Our genre is non-fiction in the area of personal relationships. We began writing about our experiences when, after a year together, we realized we had an unusually peaceful conflict free relationship. We started examining what the factors were that went into having such a relationship and also developed a sense of responsibility to share this possibility with others. We came to believe that this method of being together could really change the world, one relationship at a time. After blogging for several years back and forth to each other, we wrote our first book, describing our relationship and the possibilities it offers. We got many questions from readers on how they could use this information in their relationship and that gave rise to our latest book.
What do you find most challenging about the writing process, and how do you deal with it?
The most challenging aspect for the first book was sorting through the blogs that we wrote and identifying the major themes. The problem was that every aspect of how we relate to each other is connected to every other aspect. For example, the peace in our relationship is strongly connected to being present. When you are present, many aspects like what happened last week or where will we go next week are simply not issues because they are not in the present.
We had to develop a new process for writing the latest book. We sat together and each wrote to the topic and then switched pieces and saw what was similar and what was missing or different in each other's writing. We then merged the two till they became one fluid piece of writing. It was a fascinating process that was really rewarding. It helped us include both our viewpoints as well as our mutual view.
When and where do you do your writing?
We tried reserving an evening for writing together, but it was deferred too often through events or tiredness. It was only when we chose Saturday mornings that we got into a regular routine and that soon developed into the entire weekend.
Maude writes in her office on a laptop because she likes to edit everything as she goes, and Phil prefers longhand with a fountain pen because of the tactile quality and the ability to slouch on the couch.
What have you learned about promoting your books?
With our first book we knew nothing about promotion at all. However, with this most recent book, we have researched book promotion extensively, and the messages that stood out were to build a mailing list, that social media is important, and that personal interactions, whether with readers, writers or reviewers, are very important. We have a weekly blog and a free weekly newsletter. We do podcasts, interviews and webinars and have had good results from these. We have been doing guest posts and are still developing this area. We have gotten some great reviews and are still working on getting more as they have been touted as also being very important. We are active on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as PhilandMaude and are slowly finding our way through all these possibilities. We are not experts, but we have a lot of enthusiasm as we are very dedicated to spreading our message.
What are you most proud of as a writer?
It is very gratifying to see that when people comment on our blogs or review our books, it is clear from what they write that they have understood what we are trying to say. We approach things from the perspective of personal experience and not through statistics or academic research. This has made our writings very accessible to many people and we are happy to get that feedback, as our goals are to help support positive change in individual relationships. We feel that our writings reflect the kind of relationship we have, as they are for the most part a product of both of us and it has been a creative challenge to learn how to do this.
If you could have dinner with any writer, living or dead, who would it be and what would you talk about?
Phil: Oh, having to pick just one is so cruel. I would have chosen Buddha but for the fact that his writings were posthumously recorded by his disciples, so I’ll invite Ann Lamott because she has such compassionate insight into people.
Maude: I am very fascinated by J.K. Rowling as a person and a writer. Her climb to fame and her way of dealing with the flow of wealth that came from that is most fascinating. I think I would enjoy sharing a dinner with her.
Maude and Phil Mayes live in Santa Barbara, California, having started in New York City and London, England respectively. They have been writing and speaking about spreading peace one relationship at a time for many years. They wrote the book Secrets of a Successful Relationship Revealed, and write a weekly relationship newsletter, as well as a weekly blog available on their websitehttp://PhilandMaude.com. Phil and Maude are the producers of a number of relationship videos, as well as the series Kit and Kat Relationship Experts, all of which are to be found on their YouTube channel The Couples Project. They have been featured in a number of live interviews and write articles, both online and in print.
Book Trailer: http://bit.ly/1RKOAHp
On Amazon: http://amzn.to/1O1yklg