Episode 40: Writing a Memoir with Repeatedly Dead Fred

Welcome back to Alchemy for Authors!

In this episode, I talk with author Fred Rutman, AKA Repeatedly Dead Fred, about the writing and publishing journey of his harrowing and inspiring memoir, The Summer I Died Twenty Times. Fred shares what inspired him to write his memoir, the role resilience played, the benefits of networking with other authors and writers, and the two author secrets that no one really talks about.

I always find other people’s writing journey’s so fascinating, particularly when they’re undertaken with such challenges as Fred has experienced. I really hope you enjoy this episode too.

Connect with Fred on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/repeatedlydf/

Email Fred here: repeatedly.dead.fred@gmail.com

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Find the full transcript of this episode below.

Episode 40: Writing a Memoir with Repeatedly Dead Fred

Jo: Hello, hello, my friends. I am so glad that you can join me again today for another episode of Alchemy for Authors. Now I have something pretty exciting to offer two listeners today. Back on episode 22, I spoke with author Kevin Bryant about his writing journey towards publishing his book Spies on the Sidelines: The High Stakes World of NFL Espionage.

Now if you or a family member is an NFL fan, then this is definitely the perfect Christmas gift. You’ll find the hardcover at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million and Walmart. And Kevin has also been kind enough to gift me codes for two audio book copies of Spies on the Sidelines that I would love to give away to two lucky listeners.

So, all you need to do is just be the first two people to email me at jo@jobuer.com, and tell me your favorite episode of Alchemy for Authors so far, and I will send you the audio book code. So it’s as easy as that. Now, these codes can only be redeemed via the Authors Direct app, which is available on iOS and Google Play Store. So do keep that in mind, if you participate. Otherwise, you can pick up your own copy of Spies on the Sidelines as a hardcover eBook or audio book from Amazon and most other stores as well. So check that out.

But now onto today’s show. So today I am speaking with author Fred Rutman, AKA Repeatedly Dead Fred, about the writing and publishing journey of his harrowing and inspiring memoir, The Summer I Died Twenty Times. So Fred shares what inspired him to write his memoir, the role resilience, plays the benefits of networking with other authors and writers, and the two author secrets that no one really talks about.

I always find other people’s writing journey’s so fascinating, particularly when they’re undertaken with such challenges as Fred has experienced. So I really hope you enjoy this episode.

When you’re ready, grab a drink, find a comfy chair, sit back and enjoy the show.

Hello, my lovelies. Welcome back to another episode of Alchemy for Authors. Today I am talking with Fred Rutman. Fred is an Aper MBA ’98 grad. He moved to Toronto just before 9/11, and was a founder of the Toronto branch of Asper Alumni. He was a marketer, consultant, then a college business professor teaching finance and marketing. Until the summer of 2009 came crashing down on him with a continuous stream of medical traumas, including his been clinically dead twenty times. This left Fred with PTSD, post-concussion syndrome and ongoing anxiety. The result was being forced into permanent medical leave.

Since then Fred has been hospitalized 22 times and undergone 12 heart procedures with more to come. The short story is his heart was stopping. Each time his heart stopped, he collapsed, hit his head sustaining multiple concussions. They eventually figured out he needed a pacemaker, which was great until the infallible pacemaker failed in 2013, requiring two emergency surgeries. And it failed again in 2018 with more surgery required. There were additional complications in 2019 and 2020. In 2018 Fred learned about intermittent fasting and his life hasn’t been the same since. He attributes the large majority of his recovery to the healing powers of intermittent fasting. Fred is down 10 pant sizes and counting. And today Fred spends much of his day talking to people about resiliency, overcoming adversity and living their best healthy lives. His book The Summer I died Twenty Times is being released in March, 2023. And he is developing the Dead Man Walking Podcast coming soon to all podcasting apps. The podcast’s main themes will be overcoming adversity, emerging authors and small businesses.

So I am so excited to introduce you to Fred Rutman.

Hello, Fred, welcome to the show. I’m so excited to have you here.

Fred: Thanks, Jo. I’m very excited to be here.

Jo: You have one of the most fascinating stories that I’ve come across and it sounds like it was the precursor to you writing your memoir as well, which is The Summer That I Died Twenty Times, which is such a fabulous title, by the way. I absolutely love it.

Fred: Thank you.

Jo: So I was hoping that we could start off with you sharing a little bit about what your experiences were and how it led to you writing this memoir.

