Como recordaréis hace un par de semanas os presenté a Scary Guy y compartí la primera parte de nuestra entrevista. Hoy os traigo la segunda parte, donde hablamos de su cambio de nombre, del destino, de qué tipo de trabajo prefiere y de los medios de comunicación, entre otras cosas.

Scary Guy Portrait

Scary Guy Portrait

 

Le pregunté a Scary sobre su cambio de nombre legal a Scary Guy. Me dijo que sucedió el 22 de Febrero de 1998 en Tucson, Arizona, en el juzgado. Los reporteros, la televisión y otros medios de comunicación estaban esperando fuera y la sala estaba llena. La juez le preguntó algunas cosas y él respondió. Ella comentó que era el cambio de nombre más extraño que había juzgado pero que sus razones eran coherentes. Le pregunté si echaba de menos el nombre que le habían dado al nacer y me dijo que era el nombre que le había dado su madre pero que por dentro seguía siendo él. Su madre le dio su nombre en honor de su propio padre (su abuelo materno). La familia de su padre venía del Reino Unido. Su madre también se interesaba por la genealogía y había trazado su árbol genealógico hasta el 1610. Había encontrado 17 Thomas Buckinghams, y trece de ellos habían sido reverendos. Y ahora (irónicamente) vive frente a una iglesia. A él le parece que todo está conectado.

En el libro hay reflexiones sobre el destino y le pregunté si pensaba que él estaba destinado a ser quien es y a hacer lo que hace ahora. Scary me contestó: “Soy un propósito. Esto no es un trabajo. Esto es mi vida. La tarea de mi vida. No hay mucha gente que viva su trabajo.” Me dijo que solo cuando duerme, quizás, no está trabajando y que a algunas personas puede que les parezca que es una obsesión pero que así son las cosas. “Esto es lo que soy.”

Lo describió como un viaje y me dijo que cuando fue a una tienda de tatuajes y decidió hacerse un tatuaje en la cara (que me aclaró fue un proceso y llevó 7 u 8 años) fue una forma de decir “jódete sociedad” (‘Fuck you society’) porque no le gustaba la sociedad en la que vivía. Una vez empezó ese proceso no había marcha atrás. “Éste es mi aspecto final. Ésta es mi vida. Este es el sitio en el que me he colocado. Acepto la responsabilidad por todas mis decisiones. Así es como debe ser.”  Me comentó que no puede ser ninguna otra cosa a menos que se cubra la cabeza con una bolsa de papel, pero eso llamaría la atención aún más. (En la película y en el libro Scary explica que al principio tenía muchos tatuajes en el cuerpo pero los llevaba cubiertos con la ropa cuando iba a trabajar en una firma de informática, y al final decidió hacerse un tatuaje en el cuello y dejó ese tipo de trabajo, a sabiendas de que jamás podría volver a ese tipo de empleos.)

Seguimos hablando del destino y me comentó que mucha gente de diversas religiones le ha dicho que su papel en la vida, su función, es fruto de un poder superior. Él me dijo que siempre aceptaba las creencias de los demás y jamás les contradice y los respeta. Me dijo que quizás la muerte sea solo otro nacimiento, y que le resulta difícil de creer que una vez nos muramos, es simplemente como si no hubiéramos existido jamás, que es difícil creer que todo fue para nada, a menos que creamos que es todo solo para procrearnos y para la supervivencia de la especie. Mencionó que su vecino, Roy, había muerto hacía poco, un hombre con el que se sentía unido y eso le había hecho pensar más en la muerte y en el significado de la vida.

Scary me dijo que cree que todo lo que hace todo el mundo es residual y que ninguna persona es más poderosa que otra. Las acciones de todos tienen impacto y poder; ayudan a que se formen otras personas, a hacer cambios. Aunque todo el mundo tiene el mismo poder algunas personas son más conocidas que otras.

En el video y en el libro observé que trabaja con una gran variedad de personas y le pregunté qué tipo de trabajo le da más satisfacciones (aunque los trabajos aparecen en el momento oportuno) y me dijo que va a ir a los Estados Unidos en Agosto para trabajar en Andrews Air Force cerca de Washington DC. Me dijo que el Teniente Coronel James Armstrong le había pedido que vaya y les proporcione dos días de formación porque creen que el mensaje de Scary les será de ayuda. Me dijo que éste era un tipo de trabajo muy especializado y que siente que es un honor que le inviten a que se una a su comunidad y les ayude. Es una cosa muy importante, porque como Scary dijo, no es el tipo de persona en que tales instituciones pensarían en esas circunstancias. “Eh tú, tío tatuado ven aquí.” No, ese no es el tipo de persona al que se supone que deberían recurrir. Él no encaja con la imagen que la mayoría de gente tendría de a quién llamarían.

Le pregunté a Scary si había experimentado mucha oposición/criticismo de fuentes oficiales u otros lugares a su trabajo. Me dijo que la CNN se había dedicado a hacer lo que a él le pareció un descarado ataque de su carácter (“character assasination”). Me dijo que cuando se pusieron en contacto con él para hacer un programa de 20 minutos sobre él y su trabajo sospechó que probablemente intentarían presentarle de la peor forma posible, pero no le importó. Me dijo que de su programa de formación completo que dura 5 días (eso haría que alguien llegara a tener un buen conocimiento de las fundamentos básicos) los de la CNN estuvieron filmando durante tres días con dos cámaras, unas 60 horas de film y luego lo editaron y cortaron escenas, todo fuera de contexto. Ellos mostrando algunos sketches, historias y técnicas que él utiliza imitando comportamientos problemáticos de la gente. En el programa eso permite que la gente reflexione sobre sus comportamientos. Sin embargo sacado fuera de contexto como hizo la CNN, minimizan el contenido, significado y mensaje, probablemente porque no creen que deba trabajar con niños, basando su juicio en su aspecto físico.

Scary me dijo que aunque mucha gente aún cree que los medios de comunicación son “neutrales” y se limitan a informar sobre hechos, eso no es el caso en el día de hoy y es dudoso que pasase alguna vez. Siempre son reaccionarios y tienen su propia agenda. Me dijo que a pesar de eso lo hizo porque no existe la publicidad negativa y que de los millones de personas que llegaron a ver el programa, incluso si solamente 10000 se dieron cuenta del prejuicio de ese tipo de reportaje y se sintieron lo suficientemente curiosos como para buscar más información eso justificaba de sobras el esfuerzo. Me dijo que cuando habla con los medios de comunicación les dice: “Vosotros os creéis que me vais a usar a mí pero yo os voy a usar a vosotros” y que es un toma y daca. Me explicó que hacía unos años le había dicho al Manchester Evening News de Inglaterra que si querían vender muchos diarios bastaba con que pusieran su foto poniendo cara de asustar y en la primera página el título: Asesinatos, Crímenes, Suicidio, Muertes y en letra pequeña: lean la historia en la página 3. Y funcionó! Porque la prensa siempre busca noticias negativas para poner en primera plana y las malas noticias venden. Los medios de comunicación puede que quieran que la gente se asuste de él pero una vez leen la historia el mensaje que reciben es distinto.

Dentro de poco os traeré la última parte de la entrevista (de momento).

