iUniverse’s Brian M. Rossiter discusses his new profound work, The Death Myth, and offers some really helpful advice for writers.
Please briefly describe your book . . .
The Death Myth is a book that deeply investigates the biblical teachings on the issues of death and the afterlife. Specifically, I have questioned whether not the “traditional” view—that the human soul continues to live on its own after the body dies—is one that is derived from biblical teaching, or from an external source. In that context, I discuss issues like ghosts, spirits, possible realms for the dead, near-death experiences, and even the nature of God and the angelic beings. I conclude that there is, at minimum, much more to these issues than meets the eye. More than that, it could be that much of what we typically understand is entirely incorrect.
And can you tell us a little about yourself?
I have been involved in some form of ministry for the last twelve or so years. I hold multiple degrees in biblical and theological studies, and I have taught both high school and college students in these disciplines. Currently, I have been spending most of my time writing The Death Myth, preparing to make others aware of it, and working on other writing projects that extend from its contents. I enjoy writing on theological topics that are frequently ignored, but actually have a great deal of significance to all of us.
Do you have any particular literary influences?
In terms of formatting the book, I really paid a great deal of attention to the texts I either learned from, or were opposed to. I read a great deal of writings from William Lane Craig, J.P. Moreland, Thomas Aquinas, Augustine, and others, because they display the alternative to what I am suggesting. I patterned my ideas and style a bit after thinkers like William Tyndale, Martin Luther, and John Wycliffe. Though his writings are not directly related, I have employed some of the satirical humor that one would find in the works of Erich von Däniken. Of course, the biblical authors served as my most profound inspiration within this book.
What is the one message you would like to convey to your readers?
The underlying idea coming out of my book would apply to just about any topic you could wish to consider; free thought and personal investigation will often yield a very different result than simply believing what “tradition” or public opinion tell us. Obviously, no one has time to research every issue under the sun. However, each of us should spend time looking into the weightier topics of life for ourselves. I believe that what happens when we die is most definitely one such issue.
Are you working on a sequel?
Surprisingly, I am actually working on a sequel. In truth, I started working on it before The Death Myth was even available for purchase anywhere. I have found that the concepts involved in that book just continue to lead to others. It is almost like a tree root; there are dozens of smaller roots that extend from the larger ones. Topics like the nature of the human soul, the happenings in the heavenly realm, and many others, naturally lead to other problems and answers. I do not have an official title or expected publication date for the sequel, but it is in the works.
Are there any events, marketing ideas or promotions planned for your book?
I have many ideas that I hope become realities. I am already set to have articles come out in my local newspaper. I am planning to get the book stocked in local bookstores, as well as the library. I will be submitting articles to several Christian magazines and various publications. The book will have a presence on all the major media outlets, and I plan to fund a few campaigns to attract followers. I have a website dedicated to the book already, and I will be constantly engaging followers with small blogs and articles that are relevant to the issues discussed. I am going to send free copies of the book to those whom I know will review the book on Amazon (and elsewhere). I also intend to reach out to a number of churches and small radio outlets, in the hopes of having public appearances there.
What was your favorite part of your publishing experience, overall and with iUniverse?
Like most other authors, artists, or inventors, the most satisfying aspect of publishing is seeing your idea turned into a reality. To see something go from being an abstract concept, to something that has been willed into concrete existence, is really unlike anything else. My favorite part about publishing with iUniverse was seeing the cover come to life. I knew what the contents of the book would be, but I did not know how the exterior would look. I was extremely impressed at how they were able to make a cover that perfectly matched what I had described to them. Additionally, the continued, systematic contact and attention they paid me was refreshing. They certainly exceeded my expectations.
Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring authors?
First, I would tell any aspiring writer not to write a book at all if one of these two things apply: 1) you are not able to write at a reasonably high level, or at least have the ability to do so and 2) you are not passionate about writing. I have learned these lessons in other endeavors. If you are not good at what you are trying to do, and/or are not deeply invested in doing it, do not waste the tremendous amount of time it takes to author a quality book. Spend your time on things you are more talented and more serious about. Second, I would tell any new author to have a game plan on how to get your book out there to the masses. Books do not sell themselves, and simply having something available to purchase is not going to result in much success. Lastly, I would say that authorship is a marathon, not a sprint. Be patient in the writing and editing process, and stick with the marketing aspect as long as it takes.