Fred: I guess I’ve always been a bit of a writer, and I used to write for my university newspaper and for a little ethnic newspaper. And, uh, I went to business school, so you’re always writing, you’re always writing business cases and you know, all, all sorts of stuff. So it’s always been there, but I never had an inclination to write a book or anything. Frankly, I didn’t think I was that interesting or had anything, you know, really interesting to talk about.

But in the, uh, summer of 2009, that’s when the summer I died, 20 times happened. So this is a memoir, it’s a true story. I was clinically dead 20 times and every time I died I would collapse and hit my head and sustain concussions and PTSD and, you know, lack of oxygen and stuff like that. So there’s a lot of damage and um, I had to figure out a way to recover from that because there was just no template. Like nobody had ever gone through anything that I had gone through. And then one day my therapist suggested, why don’t I try some journaling and see what that does for me. And, you know, some people are great journaling in script, like taking a pen and paper and writing things out. I’ve got some learning disabilities before I even had my brain trauma. It’s almost impossible for me to write unless I’m on a computer. And it’s a very different process, journaling on a computer than journaling, uh, pen and paper. So I started it with no real goal in mind and it was a slow, slow process and I would not recommend anybody trying to copy my process cuz that would involve you dying a whole bunch of times, and going, what I went through. So, I started it and eventually I had, you know, a few hundred words here and a few hundred words there. And I showed it to a couple of friends and they said, oh, there’s a short story contest coming up. You should enter it. But I think I only had like seven or 10 days till the deadline.

 So I got to writing and very quickly I blew past the word limit requirements. And I just thought, well, there’s no way I can smush this down, uh, and still tell the story. But that was sort of the genesis of how the book took roots. And then I would just start writing and writing. I didn’t have. A plan. I know a lot of people have a plan. They set out a structure and, uh, or they say, I’m gonna write 20 minutes a day, or, you know, so many words a day. And that never happened to me. So I made some progress. I got to about 15,000 words and then in 2013, the same thing happened to me and I started dying again.

I’ll interrupt myself here and say that when I say dying, I’m going by the clinically dead definition and that means, you know, your heart has stopped and you haven’t breathed, taken a breath for 30 seconds or longer. Yeah. Wow. So that’s pretty dead. Um, yeah, so I had , I had some, uh, interesting surgeries and things that didn’t go so well. So again, a lot more trauma, a lot more PTSD and stuff like that. Then I really went intermittently writing the book and it was, it was a little difficult because I’m trying to write my story, but because of all the brain trauma I’ve had, I couldn’t remember a lot of what happened to me. I knew stuff happened to me, but I couldn’t remember or put into words the experiences that I had. For example, in day 11 of being in the hospital. Mm-hmm.

And there were some really weird things and interesting people that I met in the hospital, and I don’t want to put this out that this is a condemnation of the medical system because every system has its superstars. And then you run into the people like, how did you even get hired? But it was just a lot of interesting things and a lot of times you go into pretty dark places and, uh, a little, little bit of sarcasm. I tend to have a little bit of sarcasm with me. I got a very good gene for that. And you also have to make yourself laugh cause you know, and some dark humor.

So the book really took a jump when the pandemic hit because you just couldn’t go anywhere. And I moved to a new place that had a beautiful deck facing out onto a park and people were setting up camps for their kids cuz kids couldn’t go to daycare or camps anymore. So you’ve got a beautiful vista. And what’s better than being around little kids giggling and laughing and, you know, even having meltdowns cuz you know, one little girl started crying cuz she wanted to marry the other three year old and it just wasn’t gonna happen and stuff like that. So, I just started writing like a thousand words a day and it took off from there. And a lot of self-editing and, uh, there’s never an end to editing.

Jo: No.

Fred: Any aspiring authors out there, no matter how well you edit, no matter who edits it, somebody’s missing something.

Jo: Oh, yeah, yeah. I’m, yeah, I’m in the middle of editing at the moment and I’m very aware of that. I just got some work back from my editor and I adore my editor. I’ve had her on the show before. And I went through thinking I’d done a reasonable job of the editing, knowing that she’d still find things. Get it back. I did a quick skim read and was like, oh my gosh. All that imposter syndrome, everything, like, I don’t know what I’m doing, obviously. Mm-hmm. There’s just so much wrong with this. But yeah. So that, it’s definitely a process. Yeah. So, yeah. I have to ask this because it’s just absolutely mind boggling to me. But how does a person go about dying 20 times? Like how, how did you get onto this path of passing away so many times?

