Today I’m welcoming Ken Poirot to the blog, to talk about his motivational self-help book Mentor Me, and share his writing process and inspirations with us.
KB: What inspired you to write your latest book?
KP: I have a deep desire to help people and I found a book to be the perfect medium to leverage my time, potentially reaching many more people than I ever could directly in person.
Additionally, I enjoy being creative; writing a book was a great way to express this creativity. Mentor Me has some profound levels and many facets hidden within its pages, both subtle and not-so-subtle; readers are just beginning to scratch the surface, realizing this is not your “typical self-help and business book.”
Per my recent blog post describing Mentor Me, I state it is a “literary chameleon” as well as “…the crossroads and convergence of where science, metaphysics, religion, and utopian society intersect.”
I also wanted to create something that will long outlive me and my time on this earth. As I wrote in Mentor Me, “Time (T) is our most valuable commodity. None of us knows how much Time (T) we have on this earth, and no matter how much money we have, we cannot buy any more of it.”
In this sense, by writing a book, I could permanently leave something behind to help others.
KB: How did you come up with the title?
KP: I wrestled with the title for a long time. Originally, the book had a completely different title, GA=T+E: How to Live a Motivational, Inspirational, and Influential Life—Have Happiness and Help Others.
After speaking with my editor and thinking more about this, I realized that title would not be so memorable or easy for people to convey to others. So I spent many, many more weeks coming up with the perfect title.
I finally decided on the phrase, Mentor Me, as this phrase is easy to remember and has multiple meanings, just like a lot of the phrases I penned in the book. This is a simple book in appearance but it is filled with a variety of complex themes purposefully intertwined for readers to discover.
In Mentor Me I wrote the following in reference to the title change: “Mentor Me has dual meaning, depending upon which word you emphasize. For example, mentor me is a request to be mentored. It is a reminder we are all students of life and we need to be humble, asking others for the opportunity to glean from their wisdom…Conversely, if the second word is emphasized, mentor me, it is a statement—me, I am a mentor.”
As far as the formula, GA=T+E, I had multiple messages I wanted to convey. I already had the T+E part of that equation, Time and Energy, but I wanted to turn it into a meaningful word of importance to the book. I searched and thought for a long time to come up with GA, Greatest Achievement, which is both the main thread/theme to tie the book together, as well as it reveals a word with significance to other alternative themes.
Of course, having an equation in the title speaks to my science background; it should also be the first signpost to readers there is a deeper meaning to this book. The word GATE is used to express how the book is a GATE to help people, just as others can be the GATE or conduit to help each other. In addition, this word hints at another greater message which is sprinkled throughout Mentor Me.
So you see, much careful thought, consideration, and interlocking puzzle pieces were at play in design of the title, Mentor Me: GA=T+E—A Formula to Fulfill Your Greatest Achievement. As with the book, the title has many different meanings and deeper themes tucked away that were deliberately written into its ultimate construction.
KB: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
KP: This was the first book I wrote, so I had a lot of questions about putting it together. Such questions as, how to design, edit, and obtain the thoughts/guidance of a qualified, unbiased expert who works in the field of literature so I could improve upon what I had originally written.
So for me, the hardest part was facing the unknowns on the journey and the learning curve involved with producing my first book.
KB: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
KP: I learned a ton from writing my book.
My first lesson was learning what an editor can bring to the table above and beyond just a superficial edit of my work. My editor also helped me stylistically and making the book even easier to read for its intended audience.
My second lesson was the value of putting your thoughts down in the form of a book, and what this does for your thought processes. I had a few epiphanies and moments of clarity in life as I committed these thoughts to paper.
I will give you a couple examples of things I wrote, which I never really thought about before; completely original thoughts I have never seen written about or described previously by anyone.
There are more than these two examples in Mentor Me, as I put a great deal of original thought in the book interlaced with some of what I learned from formal training, reading, and life experiences.