Aquí os dejo el enlace a la primer parte:

https://olganm.wordpress.com/2014/07/15/mi-reunion-con-the-scary-guy-el-tio-que-asusta-hay-on-wye-3rd-july-2014-parte-1/

Y los enlaces para que descubráis más cosas sobre Scary:

La página de Scary:

www.thescaryguy.com

Sigue a  Scary en su Facebook Fan Page

(https://www.facebook.com/thescaryguyfanpage)

La biografía de Scary : 7 Days & 7 Nights

(http://thescaryguy.com/product/7-days-and-7-nights/

Message of Scary to school children

Message of Scary to school children

(No puedo seguir viviendo mi vida fuera de mí mismo, echándole la culpa a los demás por mis acciones. Si voy a comprometerme con quien soy, también tendré que comprometerme con mis palabras y acciones. Son los que definen quién soy.)

Gracias a Scary y a Cathryn por su amabilidad, a vosotros por leer, y ya sabéis, is os ha interesado, dadle al me gusta, comentad, compartid y haced CLIC!

 

Hi all:

As you will remember a couple of weeks ago I brought you the first part of my interview with The Scary Guy, that I hope you enjoyed. Today I bring you the second one, where we talk about media, fate, changing names, and work…

Scary Guy Portrait

Scary Guy Portrait

I asked Scary about changing his legal name to The Scary Guy. He told me it was on the 22nd February 1998, in Tucson, Arizona in court. News, TV and other media were outside and it was quite full. The judge asked him some questions and he replied. She noted this was the strangest name change she’d presided over but the reasons were sound. I asked him if he missed his given name and he told me that his mother had chosen it but inside he was still him. His mother named him after her own father. On his father’s side they were descended from the UK. His mother was also interested in genealogy and had traced her tree back to 1610. She had found 17 ancestors called Thomas Buckingham, and thirteen of them were reverends. And again, ironically, Scary now lives across a church. He felt there was a sense of connection.

In the book there are reflections about fate and I asked him if he thought he was meant to be who he is and to do what he does now. Scary replied: “I am a purpose. This is not a job. This is my life, my life’s work. Not many people live their life’s work.” He told me that only when he is asleep, maybe then, he’s not at work and some people might feel that’s an obsession but that’s how things are. “This is who I am.”

He described it as a journey and he said that when he went to a tattoo artist and decided to have a tattoo on his face (which he clarified the whole process took several years, 7 or 8) he said it was because at the time, it was his way of saying “fuck you society” because he didn’t like the society he lived in. Once the process started there was no going back. “This is how I ended up looking. This is my life. This is the place where I put myself. I take responsibility for all my actions. It is meant to be this way.” He noted there is no way to live as anything else other than maybe covering his head with a paper bag, but that could call even more attention to himself! (In the film and the book Scary discussed how at first he had many tattoos on his body but these would be covered over when he went to work for an IT firm by his shirt and tie, until eventually he decided to have a tattoo on his neck and this was when he left that kind of job, knowing there was no way back to that kind of corporate employment.)

In further discussion of the issue of fate he told me that many people from different religious beliefs had told him his role in life is the fruit of a higher power. He said he always accepted their beliefs and would never try to contradict them and he recognised these were their belief systems. He commented that perhaps death is but another birth, and that he found it difficult to believe that once we die, it is simply as if we had never been, difficult to believe that it was all for nothing, unless we believe we’re only here for the reproduction of the species. He mentioned how his neighbour Roy had died recently, a man he felt close to and it had made him think even more about the subject of death and the purpose of life.

Scary told me he believes everything everybody does is residual, and nobody is more powerful than anybody else. Everybody’s actions have impact and power; it helps to form other people, to make a shift. Although everybody has the same power some people are better known than others.

I had seen in the video and read in the book about the variety of people he works with and asked him what kind of job give him more satisfactions (although they will come at the right time) and he told me he is due to go to the United States in August to work at the Andrews Air Force Base near Washington DC. He told me Lieutenant Colonel James Armstrong had asked him to go and provide training there for two days because they felt Scary’s message could help. He told me this is a very highly specialised work and he feels it is an honour to be invited to come into their community and help. It is a huge thing, because as Scary noted, he is not the kind of person the institution might think of in such circumstances. “Hey, bring in a tattooed man.” No, that’s not the kind of people they are supposed to defer to for help. He doesn’t fit in with the image most people would have of who they would call for help.

I asked Scary if he had had much opposition/criticism from any official sources or other quarters to his work. He told me that the CNN had engaged in what appeared to him to be blatant “character assassination”. He told me when they contacted him to do a 20 minutes feature of him, he suspected they might be planning to present him in a bad a light, but he did not mind. He told me of his 5 days full training program (the amount of training required that would get somebody conversant enough with the basics of what he teaches) CNN attended and filmed three full days with two cameras; nearly 60 hours of film and then edited it and cut it completely out of context.  They focused on some of the sketches, stories and techniques where he role-plays some of the common negative behaviours that people produce. In the show, this allows people to reflect on their own behaviour. However, taken out of context as CNN did, they minimised the content, meaning and message – probably because they did not feel he should work with children, all based in judgement of how he looks.

Scary said that although many people think the media are “neutral” and just report on facts, that is not the case now and it is doubtful it has ever been the case. They are always reactionary and they have their own agenda. He said that despite knowing all of this, that he still went ahead because there is no such thing as bad publicity and of the millions of people who might have seen the programme, even if as little as 10000 people saw through that kind of reporting and felt curious enough to do more research, that would have more than justified the effort. He told me he tells the media: “You think you’re going to use me, but I’m going to use you” and it is a trade-off. He explained how he told the Manchester Evening News in the UK that if they wanted to sell many newspapers they just needed to put a picture of him making a scary face in the front page with the headline: Murder, Killing, Suicide, Death and in very small letters: see the story on page 3. And it worked! Papers always look for negative information to put on the front page because bad news sells. The media might want people to be scared of him but when they read the story; they are going to get a different message.

This is the link to the previous post:

http://wp.me/p2OC9i-1iN

And links to get to know Scary better:

Scary’s Website:

www.thescaryguy.com

Join Scary on his Facebook Fan Page

(https://www.facebook.com/thescaryguyfanpage)

Scary’s Biography: 7 Days & 7 Nights

(http://thescaryguy.com/product/7-days-and-7-nights/)

Message of Scary to school children

Message of Scary to school children

Thank you very much for reading, thank you to Scary and Cathryn for their kindness, and help, and if you’ve enjoyed it,  you know what to do: like, share, comment, and of course CLICK!

Hola a todos:

Es viernes y os suelo traer escritor o libro invitado. Y estamos de enhorabuena porque ha habido mucho movimiento de publicación últimamente, así que tenemos novedades para un rato.

Hoy os traigo una novela que me llamó la atención por el título, y además porque conozco personalmente a la autora y me pareció una buena oportunidad para traerlas a las dos de visita.

Autora Antonia Romero

Autora Antonia Romero

Antonia Romero:

Antonia Romero nació en Barcelona. Tiene varios premios literarios y de relatos, ha colaborado en revistas digitales y desde 2005 administra un blog personal que recibe alrededor de seis mil visitas al mes.

En 2005 su novela “Peso cero” fue finalista en el concurso internacional de novela YoEscribo y la editorial Diálogo la publicó dentro de la colección “Avatar”.

En octubre de 2010 su novela “La Tumba compartida” fue elegida ganadora en el II Certamen internacional Imprimátur, en la modalidad de novela.

La edición digital de “La Tumba compartida” alcanzó rápidamente los puestos más altos en las listas de best sellers y consiguió una avalancha de críticas positivas de los lectores. En 2013 fue publicada por Ediciones B, dentro de su colección “La Trama” de Novela Negra.