Fred: Well, I needed a new hobby, and I was looking for something.

Jo: Um, gotta be different.

Fred: A lot. A lot of it. Yeah. A lot of it was, um, just misdiagnosis and miscommunication of the doctors and some medical, cognitive bias because, you know, I was much heavier than I am now at the time. So you go into emergency and the doctors see a, you know, a fat, overweight white male in his mid-forties and they say, oh, you’re having a heart attack, obviously.

So they kept trying to prove I was having a heart attack. One would think after you’ve done the same test 15 times, and you’re not seeing what you think, you might wanna look for something else, and they eventually found something else. So I think there’s a, a quote by Einstein. I don’t know if this is true or not. And now I can’t remember the quote cuz I’ve got some brain damage. But, something about trying to do the exact same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Jo: Yes. And I I love that. I love that quote. I also dunno if it’s actually from Einstein, but yeah, I absolutely, yeah, love that quote.

Fred: And that’s what I was going through. Doctors decided something was happening to me and then one Doctor decided something else was happening to me and wouldn’t move off his spot, and then I had somebody tell me what was actually happening to me. This is a, a doctor of considerable merit, and the doctors that were treating me wouldn’t listen to him. So, that’s how this all started.

Jo: So your story is really one of huge amount of perseverance, I guess, and resilience. But through getting the help and the diagnoses and everything that you needed would’ve been quite a trial, I would’ve suspected like that, persevering and getting second opinions and third opinions and whatnot. And all this time, you’re also, or afterwards, you’re also writing a book, even though you’ve got these concussion issues and the memory issues. And you said a learning disability as well. Could have been a little bit trickier. So what made you, well, I can assume that what made you persevere on the health end was to live, but what made you persevere with the book? So was it just a passion project that you needed your words out there, or, or what, what was your purpose behind writing that book?

Fred: It was a combination of things. One, it was the continuation of the journaling and the catharsis. The more I wrote, the more I remember, which was both a positive and a negative, because you’re sitting there like, holy crap, I can’t believe they did this to me. And holy crap, I can’t believe I’m still alive. Kind of adventure. I know it’s not often that author makes a lot of money off a book, but I was financially destroyed. So, you know, hopefully this is going to spark some financial gain for me. And maybe it will evolve into some speaking gigs where I can help inspire others to deal with their own adversities. You mentioned resilience. And my parents had a very hard physical life, and while they didn’t come out and say, okay, this is how you be resilient. I think just watching them, you know, through osmosis I developed a resilience capacity. I guess it’s possibly also part genetic. People have, um, an innate ability to, some have more resolve than others. And what I’ve learned is it’s like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the more resilient you can be and the better you can come out on the other end. So I’m trying to see this all as a positive to make the world a better place.

Jo: See, I think that’s amazing. I think that’s amazing, and I think you’ve got such an amazing message there too. The writing a book is such a great forum for getting your message out there, and I know you do a lot of podcast interviews like this, and you’re also putting together your own podcast. So at the very crux of it then, what is your message? What is the thing that you really want people to take away from hearing your story and from reading your book?

Fred: Your situation might look dire, but nobody has complete information. The doctors don’t, the people giving you tests don’t. And it may not be as dire as people are saying, so don’t stop looking. There is a gentleman, Viktor Frankl, who is a Holocaust survivor, and he wrote a book, Man’s Search for Meaning. And I certainly don’t want anyone to think I’m comparing what I went through to what he and people in the concentration camps went through. But to sum him up, it’s like, if you have hope, you can endure anything. And you know, I know there’s a supply chain issue right now because of this pandemic. Yeah. But there is no shortage of hope. It’s just something you develop on your own. You don’t have to buy it on Amazon. There’s just hope. And I’m not saying it’s easy, but you know, you keep replenishing that bucket of hope you have and you’ll be much better for it.

Jo: That’s wonderful. Such an important message and for every area of our lives. Absolutely. I really, really love that. With you writing a book, so it started off as catharsis and journaling and getting everything out, and then considering putting that into a short story competition and then it kind of getting longer and longer, at what point did you think I need to publish this?

