"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Love Talk--An Interview With Best Selling Author---WILLIAM JULY


“I wasn’t interested in flirting, asking for a phone number, or diving into bed with her. I simply said hello.”---
William July, BROTHERS, LUST, AND LOVE

Meet Dr. William July.

For more than a decade, he has provided relationship rescue to thousands, as a best-selling author, speaker, and relationship coach.
He is to self-help and dating, what “Baby Face” is to romantic music.
His words of wisdom have helped countless readers to love smarter and lead more meaningful lives. I am one of them.

I first became familiar with William many years ago, when we were both contributing writers to Being Single Magazine. Through a chain of events, and “divine order”, we became big fans of each other’s works. And you’ll become a fan too, the minute you pick up one of his popular, insightful titles on love, mating and relating. Open the pages at any point, and it feels as if he’s sitting right in your living room having a one on one conversation.

What’s different in his approach to relationships, is that he challenges us to ask the tough questions---to not look for scapegoats, or quick fixes.
He compels us to look within, and to dig deeply. And he keeps it real.
In this in-depth interview, (originally provided to Online Dating Magazine) Pen and Prosper shares a look at the man behind the message.

Q. Can you tell our readers a little about your background?

A. Wow, how much time do you have? I have a long life story because I’ve had several careers. Basically I grew up in an entrepreneurial family and I have always been encouraged to try for any goal I imagined. My parents also encouraged me to express my creativity and ideas. I guess that’s why I was in my family’s real estate business for many years, then I worked briefly in the political arena, then a police officer, then an author. I could tell you so many great stories about my various careers. I guess one day I’ll be an old man reeling off tales to whomever will listen.
That was a busy time in my life. For example, some days I’d be wearing a suit showing real estate properties to clients one minute, then hurrying back to jump into my police uniform to make it to roll call on time for my shift. Then, getting home from my shift and spending a couple of hours writing an article I was working on for Being Single, Our Texas, Upscale, Today’s Black Woman or other magazines I wrote for at the time. It was fun at that time in my life. It was fun. At the time I was young, single, and full of energy so it was good for me. That busy schedule probably kept me some out of trouble because I really liked the ladies and was a bachelor on a mission!

Q. There are many self-help books on relationships. Why did you feel yours was needed, in an already saturated market?

A. Well, fortunately when I started writing about relationships the market wasn’t saturated yet the way it is today. It was actually wide open. Terry McMillan’s Waiting to Exhale had created such a furor that women and men were both clamoring for some male voices to counter the images of black men in her books. Now I don’t fault her for writing about her experience but those men were for the most part trifling. I wanted to talk about black men in a realistic, yet positive light. So she created an opportunity for new voices like mine through a sort of backlash. Thus, the “tell it like it is” genre was born and I was one of these common sense experts who benefited from it. So, like everything it had a lot to do with timing.

Q. You often give advice on love and life, what’s the best romantic advice you’ve ever received? What’s the worst?

A. The worst thing I’ve ever been told was by a man when I was about 23 years old. He said, “Make sure you never marry someone you love more than they love you.” It smacked of gamesmanship and insincerity. I thought “then why get married?”
The best knowledge I ever received grew from living with my wife through her illness. I realized the importance of really meaning your marriage vows and living them instead of just saying them. More importantly I learned that to love someone is to really love them from the inside out because that’s what you really have that endures time.

Q. Are your books targeted to any particular audience?

A. With the exception of Brothers, Lust, and Love my books are for a general audience. And that’s not to say that Brothers doesn’t have a cross section of readers because it does. It was very popular with non-Black audiences as well. My decision to write for a general audience is both a moral and business decision. The moral side is that I want to help as many people as I can reach. God didn’t tell me just to help one kind of people. I am thankful for the wisdom God has given me and I want to share it. Also, that attitude is good for business. The material I write about is important to men and women of all types. It wouldn’t make financial sense to segment my market and lose sales. Another example is that I do a lot of television work and they aren’t looking for people who can only address one audience.

Q. Do you think that the dynamics in Black relationships are different than in other cultures?

A. I think the general dynamics are universal for the most part. Research shows that too. However, there are definitely nuances that can be very different. However, they don’t have to be as divisive as we tend to make them. I do as many interviews for Cosmo as I do Essence and essentially, the concerns are the same. Just subtle differences exist. It really boils down to the two individuals in the relationship and how they perceive the world. Matching skin tones doesn’t make two people a match. Two Black people can be very different in tastes, class, values, and even culture despite sharing the same skin shade.

Q. To what do you attribute the decline in chivalry these days?

A. Values! Our society’s values are changing and chivalric behavior is falling by the side of the road. Boys aren’t being taught chivalry and girls don’t expect it anymore. Also, some women don’t want doors opened for them and things like that. It’s just becoming out dated. Some chivalric behavior smacked of chauvinism although it looked nice on the outside and we have to realize it’s part of the evolution of society.
But worse than the loss of chivalry is the loss of basic respect and courtesy between men and women. It seems people have less and less regard for each other in the dating and mating game and too many folks are just out to get what they can from others without regard for the other person as a human.

Q. What makes a “successful” relationship?

A. The fusion of romance and friendship. Most importantly a long term relationship has to have friendship as its basis because people are going to change and only a friendship can survive change, not a sexship, or dependentship!

Q. How do you feel about Internet dating? Is it addressed in any of your books?

A. Internet dating, dating clubs, introduction services…all of that makes total sense to me. Why waste your time, energy, and emotions looking and searching all the time when you can focus your efforts in one place and maximize your time while also not having to meet anyone you don’t at least have some basic things in common with.
Yes, I address these things in my books because I think it makes so much sense. One just has to be smart and cautious when using the Internet but you should be that way when you meet anyone in any situation that you decide to date.

Q. What was the inspiration behind writing, “Understanding the Tin Man”?

A. The message for women was to give them a peep inside of our minds. To show women WHY we are not usually open to our feelings and being emotionally expressive. It doesn’t just happen, it’s a process we learn. I wanted women to understand that. For men the Tin Man was written to help men understand that we can be masculine and sensitive and that it is more healthy and fulfilling to be that way.

Q. What would it surprise others to know about you?

A. I draw cartoons. I used to put them on my website. Eventually I’ll put some more of them up after I draw up some new relationship humor. I’m also into reality shows. I like watching Bridezilla.

Q. Is there anything in particular you want readers to take away from reading your books?

A. I want people to walk away with a reality check and a sense of hope and personal renewal.

Q What authors do you enjoy reading?

A. Last year I completed my dissertation and earned my Ph.D. in Psychology. So to be honest I haven’t read anything but research studies and academic books for the past few years!

Q. Do you have any future projects to which we can look forward? How about a website?

A. Big things are in the works at this very moment. Don’t be surprised if you see me with a network television show next year!
I now have a radio show on the Quiet Time radio network. Replays are archived online at Quiet Time radio http://quiettimepress.com/qtradio/index.html
As for new books, my wife and I are going to press in a few weeks with a book we coauthored about how couples can cope with the presence of chronic illness in their marriage. My wife is battling a severe chronic illness. We are publishing it with iUniverse because we wanted to maintain complete editorial control over at least the first version.

My website is williamjuly.com I invite everyone to go there every month or so to listen to the free relationship tip podcasts.

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