Es asimismo autora de la saga juvenil “El Quinto Sello”, de la que se han publicado las dos primeras entregas: Los Diletantes, en 2013 y Los Cambiantes, en 2014.

En junio de 2014 ha publicado su quinta novela, tercera autoconclusiva, que lleva por título “Los muertos no aceptan preguntas”, con la que participa en el primer Premio Literario Amazon.

Si queréis descubrir más cosas sobre Antonia os recomendo que visitéis su página:

Página de Antonia Romero:

http://www.amazon.com/Antonia-Romero/e/B001JOMVL2/

Y su nueva novela:

Los muertos no aceptan preguntas de Antonia Romero

Los muertos no aceptan preguntas de Antonia Romero

 

Nela trabaja como traductora y vive en una pequeña casa en Castelldefels, un pueblo de la costa de Barcelona. Su mirada tiene la niebla de quien ha debido cerrar los ojos para avanzar sin despeñarse por el borde del precipicio. En la buhardilla de su casa esconde un secreto, algo que nadie ha de ver porque allí conjura a sus demonios. De su madre heredó una fotografía arrugada, y de su abuela, Mamanela, el don de hablar con los muertos.

http://www.amazon.com/Los-muertos-aceptan-preguntas-Spanish-ebook/dp/B00L6BA89U/

http://www.amazon.es/Los-muertos-aceptan-preguntas-Spanish-ebook/dp/B00L6BA89U/

Muchas gracias por leer, y si os ha gustado, ya sabéis, dadle al me gusta, comentad, compartid, y haced CLIC!

Hi all:

You’ll remember on Tuesday I was telling you about the audio version of my book ‘Escaping Psychiatry’.  Due to my personal interest in the topic of Audiobooks I’ve been talking to other authors and reading information about it wherever I could. Marsha Roberts is one of the authors of the group ASMSG that I mention quite often (and I also belong to). She has also recently published her very successful book ‘Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer: And Her Parable of the Tomato Plant‘ (What a title, eh?) in audiobook format, narrated by the fabulous Della Cole, an actress Marsha and her husband and fellow-author Bob Rector know quite well. As I’ve never brought you her book before, I thought I’d take the chance to introduce you to it. And to Marsha.

Author Marsha Roberts

Author Marsha Roberts

Biography

After years of producing Corporate Theater for clients such as IBM and Coca-Cola, Marsha Roberts developed, produced and marketed Letters From The Front, the only professional theatrical production to tour military bases around the world. This heartfelt show touched hundreds of thousands of lives, toured stateside and abroad for fifteen years, was the first play ever to perform at the Pentagon and became known as The World’s Most Decorated Play.

The daunting process of getting this never-been-done-before production off the ground and onto a worldwide stage gave her a keen awareness of what it takes to overcome life’s obstacles and find the miraculous in the commonplace. She shares many of her experiences in her inspirational memoir “Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer and her Parable of the Tomato Plant” which Kirkus Reviews says is “An optimistic look at the magic of life.”

Confessions of an instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer audio

Confessions of an instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer audio

“Anyone who has wondered whether God or miracles are possible in our lifetime will want to read this uplifting book.” ~ Anne Holmes, CEO Natl. Assoc. of Baby Boomer Women

Confessions belongs on the nightstand. When hope is not at hand, it can be.”
~ Dianne Harman, Author

“You feel after reading that the writer is now your friend and you know her so well! Fantastic.” ~ Duncan Whitehead, Author

“So entertaining and full of faith, I had tears streaming down my face… only to find myself laughing a few pages further.” ~ Simon Okill, Author

 

An optimistic look at the magic of life.” — Kirkus Reviews

Goodreads Listopia Voted #1 Must Read Memoirs ~ #1 Most Inspiring Books ~ #1 Best Happiness Books

An unflinching look at the life of a Baby Boomer woman told with heart, humor and charm. Roberts grapples with the question: how do you keep the twinkle in your eye and the sass in your walk as you get older? The unique way she finds the answer has been described as “Funny, touching and inspirational” ~ “Heart tugging and heart warming” ~ “Delightful”

Roberts takes the reader on a captivating journey where real life collides with real miracles. With stories ranging from candidly intimate to wonderfully adventurous, each chapter or parable uncovers a piece of the puzzle. And as it comes together, the picture that emerges reflects Roberts’ life-affirming belief in God, the essential ingredient in her secret formula for happiness.
A charming and uplifting read, Marsha’s style of writing makes you feel as if you’re with a trusted friend, sharing life lessons over a cup of coffee.

http://www.amazon.com/Confessions-Instinctively-Mutinous-Baby-Boomer/dp/B00KIYA5FS/

Thanks for reading and if you’ve enjoyed it don’t forget to like, share, comment, CLICK and of course LISTEN!

Ah, and I thought I’d leave you a link to Bob Rector’s great article on the process, steep learning curve and difficulties of creating an audiobook for those of you who might be thinking about it.

http://rectorwriter.wordpress.com/2014/07/05/so-you-want-to-make-an-audiobook/

Hola amigos:

Algunos de vosotros sabréis que hace tiempo que llevaba intentando publicar un libro en formato audio, pero he tenido dificultades. A través de Facebook conocí a un actor, escritor  y director, Alan Cooke (Wild Irish Poet http://on.fb.me/151c1Js ) y él se dedica a dar clases de narración y voz y a crear audios, de sus propias obras y de las de otros. Así que le encargué que le pusiera voz a una de las historias de Una vez psiquiatra, ‘Carne de cañón’. Me gustó mucho y como decidí publicar las tres historias en un solo libro me pareció una buena oportunidad para tener la grabación del libro entero. El proceso es complicado, como os podéis imaginar, y llevó tiempo. Y cuando todo estuvo acabado, descubrí que ACX, la compañía que es la mayor distribuidora de audios (y los distribuye a través de Audible y iTunes) no aceptaba audios a menos que fueras residente en los Estados Unidos. Como sabéis yo vivo en Inglaterra (y Alan en Irlanda). Investigué otras opciones de distribución, pero aparte de hacerlo uno mismo y aunque no imposible me pareció mucho tinglado para solo un audio, no parecía haber mucho más. Envié un correo electrónico a ACX que me comentaron que estaban explorando una expansión, y en Abril me enviaron un correo diciéndome que ahora aceptaban audios del Reino Unido, siempre y cuando la cuestión de los impuestos estuviese solucinada (yo después de mucho investigar tengo un ITIN, pero os prometo que os hablaré de esto con más calma en otro momento. Es un pelín complicado). Justo recibí su correo cuando estaba a punto de marcharme a España y no tuve ocasión de hacer nada más, pero cuando volví, descargué el audio en ACX y a esperar. Hacen controles de calidad y eso tarda de 4 a 6 semanas. Luego si les parece que está bien todo (tienen instrucciones sobre el formato, las características de la grabación, etc, que hay que seguir) y tú apruebas el audio, al cabo de un día o dos te envían un mensaje, y ala, listo!

He leído muchos artículos que dicen que los audios son el futuro. No sé. Desde luego hay muchos menos que libros en otros formatos (de momento), aunque parece que aparte de usar los medios que siempre usamos para promocionarnos, no hay demasiadas avenidas muy específicas.

ACX le envía al autor códigos de descarga gratuita (en mi caso en Audible.co.uk, aunque les pedí que me enviaran códigos para .com también y lo hicieron) para que los use como promoción, para sortear, o ofrecer a cambio de reseña, etc.

