Thursday, August 14, 2008

"Caught in the Headlights": Virtual Book Tour

By Nichole Giles

Back Cover Blurb:

Have you ever gotten what you wished for, only to discover that it’s not really what you wanted after all?

We’ve all had those “deer in the headlights” moments when we realize we’ve been chasing the wrong things. Caught in the Headlights is a frank, insightful look at 10 key goals most of us think we want—only to discover our eyes are on the wrong prize. Barry K. Phillips not only entertains, but also examines common values and enlightens us to the goals we should seek, and what to do differently now that we know better.

From goals such as happiness, self-esteem, protecting our pride, or the perfect physique, Phillips takes a closer look at those aims prized by society and explores how we can pursue higher goals. A thoughtful, funny, and at times profound look into the real reasons we all have for the things we do, this book will entertain, enlighten, and inspire.

In this book, Phillips outlines ten pursuits people tend to focus on for personal happiness. Happiness, self-esteem, pride, freedom, control, tolerance, forgiveness, success, the big event, and the perfect body. He focuses on mistakes he has made personally, and shares his life-lessons with his readers.

Another book reviewer recently gave a warning to readers that this book is not politically correct, and I have to agree with her statement. Phillips’ chapter on tolerance was not actually very tolerant. His points are conflicting, and his opinion wavering as he claims, “Those who beg for tolerance need to be tolerant of those who think differently than they do,” only to spend half the chapter complaining about a certain group of people with whose lifestyle choices he disagrees. In the portion about “Judging” he fails to point out that while everyone must make judgement calls, those calls should not be directed at people who are not ourselves. He claims, “Making a judgement is not intolerant.” But in my opinion, judging other people for their beliefs or feelings is.

Why does my opinion matter? Well, I wondered the same thing about Phillips at certain places throughout this book. Caught in the Headlights has the potential to really affect someone who shares the same views as the author—however, if it’s possible that your views might be different from his, consider yourself warned.

Despite my warnings, there are some good lessons to be taken out of Caught in the Headlights. For instance, his discussion on happiness forces the reader to take a look at their own idea of what makes a person happy. In it, he points out that being happy is not the pursuit of pleasure and avoidance of pain, but more about finding the peace within yourself for which we are all subconsciously striving. He discusses the difference between false self-esteem and true self-esteem born of confidence from accomplishment and service.

My favorite statement in the book comes out of his chapter about pride, and is part of an original quote from C.S. Lewis. It says: “Pride is a spiritual cancer.”

My favorite lesson: “Total control of one’s life is neither possible, nor desirable. The key is to be aware of what is around you, and take advantage of the good things in your path that may be unexpected.”

I’m sitting on the front porch with Barry K. Phillips, and we’re talking about his book, Caught in the Headlights.

NG: What made you decide to share your "life wisdom" with others by writing a book?

BKP: I was amazed at how many people have dealt with these same issues, but so many never figure out how to learn the lessons. You know the old adage, "if you keep doing what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got." Breaking the cycle of repeating the same old things is pretty hard to do, so I thought others might benefit from what I've learned.

NG: At what point did you decide your experiences gave you enough wisdom to write it?

BKP: I don't think I came to a point where I thought I had a whole bunch of wisdom… just read it, you'll know what I mean! But I finally had the confidence to do it, and realized that there was a need for some politically incorrect common sense.

NG: What kind of training have you had in the self-help area? What about writing?

BKP: I've done a lot of training and consulting in personal development, but mostly, I've just made enough mistakes that I finally started to learn from them! As far as writing, I've done it for most of my professional career. From advertising, to technical stuff, to training materials and writing from Glenn Beck, I've just always liked to do it.

NG: From blank page to polished product, how long did it take you to write this book?

BKP: I'd say about 4 months, mostly in evenings, on weekends and on camping trips.

NG: What made you decide to ask Glenn Beck to write your forward? And how has that decision helped your book as a whole?

BKP: Well, since I'd written for Fusion, it seemed the logical choice. The process took a few months, by the time my book passed his writers, agent, legal, etc. A little begging never hurt either!

NG: What advice would you share with other people who are considering writing self help books?

BKP: Just to write about what you know and what you love. I wrote in a very conversational style, because that's what I like the best. Also, think things through well, you'll have to defend your point of view once the book is out there.

NG: True. That’s often true even for fiction. Now for some easier questions. What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?

BKP: That's easy. Ernestly Chocolate. It's only made by the BYU Creamery in Provo, UT, but definitely worth the trip!

NG: Describe your ideal vacation.

BKP: With family for sure. Past that we love Disneyland, camping (trailer camping, not the real rough variety). Seeing sites like Europe is fun as well.

NG: What are a few of your favorite pastimes?

BKP: I love hot-air ballooning and go most weekends. Beyond that, I love to cook, golf, watch football and basketball, and do wood working. I love movies and being with my family.

Barry, thanks so much for taking the time to visit here on the porch with me. The sun’s about to set, and the neighborhood kids are being called in for dinner. I suppose I should let you get to yours.

Caught in the Headlights
Trade Paperback: 116 pages
Publisher: Cedar Fort (June 2008)
ISBN-10: 1599551675
ISBN-13: 978-1599551678

Purchase the book Here

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