Fred: I don’t know if I had an exact point. But somehow I came into possession of a book called Bird by Bird. Oh, yes. By Anne Lamott. And I don’t know how I got it. Maybe somebody gave it to me in one of my hospital visits and stuff like that. But there’s a line there, and I’m going to paraphrase, she says, everybody wants to be a published author, but nobody wants to be an author. You know, you have to do the hard work. Mm-hmm. and that sort of really put me on a, a projection to get this into book form. Then I started reaching out to people like, do you know an editor? Do you know a publisher? Do you know an agent? And then you come to grips with the reality, like a lot of the publishing industry is still operating in the 1950s.

You know, when you talk to a, like a fairly major publisher and they say, oh, we won’t talk to you without an agent. Mm-hmm. Okay, fine. And if they say, submit to our process, which is blind, you don’t know who your manuscript’s going to, also give us a marketing plan, and who you think your audience is. And like, I’m a marketing person. I’m an MBA. Mm-hmm. If you’ve been in the publishing business for 150 years and somebody gives you a, a memoir like mine and you don’t immediately know who the market is, something is wrong there.

Jo: It’s definitely an interesting process. So are you looking at being traditionally published or are you considering, cuz your book’s not out till next year, is that correct?

Fred: Yeah, it comes out in March.

Jo: Yeah. Yeah. So it, is it traditionally published or have you gone the independent route?

Fred: It is being traditionally published. I went through just my network. So, you know, I’m involved in a number of Facebook groups, and I asked the manager of one of these groups if anybody you know, was also an author and if they could connect me. And she found this one lady who found me a publisher she had worked with in San Antonio, Texas, or just mm-hmm. outside of San Antonio. And they prefer authors who don’t have agents. Ah. Because it’s a much simpler process.

Jo: Cool. You don’t hear of that very often.

Fred: No. So, you know, I won’t say they’re a small, independent. They’re certainly smaller than, than the Big Five or how many there are left. I think this started in May that I started with them. And it’s been a pretty seamless process. Anytime there’s been something that I noticed wasn’t right, and that’s probably not the right phrase. But I was going through an edit, so you do an edit and then you give it to them and they go through an edit. And then we went through an AI process. Where, like a Grammarly kind of thing. Oh yeah, yeah. Like a ProWriting Aid kinda thing. And know, it had been on the wrong setting for the type of writing that I do, cause I’m very first person and yeah. So it, it was like 34 million corrections that needed to be made. But in going through that, I noticed like four or five chapters had gone missing somehow. So I either had misplaced them somehow when I sent it into them, or somehow it got cut off by the software, whatever, so it was a pickup and, but they’re like, okay, well, you’ve gotta put it back in. So where do we put it? Are we just gonna make this like an appendix? Because if you put it back in where it’s supposed to, all the other formatting gets messed up. But they didn’t freak. They just said, you know, how do we get this done?

They have their own graphics and marketing department. So when I needed a cover logo for my podcast, I just said, can you guys do it? And like 12 minutes later, I’ve got one in my inbox. It’s like, just amazing.

Jo: That is, that’s fantastic. I think that’s amazing that you came across this publisher because you hear- there’s so many positives and negatives out there with trying to get traditionally published in that way, so that sounds really good. And so they’re also taking care of some of the marketing for you?

Fred: Mm-hmm. I forget the name of the company, but they work with a PR company that also works with the, the really big guys. And their marketing people also work with the really big guys. So, I don’t know how much they’re spending, but they’re thrilled that I’m doing these podcasts and getting my name out there and that I’m reaching out to the bookstores and the libraries in the greater Toronto area, so that I can do a couple of launches. And that’s also a hidden secret to you authors, you can do more than one launch.

Jo: Yes, yes. People don’t think of that. They think, oh, you just do it once and then it’s all over.

Fred: Yeah. Yeah. Because I guarantee you most people know more than 50 people. Mm-hmm. And, you can invite people from all your different networks to events, have you do a reading or whatever. And I think that’s gonna be the big fun of this. If I make money, that’s a super bonus, but you’re just gonna meet people from, from everywhere. Yeah. And you know, that’s something I really enjoy and that’s part of why I like coming on the podcast. Where else am I gonna meet a Kiwi?

Jo: There we are. Oh, that’s, that’s so cool. And I love that attitude too, because for myself as well, it’s the process of the writing and the publishing that I really enjoy, and the connecting with other people. And money’s great. Love, money, love getting the royalties, mm-hmm, and everything like that, but I don’t think I would be doing this if it was just for the money. I wouldn’t be able to sustain it. Mm-hmm. It’s everything else. It’s the connecting with other authors. Yeah. All of it. Mm-hmm. And connecting with readers as well. Fantastic.

