In the Spotlight feature kicked off in April 2015 and is an opportunity for authors, editors and publishers (basically anyone in the book industry (yes, even bloggers!)) to connect with fans. There is an option to do an interview, guest post, feature a book sale or book release or a cover reveal. Best of all, it’s free! All you need to do is click on the image to reserve your spot!
Now on with the show!
In the Spotlight with Gudjon Bergmann
Welcome to Second Run Reviews, Gudjon! Thank you for being In the Spotlight. I appreciate you stopping by and answering a few questions. So let’s get things started.
In a tweet (140 characters or less), tell us a bit about yourself.
Author of more than twenty nonfiction books and two novels, proud father of two, and dedicated husband. A complicated mix of a rational thinker and spiritual aspirant.
Please tell a bit about your journey to becoming a published author. What’s been the best things about it and the worst?
Writing is my passion. I would write even if I don’t get paid for it—which has often been the case. The best thing about publishing my work has been the ability to share a part of who I am with a larger audience. The worst thing? Probably waiting for reviews. I can handle both good and bad reviews, but getting little or no response is the worst.
Tell us a bit about your latest release. What inspired you to write it? Why should fans of Second Run Reviews consider reading it.
The inspiration for The Meditating Psychiatrist Who Tried to Kill Himself came from a real life incident fifteen years ago, when an acquaintance of mine tried to commit suicide. “Why would someone who meditates try to do that?” was the question that haunted me for years after that. In my novel I decided to explore the question in depth, while at the same time taking a look at how modern spirituality interacts with everyday life. Even though the book has a spiritual/philosophical undertone, it reads like a mystery, allowing for a wider audience.
What types of books do you enjoy reading the most? What three books to you find yourself recommending to your fans over and over?
Over the years I have mostly read nonfiction about spirituality and psychology, alongside science fiction classics. My three favorite authors—the ones I recommend the most often—are Ken Wilber, Kurt Vonnegut and Robert Heinlein. If I were to choose one book from each I would say Sex, Ecology, Spirituality (Wilber), Hocus Pocus (Vonnegut) and Time Enough for Love (Heinlein).
What is your current obsession? Any secret obsessions you would like to share?
I am currently studying to become an Interfaith Minister, but my current obsession is the the idea of trans-rational spirituality, an approach to religion and spirituality that does not require people to leave their intellect and rational thought at the door. I started fleshing that idea out in 2015 with my book titled, More Likely to Quote Star Wars than the Bible, and hope to work with it more in the future.
What is one question you wish I would have asked, that I haven’t?
I wish you would have asked the question, What genre of fiction do you write in?, because I don’t have a good answer for that question. My debut novel combines spirituality and meditation with mystery, addiction, inner turmoil, and domestic unease. I took it to a bookstore and they placed it in the mystery section. I asked if they could place a copy in the New Age/spirituality section and they said they never put fiction in that genre. This means that I don’t have a designated genre at the moment, but I hope to create a new fiction category as I continue writing.
Any last thoughts or wise words you want to pass along?
In my previous line of work as a motivational speaker I was repeatedly reminded of the power of stories. That is why I have switched from writing nonfiction to writing fiction (for now, at least). I realize that stories touch people in a different way than nonfiction how-to material does. Writing fiction has allowed me to explore philosophies and human interactions in ways that were previously unavailable to me. I look forward to doing more of that in the future.
Thank you for being In the Spotlight, Gudjon. Good luck with your goal of being an Interfaith Minister. I hope you’ll return soon and update us on your progress towards that goal and any new releases. Happy New Year!
Synopsis: In this spiritual mystery, therapist Robert Davis has his world turned upside down when he meets long-term meditator, psychiatrist, and suicidal patient, Dr. Vigo Andersen. Why, he asks, would anyone who has been meditating for more than thirty years try to kill himself? It doesn’t make any sense. Meditation is intended to create moments of peace, not longing for death, right? As Robert’s quest for answers takes unexpected twists and turns, it creates intense inner battles, threatening his own meditation practice, his family life, his sobriety, his sanity.