depression when my research funding collapsed. It was during this period that I had unusual spiritual experiences, beginning in December of 1998 both in New York and in Florida. I had also had an experience (no Bipolar Disorder then) in my Long Island summer cottage in 1982 while I was being divorced from my first wife. I won’t spoil the fun of your readers, but these unusual spiritual experiences are described in my two Titles, Messiah Interviews and Divinely Inspired, due out on Jan.1, 2009 as paperbacks.
I returned to the University in 2000, but I was no longer the same person. I began reading the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, parts of the Qur’an, Evolution and the Origin of Life, Creation, Anthropology, and numerous books on faith, religion and the soul. Divinely Inspired was actually published in 2003 and is being reissued in 2009. Inch by inch, I’ve been climbing the spiritual ladder.
You might say that I have been writing for 40 years. In my scientific career, I published 75 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Divinely Inspired in 2003 was my first writer of the arts attempt. I like to think I’ve improved with the writing of the Messiah Interviews. Divinely Inspired is a spiritual memoir and Messiah Interviews is a spiritual fiction.
Do you write full-time?
No I don’t but I love to write even if it’s a birthday card. I always told my kids, try and do something in life that you love and comes easy for you. Fortunately for me, writing comes easy. How good a writer I am is another issue. I would love for people to judge for themselves by reading the Messiah Interviews and if they get the courage, Divinely Inspired.
At what point in your life did you make up your mind you were going to become a published author?
I must be totally honest. When I wrote Divinely Inspired, it was more about writing for my own ego than about writing for the sake of Heaven. With the virtual disappearance of my neurosis, the writing of the Messiah Interviews is more about giving back to God than tooting my own horn. When you experience miracles of Divine Providence and appreciate the awesomeness of this gift, you want to become a better person. This may sound corny, but I wanted to give back to God for what He has given me. I literally would not be alive today if it wasn’t for God’s intervention into my life.
In the case of the Messiah Interviews, I wrote this also because I felt that there was a need for people to understand God’s purpose of forming both the Evolution and Creation world, and to know about the Messiah, God’s future Third Temple on earth, and the bliss of the Messianic Age coming at the End of Days. This information is not available in any one place or in any publication that I know of, and much of what I write is unique coming from my own creative spirit. I try not to preach. Rather, it was my intention to empower.
Was there anyone in your life that you can give credit to helping pave the way?
Yes. Everyone along the long way, good or bad, have made me who I am today. I am grateful and would not change any of my life, even though I have gone through some pretty difficult times. Psychiatric wards aren’t fun. Neither is a suicide attempt. And Bipolar Disorder is flying on a different plane. Imagine playing chess with Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War when I don’t even play chess. Mania and psychosis are roller coaster rides that you are thrilled to be on.
God is my hero and my wife Marcia is my Rock of Gibraltar.
What was your favorite book to read as a child?
Believe it or not, we only had one child book in our house and it belonged to my older brother Norm. I loved it. I can’t remember the name of the book, but I think it was something like, A Thousand and One Fairytales. My mother read romance novels. My father the newspaper.
What is your favorite book at the present?
I love the Scriptures. I think you really cannot understand what’s going on today unless you go back to the beginning. I love the ancient biblical characters and of course I love God. You probably gathered this by now. When I had time, and I rarely do these days because of the marketing of the books, I used to like to read someone like Nelson DeMille. His earlier books like Cain and Abel or By the Rivers of Babylon were wonderful. I also liked Grisham and Barbara Taylor Bradford and some others.
If you could trade places with one author who you have admired over the years, who would it be and why?
I wouldn’t want to trade places with anyone. I’m content.
Can you tell us a little about your latest book?
The Messiah Interviews is a spiritual fiction and brings a message of hope for the future, and not Armageddon. Ever since the Creation of Adam and Eve, man has grappled with knowing whether life exists after death. Because humans achieve the possible, while God accomplishes the impossible, only the Creator knows our fate and destiny at the End of Days. The Messiah Interviews tells the story of the book’s main character, Yoseph, an imperfect human being living an even more imperfect life on Earth, who finds himself transported to the Third Temple in Heaven for the sole purpose of being interviewed to be the Messiah. Joseph is a scientist. He is also a believer struggling to fulfill his spiritual mission.