También tienes la ventaja con Audible que si alguien no tiene una cuenta, te ofrecen el primer audiolibro de prueba gratis (y al autor si alguien escoge tu libro para que sea descarga gratuita te ofrecen un bono de $50. Aún no me ha pasado pero…).

De momento, y aunque hace muy poco que está a la venta, se está vendiendo mejor que en otros formatos. No es decir mucho, pero nunca se sabe. (Por supuesto el coste de hacer un Audiolibro es importante. ACX ofrece la opción de presentar tu proyecto a otros, escoger un narrador, e ir a medias con él o ella en las ganancias. Esta opción obvia el problema de ser o no residente en los Estados Unidos o UK, ya que del proyecto se encarga ACX). Por si os interesa saber más, esta es la página de ACX:

http://www.acx.com/

Y como sé que algunos de vosotros habláis inglés, por si acaso os dejo la información sobre el audio. Estoy planteándome cómo usar los códigos de promoción, así que os mantendré informados, porque sé que algunos de vosotros domináis el inglés.

Escaping Psychiatry (audiobook) by Olga Núñez Miret. Narrated by Alan Cooke

Escaping Psychiatry (audiobook) by Olga Núñez Miret. Narrated by Alan Cooke

‘Escaping Psychiatry’ has it all: intriguing characters, noir style, thrilling pursuits, dangerous situations, crime, serial killers, religion, family secrets, murder, psychological insights, mental illness, trauma, debates about prejudice and morality, heated trials, police investigations, corruption, and mystery. If you enjoy ‘Wire in the Blood’, ‘Cracker’ and ‘Lie to Me’ and you are not scared of going deeper and darker, dare to keep listening.

Narrated by Emmy Award Winner Actor, Writer and Director Alan Cooke (a.k.a. Wild Irish Poet http://on.fb.me/151c1Js) this audio version makes the character live and will hook you from the very beginning.
‘Escaping Psychiatry’ is a collection of three stories with the same protagonist, Mary, a psychiatrist and writer. She is trying to develop her literary career but circumstances and friends conspire to keep dragging her back to psychiatry.
In ‘Cannon Fodder’, Phil, a lawyer who and Mary’s friend asks her to provide a report on one of his clients, a young African-American man called Cain White. Cain is a very religious man and has been accused of inciting a riot at a religious meeting. He says he can hear God’s voice. He insists that God is black and his appears to be a Black Nationalist message. Is Cain insane, deluded, misguided, looking for media-attention, or a Saint? To find an answer to these questions Mary talks to his family and friends. Although she concludes he is sane,Mary’s investigation uncovers some very damaging revelations about his family life, beliefs and local attitudes. Who is a saint and who is a sinner is a matter for debate. The more Mary gets involved in the lives of Cain and those close to him the more she realises how dangerous secrets are. Like time-bombs ready to set off any minute.
‘Teamwork’: Captain Tom McLeod, from the San Francisco Police Department, invites Mary for a meal at home with his wife. When she meets their other guest, a young detective called Justin, she quickly realises there is an agenda well beyond a friendly meal. Justin’s partner, mentor and father figure, Sgt David Leaman, was killed a couple of months earlier during a routine investigation. Justin witnessed the event but he insists in going back to work and refusing any therapy or counselling. Tom and others at the department are concerned about his mental state but have failed to convince him to accept professional help. Both Mary and Justin are reluctant to engage in the ambush/informal consultation organised, but eventually decide to give it a try. At first sight it appears to be a straight forward case of unresolved grief, but things aren’t as clear-cut as they appear and Mary ends up getting too personally involved with the case, to the detriment of her professional objectivity.
In ‘Memory’, Mary runs out of her apartment after a difficult encounter with her friend Phil, and goes missing. When she is found it seems that she was hit in the head, abducted, raped and she is suffering from amnesia. She never recovers memory for the assault and finds it difficult to come to terms with something she cannot recall.  The clues point towards a serial killer who could not finish his job in her case. But some things do not fit in. Who disturbed the killer? Why was she left there? The crime and the investigation surrounding it have a profound impact on Mary who decides that she needs to reconsider her life and start anew.
The epilogue revisits Mary at the point of the trial of her abductor and sees what changes have taken place in her life. Will she finally manage to Escape Psychiatry?
Although these stories are fictional, the author, a forensic psychiatrist, brings her expertise and insight to the material, lifting it above a standard crime caper.

Enlaces:

En ACX:

https://www.acx.com/titleview/A3BFLIDHTMBKVI

En Audible.co.uk:

http://bit.ly/Tn1KUv

En Audible.com

http://bit.ly/TBE1Af

En Amazon:

http://getBook.at/Escapingaudio

Y el video que hice con una muestra del audio:

http://youtu.be/oZyVpOdgqtc

Gracias por leer, y ya sabéis, si os ha interesado dadle al me gusta,  compartid, haced CLIC, y si queréis uno gratis, comentad! 

Hi all:

I know I’ve been talking about the audio for my book Escaping Psychiatry for a long time. That is because although the recording took place last year (go and meet great actor, writer, and director Alan Cooke (Wild Irish Poet) http://on.fb.me/17fv3IL I nearly forgot to add he won an Emmy) the distribution proved a bit complicated, although now that ACX is accepting audios from the UK I finally managed to get it out there and available.

Let me tell  you a bit about it:

Escaping Psychiatry (audiobook) by Olga Núñez Miret. Narrated by Alan Cooke

Escaping Psychiatry (audiobook) by Olga Núñez Miret. Narrated by Alan Cooke

‘Escaping Psychiatry’ has it all: intriguing characters, noir style, thrilling pursuits, dangerous situations, crime, serial killers, religion, family secrets, murder, psychological insights, mental illness, trauma, debates about prejudice and morality, heated trials, police investigations, corruption, and mystery. If you enjoy ‘Wire in the Blood’, ‘Cracker’ and ‘Lie to Me’ and you are not scared of going deeper and darker, dare to keep listening.

Narrated by Emmy Award Winner Actor, Writer and Director Alan Cooke (a.k.a. Wild Irish Poet http://on.fb.me/151c1Js) this audio version makes the character live and will hook you from the very beginning.
‘Escaping Psychiatry’ is a collection of three stories with the same protagonist, Mary, a psychiatrist and writer. She is trying to develop her literary career but circumstances and friends conspire to keep dragging her back to psychiatry.
In ‘Cannon Fodder’, Phil, a lawyer who and Mary’s friend asks her to provide a report on one of his clients, a young African-American man called Cain White. Cain is a very religious man and has been accused of inciting a riot at a religious meeting. He says he can hear God’s voice. He insists that God is black and his appears to be a Black Nationalist message. Is Cain insane, deluded, misguided, looking for media-attention, or a Saint? To find an answer to these questions Mary talks to his family and friends. Although she concludes he is sane,Mary’s investigation uncovers some very damaging revelations about his family life, beliefs and local attitudes. Who is a saint and who is a sinner is a matter for debate. The more Mary gets involved in the lives of Cain and those close to him the more she realises how dangerous secrets are. Like time-bombs ready to set off any minute.
‘Teamwork’: Captain Tom McLeod, from the San Francisco Police Department, invites Mary for a meal at home with his wife. When she meets their other guest, a young detective called Justin, she quickly realises there is an agenda well beyond a friendly meal. Justin’s partner, mentor and father figure, Sgt David Leaman, was killed a couple of months earlier during a routine investigation. Justin witnessed the event but he insists in going back to work and refusing any therapy or counselling. Tom and others at the department are concerned about his mental state but have failed to convince him to accept professional help. Both Mary and Justin are reluctant to engage in the ambush/informal consultation organised, but eventually decide to give it a try. At first sight it appears to be a straight forward case of unresolved grief, but things aren’t as clear-cut as they appear and Mary ends up getting too personally involved with the case, to the detriment of her professional objectivity.
In ‘Memory’, Mary runs out of her apartment after a difficult encounter with her friend Phil, and goes missing. When she is found it seems that she was hit in the head, abducted, raped and she is suffering from amnesia. She never recovers memory for the assault and finds it difficult to come to terms with something she cannot recall.  The clues point towards a serial killer who could not finish his job in her case. But some things do not fit in. Who disturbed the killer? Why was she left there? The crime and the investigation surrounding it have a profound impact on Mary who decides that she needs to reconsider her life and start anew.
The epilogue revisits Mary at the point of the trial of her abductor and sees what changes have taken place in her life. Will she finally manage to Escape Psychiatry?
Although these stories are fictional, the author, a forensic psychiatrist, brings her expertise and insight to the material, lifting it above a standard crime caper.

