Today I would like to welcome Scott Bishop to Jera’s Jamboree:
Scott Bishop was born and raised in northern New Jersey, earned a Juris Doctor from Syracuse University School of Law, and is a member of the New York State Bar. He currently resides in New Jersey where he continues to chip away at his law school debt. For more information, visit his website at www.scott-bishop.com.
Hi Scott, in 20 words or less, please tell us more about your book A Soul’s Calling.
A Soul’s Calling is a memoir about a man who listened to his heart instead of reason. It’s a work of narrative non-fiction, part travelogue, part hiking adventure, with shamanism and magic woven throughout.
What was your inspiration to write the book?
The book began as a photoblog and grew organically from there. When I was on the trail, it never struck me that I was going to write a book about my experiences. It was the furthest thing from my mind. Had I any inkling, I would have taken better notes along the way. I would have taken more photographs, too
When I returned from Nepal, it took me a good two weeks before I wanted anything to do with the trip. I let my duffle bag and daypack just lay in the center of the living room floor, with everything stuffed inside them. When I recovered and began to re-engage life, I started looking at my photos. It didn’t take long before I started posting some of the photos to a WordPress blog. The posts grew to include excerpts from my journal. The journal excerpts grew to having narratives. The first narratives were short, but I think it was installment ten or twelve that wound up being 5000 words long and resembling a chapter. That was when I asked myself, “Hm. I’m not writing a book am I?” But that was too crazy an idea for me to accept. So I didn’t.
After several more weeks went by, I looked up from my word processor and found that I had written another 20,000 words. By this time it was early January 2012 and something very powerful had taken hold over me. Something burned deep inside me, insisting I write every day. It was only then that I allowed myself to acknowledge and surrender to the process of writing a book. There seemed little choice in the matter for me. There was a story that needed to come out. So, I wrote.
Who is your targeted audience?
Women. A woman’s sense of intuition tends to be stronger than man’s. That’s probably an unfair thing to say, but I think it’s true. I think women will come to A Soul’s Calling with a much more open frame of mind. A Soul’s Calling isn’t meant to be read with a one plus one equals two mentality. The book won’t work that way. The only way the book works is by accepting one of the fundamental principles that fuels the book. That nothing is impossible no matter how improbable it may seem. And in order to accept that, we must be able to get in touch with our intuition. We must be able to listen to our hearts.
Do you have a favorite place you go to for inspiration or a favorite activity?
Yes, I have two. The shower. Or, I take a walk. Both really help me get out of my head and in a place where I can engage my muse.
Do you have a most creative time of day?
First thing in the morning. If I don’t get the words out after my morning coffee, they’re likely to remain trapped inside me for another day. I can edit and polish in the afternoon. But for new material, it has to be first thing in the morning.
Being a writer can be lonely. Do you have a support network?
I have no support network. It was just me, my muse, and the blank page. If I had just one encouraging person rooting me on in the background while I was writing A Soul’s Calling, it would have been easier to write. I’d go through these daily episodes of being riddled with self doubt. They were awful to the point that they were debilitating. I felt like I had no business writing at all. I was tempted to stop, to quit writing but every time I did, something inside me wouldn’t allow it. Still, it took a lot of commitment and will power to keep writing. It would have been much easier to have given up.
What has been the best part of your writing journey so far?
Discovering that I want to get up every morning and write. Just write. I think, I hope, that I’ve finally found my place in this world.
Do you have a favorite book?
My favorite book is the type that you find yourself constantly turning the pages, to discover what happens next, and when you’re getting near the end, you find that you don’t want to leave the world the author created, your sad to have to say good-bye. These are the books that are magical to me. They’re a rare find, too. But one such book was Paul Coelho’s The Alchemist. As soon as I picked it up, I got the sense that his book was going to resonate deeply with me. So I read it slowly, devouring each word like it was a precious, scrumptious morsel.
What are you reading now?
A couple months back I read Treasure Island. What a phenomenal book. I can’t say enough good things about it. Robert Louis Stevenson’s prose painted an astonishingly amazing picture throughout. And then in February, just before this interview, I read Madeline Miller’s, The Song of Achilles. I’m a huge mythology buff which is what drew me to her book in the first place. I wasn’t sure how she was going to bring the book to an end, but she handled it with such grace. The last thirty pages had me in awe.
Thank you Scott. Do blog readers have any recommendations for support networks for Scott?
Scott has kindly offered an e-copy of A Soul’s Calling to one of Jera’s Jamboree readers.
A Soul’s Calling is a memoir about a man who listened to his heart instead of reason. Scott, a forty-something attorney, is average in every way except one. He has a connection to the Other Side. He speaks to Spirit and Spirit speaks to him. He sees, hears, and interacts with an invisible realm that is beyond ordinary human perception. When Scott learns his soul has been spiritually compromised he travels to the ancient kingdom of Nepal to win it back. Once there, he hikes the Himalaya carrying a mysterious bundle and a stick laden with prayers from Luminous Beings hoping to come face to face with the greatest mountain on earth: Mount Everest. As his journey unfolds, Scott is called on to battle his fear of heights, the thin air, and his physical limitations. A Soul’s Calling transports readers to the rugged but enchanting Khumbu Valley where mountains speak and nature is imbued with a special kind of magic. The novel is an inspiring modern day adventure that weaves the timeless themes of living an authentic life, the consequences of power, and what a man would do for unrequited love. Powerful, sweeping, and deeply moving, readers will search their hearts as the book draws to a stunning conclusion.
To enter the giveaway, just leave a pick me comment below. This giveaway is open Internationally and will end 15th March midday GMT.