Fred: Yeah, I’m in a couple of writing groups, a couple of them on Facebook and one through one of the local libraries. And people are very generous with their time and with their experience. And I think for the most part they don’t want you to go through the same pile of- rhymes with it.

Jo: Yeah.

Fred: That they’ve gone through.

Jo: Yeah.

Fred: And even though your experience is not gonna be a hundred percent in parallel with theirs, you know, you’re gonna run in pretty similar lines. Yeah. And with the library group there’s people at every stage of their writing careers, you know, people who have been published and people that are just figuring out how to create structure and build a character and stuff like that. So we have a guy from the library, Daniel Sarcello, and shout out Daniel, you do a fantastic job with this program, and I like hearing how everybody else is going through their process. Even if it never amounts to anything, I, I just have to give people props for even, you know, trying to start something.

Jo: So with the whole process of getting your book ready to be out there in the world, what have you found the most challenging? Like has there been a part of the writing or the publishing process that’s been quite challenging?

Fred: Yeah, I think when you’re trying to be consistent with anything you can tend to be a little hard on yourself. Like, oh, I only wrote like, you know, 812 words today. I didn’t meet my limit. And Oh, you’re so pathetic, and stuff like that. I think you mentioned imposter syndrome before. Yeah. Yeah. And here, here’s another, you know, super secret that nobody tells you. Everyone has it.

Jo: That’s true.

Fred: At some point.

Jo: Yeah.

Fred: And it means nothing. It really, really means nothing. So I think one of the bigger challenges for me was coming up with names to give people in the story so I’m not using their actual names. And some of the people I had to go up to and say, you know what do you want me to call you? Wait, I’m in your book? Yes, you are. Yeah. Yeah. So code names and some of them are funny. And one of my doctors is Dr. Plie because she used to be a ballerina.

Jo: Oh, I love that. Yeah. Was there any pushback, like when you were talking to some of the people who had starring roles in your book, uh, you know, because it’s a memoir, was there any pushback or anyone like No, you can’t put me in there?

Fred: No. Not that I’ve heard so far. Maybe one of the hospitals might not be so thrilled when it comes out, but I don’t name them either. Yeah, yeah. And so you’ve got probably 20 hospitals in the greater Toronto area that you can choose from to think that I’m talking about you. But, it’s been pretty good. My beta readers, blessed with beta readers, I had no idea that was a concept. Yeah. And I heard about it and I had probably about 12 beta readers and, you know, they’ve got nicknames. So one couple is Mr. And Mrs. Calcutta and people, oh, you’re so racist. I’m like, well, no, that’s where he was born. Yeah, yeah. Beta readers, if you can get them, they’re a blessing. Um, I think what I learned very quickly is you can’t just give your manuscript to somebody and say, can you read this for me? You have to ask them to look for specific things, otherwise you’re just gonna get 300 opinions. And it’s gonna make you frustrated and then they’re gonna get mad cuz I did all this work and you’re not, Yeah, you know, taking my advice and stuff.

Jo: Yeah, yeah. For sure. So how did you find your beta readers? Like was it just through your networking, through your groups?

Fred: Yeah. They were mostly people I know. A few of them I got through my intermittent fasting world. Mm-hmm. So intermittent fasting is what I attribute for the large majority of my recovery. And fortunate to get in a group with a woman named Jen Stevens. She started it. She’s also an author you might want to talk to.

Jo: Cool. Thank you.

Fred: New York Times best seller. She’s also been very generous with her time and answering questions for me. And actually she’s, uh, writing a forward for my book, so.

Jo: Oh, wonderful. That’s really cool. Yeah, it feels very much that everything is aligned rather nicely. If we take out the fact that everything you had to go through to get to even writing this book Yeah. You know, your, your actual life experiences and that, but, from there it, it sounds like things have aligned quite nicely, that the right people have come into your world and you’ve connected with the right people and that there’s, I’ve noticed this for myself, I feel like the author world is overall really quite supportive of each other. And it sounds like that’s what you’ve experienced too.

Fred: Yes. But I think the non-author world can be supportive. A lot of us are very reluctant to ask for help. Most of the time people are more than happy to help and, oh, I’m gonna be involved in a book project. Yeah. I’ve never thought I could be an author. Well, yeah. Okay. You’re, you’re sort of like an author’s helper, .