Oh, you’re asking me where can you get it? I thought you’d never ask!

In ACX:

https://www.acx.com/titleview/A3BFLIDHTMBKVI

In Audible UK:

http://bit.ly/Tn1KUv

 

In Audible.com

http://bit.ly/TBE1Af

In Amazon (everywhere):

Short:

http://bit.ly/1rMoqtz

ACX very kindly offered me a number (not telling you how many) codes that can be used to download a free copy of Escaping Psychiatry. I have codes for Audible. co.uk and Audible.com. At the moment I’m trying to coordinate some joint promotions with other authors who have also published audiobooks but wandered if you had any ideas of what would be the best way to use these codes. Any thoughts?

Ah, and there’s is another option to get it for free. If you’ve never downloaded any audiobooks in Audible, they offer you the first title for free (and what’s more, they’re so happy they offer me a bonus). So…you have no excuse not to listen.

In case you need more convincing, I leave you a video in YouTube showcasing a sample of the book, from the first story, Cannon Fodder. (Sorry. It’s my first attempt at one of these things but the sample is good. The visuals are all my fault, I’m afraid.)

http://youtu.be/oZyVpOdgqtc

Thanks very much for reading, and watching, and listening, and if you’ve liked it, you know, like, comment, share, and CLICK!

Hola amigos:

Como sabéis los viernes os traigo autores invitados y novedades literarias. Aunque conozco a Pat Casalà hace tiempo aún no la había tenido nunca de invitada, y eso que hasta tuve la suerte de conocerla personalmente en Abril. Per ni así. Aprovechando que ha publicado una novela muy recientemente (el 18 de Junio de 2014) que representa un cambio de género me pareció una buena oportunidad de traérosla de visita, o al menos su novela.

Ecos del pasado de Pat Casalà

Ecos del pasado de Pat Casalà

Ecos del pasado

El encuentro fortuito entre Jessie y Noah inicia una relación para la que ninguno de los dos está preparado. Ella ha dedicado su vida a los libros, sin interesarse demasiado en salir ni relacionarse con los demás. Él es un mujeriego, alguien que disfruta de noches de pasión sin ataduras. El destino los unirá para recomponer las piezas del macabro secreto que esconde la madre de Jessie.

Enlaces:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L4NSF68/

http://www.amazon.es/dp/B00L4NSF68/

Os dejo un par de reseñas:

Una historia fresca
Esta novela me enganchó enseguida y me recordó como me sentí cuando me enamoré por primera vez. Es una historia divertida y sorprendente que te ayuda evadirte del mundo mientras lees el libro. Yo no podía parar de leer, el amor es tan bonito…. Felicidades!!!

Una historia para leer de un tirón

Me ha encantado la novela, necesitaba una historia para cambiar totalmente el chip, fácil de leer y que me permitiera olvidarme del resto de cosas que estaba haciendo y lo he encontrado en esta novela, ya que la historia lo permite, te engancha porque deseas saber cúal es la historia que se oculta en el pasado y a la vez te interesa lo que está sucediendo en el presente. Muchísimas felicidades.

Gracias a todos por leer, a Pat Casalà por su novela, y si os ha gustado, dadle al me gusta, compartid, comentad y haced CLIC!

 

Hi all:

As usual on Friday’s I bring you a guest author or a new book. Today, I have both. Lucie Novak, whom I’ve met in Goodreads and we’ve had quite a few exchanges. She has never been a guest to my blog and this is her first book (brand new, published at the end of June), so you’re truly hearing it here…almost first.

I leave you Lucie’s press release and a picture of her paperback book. Do check her website for new adventures and follow her…everywhere…

Lucie Novak's 'A Woman with (No) Strings Attached'

Lucie Novak’s ‘A Woman with (No) Strings Attached’

 

 

 

A Woman with (No) Strings Attached:

A Memoir

by Lucie Novák

 

PRESS RELEASE

After spending decades putting everyone else around her first, a Czechoslovakian-born doctor discovers her true self with the help of a long distance lover who encourages her to explore her sexuality, break taboos and live life to excess.

 

“Sex without love is liberating, you worry less and have more fun.

Women like ‘no strings’, too.”

 

When it comes to matters in both the home and the bedroom, doctor Lucie Novák only does what her husband, Honza, wants and asks. Born and raised in Communist-era Prague with free-spirited and sexually-liberated parents, Lucie finds herself in a very controlling marriage and, due to her husband’s wishes, immigrating to England. Outwardly confident to the rest of the world, Lucie is troubled on the inside and lacks confidence, purpose and passion.

 

As her marriage to Honza crumbles, Lucie becomes deeply depressed. That is until she reconnects with Tom, an old family friend from America. For three years, Tom and Lucie are lovers, and then their relationship takes an unusual turn. With Tom’s guidance, Lucie begins to explore her sexuality for the first time in her life, becoming adventurous in ways she never thought possible. Tom’s relaxed, cavalier approach to sex inspires Lucie to test the boundaries of her sexual nature and break a few taboos along the way.

 

When Tom helps Lucie build an online profile for an extramarital dating website, they decide “Adrienne”will be Lucie’s alter ego. As Adrienne, Lucie corresponds with hundreds of men and meets some for sexual encounters. Occasionally, it is Tom himself who writes the emails to these men. Before the encounters, Tom advises Lucie on how to handle the rendezvous and, afterward, Lucie enthusiastically emails Tom in great detail about everything that has transpired. Suddenly, Lucie finds herself learning, developing, and having a lot of fun. But although she is enjoying a litany of new lovers, Lucie realizes that she is falling deeper in love with Tom, and is changing under his influence, becoming less concerned with what others think and expect of her. With no strings attached, how will Tom respond?

 

A Woman with (No) Strings Attached is a delicious new memoir addressing the sexual and emotional needs of women after fifty, a time when many are thought to lose their potency, when in fact, for many, they reach a new period of independence and desire. Lucie Novák’s carnal adventures range from the hilarious to the shocking, the poignant to the thought-provoking, but all remind us that with an open heart and an open mind, anything is possible.

 Lucie Novak's book

About the Author: Lucie Novák was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Her family relocated to England, where she works as a General Practitioner; for this reason, Novák has chosen to write under a pen name.She is currently working on a sequel. A Woman with (No) String Attached: A Memoir by Lucie Novák (published by Clink Street Publishing, RRP $12.99, e-book RRP $5.99) is available online at retailers including amazon.com and can be ordered from all good bookstores. For more information, please visit www.lucienovak.com.

