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Shafton Stewart of Waldorf has published a book this year: ďIím Not Afraid of Marriage, But I Am Afraid of a Divorce.Ē

He answered questions from the Maryland Independent via email.

He describes his book as ďrelationship self-help.Ē

The book is available at amazon.com, Books a Million, Barnes and Noble and Tate Publishingís website.

Q. How long have you been writing?

A. I have been writing for the last three years on relationships. I started writing on the subject of relationships after studying and counseling couples for years through ministry.

Q. What inspires you to write?

A. What has inspired me to write on relationships is the experiences of being a single man looking for answers to find and keep a relationship when everybody seem to be giving up the idea that marriages donít last anymore.

To hear the generation today talk about it, marriage is overrated and you can raise a child in a single parent household which makes it OK. To see and hear that has inspired me to write the book. To have been single and on the outside looking in and now that Iím on the inside of a relationship looking out with so much experience and knowledge to give has inspired me to write a book.

Two years ago I wrote a book called ďTalk to Me Like a ManĒ that encourage men to realize what bad habits they were bringing into their relationships, maybe because no father was active in their life or from not having a good example of how relationships work. I decided to write my experience and the study results of what was causing so many men to shy away from marriage.

My new book came about from the success of the first book directed toward single men. So many women and men bought the first book that people started asking me questions that pertain to marriage problems now that I have been successfully married going on 13 years. I could relate to what they were feeling as a married couple. Therefore, I had to do a book on marriage and why so many marriages fail within the first two to three years of marriage. I address several issues that can cause people to go from loving each other one day to be in divorce court the next.

Q. Do you consider writing a career?

A: I wouldnít say I consider writing a career. I just felt the need to write these two books about relationships because I felt it was needed due to the overwhelming concern for this generation and the bad rap marriage was getting due to people not preparing themselves for marriage.

So many people marry for the wrong reasons, and to the wrong person itís alarming. However, I do like writing relationship books and I can see a novel down the road.

Q. What kind of writing process do you use?

A. I like to insert all types of different writing styles. However, I love addressing the cause-and-effect method in my relationship books because I like to give the readers what causes the problem and a solution to the problem in my theory of studying relationships and interviewing different people, male and female, single and married, to get their opinion.

Q. How did you publish your book?

A. When I finish writing the book, I had submitted it to several publishing companies all over and every one of them liked the book and what it stood for, so I was offered a contract to publish with them. After some thinking and advice from family, I decided to go with the company that I felt would do its best to promote the book. It was kind of like picking a good college to go to on an athletic scholarship. It was exciting to go through the process.

Q. Who is your favorite author?

A. I donít really have a favorite author, but I have always been interested in relationship talk shows on radio and television. The topic of why the divorce rate is high in this country and why a lot of men today donít live in the household with their sons and daughters has always interested me. Because I was one of those young men who grew up in a single-parent household, I wanted to do my best to help the next young man to not make the same mistakes our fathers made a generation before us.

Q. What are you reading now?

A. Iím reading ďThe Diary of a Wimpy KidĒ with my son. I have a 7-year-old who I read to from time to time, and he loves the book. Itís kind of hard to get a lot of reading in with two boys and a wife at home.

Q. What are you working on now?

A. Iím working on the promotion of my book. I have traveled to a Midwest college to talk about the book, and I have had book signings. Iím currently arranging a speaking engagement at a church in Waldorf.

Q. What do you want readers to know about you?

A. That I love being married to my lovely wife of 13 years and I love being a father to my boys. I wrote two relationship books because I used to be single, like many men out there, looking for answers to figure out what it took to find the right mate so I could be in the right relationship and to make it last a lifetime. I wanted to help people understand the importance of preparing yourself for a relationship.

We prepare ourselves for a job by going to school. We prepare ourselves to pass a math and spelling test by studying. So why donít we prepare ourselves to better our chances for having a successful relationship? You can find, keep and, most important, maintain a happy and healthy relationship with your spouse even when it seems hopeless by getting information from qualified people who care about being in a relationship.

I can promise the reader that they will avoid a lot of problems in their marriage and have a better understanding of how to find and keep a enjoyable relationship with their spouse once they have read my book.

Literary lights Q&As will appear periodically in the Maryland Independent. Suggestions for local authors to spotlight should be sent to abrecksomdnews.com.