We are 34 year old twin brothers from Ohio. We are very identical (in looks and interests) and have taken very similar paths in life. We went to the same college and both went into private education. We’re both married with kids. Our interests (outside of writing and reading) are fitness, extreme races, and hanging out with family and friends.
DWED: Have you always aspired to publish a novel?
We’ve both always been natural writers and creative. However, we’ve never had the inspiration or motivation to sit down and actually do it. Fortunately, we had several events that gave us the inspiration to write and publish our recent books.
DWED: Would you say the journey to publishing was easy or hard? Why?
It was quite a journey! We wanted to do it right, so the whole process took about a year. That includes the writing, design, and working with others. Fortunately, we had previous business experience with some online projects and we had great help along the way. Since we went the indie, self-publishing route, we tried to help other “up and comers” along the way. We hired graphic designers who were just getting in the industry, for example.
We had both gotten into some serious ruts around the time we hit thirty years old. And, we both decided we had to break out. We began to research positive affirmations and explored the science behind them. Then, we started thinking about what really drove us as individuals, i.e. what made us excited to wake up in the morning. We discovered that it was to go out and make the lives of others better. And you do that by meeting their needs. And when you do that, you’re…popular.
DWED: How was the concept of “Be Popular Now” & “Say it like you mean it” born?
We saw how our interactions with others made their day better. We were making people laugh, helping them through tough times, and making their lives more exciting. We’d walk into a coffee shop and leave with two new friends, for example. Also, on a professional level, students loved us and learned from us, even ones that other teachers couldn't reach. We felt our lives had become so amazing and fun and we’d impacted so many people, that we had to share these techniques with others.
DWED: How does “Be Popular Now” & “Say it like you mean it” stand out? What does it offer and more importantly what can viewers find within it pages?
“Say It Like You Mean It” offers readers easy tips grounded in brain science that can help them change their mindset. Whatever their self-limiting attitudes, our affirmations guide can help. “Be Popular Now” stands out because I don’t think there’s anything like it out there, even though being popular is pretty much a basic social need all people have. While there are dating books, social skills books, meeting people books, etc. we tie it all together to help people become attractive and popular in a well-rounded way. Also, we researched the latest in brain science, psychology, evolutionary biology, and other fields to find our techniques. While being popular is an art, there is a science behind it.
DWED: At length how would you describe the feedback for “Be Popular Now” & “Say it like you mean it”?
The feedback has generally been positive on both. We’ve also gotten some valuable criticism that has allowed us to make the books even better. A lot of it dealt with making our tips more practical. Sometimes we can be very philosophical and scientific, but we needed to translate that theory into very practical tips. We’re grateful for that feedback because it made the book much better.
Yeah, we do. In fact, we follow a specific model based on our teaching skills, that we feel is effective. We tell stories that illustrate our point, discuss the point, deal with possible objections, then give real world advice (and even homework). We also write clearly and concisely, but in an accessible way.
DWED: what kind of messages do you try to instill in your writing?
We try to help people be their absolute best, then go out and bless the world. A rising tide truly lifts all boats. We believe the world needs more popular, attractive, and confident guys. Their impact on their family, friends, community, and culture is significant and positive. The more, the better. Plus, it's a blast to be popular. Every day is an adventure.
DWED: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
Since we’re non-fiction, we don’t have characters. But, we tell a true story about Michael Phelps (the Olympic swimmer) and how he was mocked as a kid. And, it only motivated him to be more excellent. The guy is rich, popular, and successful and he was bullied. It should give everyone hope.
DWED: Who is your least favorite character in your book and why?
We tell a lot of negative true stories in our book to illustrate what not to do on occasion. Like a “villain” in fiction, they’re necessary to clearly show the right and noble way to act. Many of the negative stories are about us and our mistakes. We're not afraid to admit that our past setbacks are great lessons for us and our readers.
DWED: What can we look forward to seeing from you throughout 2013?
We are currently speaking and consulting in conjunction with our book. Also, we’re releasing a popularity book for teens around June. It’s about navigating the difficulties of school, bullies, etc. We’re excited about that because we know, through our teaching, that kids have a really hard time.
DWED: What would you say to all aspiring authors like yourself?
First, learn how to write well. Read a lot, and write a lot. Become as concise, accessible, and clear as possible. Second, find your passion, then run with it. Really look inside and do some serious self-reflection. I (Jonathan) tried to write a book since I was fourteen. It wasn’t until I discovered my core purpose in life that I was able to actually write a book (that was eighteen years later). Then, it flowed so naturally. We were essentially “in the zone.”
DWED: Is there anything we haven’t covered that you would like your readers and potential readers to know about both your work and yourself?
I would just like to talk more about our definition of popularity. Unfortunately, in high school and other places, some people are labeled "popular" because they cause others to fear them. This is not true popularity. Many people are rightly suspicious of this type of "popularity.” Being truly popular is about being attractive and meeting the needs of others. We give people what they want (friendship, laughter, excellence, etc.) and they give us popularity in return. It really is a positive thing.