Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Author Interview featuring Armin Brott

Welcome, Armin Brott

An Author and Expert who Speaks From Experience
A great dad himself, Armin speaks not only as a specialist in parenting, but as a parent himself.

Hailed by Time Magazine as "the superdad's superdad," Armin Brott has been building better fathers for more than a decade. As the author of eight bestselling books on fatherhood, he's helped millions of men around the world become the fathers they want to be—and that their children need them to be.

He has written for The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, American Baby, Parenting, Child, Men's Health, The Washington Post, and dozens of other major publications and websites.

Armin has been a guest on hundreds of radio and television shows, including Today, CBS Overnight, Fox News, and Politically Incorrect, and his work on fatherhood has been featured in such places as Glamour, Time, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Newsday, and many others.

Armin is the host of "Positive Parenting," a weekly radio program which airs in the San Francisco Bay Area and a number of other markets. He also writes the nationally syndicated newspaper column, "Ask Mr. Dad." As a trusted spokesperson, Armin speaks on fatherhood around the country and teaches classes for expectant and new dads. Armin lives with his family in Oakland, California. 


    1. Please tell the readers a bit more about you.
I’ve been writing pretty much full time for 18 years. Aside from the books I’ve written (or co-written or ghostwritten), I write a nationally syndicated newspaper column and host a radio show that’s on more than 500 stations.
    1. What types of books do you write?
I write non-fiction books. I’ve written quite a few short stories (some of which are actually good), but I’ve never had the time to really focus on that. For the books I write myself, the primary topic is fatherhood—giving men the tools and resources they need to be the best possible dads.
    1. Who's your main audience?
It’s interesting. My target audience is men, but my consumers are often women.
There’s no way to accurately track who’s buying the books, but judging from the emails I get and from the number of women in the audiences when I speak, at least half of the books are bought by wives, daughters, mothers, mothers-in-law, and other women for the men in their lives.
    1. When it comes to writing- what are your strong points? What are your weaknesses?
I’m quite good at taking complicated information and making it accessible and in making my audience feel understood and appreciated. I’m also a quick study and can develop a good working knowledge of new topics very quickly On the downside, I’m obsessive about research and spend a huge amount of time reading obscure journals, and interviewing people and end up with 10 times more material than I need.
    1. What do you think of this term- Writer's Block? How do you overcome it?
I must be incredibly lucky, but I’ve never really had writer’s block. The way I work, if I’m struggling with a particular section I’ll just move on to a different one. I’m usually working on several projects at once and can always find something to write about.
6. How many books have you written?
About 25, that’s not including second and third editions and audio books. I’ve also ghostwritten or “book-doctored” (meaning that a publisher has rejected an author’s manuscript and I’m brought in to salvage the project) another 7 or 8.
7. How many are published?
All of them
8. Are you self published or traditionally published?
Traditionally published, although I’m thinking of moving to self-publishing.
9. What's the hardest part of the writing process for you?
Making sure everything is right. I go back over things dozens of times and always seem to be able to find something to tinker with.
10. What type of books do you enjoy reading?
Depends on the audience. I’ve always read to my children, so I read a lot of children’s literature (my youngest is 8, so we’re on to Harry Potter, and young adult works). That’s mostly fiction. If I’m on an airplane, I’ll usually read some kind of crime thriller. If I’m just hanging out at home reading, I’ll read either fiction or non fiction.
11. Who's your favorite Author?
I really like Dostoyevsky.
12. What's your all time favorite book?
Crime and Punishment. But I also love The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster.

13. How long does it take you to write a book?
About six  months, although I once did a ghostwriting project in 30 days.

14. Out of all of your characters, which is your favorite? Why?
I don’t really have any characters, but I the book I feel most passionately about is The Military Father: A Hands-on Guide for Deployed Dads. As a father and a Marine Corps veteran it was a book I felt almost obligated to write.

15. What is one of the most surprising things you've learned as a writer?
That it’s not easy. When I was first starting out, everything seemed to come out beautifully. But once I got that initial burst out of me, I discovered that writing actually takes quite a bit of work.

16. What does your family think of your writing?
Depends on who you ask. My parents are thrilled (although when I was just starting out, my dad was a bit worried about my being able to support myself). My kids are less impressed, which is a good thing.

17. What does your writing schedule look like? 
Some days I’ll write 15 hours straight. Other days only an hour or two—or nothing. I tend to get a lot done between 9pm and midnight.

18. Do you manage to write every day?
I try. But sometimes there are so many things that compete for my time: banking, carpool driving, volunteering in my kids’ classrooms, helping friends, grocery shopping, household projects, and so on

19. What's the latest news you'd like to share?
I’m doing a major website overhaul and am really gearing up my blogging and social media presence. I’m also spending a lot of time and energy on the business aspects, finding sponsors for the radio show, lining up speaking gigs, and trying to build a consulting practice. If anyone has expertise in those areas, please contact me!

20. Do you have any advice for new writers?
Develop a thick skin. Once you put something out in the world there’s nothing you can do. You’ll have fans but you’ll also inevitably have people who will say the most hurtful, unkind things. And don’t go into this line of work expecting to make a lot of money. Some authors do, but most don’t.

Other Information
Main website is
Twitter: @mrdad
There are two versions of the radio show:  and
The newspaper column is at
The books can be purchased at most bookstores and can certainly be ordered through Amazon or my website.

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