As readers embark on a journey of knowledge and understanding, they’ll join Yoseph in an exploration of the implications of biblical history on our modern world. Through a series of unexplainable events, readers will get to decide if an additional personal spiritual effort is worth making in their lives, in order to possibly gain entrance to an uncertain futuristic Garden of Eden, the Messianic Age. In a process of the dreamlike interviews with biblical personalities ― the angel Gabriel, Methuselah, Chanoch, Seth, King David, Moses, Jacob, Abraham and the prophet Isaiah ― Yoseph is forced to bear his soul and his own hidden demons. The interviewers serve as advisors to God, Who is the keeper of the scorecard on the moral choices and decisions we make in our lives. It is God Who decides Yoseph’s fate and ultimately the lot of all of us.
As human beings, we are all flawed. That’s how the Creator made us. During the course of reading the book, readers will be empowered, like Yoseph, to exercise their free will to improve their moral character, in order to meet the requirements set out in the Messiah Interviews for admission into a future blissful life at the End of Days. The book is God-centered and discusses, briefly or at length, various topics, including The Ten Commandments, Creation, Evolution, Good and Evil, Primal Therapy, Bipolar Disorder, Resurrection, Aging, Twelve Tribes of Israel, the Lost Tribes, Monotheistic Religions, the future Third Temple on earth, the Messiah, and the Messianic Age. The book is full of biblical and modern wisdom written in layman’s terms, and is for anyone willing to begin or continue their journey down the spiritual road. It is also meant for the humanist, agnostic or atheist who has chosen a different road. God gives us a lifetime to return to Him.
What was the inspiration behind your book? Why did you feel a need to write it?
As I wrote above, I wanted to both give back to my Creator for giving so freely to me, and I felt that there was a need for a book that had so much to tell and yet had not been told by anyone thus far. I tried to make the Bible come alive for the reader. You know, sometimes in life, when no one else takes the bull by the horn, maybe it’s up to you to do so. Maybe it’s your destiny and just maybe it is all available right now in the present moment because you, and no one else, are supposed to write the story or whatever it is in life that comes up. You have to carpe diem, seize the day. Otherwise, it’s a missed opportunity. You know, you just know, when it feels right. Writing the Messiah Interviews is one of the Highs of my life. I can soar with angels and in the book I actually do.
What kind of research did you have to do to write your book?
About ten years of reading that I wrote about above. Spirituality may come easy for some people, but not for me and I suspect for most of us flawed human beings. Spirituality is not a rose garden. There are thorns along the way. You take two steps up and one or more steps down the spiritual ladder. King David in the Book of Psalms said it best. “And He knew that we were but flesh.” Humans were designed by God to be flawed.
What message are you trying to convey with this book?
If you want to be admitted into the Messianic Age at the End of Days, you’d best be sure you have all your ducks in place. At all times, Divine Morality is judging you for your moral choices and decisions. In this world, perhaps you can get away with being accountable to your human morality. But to get into the next, you are accountable to God. He is the keeper of the scorecard. In three words, Improve Your Character. God gives us a lifetime to do so.
Why did you choose your particular genre?
When you talk about God, you are automatically in the genre of spirituality or religion or both, whether the work is fiction or non-fiction.
Where do you get ideas to write your books?
They just seem to come as I write. I have the basic core of the idea but often the plot doesn’t unfold until I write. I do extensive research, so that helps. The writing is easy for me. The research is a grind because I am condensing and assembling so much information. The same was true when I was writing scientific grants but my book Titles required multiple grant research simultaneously.
How do you deal with rejection?
I was handicapped before I was born. I could be an expert witness on this subject. I’ve done womb regression in Primal Therapy and I could write a treatise about this question. It’s all described in Messiah Interviews and also in Divinely Inspired. Any of your readers who want to contact me can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org But read the Messiah Interviews first. I’m glad to help. My rejection started in the womb. The mother and fetus are one and there is an ongoing communication between them. The fetus senses that something is wrong and moreover knows when it is being rejected. It becomes a lifelong imprint. You can’t remove the memory of the imprint but you can remove the pain of the imprint if you go back and make your unconscious conscious.