 

For a review copy or to request an interview, please contact:Diana Rissetto, Marketing and Publicity Executive / diana@authoright.com / 646-664-4272

 

Thanks to Lucie for being a guest, to you all for reading, and you know the drill, if you’ve enjoyed it, share, comment, like and CLICK!

Muchos de vosotros creeréis que estoy hablando metafóricamente y que The Scary Guy tiene que ver con algún proceso espiritual por el que estoy pasando, o es un miedo al que he decidido enfrentarme, no sé, bloqueo de escritura, terapia…Pero no, no estoy hablando metafóricamente. The Scary Guy es una persona real. Le conocí aquí, en Hay-on-Wye. Nos present Anne, copropietaria de Addyman Books, la librería donde estoy trabajando, durante la segunda semana de mi estancia aquí. Nos conocimos en Tomatitos, el famoso bar de Tapas, y después de charlar un rato un poco de todo, Anne me prestó una copia de su libro y él me dio su tarjeta. En cuanto llegué a casa le eché un vistazo a su página web ya que me había intrigado la conversación y el tipo de trabajo del que nos había estado hablando. Me impresionó su habilidad de  llegar a tanta gente y de hacer que su mensaje fuera aceptado por una gran variedad de públicos, desde adolescentes en la escuela hasta personal militar. No es fácil condensar en breve lo que hace (y como veréis él lo hace mucho mejor durante la entrevista) pero si tuviera que intentarlo y daros alguna idea antes de que exploréis vosotros mismos su página de web y otros enlaces (si se os da bien el inglés, aunque sospecho que los videos os darán una buena idea de todas formas), os diría que Scary le habla a la gente sobre cómo enfrentarse al prejuicio, asegurándose de que entienden que la mejor forma de responder a la energía negativa que les dirigen no es añadiendo su propia energía negativa. No se puede luchar contra la energía negativa con más energía negativa. El prejuicio nunca es y nunca debe convertirse en el problema de la víctima. Scary usa su estilo tan personal, su aspecto, sus experiencias personales y su forma tan especial de conectar con la gente para comunicar su mensaje de amor que a primera vista parece incongruente. Scary Guy se dedica a desafiar convenciones y expectaciones, y es un maestro en ello.

The Scary Guy

The Scary Guy

Intercambiamos correos y se ofreció amablemente a prestarme una copia de la película que han hecho sobre él. Vi la película y le dije que me gustaría hablar sobre él en mi blog pero me contentaba con compartir o publicar material que ya tuviera listo. En lugar de eso me ofreció una entrevista. Cuanto más leía del libro y cuanto  más pensaba en la película más segura estaba de que sería una conversación muy interesante, aunque me costó bastante formular preguntas concretas. Con solo una pocas preguntas en el bloc de notas fui a reunirme con Scary (y con Cathryn Woodhall su esposa, socia en los negocios, colaboradora y que se dedica al proyecto en cuerpo y alma como Scary). Scary y Cathryn viven en un cottage encantador justo frente a la hermosa iglesia de St Mary’s (Iglesia de Inglaterra, que hace poco han renovado y está como nueva).

Tengo que reconocer que no tenía un orden concreto en la cabeza y si saltamos de tema en tema es culpa mía y no de Scary.

Le dije a Scary que estaba leyendo el libro 7 Days and 7 Nights. An Official Biography of “The Scary Guy” (7 Días y 7 Noches. Una biografía official de “The Scary Guy”) de Mark David Hatwood. Él observe que no ha escrito ningún libro él mismo ya que la lectura y la escritura nunca han estado entre sus talentos y él aprende de otras formas. Me dijo que Cathryn está preparando varios libros sobre él y lo que hace, porque ella es inteligente (“Smart”). Cuando hablamos en más profundidad sobre el concepto de inteligencia me dijo que él se consideraba “diferente” en lugar de inteligente. Me dijo que a menudo cuando conocía a jóvenes no les gustaba que se les considerara “normales” y no les gustaba esa etiqueta. “Normal” se ha convertido en un concepto que no funciona para una gran parte de la juventud de hoy en día. Scary continuó y dijo que cada persona es única y no es adecuado intentar definir a alguien usando una palabra, sea cual sea, ya que hay muchas variables que contribuyen a definir quiénes somos: nuestro comportamiento, lo que aprendemos, cómo aprendemos, cómo percibimos las cosas. Nuestras mentes son diferentes y nuestros cuerpos también son diferentes.  Él comentó que habrá gente que fumó toda la vida y se mueren de viejos y nunca tienen cáncer, mientras gente más joven a veces se muere con mucha menos exposición a cancerígenos. No depende solo del entorno; también tiene que ver con la genética. Hablamos sobre posibles efectos de la Nicotina en los receptores cerebrales, y como es posible encontrar estudios sobre los efectos nocivos del fumar pero también hay estudios que están investigando la posibilidad de desarrollar medicamentos que actúen sobre los receptores nicotínicos. (Scary me dijo que fuma puros, uno al día como máximo cuando no está de tour ya que lo encuentra relajante y disfruta el ritual que supone. Le recuerda los tiempos de antes, cuando los hombres de unos cincuenta iban al barbero y se contaban historias). Que conste que no animo a nadie a fumar y los efectos nocivos están más que demostrados, pero el porqué afecta diferentes personas de forma distinta sigue sin saberse.

Hablamos sobre tipos de investigaciones y estudios y del hecho de que se pone mucho énfasis en el efecto nocivo de muchas cosas (azúcar, grasas, etc.). Scary me dijo que él sigue los consejos de su madre, ya que ella siempre propuso usar el sentido común, y que lo mejor es no tomar demasiado de una sola cosa todo el tiempo y excluir todo lo demás, que lo mejor es conseguir un equilibrio y no excederse (ya que por supuesto hay riesgos demostrados como diabetes, enfermedades cardíacas…relacionadas con dietas poco saludables), ya que el cuerpo necesita variedad de nutrientes. Me mostró una caja con chocolates y me dijo que llevaba así (llena) varias semanas, y que puede que se tomara dos o tres pero no se los comería todos a la vez.

Le pregunté a Scary si admiraba a alguien y alguien le había inspirado. Me dijo que admiraba a su madre. La describió como una “genio en el armario o un genio a escondidas.” Scary me dijo que no había descubierto lo inteligente que era hasta después de que muriera. Me dijo que siempre le había dado la impresión de que ella era diferente y de que tenían una relación algo desconectada rara cuando él llegó a ser adulto. Su madre era inteligente y humilde, muy reservada y callada. También se adelantó a su era en la forma en que pensaba sobre los alimentos, comportamiento, religión…

Scary me dijo que había descubierto que su madre se interesaba por la Astrología y se había convertido en experta cuando se murió, que nadie lo sabía y que habían encontrado que había creado las cartas astrales de mucha gente. Él descubrió como era su madre en realidad después de su muerte y no la había conocido realmente antes. Su madre nunca decía nada negativo sobre nadie. Él observó que ahora vivía frente a una iglesia (de la Iglesia de Inglaterra, Protestante) y que su madre jamás había hecho un comentario negativo sobre ninguna religión. La madre de Scary nació y creció en la religión Baptista. Su madre les llevó a él y a su hermano (cuando tenían 6 y 5 años más o menos) a la Iglesia Baptista tres of cuatro veces y nunca jamás les volvió a llevar. “Lo dejó.” Cuando él le preguntó muchos años después por qué había dejado de llevarlos ella le respondió que no le había gustado lo que le habían dicho que tenía que hacer con sus hijos. Él no le pidió una explicación entonces pero pensando en ello estaba convencido de que se refería a la forma en que no les animaban a hacer cosas o a responsabilizarse por su comportamiento.

