Let’s Talk with the Authors

‘Let’s Talk with the Authors’ is a series of interviews with authors who have worked with editors4you or WriteDesign Publications. The promotional opportunity is also open to other authors (contact us for details).

Featured Author: Deborah Peden

Promoting Your Books

Just before Christmas 2019, I had the idea to suggest to my authors a simple way to promote their books by offering an author interview.

As we writers know, it’s one thing to write a book. It’s quite another to promote it. Writers often tend to shy away from promotion, but it’s vital to kick the shyness habit so that we can get our books out there in the big wide world.

Today, we kick off the Let’s Talk with the Authors Featured Author Interviews and chat with author Deborah Peden from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, about her book 100 Ways to a Healthy 100.

photo of deb peden author for post let's talk with the authors
Let’s Talk with the Authors: Deb Peden, author of 100 Ways to a Healthy 100

Let’s Talk with the Authors: About Deb

Deb has a degree in English and History, and a BEd. She’s a Life Coach and Trained Demartini Method© Facilitator.

I think you can tell from her photo that Deb is a living example of health and wellbeing. In fact, for over a decade she’s been researching health and wellness, and supports others through workshops, seminars and face-to-face consultations.

Her book 100 Ways to a Healthy 100 is a combination of her passions: balanced wellness, educating and writing, and distilling ancient and contemporary wisdom into a readable and relatable format.

Let’s Get Cracking and Chat With Deb

Is 100 Ways to a Healthy 100 your first book?

Yes, this is my first published non-fiction book. I’ve written a number of creative pieces and have had magazine articles and short stories published over the years.

Where did your health journey start? Because you’re not exactly 100!

In 2008, I had a health crisis, triggered by years of sugar addiction. I read David Gillespie’s Sweet Poison around that time. His easy-to-read text with its science-made-simple approach helped me turn my health around, and the wake-up call ignited a desire to discover other ways to stay healthy and live a long life. I uncovered the secrets of the supercentenarians – those wonderful folk who’ve made it past 100 years, hale and hearty! In my book I share their wisdom to help my readers meet that milestone. I’m 62 years of age now, so I’ve got 38 years to reach full credibility!

(62, really?! You look at least 10 years younger!)

You told me you experienced some challenges while researching and writing this book. What kept you going?

Writer’s block inevitably reared its ugly head from time to time. Whenever I hit a wall with my research, I reminded myself of the chilling health statistics associated with lifestyle choices; choices that I had been making most of my life. For example, there are 422 million people worldwide (1 million of those Australians) living with type-2 diabetes. This figure doubled from 1980 to 2014! I knew I had an important message to get out there, and I persisted because I cared about my own health and the health of millions of others.

Then there were the fascinating facts I dug up that helped keep me going. For instance, the relationship between the health of the gut and the health of the brain/emotions – known as the gut-brain axis.

Does your book address the healthy mindset aspect?

100 Ways to a Healthy 100 addresses all seven areas of life: Mental, Vocational, Physical, Spiritual, Familial, Financial and Social. Community and connection, the social aspects of life, are proven to be one of the main reasons for those living healthy lives to 100 and beyond.

I understand the book was 4½ years in the writing. Did you expect to finish writing your book?
Yes and No! I had the title for my book very early on, although I considered it just a working title and thought a more condensed one would reveal itself as the book unfolded. What I didn’t expect was that I would modify my lengthy title by increasing the number! It swelled from 30 Ways … to 50 Ways … to 75 Ways … before finally becoming 100 Ways to a Healthy 100.

I had a message to share with others. I got over my self-doubts, sat down and did the work, trusted my own abilities. I ended up having a greater fear of keeping the ‘music’ locked up inside of me, than of sharing my message with the world.

What would you say is a key message for your readers?

We need to take control of our own health, not just buy into what food manufacturers say is ‘healthy’. I did my homework, trusted my gut and went back to the basics.

I follow the ancient wisdom of Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, who said, ‘Let food be thy medicine, and medicine thy food.’

If Hippocrates lived today, he’d qualify that by saying he means real food, not the processed stuff on supermarket shelves!

How would you condense your message for your readers?

I would summarise by offering four key points:

  • Eat as low down the food chain as possible
  • Move/exercise: it doesn’t need to be overly vigorous for longevity
  • Connect with others: community connection is said to be the most powerful strategy for long life
  • Find out what your purpose is in life and go for it. Serve others. Purpose is said to be more indicative of longevity than race, gender and educational levels.

Has there been a key influence in writing this book?

Aside from recognising my own poor health choices and health challenges, a major influence in writing my book was Dr John Demartini, a specialist in human behaviour who wrote the Foreword for my book. One of his key messages that continues to resonate with me is: ‘When the voice and the vision on the inside is more profound, and more clear and loud than all opinions on the outside, you’ve begun to master your life.’

You’ve incorporated humour and anecdotes in your book. Can you tell us about that? And about the illustrations?

I’ve taken a relatively serious topic – health – and injected a little humour. My creative writing in the past has always been about entertaining people, so it was natural to thread it through the pages.

My illustrator, Sean Leahy, is a well-known cartoonist: humour, irony and satire are part of his stock-in-trade. I gave Sean free rein to choose the topics for illustration. He modelled the two comical figures on the cover and throughout the pages on my husband and me. I love the way he was able to create humour in the otherwise-ordinary, and it helps to engage my readers.

Do you plan to write further books, on health topics or any other? If so, would you like to share?

I don’t have another book in mind at this stage, but I have been gathering important updates and new knowledge for an updated edition of 100 Ways to a Healthy 100. As balanced good health is my most important value, I’m constantly researching, looking out for and learning from others about ways to help us all live a long and healthy life.

front cover of book for let's talk with the authors
Get your health in shape. Click on Deb’s cover above to purchase her book

In the next ‘Let’s Talk with the Authors’ series, we’ll be chatting with a young Sydney author about her YA fiction novel.

Contact us to find out about being interviewed for your book.

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