How do I deal with rejection? Funny you should ask. It’s the last part of my neurosis that I’m dealing with (the last 1%). Even normal people are affected if something goes wrong in the birth process. Rejection for anybody is difficult but every rejection for a neurotic individual is obsessed about during the course of the neurotic’s lifetime. I’d better stop here and have people write me. One quick piece of advice. Don’t blame yourself for feeling rejected. It’s not your fault.
Do you have an agent? What were your experiences finding her/him?
In my writing of the first edition of Divinely Inspired in 2003, I unsuccessfully sought out agents. I don’t know why it’s so hard. The main reason for having an agent is for the agent to garner a publisher for you. And the main purpose that I see for having a publisher of the right quality is to get you into the chain bookstores. Everywhere else you can get into by your own publicity efforts.
How long did it take your book to be published from the time you submitted and was accepted to the time it was finally released?
It’s very quick to publish if you have your book printed with Lightning Source as I did. The advantage of Lightning Source is that they are owned by Ingram which is the biggest book wholesaler in the United States. Ingram and Lightning are in turn connected to Amazon and other partners like the Library Wholesaler, Baker & Taylor.
Can you tell us a little about the publisher who published your book? How have they been to work with?
I represent the publisher. I am the President of a nonprofit, the Shechinah Third Temple, Inc. The corporation is the publisher. All profits from the sale of our books will be used for charitable purposes.
Do you blog? If so, what can you tell my readers about the advantages of blogging as a useful tool in book promotion?
We just updated our website, www.shechinahthirdtemple.org. Both titles are now on the website and links to where you can purchase Messiah Interviews and Divinely Inspired are there. EBooks are currently available for our titles and an audio book will be out soon. There is a blog on the website, the Messiah blogs, but I need to learn first how to blog. At 67, I’m just beginning my foray into social networking, so I need a learning curve. Up to this point, I never blogged but I intend to. I would like to place this Interview on my blog when I get it up and running. I will also join various social communities when I have a little more time.
Do you have a website? Do you manage it yourself or do you have someone run it for you?
You can enter the website either at www.thirdtempleinfo.com or www.shechinahthirdtemple.org (Shechinah in Hebrew means Divine Presence). My site is managed by Radical Webs here in Florida. With the latest update, I’ll be able to make changes or addition to the website.
How do you deal with a bad review?
I wrote many letters of reference for both Dental and Ph.D. students as a Professor and Graduate Director at Stony Brook University. I never used a standard letter format and I always focused on the strengths of the students, not on their weaknesses. This approach at least got them to the Interview process, and how they fared after that depended upon their own skills and personalities. I personally can’t see writing a bad review where someone who doesn’t even know you tears you apart. It hurts and I don’t think it is fair. We can’t all be best selling authors but most of us have something to say. If you get one stinker among several reasonably good reviews, I guess it’s okay. If you start getting more than one stinker, maybe it’s time to reassess. Human nature of bad reviewers is pretty predictable. They themselves never made it as writers.
Now that you have opened the door, I wish reviewers were more ethical. An author spends his time, energy, and monies and sends books to corrupt Reviewers. They never review your book but immediately turn around and sell it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I realize you are sending theses books unsolicited, but so called Reviewers should make better moral choices than to screw over the author. You can read all about moral choices in the Messiah Interviews. These corrupt characters won’t make it to the Messianic Age.
What’s next for you?
I’m so busy with the publicity of our titles that it’s hard to see into the future. I have the love of my wife, family, and the Creator, but I don’t yet quite have inner peace. I’m almost there but I’m still working on my neurosis and my spirituality. If you have inner peace, everything else takes care of itself. The most important quality that I seek in another human being and in myself is truth and sincerity in one’s heart. Remember God sees into your heart as well as the crevices of your mind, so don’t fool yourself or rationalize away your character traits.
Thank you for this interview, Jerry! Do you have any final words you’d like to share with my readers?
Well first of all I need to thank Blogcritics for giving me this opportunity to get on my soapbox. You’ve done a kind deed for me. It’s a two way street. I give you answers and you give me opportunity.
I wish the readers of this interview and the people at Blogcritics the joie de vivre, French for the joy of life. If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know by email, email@example.com The great Rebbe Schneerson said that God did not create one useless thing in this world. We all have a purpose and no one is better than anyone else. As the sages say, all that add. They add to Him (God).