iUniverse welcomes Dr. Robert Buckingham (MD, FACP), author of Hazing Aging.
Writing and publishing Hazing Aging has provided unexpected surprises. After 36 years of practicing medicine in a variety of hospital and outpatient settings, I needed to find refreshment in change. Writing Hazing Aging became the antidote. Exploring the basic science of capillary cells and tying them into my clinical experience after a near death experience with my own coronary arteries, energized me. Gradually, with passing weeks, my life’s purpose was evolving from clinician to include educator. Translating basic research was challenging, but prior research in neurochemistry when in medical school provided impetus and so, at age 60, 35 years removed from my last glimpse into the basic science world, I dove in, really not knowing what to expect.
Composing my Book
The first few months were spent in just writing. I soon recognized that my writing skills needed improvement, but what I also learned is that writing produced better writing. The more I did, the better it became. Deciphering capillary basic science was challenging, but I was surprised how purposeful it became when I coupled it with 36 years of clinical experience. The BIG picture of applying capillary cell research to clinical application was easier to see, and that was how the book came together.
The value of the book became connecting basic research with clinical application. This led to frank discussions about lifestyle, medicines and supplements that support anti-inflammatory living. The book became a first-level compendium of how to reduce inflammation, limit unpleasant health surprises and protect age-related declines in relevancy.
The Publishing Process
When I reached the point of submission to iUniverse, the completely foreign world of editing and publishing in 2015 was introduced to me. Looking back at the process, which at the time appeared slow and cumbersome, I would not have it any other way. The reason: the professional polish of the book followed by the marketing follow-through was seamless. Even more important, I remained in control of content and had final say in what stayed and went. All of this, although daunting to a first time writer, in retrospect was exactly what I needed. The final product, Hazing Aging, exceeded my expectation and met all the goals. Well, almost all of them: every writer would like to be on the New York Times best seller list. While the book has done well, making this list may not happen.
Hazing Aging is a book about the cause and effect of how and why we age and what we can do about it. Aging and death is inevitable, but how we do it is not. The book delves into the origins of inflammation, what cells are the playmakers and then how important one’s lifestyle is for pivoting away from unpleasant aging consequences.
Inspiration and Message
The inspiration for this book actually evolved over 25 years as I began to see repetition of vascular inflammatory diseases and various adverse outcomes involving multiple end organs. I had wanted to write this book for some time, but it was not until the explosion of the internet, my coronary stent, and my subsequent divorce from my wife that opened up influences that created the right mix to get me started. Having a new love in my life, Kate, has also been incredibly important as she has, from the beginning, enabled and nurtured the process, at the same time telling me that the message I am writing about should be disseminated to millions of people rather than just my patients.
The single most important message from Hazing Aging is that lifestyle choices matter. We do not have to age like our mothers or fathers. Adopting anti-inflammatory lifestyle choices and going “all in” with them can produce major health benefits that can stall aging consequences by decades.
After writing Hazing Aging, I realized that I had just scratched the surface in discussing capillary cell function. I wanted my newfound audience to have more depth in understanding, and I felt up to the challenge of doing so. Hence, two sequels to Hazing Aging have been written, both with the idea of translating basic science into anti-inflammatory living by providing a mechanism through the capillary cell of how aging occurs. This journey, with every turn, has proven exciting.
I am currently working with my marketing team on planning events, and several are currently on the drawing table. After a few interviews, I will be engaged in book signings in my home town of Ojai, California, Barnes and Noble in Ventura, California as well as in Austin, Texas. The signing in Austin will be August 22, while in Ventura on December 13. I continue to write blogs almost daily on drbuckingham-hazing aging.com, and am excited about how many people find my information useful.
Advice to Authors
My favorite part of this process was after the 6-7th rewrite and subsequent submission when I learned that I had attained Editor’s Choice. For me, that meant that my message, content and writing style had met a level of professionalism and portability that would be readable to my intended audience. I felt that I made the grade.
As for advice to authors: be persistent, write every day and don’t give up. If you believe in your message, pursue and rework. Your talent and message will eventually shine. You too, will find the joy of creating a book that can inspire people to make changes to improve lives.
Thanks to Robert for his excellent blog. Robert has also been featured on radio, and the shows can be accessed at http://radiomd.com/show/wellness-for-life-radio/item/29237-hazing-aging-how-your-cells-contribute-to-the-aging-process and http://radiomd.com/show/wellness-for-life-radio/item/29238-vascular-endothelium-key-to-reverse-aging .