One example is what I wrote about visual, versus auditory, versus kinesthetic learning. I realized how people best learn a new language is a very relatable way to explain this concept.
Specifically, the best way to quickly find out which learning modality is someone’s dominant learning modality is to ask how they learn a new language, by listening and speaking the language (auditory), by writing or seeing the words (visual), or by doing physical exercises with their body along with the words (kinesthetic).
Since learning a new language is part of our school curriculum and something many of us have struggled with, it is the perfect, relatable example to use to identify someone’s learning modality quickly, by just asking one simple question, “What is the best way you learn a new language?”
A second example came to me when I reflected on my past relationships. Specifically, I thought about why did I have miscommunication in my past serious personal relationships with significant others, how did this miscommunication arise, and how could I help other people avoid such miscommunication in their relationships in the future.
From this I discovered, “Men most often know what they want, yet they are not always sure how they feel. Women most often know how they feel, yet they may not always know what they want.”
There are many other examples of epiphanies and original ideas scattered throughout the book. The thought process which occurred while writing created some real eye-opening and breakthrough moments for me; I share these aha moments with readers in Mentor Me.
KB: Is there a message in your book that you want your readers to grasp?
KP: What I want most is for every reader to be able to take something from the book and say, “Wow…I gained something from the Time (T) and Energy (E) I spent reading Mentor Me that will help me in my life.”
Additionally, I want readers to be able to use the information on a regular basis to enhance or improve their lives; to go back to the book, review some sections, and share anything useful to also help others.
Furthermore, I want readers to uncover some of the deeper themes in Mentor Me, and entertain those themes for themselves. There are so many themes I wrote into Mentor Me, touching on a multitude of different disciplines, such as science, metaphysics, philosophy, and theology to name a few. I want readers to be inspired; to ponder these topics for themselves long after reading the book.
KB: How much of the book is realistic?
KP: The entirety of the book is based upon proven strategies, techniques, and ideas I learned throughout my life. All of these concepts have been used to coach hundreds of professionals in my career. For that reason, this book is completely real-world practical and realistic.
Unlike many books in this genre, the ideas are time-tested, have been used to positively affect hundreds of others’ lives already, and work. Readers can take what they read and easily implement this information directly to positively affect their lives as well as the lives of others.
What were the challenges (research, literary, and logistical) in bringing this book to life?
The challenges were going through the process for the first time. All the unknowns waiting for me and since this is a self-published book, having the entirety of that burden on my shoulders to make the book happen.
KB: If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about the sequels.
KP: As of now, the book is a standalone book and not part of a series. Having said that, I did imagine if the book did well, I could turn it into a franchise. For example, “Mentor Me: GA=T+E” as the starting title of a myriad of other books, for example, a book on investing for the average person. “Mentor Me: GA=T+E” could become the beginning of a franchise for books on many different topics. Time will tell.
KB: What is your favorite theme/genre to write about?
KP: I like to write about nonfiction, leadership, management, business, and self-help the most.
KB: For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
KP: I read mostly online and ebooks. I have a myriad of different interests, so I surf a lot online and read stories about science, history, nature, news, the US economy, the global economy, travel, and culture more than anything else.
KB: What is the hardest thing about writing?
KP: The hardest thing about writing is starting; then going back to clean up, edit, wordsmith, play with punctuation, and wrestle with specific sentences/phrases.
I write only when I am in the mood, but when I am in the mood I write a lot of material. I like to just let it flow, then go back to make all the changes and adjustments necessary. Going back over what I have written in these sessions, thinking about it, changing it, and wresting with these details is the long and arduous task.
KB: What is the easiest thing about writing?
KP: The easiest thing about writing is just sitting down and writing. The ideas begin to flow as a wave of thought washes over me; I enjoy these moments.
KB: Where can we find you online?
Wikimedia Commons Mentor Me by Ken Poirot Quotes
Stay In Touch
To hear about new releases, freebies, special offers and discounts.