Friday, March 10, 2017

Talking Books with Alba Lewis, author of Relationship Maintenance 4 Men

Alba is an author, comedy podcaster, strategist in the not for profit center, a certified de bono effective thinker and many other things.  Curious about choices and life situations Alba’s books offer the reader a chance to enter fictional and her factional worlds to have fun, encounter themselves, and perhaps even recognise the chances to change.

Her latest book is the self-help book, Relationship Maintenance 4 Men.



About the Book:

A practical guide to support men who love their women with 21 tasks, one each week. 

Written a ‘just do’ guide and based on a survey conducted with over 100 women, the book aims to give actionable tasks that will create better relationships.



Thanks for this interview, Alba.  
When not writing, what do you like to do for relaxation and/or fun?

OK.  Over the last decade I have realised that to not become frightened I need to push boundaries, and when I do this I have a lot of fun because I like questioning why can’t I do this or that.  

When I was younger it used to be more physical, but I don’t really want to bungee jump or parachute out of plane, so it’s more mental boundaries now a days for extreme things.

Things like Stand Up Comedy – I did a course recently and ended up doing a 3 minutes set at Komedia, Brighton’s biggest comedy venue.  It was a 12 week course and it pushed every single button inside me, but I did it, and that feeling of being proud for being so brave has never left me.  I still join classes in improv comedy.  I love the few hours of a group of stranger together just letting what’s inside out.  No questions of what you do, where you live or any of the boring stuff, just stepping out and saying one line and waiting for the unknown line of a stranger.  I think this has supported my writing quite considerably.  Learning to be free with thought.

But that’s not strictly relaxing!  I like being with friends with music and dancing, I like meeting strangers – I love meeting strangers, and slow it all down I practice my tai chi which I learned in the garage of a chinese master for 13 years and I teach it. 

I love laughing.  Yes,  more than anything I love laughing.

Congratulations on your new book! Can you give us something specific from your book?

Yes, here’s the action for Week 1 of the 21 week action plan.


         This week you take home ONE flower. The aim is to make this flower have significance to her and you need to be able to explain that significance to her. It must NOT be a red rose.
         Example 1: “I picked up this white/pink/purple flower on the way home. For some reason it reminded me of the day I first saw you (because of what you were wearing, because you're pretty, because it's small and bright like you, etc.)”.
         Example 2: “I walked past the flower shop and I saw this pink flower. You remember the dress you wore when we went to........ The colour just reminded me of that dress. You looked so beautiful.”

Notes: (describe how you went about getting the flower and if you got a specific one. Note what you said in giving the flower. Note reaction. Note what you thought about the reaction.  Use this space if you like.

Would you say it’s been a rocky road for you in regards to getting your book written and published or pretty much smooth sailing?  Can you tell us about your journey?

It’s less rocky now because this is my 7th book.  Though all are very different the process, the internal process and the marketing processes are the same, so I am less ‘undone’ by them, I am more kind to myself.

I was offered an opportunity to meet with an agent many years ago with my first novel and though I got some good feedback and though generally she was positive, she wanted me to change too much of what I was trying to write.  And though I am sure commercially she was probably right, I didn’t want to dilute my voice, especially as I was just starting out, and especially because writing was about my voice. In all its imperfections and I didn’t want to be manipulated somewhere.

So once I had decided that, and once I decided to self publish, and once I decide to learn the technology of getting books on line – something which has become super simple over the last 5 years even – I write and I get them out there.

Also self publishing means you can write about anything, whilst what tends to happen is if you go mainstream you tend to have to fit into a certain genre and keep doing that if it works.  My aim is to write about whatever I want, or see, or feel.  From cookery books, to self-help, from memoirs to sad novellas.  It’s me splurging what is inside out, and forgetting the outcome – as much as possible!

If you had to summarize your book in one sentence, what would that be?

It’s for straight men who love their woman

What makes your book stand out from the rest?

It’s concise, it’s practical and it will help men who love their woman to have better relationships. It has no psychobabble and I will give people their money back if it doesn’t make things better for them!

If your book was put in the holiday section of the store, what holiday would that be and why?

That’s an extrememly hard question to answer, because this book relies on the man not telling the woman he is reading this, so it would have to be any holiday where he is either on his own.  So there would need to be a holiday section called “Fast guides to read on holiday for a better life”.  Something like that!

Would you consider turning your book into a series or has that already been done?

It would be easy to extend this into a series of actions as they are limitless. It also lends itself to an email ‘course’ that is available for those who do not want to read a book but just want the action sent to them to their email.

What’s next for you?

My next project is a fiction book about a female killer!  I’m interested in most of our murders being men and want to explore what a female murder would like and what her background could be that would end up with her in that scenario.  The first part of the book sets her character up by going through the things that happen to her as a child, which then lead into the second part which is in the present day. It’s called Fatal Fa├žade.

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