La iglesia de St Mary in Hay-on-Wye, aún en obras de renovación

La iglesia de St Mary in Hay-on-Wye, aún en obras de renovación

Para ilustrar el carácter de su madre Scary me dijo que cuando solían ir algún sitio él solía incitarla para que se burlara de la gente o hiciera algún comentario sobre ellos (si estaban gordos, o tenían un aspecto peculiar…) pero ella siempre le decía: “Para. Para de comportarte como un patán.” Nunca consiguió que su madre se comportara de modo negativo. Por desgracia nunca tuvo la oportunidad de preguntarle a su madre cómo había aprendido a ser así. Scary me dijo que su reto personal era ver si podía conseguir hacer lo mismo, dejar de ser negativo sobre los demás. Su madre murió hace 21 años, el 16 de Marzo de 1993.

Le pregunté a Scary qué fue lo que se le hizo más difícil cuando intentó cambiar su comportamiento. Me dije que le costó dejar de juzgar a la gente. Me comentó que se cruza con ese tipo de comportamiento todo el tiempo. Como ejemplo me dijo que había entrado a  la farmacia en Hay, donde conoce a la gente que trabajar allí bien, y que había dos clientas en el mostrador hablando y cuando lo vieron se echaron a reír. Sarah, una de las farmacéuticas, no se rio,  y dijo, en voz alta: “Yo no fui. Ni ninguno de los que trabajan aquí.”Scary le hizo un comentario a las dos clientes sobre como de los 7 billones de personas en el mundo, al menos 6 billones se reirían de él, y esos 6 billones que se reían serían también los que le contratarían para superar sus problemas. Scary también comentó que en aquel momento probablemente no entendieron lo que quiso decir.

Scary dijo que solía ser muy rápido juzgando y tomando decisiones sobre los demás y que en aquella época se habría considerado como “bueno categorizando y estereotipando”. Solía poner a la gente en casillas y categorías y así estaba convencido de saber cómo manejarlos y en muchas ocasiones se había equivocado. Ahora ya no hace eso y comentó como ese tipo de comportamiento puede confundir las percepciones de la gente y sus interacciones (come ejemplo me dijo que basándose en la información que tenía sobre mí podría haberse hecho ideas preconcebidas).

Scary es un hombre con muchos tatuajes como habréis notado en sus fotos y la historia de cómo empezó a hacerse tatuajes está detalladamente explicada en el libro y la película. Yo le quería preguntar si tenía un plan determinado o un diseño completo antes de empezar con los tatuajes (aunque por lo que había leído yo no lo parecía). Me dijo que le encantaban los tatuajes y esa fue una de las razones por las que había tenido tres tiendas de tatuaje, porque cuando ya no tenía espacio para más tatuajes en su cuerpo decidió que para seguir disfrutándolos tatuaría a otros. Me dijo que no tenía un diseño específico en mente, y que lo solía decidir en el momento, según lo que le pareciera apropiado o le hiciera sentirse bien. Me dijo que debido a sus dificultades con la lectura y la escritura nunca aprendió leyendo muchos libros, y que solía aprender observando y experimentando. Siempre hizo lo que le pareció apropiado en tiempo real en ese momento basado en sus percepciones.

Scary and his LOVE tattoo

Scary and his LOVE tattoo

 

Me puso como ejemplo un tatuaje en su muñeca, un código de barras. Me explicó que hace mucho tiempo, unos 20 o 30 años fue un día al supermercado y mientras hacía cola para pagar vio que la empleada en la caja estaba pasando una lata por encima del cristal de  la caja registradora y al hacerlo la caja hablaba: lata de lentejas, tantos céntimos. Le fascinó y le preguntó a la empleada cómo funcionaba y le explicó que el lector leía el código y así podía acceder a mucha información. Eso le fascinó y diseñó un tatuaje de un código de barras basándose en una lata de sopa Campbell. Pero decidió añadir ‘Marca genérica’ al revés que solo puede leer si lo mira delante de un espejo. Scary me dijo que las posibilidades de un sistema de codificar información como ese le habían fascinado y como se había puesto a pensar en chips que se podrían usar para todo tipo de cosas, incluso en seres humanos. Este tema nos llevó a hablar de control gubernamental, carnés de identidad, etc. Él me dijo que aceptaba que el gobierno, cualquier gobierno, necesitaría tener acceso a ciertos datos y me comentó que debido al tipo de trabajo que hace le tuvo que enviar su información al FBI para que comprobasen que no tiene antecedentes penales. Me dijo que no está a favor de controles de por sí pero es un hecho que los criminales y los psicópatas existen y pueden causar mucho daño a los demás pero las comprobaciones pueden minimizar tal posibilidad. Discutimos brevemente la última controversia sobre Facebook y sus experimentos intentando controlar los estados de ánimo de la gente y sus interacciones y comentó que eso prueba que como dice él la gente más que nada reacciona a su medio ambiente y las influencias.

Como la conversación con Scary fue bastante larga decidimos presentarla en varias partes. Pero para que no os quedéis así y podáis investigar por vuestra cuenta, si os gusta leer en inglés, os dejo enlaces a varias páginas de interés.

La página de Scary:

www.thescaryguy.com

Sigue a  Scary en su Facebook Fan Page

(https://www.facebook.com/thescaryguyfanpage)

La biografía de Scary : 7 Days & 7 Nights

(http://thescaryguy.com/product/7-days-and-7-nights/

Gracias a todos por leer, a Scary y Cathryn por su amabilidad, ayuda y entrevista, y si os ha gustado, ya sabéis, dadle al me gusta, comentad, compartid, y por suspuesto, haced CLIC!

Most of you will probably think I’m talking metaphorically here, and The Scary Guy is some spiritual thing I’m going through, a fear I have that I decided to confront,  I don’t know, writers’ block, therapy…But no, I’m not talking metaphorically. The Scary Guy is a real guy. I met him here in Hay-on-Wye. We were introduced by Anne, co-owner of Addyman Books, in the second week of my stay in Hay-on-Wye (at Tomatitos, the renowned Tapas Bar) and after having a general chat, Anne lent me his book and he gave me his card. As soon as I got home I checked his website as I was intrigued by the conversation and the work he had been telling us about. I was impressed by his ability to touch so many people and to make his message reach such wide variety of public, from school children to army personnel. It’s not easy to summarise briefly what he does (and as you see he puts it much better than me during the interview) but if I had to try and give you some idea before you go and explore his website and all the materials available, I’d say he talks to people about how to deal with prejudice, making sure that they understand that the best way to deal with the negative energy thrown at them is not to add their own negative energy. You cannot fight bad energy with more bad energy. The prejudice never is and should never become the problem of the victim of the prejudice. Scary uses his very personal style, his appearance, his personal experiences and his special way of connecting with people to deliver his message of love that appears incongruous at first sight. Defying conventions and challenging expectations is what the Scary Guy is about, and he’s tremendously successful at it.

The Scary Guy

The Scary Guy

We exchanged e-mails and he kindly offered to lend me a copy of the film made about him. I watched the film and I told him I’d like to talk about him in my blog but I was happy to share or post any materials he already had. He offered to do an interview instead. The more I read of the book and the more I thought about the movie the more I knew this would be an interesting conversation, even though I found it difficult to formulate specific questions. With just a few jotted down I went to meet Scary (and Cathryn Woodhall his wife, business partner, collaborator and as much a part of the project as he is). Scary and Cathryn live in a lovely cottage across a beautiful church (St Mary’s Church of England, recently refurbished and looking as good as new).

