An interview style is a great way to write a book.

Answers come easily when you are interviewed about a subject you know intimately. There is a dynamic between the interviewer and interviewee when the questions are known in advance. The exchange is easy, friendly, and can be a great way to write a book.

Book Writing COVID forced major changes into the way we work. Methods adopted over the past year would not have happened as quickly if we were not forced to do something differently.

Most people think you sit down at your computer and let your fingers walk over the keyboard. The link above takes the traditional approach of thinking about what readers want, finding your writing voice, writing a compelling opening, adding conflict and tension, forgetting editing and just write, continue persevering, and more. Endless time is spent at a keyboard hoping your brain travels down the right road without distractions.

Now is the time to take advantage of technology and write by speaking. Coaches, consultants, and public speakers give presentations often. They can be recorded and used to become a book. A manuscript derived from a video or audio recording can speed up the process. Is there a faster way?

The dynamic of typing words to form a book takes time and requires lots of editing. Recording a speech also requires editing. The speaker is talking to an audience, much like the multitude of readers who will peruse your book. The editing is not as great as typing, but it exists. I suggest you consider using an interview to write your book.

Recording Interviews  I use a cell phone or Zoom to record. There are many ways. The interview my client and I are doing currently is being recorded on StreamYard. Make an interview one on one. Look at the interviewer eyeball to eyeball. This dynamic can eliminate nearly all editing. Why? When the interviewee knows the questions in advance and can list bullets under each question that drives the answer to that question, the ease of answering is reduced. Normal answers to a question rarely need editing.

This dynamic is different than speaking in front of an audience. I can connect with an audience member and see their body language and facial expressions and know they understand what I am saying. However, I cannot concentrate on that one person for the entire time. I shift my gaze around the audience. However, in an interview, there is no need to talk to anyone else other than the interviewer. You can read facial expressions and know that your message is being received properly.

Outlining There are many sources to develop an outline. The link above is one. But this is not the way I recommend this process to work. It works, but it could be much better. Remember, the person being interviewed know the answers so well that they can spit out that answer anytime.

I ask the question, “Tell me about the first car you ever owned?” Everyone can answer that question. When I ask them to tell me some stories about it, the experiences with that car flow as if they were still driving it.

I relate one story of my own about driving over the high bridge in Corpus Christi, Texas. My left rear wheel came off and passed me going down the bridge. I followed the tire on three wheels and a brake drum, picked up the tire, managed to get it on my car, and drove home. There is a lot more to this story, but stories add an emotional connection with readers.

We want emotional connections. We also want to add value to our readers. How do we do that? Several ways! One is to develop a list of questions that must be answered. Readers want to know the answers to these questions. Your experience provides the background to formulate answers. Take advantage of figuring out the questions that become the framework of the chapters in your book.

What questions can be formulated to answer the readers’ needs? Take some time to figure that out. I advise my clients to develop a list of forty questions to thoroughly exhaust the topic. Next, I advocate taking the top twelve to twenty questions and begin adding bullets to each question. The question is a chapter, and the bullets are the subchapters. The bullets of the things that drive the answer, so you do not forget an item or the order in which it is to be presented.

The question, “Tell me a bit about yourself” can start chronologically, concentrate on experience, travel, family, career, and many more things. What is important to you that a reader should know? I am the oldest of nine kids, traveled to 61 countries, have five academic degrees, seven professional certifications, retired Navy Captain and Naval Aviator, married for 52 years, and more.

Are these things important when writing about health and wellness? Maybe not, but there are short stories that are apropos. Those stories need to be gleaned from your memory and added to the bullets so that the ‘what’s’, and ‘how’s’, and ‘why’s’ are broken up to keep the reader’s interest. Too many times a reader loses interest in the presentation of details.

Develop a list of questions that can serve as the basis for a book. Select up to a dozen bullets that answer that question. This process does not work with fiction and novels. It does work well with nonfiction, how-to, business, self-improvement, legacy, memoirs, and the like. Add the appropriate stories as your answer develops. I can talk about the Wahls Protocol and how it provides balanced nutrition.

Each of the four pillars of the protocol is important. But the sales job to the reader is learning that years of multiple sclerosis was ended quickly when the author put herself on this lifestyle. That is a story.

The personal story is how my wife responded to the diet in 48 hours after months of chemotherapy and weeks of radiation therapy and was able to drive 500 miles/day for two days by herself after her last radiation treatment. The details of this story are personal and connect emotionally with people.


I am working with a client recording her answers to questions she formulated over a couple of weeks of thinking about what is important for her readers to know about her and her business. The recorded answers are sent to a company, for a human to transcribe her audio into a written manuscript for around $1.25/minute.

Within 24 hours, your chapter is typed up and available for your review. It is the direct answer to a question that was well thought out, one that the interviewee knew in advance and had a list of bullets that fully defined that answer. There may be some minor grammatical errors, but they are easily found and corrected. And’s and So’s and other leading words or filler words can be excised quickly, especially with a grammar checker.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin –


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