Jo: Yeah. It’s funny, I’ve certainly noticed that in my social group, and that. There’s almost a prestige that goes, or that some people hold around authors like, I don’t know, like there’s some special magic that we must be able to conjure to be able to write a book or publish a book. And so everybody’s so willing to kind of help or be a part of that in some way, which is really cool. So for people listening to this who maybe have had a life experience of their own, that they feel the need to get out there in the world and to share with others through a book, do you have a key piece of advice or something that you would recommend maybe if they’re on the fence about starting or anything like that? What would be your key advice for writing a memoir?

Fred: Just start. I mean, you’ll likely run into a whole bunch of people that are gonna tell you you’re wasting your time and whatever, but you’re initially doing it for you. It’ll get to a point where you can be doing it for others, but you know, do it for yourself. Give yourself grace. Give yourself any tool you can to generate that hope and put you in a better place at wherever your life is.

Jo: I, yeah, think that first and foremost, we always have to be doing it for ourselves because it gives us that momentum and motivation to actually see it all the way through when we’ve put a purpose behind it as well.

Fred: There’s a phrase, charity begins at home. Mm. And, and we forget that at the center of the home is us. And it’s not selfish to do things for yourself. Not at all. And if you’re not doing well, you’re probably not gonna be able to do well for other people. So, you know, be charitable to yourself.

Jo: I love that. So I wanted to ask, this isn’t specifically book related, but as you call yourself Repeatedly Dead Fred, and you’ve had these experiences, and you’ve faced your mortality more than most of us tend to think about, how has that impacted on your life? Like, not just with you writing a book and that, but has that motivated you in different ways, or has it made you think about life a little bit differently, or the purpose behind life, or how has that had an impact on you in, in those kinds of ways?

Fred: That’s kind of a light question. Could you ask me something deep and heavy?

Jo: Sorry.

Fred: I think I’m a much better kinder, more patient person than I was going into all this. It certainly changed my drive from being, uh, you know, I’m gonna be a corporate executive and have global domination mindset and, mm-hmm, so I, I’m definitely a much better person now. Malcolm Gladwell has a concept that, you know, as you get older, you become the composite of the five or seven or 10 people you spend the most time with. And I’m fortunate that I’ve just had some really spectacular people come into my life through all this. And I’m becoming more of the composite of their behaviors and thoughts and how they see the world. And it’s just been all for the good.

Jo: That’s so cool. I love that.

Fred: So I hope it’s a Malcolm Gladwell concept. I’m not exactly sure, but I think it is.

Jo: I’m not sure. But I love Malcolm Gladwell. He’s a brilliant author and always has these amazing ideas, so it wouldn’t surprise me if it, yeah, absolutely was his. Absolutely. So this book comes out in March next year in 2023. Do you think there’ll be a follow up? Do you have aspirations now that you’ve pretty much almost gone through this full process of putting the book out there, and I know there’ll be lots of marketing and everything on the ends, but do you think you’ll be writing more books? Not follow ups to dying more times, but just follow ups to writing more books?

Fred: There is going to be a sequel.

Jo: Wonderful. Okay. Can you tell us anything about this?

Fred: It’s probably two-thirds written. The Summer I Died Twenty Times Continues.

Jo: Oh gosh. Oh dear.

Fred: So this all started with a heart problem. Not gonna get into that cuz otherwise you won’t buy the book. But buy the book. So I’m actually going in for another heart procedure November 25th. So I think this is gonna be like my 12th heart procedure since 2009. Wow. So yeah, there’s a sequel.

Jo: Wow. It’s completely unbelievable to me what you’ve been through and your positive attitude, and yeah, just your willingness to encourage others and inspire others with hope and everything like that. So from myself, and I know it’ll be from my audience too, absolutely just wishing you the best with the procedure and a fast recovery and everything. But that’s fantastic you’ve got another book coming.

Fred: Thank you. Thank you, audience. Appreciate the good wishes.

Jo: I know they will. I know they absolutely will. So I want to ask how can people connect with you and keep in the loop of when your book launches and, and all of that good stuff?

Fred: So they can find me on my Instagram, which is still fairly new because I am, you know, 900 years old and I’m not so up on all the cool stuff. So my Instagram is @repeatedlydeadfred. They can use my email repeatedly.dead.fred@gmail.com and uh, or they can just search Repeatedly Dead Fred and they’ll find some of the other podcasts that I’ve done and- wonderful- not that hard to find.

