Pump Up Your Book Chats with Lynne McTaggartAuthor Interviews, Featured — By Tracee Gleichner on July 21, 2011 at 10:19 am
Lynne McTaggart is an investigative journalist and author, and a sought-after public speaker whose talks and workshops have transformed the lives of the thousands around the world who have heard her.
She is also an accomplished broadcaster, who has appeared on many national tv and radio shows, including Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra shows.
The hallmark of her work is exhaustive research that produces science-based discoveries in the worlds of science, spirituality and health.
She edits the monthly health journal What Doctors Don’t Tell You and was also the editor of the 48-lesson partwork, Living The Field, perhaps the most definitive work yet to bridge the worlds of physics and spirituality in its 768 pages.
She was born in the USA and now lives in London, UK, with her publisher husband, Bryan, and their two children, and pet dog Ollie.
On The Bond
Q: Can you tell us why you wrote your book?
One of my daughters, a talented actress, had been chosen for the lead part in her drama class’s annual production, but a few weeks before the dress rehearsal had been shunted to a more minor role. I had never been able to discover the reason for the change—and my daughter refused to talk about it—until one of her friends let slip that, when a new director took over, another thirteen-year-old girl had lied about her acting experience in order to persuade him that she should be given the part that had been assigned to my daughter—her best friend.
When I tried to raise this tactfully with her mother, another spectator that day, she cut me off and shrugged. “Well, that’s life,” she replied airily, “isn’t it?”
I was taken aback, but I had to admit she had a point. Certainly that’s the life we grown-ups have designed for ourselves. Competition makes up the very warp and woof of the societies of most modern developed countries. It is the engine of our economy, and it is assumed to be the basis of most of our relationships—in business, in our neighborhoods, even with our closest friends. Being first, no matter how, has permeated our lexicon as a given: All’s fair in love and war. Survival of the fittest. Winner take all. He who dies with the most toys wins.
It is hardly surprising that highly competitive tactics have crept into the social relations of our children, leading to transgressions, large and small.
Our current paradigm, as provided us by traditional science, maintains a view of the universe as a place of scarcity populated by separate things that must turn against each other in order to survive. We’ve all simply assumed that’s life.
I began to ask myself a basic question: Does it have to be like this?
Were we meant to be so competitive with one another? Is it inherent in animal and human biology? How did it get like this? And if we’re not this, what are we supposed to be?
Q: Which part of the book was the hardest to write?
The final draft – pulling all these hundreds of disparate pieces of research into an easy to read narrative.
Q: Does your book have an underlying message that readers should know about?
Yes. By simple changes of perspective and action locally, each of us can become a major game changer, both to both transform our culture and to move out of crisis, individually and collectively.
Q: Do you remember when the writing bug hit?
By age 7 I knew I wanted to write.
Q: What’s the most frustrating thing about becoming a published author and what’s the most rewarding?
My first book got bought when I was 25, so I was very lucky. The most frustrating thing is finding the right editor, who resonates with you and your writing. The most rewarding is working with a person like that, once you’ve found him or her.
Q: Do you have a writing tip you’d like to share?
Rewrite – a lot. Don’t stop until you hear ‘the click’ in your head that you’ve finally got down the best sentence with the best rhythm that you can possibly write.
On Family and Home:
Q: Would you like to tell us about your home life? Where you live? Family? Pets?
I live in a suburban part of outer London. I’ve been happily married for more than 20 years to my partner of 25 years, Bryan Hubbard, a fellow journalist and author of the new book Time-Light. He runs our own publishing companies (we have two) in the UK. In addition to writing for publishers like Simon & Schuster, I work with him as editorial director. We have two daughters, Caitlin (21) and Anya (14). We also have a tri-colored cavalier King Charles spaniel called Ollie, who has a sense of regal entitlement and walks around with a permanent look of distain. Although we are technically in London and about 30 minutes from the center, our section looks like a small English village with huge woods nearly. I like the mix of cultural and rural. Our life is quiet and centered around the girls and their schools, although our eldest has just graduated college.
Q: Where’s your favorite place to write at home?
My home office.
Q: What do you do to get away from it all?
Daily yoga in my living room.
Q: Were you the kind of child who always had a book in her/his hand?
Q: Can you remember your favorite book?
As a young child, I had some beautiful fairy tale books. I loved Eloise and slightly naughty kids in books. I loved E. B. White, of course, and mysteries like Nancy Drew. When I was about 10, I remember being profoundly influenced by the Diary of Ann Frank. But I read everything – novels, fairytales, non-fiction. I loved poetry too. I also remember being very influenced by Robert Frost’s poems in 6th grade.
Q: Do you remember writing stories when you were a child?
Yes. In 5th grade I had an ongoing serial about witches, and I would read aloud the latest instalments to my class.
On Book Promotion:
Q: What was the first thing you did as far as promoting your book?
A physical tour.
Q: Are you familiar with the social networks and do you actively participate?
Yes, I have a personal and author’s site, but I can use more instruction about how to make the most of them.
Q: How do you think book promotion has changed over the years?
Much much more web based.
On Other Fun Stuff:
Q: If you had one wish, what would that be?
I’m going to name some personal and global: 1) that human beings move beyond a competitive mindset. 2) that The Bond, in particular, reach an enormous audience. I think it has a necessary message in these hard times and it’s a book of profound hope for humanity. 3) that once the girls grow up Bryan and I live near the ocean. I find the sea hugely restorative.
Q: If you could be anywhere in the world other than where you are right now, where would that place be?
Beach holiday or spa, or a city break to a European city. I’ve never got over living in Europe. Travel to a completely new culture is just an hour away.
Q: Your book has just been awarded a Pulitzer. Who would you thank?
My husband, Bryan, scientists like Harold Puthoff who tutored me in cutting edge physics and my daughters for putting up with a mom who works at home and walks around in an occasional fog muttering sentences aloud.