Wednesday, May 6, 2009

**INTERVIEW with author JERRY ADAMS, Ph.D.**

It is with great pleasure, and an honor to Interview author Jerry Adams, Ph.D. author of: "DISCIPLINE WITHOUT ANGER" Subtitle: "But Doctor, What Do I Do When...?" Genre: Parenting/ Self-Help/ Psychology Jerry Adams grew up in a large family in northern Iowa, and developed an early fascination with how children mature, and how they behave. After graduating from Iowa State University, he spent two years in the Peace Corps in West Africa, where he taught High School classes for one year, and worked in a Liberian psychiatric hospital for another year. In the process, he was exposed to what it universal in the human spirit, and to how culture impacts human development, and behavior. To pursue this new awareness, he continued his education, and completed his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Iowa. Dr. Adams, once a tenured associate professor, taught at several universities, and published numerous research papers. However, his heart was always in clinical work with children, and he left academia for full-time clinical practice. For twenty-five years, he served as lead psychologist in a very large non-profit health maintenance organization, specializing in assisting children, and their parents. Whenever Dr. Adams gave talks to parents, many remained afterward to ask, "But Doctor, what do I do when...?" about difficult discipline challenges with their own children. Recognizing that neither he, nor anyone else can provide effective one-minute responses to such challenges, he set about developing a class to provide parents with a comprehensive approach to positive, and effective discipline. "I learned from hundreds of parents who attended my classes what does and what does not work, and I refined my presentations accordingly," he says. Despite extensive handouts which he provided to parents who attended his classes, he was frequently urged to write a book encompassing the entire approach, resulting in "DISCIPLINE WITHOUT ANGER." Dr. Adams, who is married, has two sons, and two grandchildren. He is licensed to practice his profession in California. AUTHOR INTERVIEW Geri: When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer? Dr. Adams: I had enjoyed writing in High School, and was co-editor of a High School newspaper. As a psychologist, I wrote numerous research reports for publication in professional journals, and found completing each project gratifying. However, I always found the process challenging, and difficult. As a result, writing for me has been a means of communicating concepts that I found important to get across, and not something I have done for its own sake. Geri: What type of books do you enjoy writing? Dr. Adams: Writing the book was a major task, and I did not find the process enjoyable. I would have like to have written all sorts of books, but writing itself does not come easy to me. Geri: Did a special person in your life inspire you to write? Dr. Adams: Several High School teachers, a small town newspaper editor, and a college creative writing professor encouraged me to write. Writing research papers, and professional reports were simply expected, and I have done a lot of each. Geri: Have you written any books based on a true life story? Dr. Adams: No! But everything in my book has been based on feedback from people with whom I have worked. The numerous vignettes in the book reflect disguised examples of interchanges with specific families. Geri: Who is your favorite author? Dr. Adams: Just one? Wow! I guess Mark Twain would be my first choice. I have so admired his capacity to write humble, and humorous stories with great depth about the seemingly simple lives of his characters while addressing the most complex of human challenges, and embracing the loftiest of ideals for humanity. Geri: Are your characters created from people you've known in real life? Dr. Adams: There are no "characters" as such in my book. However, the vignettes I used to illustrate various points are all based on real patients I worked with in my clinical practice. Geri: How many books have you written? Dr. Adams: Just one, most of my professional publications have been research papers presented in journals. Geri: Where can your books be purchased? Dr. Adams: Geri: Describe how you felt the first time you were published. Dr.Adams: My first published writing occurred in High School, and it was an exhilarating exprience. I had a very similar reaction when my first research paper was published, and when my book finally went to print. Geri: Do you have any current work in progress? Dr. Adams: No, I am concentrating on publicizing DISCIPLINE WITHOUT ANGER. Geri: Do you have goals set for the future? Dr. Adams: My continued goal is to support parents in adopting a loving, positive approach to teaching their children to behave responsibly in their everyday lives, so that parents can move beyond the all too typical reliance on punishment, after the fact to "correct" their kids. Geri: Are you exactly where you want to be with your writing endeavors? Dr. Adams: No! I wish I wrote the book several years ago, so that I would be further along in publicizing it. Geri: Have you experienced writer's block? Dr. Adams: Many times, mostly in the form of indecision! Geri: What can help to prevent it? Dr. Adams: Being a good writer requires a solid idea, clarity in presenting that idea, at least a modicum of skill with the language, and with writing. Also, a strong capacity for tolerating tedium, managing anxiety, and persevering in the face of all sorts of obstacles to success. Geri: AS a child, did you have favorite books? Dr. Adams: I was hooked on Nancy Drew, and the Hardy Books books. I also read all sorts of things when I could get access to them. Geri: As a child, did you read a lot? Dr. Adams: I loved reading! Our small town developed its first-ever library when I was a kid. I would be at the door at opening! Geri: If you had the opportunity to live one day the life of a famous author, who would it be? Dr. Adams: Mark Twain! Geri: Many authors feel a sense of achievement after publishing a book, or self-satisfaction. Can you relate? Dr. Adams: Yes, I am sure that the sense of achievement, and self- satisfaction of completing a major project, and seeing the result represents a driving force for most writers and is responsible for much of the great literature in the world. Geri: How do you balance occupation with writing? Dr. Adams: I am largely retired, so I have less to balance than employed people. It's still a challenge to find time to pursue all of the potential ways to market the book. Geri: How did you feel at your first book-signing? Dr. Adams: It was very gratifying! Geri: If you won the lottery, what would change? Dr. Adams: It would not bring much change to my life! Geri: As writers, we begin with a manuscript, and end in promotions. What was your most difficult task? Dr. Adams: The difficulty in promotion! Geri: Some writer's focus on a particular scenery while writing, can you relate? Dr. Adams: My frequent observations of children being disciplined ineffectively, and often harshly by well-meaning parents.

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