I must admit to not having much of an order set in my head and any jumping from item to item is up to me not Scary.

I told Scary I was reading the book written about him 7 Days and 7 Nights. An Official Biography of “The Scary Guy” by Mark David Hatwood. He noted that he has not written any books as reading and writing has never been one of his better skills and he learns in other ways. He told me that Cathryn is working on several books about him and what he does, because she’s “smart”. When we talked about the concept of smart he told me the considered himself rather than smart “different”. He talked about meeting young people and how they did not like to be considered “normal” and they didn’t like to be labelled normal. “Normal” has become a concept that does not work for much of the youth these days. He went on to expand and say that everybody is unique and it is improper to try and define somebody with a single word, as there are many variables that contribute to defining who we are: our behaviour, what we learn, how we learn, how we perceive things. Our minds are different and our bodies are different. He observed that there might be people who smoked all their lives and die of old age never having developed cancer, whilst somebody  else might die  young with fewer (on non) exposure. It is not only environmental; it is also down to one’s genes. We talked about research onto the possible effect of Nicotine in brain receptors, and how it is possible to find research stating the negatives of smoking but there are also studies looking at developing medication to act on Nicotine receptors positively. (Scary told me he smokes cigars only, maybe one a day when he is not on tour and he finds it relaxing and enjoys the ritual of it. It reminds him of the ‘old ways’ of human life, where men in the 50’s would go to the barber shop and share stories). Not that I’m encouraging smoking, I’m a doctor after all, although the comments are correct.

We discussed the nature of some of the current health and food research and how there is plenty of emphasis on the negative impact of a variety of things (sugar, fat, etc.). He told me he feels his Mother’s advice was the best, as she always advocated using common sense, and not have too much of one thing all the time to the exclusion of everything else, that the best is balance and not excess (as of course there are well known risks like diabetes, heart disease…from unhealthy diets), as the body needs variety. He showed me a box with chocolates and he told me it had been like that (full) for several weeks, and he might have two or three but would not eat them to excess.

I asked Scary who he looked up to. He told me his mother. He described her as a “closet genius”. Scary told me he didn’t find out how smart she was until she died. He told me he always felt she was different and they had a somewhat disconnected relationship with her when he was an adult. She was intelligent and humble, very private and quiet. She was also ahead of her time, in the way she thought about food, behaviour, religion…

Scary told me that he only discovered after she died that his mother had been interested in Astrology and had become an expert, that nobody knew and they found that she had done astrological charts on a lot of people. He felt he only discovered how his mother really was after her death and maybe he never really knew her before. His mother would never say anything negative about anybody. He noted that, ironically, he was now living just across a church (Church of England) and recalled how his mother would never make any negative comments about any religion. Scary’s mother was born and bred a Baptist. His mother took him and his brother (they were 6 and 5 years old) to the Baptist Church three or four times and never again. “She quit.” When he asked her years later why she had stopped going and taking them she told him that she did not like what they were telling her to do with her kids. He didn’t ask for an explanation at the time but in reflection he thought she referred to the way they did not encourage them to do things or to take responsibility for their behaviour.

St Mary's Church in Hay-on-Wye, still undergoing renovations

St Mary’s Church in Hay-on-Wye, still undergoing renovations

To illustrate his mother’s character Scary told me that when they would go out he would “egg her on”, encourage her to make fun at people or make comments about them (if they were fat, or looked peculiar…) but she would always tell him: “Stop it. Stop being crass.” He never managed to influence her to behave in such a negative way. He never had a chance to ask how she had come to be like that. Scary told me that his challenge was to see if he could do the same, to stop being negative about people. His mother died March 16th 1993, 21 years ago.

I asked him what he found most difficult when trying to change his behaviour. He told me he found quite difficult to stop judging people. He said he finds that kind of behaviour in others too all the time. As an example he told me he had walked into Hay’s chemist, where he knows the people working there quite well and there were two female customers at the counter talking and when they saw him they laugh out loud. Sarah, from the shop, didn’t laugh and said, quite loudly: “That wasn’t me. And it wasn’t any of the others who work here either.” Scary commented to the two female customers who had laughed, how of the 7 billion people in the world at least 6 billion would laugh at him, and the 6 billion who laugh would also be the ones to end up hiring him to get over their stuff! Scary observed that his comment might be initially lost on them!

Scary said that he used to be always quick to judge and make decisions and at the time he would have thought of himself as “good at categorising and stereotyping.” He would put people in neat boxes so he believed he would know how to deal with them and on many occasions he’d be wrong. Now he does not do that and he observed such behaviour might cloud people’s perception and interaction (putting as an example what he might have thought I’d be like based on the information he had about me).

Scary is a man with many tattoos as you will have noticed in his pictures and the story of how his tattoos came to being is well detailed in the book and movie. I wanted to ask him if there was a particular plan or an overall design he had been working towards at the time of his tattoos (although it did not seem that way, at least at the beginning). He told me he enjoys tattoos and that is one of the reasons why in the past he had 3 tattoo parlours, because he didn’t have space left for more tattoos so to carry on enjoying them he decided to tattoo other people. He told me there was no specific design he had worked towards, and he would decide in the moment, depending on what felt good at the time. He told me that due to his problems with reading and writing he did not learn by reading books, and he would mostly learn by observation in an experiential form. He would do whatever felt appropriate in real time at the moment, based on his perception. He gave me as an example a tattoo in his wrist; a barcode. He told me that a long time ago, as long as 20 or 30 years ago, he went to the supermarket and as he was queuing to pay he noted the woman at the till passing a tin over the glass register panel and as she did the register would speak: tin of bins so many cents. He was fascinated and asked her how it did that and she explained that the reader read the code and it could retrieve lots of information. He was fascinated by that idea and designed his bar code tatoo based on a Campbell Soup Tin, but he added the lettering ‘Generic Brand’ in reverse that he could only read if he looked it up to a mirror.

Scary and his LOVE tattoo

Scary and his LOVE tattoo

Scary talked about how fascinated he had been at the time with the possibilities of such a system of codifying information and how he could see microchips being used for all kinds of things, including on humans. This topic got us talking about government controls, IDs, etc. He told me he accepted that the government, any government, would have to have access to certain data and observed that due to the kind of work he did he had had to send his data to the FBI to check that he had no criminal records. He acknowledged the importance of background checks. He said that he is not pro control for control’s sake but there is also the fact that some people are criminal and psychopaths and can cause plenty of harm to others and so having background checks can at least minimise such instances. We briefly discussed the latest controversy about Facebook and their experiments controlling people’s moods and interactions and he observed that it goes to prove, as he believes, that people are mostly reactive to the environment.

Scary and I were talking for quite a while so we decided we’d bring you the interview in several parts. But, if you want to find out more about him, you don’t need to wait until the next installment here. I leave you links so you can explore by yourselves.

Scary’s Website:

www.thescaryguy.com

Join Scary on his Facebook Fan Page

(https://www.facebook.com/thescaryguyfanpage)

Scary’s Biography: 7 Days & 7 Nights

(http://thescaryguy.com/product/7-days-and-7-nights/)

Thank you very much for reading, thank you to Scary and Cathryn for their kindness, and help, and if you’ve enjoyed it,  you know what to do: like, share, comment, and of course CLICK!

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