Jo: No. And I’ll be making sure that those links are in the show notes as well. Just before we kind of wrap up, I know you have also got a podcast in the works. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Fred: Sure. And my podcast started as it’s a good way for me to get my name out there. But it also has some foundational roots. So it’s called the Dead Man Walking Podcast cause that’s essentially what I am. Makes sense. And I have a few themes that I like to, uh, talk to people about. So one is people like me who have overcome great adversity, you know, come out and are trying to make the world a better place, or they want to talk about mental health issues or, uh, of course if they wanna talk about intermittent fasting. I’m a super big fan of intermittent fasting and I can talk that for extended periods. I was also a business prof, so I’ve got a keen interest in people, you know, with most business is small business. Yeah. And anybody who has started a small business in the last three years, and it’s still up and running. Holy cow. You are a superstar in this whacked economy, and I want to hear your story and how magical you are. Amazing. And of course, because so many people have helped me get to this point with my book, I wanna hear from emerging authors. I want to give them a bump. I want to hear about their processes and all their amazing stories, and, you know, just other interesting people I’ll come across. I’m gonna have a comedian on- Yeah- on my next few episodes.

Jo: Amazing. That’s great. So I think I read in one of your bios or something that you sent me that you haven’t released the podcast yet. Do you have a release date for that?

Fred: I’m gonna be releasing them after my surgery. I was told by somebody I trusted that unless you have a, a proper logo cover you can’t get on any of the major distributors. And I just got a proper logo, cause that’s how people find you, you know, they scroll through the images, right? Yeah. Yeah. So just having got that this week, I have other things to focus on like making sure I’m ready to have my surgery and stuff.

Jo: Yeah. For sure, for sure. Very exciting. Very exciting.

Fred: But if you wanna edit some of them for me, I’ll throw them over to you.

Jo: I’ll have to say no to that. That is the one thing, I absolutely such an advocate for podcasting. It is so much fun. I absolutely adore it. The editing I find is the hardest. For me, simply because at the moment I’m doing it all myself and it is so time consuming. Yes. Yeah. Really time consuming. But I know that there’s people out there that will take it on, but yeah.

Fred: It’s like when I was teaching. You know, it’s great to be in the classroom and presenting material to all these minds that wanna be like sponges and soak up everything you sing. And that’s a little bit of sarcasm. And creating tests, even though, though it’s a lot of work, I thought it was a lot of fun because how am I gonna best going to see if the students really understood what I was talking about. But the marking of papers. Oh my God.

Jo: Yeah.

Fred: The first time I died I was marking economics papers.

Jo: Oh gosh. Yeah. There we are. Well, it has been such a blast talking with you, Fred. Thank you so much for coming on the show and yeah, just sharing your messages and sharing your experience and what you’ve gone through and sharing what your writing process and publishing process and everything’s been like too.

Fred: My pleasure. Thank you so much for having me on, Jo.

Jo: Takeaways from today’s show:

1. Resilience is a muscle. The more you exercise it, the better off you are.

2.. If you have hope you can endure anything. Find ways to replenish your bucket of hope.

3. Network with other authors and writers. Help each other and use those contacts. Most people want you to succeed.

4. Author Secret One is you can launch your book more than once. Don’t limit yourself to only launching once.

Number 5. Author Secret Two- everyone gets imposter syndrome and it means nothing.

Number 6. Utilize beta readers but be very specific with what you ask them to look out for.

And number 7. When you’re ready to sit down and write a book, just do it. Ignore the naysayers and do it first and foremost for you.

So I really enjoy chatting with Fred today, and I hope you enjoyed the conversation too. It’s amazing what leads us to this writing journey? Do we make sure to follow Fred on Instagram, so you’re in the know when he launches his podcast- Dead Man Walking and his book, The Summer I Died Twenty Times. I suspect that both will be hugely inspiring.

You’ll find all the links to follow Fred and myself in the show notes, as well as a link to this transcript. And if you’ve enjoyed this episode or any episodes of Alchemy for Authors, please consider leaving a review, or even posting a pic of yourself listening to the podcast and tagging me on social media.

And if you want to support this podcast further, you can also buy me a coffee, or two, or three at www.buymeacoffee.com/jobuer.

As always, I am wishing you a wonderful week ahead, my friends. Happy writing!