Hi folks, today I am presenting my very first interview here on Hey Shae!
The interview is with Earl Betts, Jr., author of the new book “Gentlemanliness,” which is full of tongue-in-cheek advice on how to be a gentleman. Earl is a long time friend and very much the gentleman, so I am not the least surprised that his first book would speak to what he knows best.
So, lets get right to it:
HS!: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write “Gentlemanliness?”
EBJ: The idea for “Gentlemanliness” was actually not mine. The idea was borne out of requests from women and pushed even more by my wife. She continually got comments like, “can you teach my guy to be more like yours” and “your husband should offer a class for other men,” and other comments along those lines. In short, the inspiration was women.
HS!: Why write a self-help book for your first book?
EBJ: I chose to write a self-help book first for a number of reasons. First, in honor of my wife and daughter. Secondly, I think it is sad that chivalry did not die, it was killed. The feminist movement killed chivalry. After a while of women telling men not to hold doors open and not to stand when they enter a room, men actually stopped. That was a generation ago. When the men stopped, as told, they no longer had a reason to teach their sons how to be gentlemen. Most men are not purposely acting without class or grace, they just had no one tell them how gentlemen are supposed to behave.
HS!: Sad, but true. Which part of researching “Gentlemanliness” was the most interesting to you?
EBJ: Communication with women. When science supported a comment I have always said almost vindicated me. Women use almost three times the number of words, on average, per day as men. It isn’t that men don’t listen, we just CAN’T listen to every word women speak! We simply do not have the capacity to do it.
HS!: What did you find to be the hardest part of writing this book?
EBJ: I found writing about a touchy subject a little daunting. Men, by nature, do not want to have any shortcomings pointed out to them, so I had to carefully show a better way to behave without putting anyone down for their current behavior.
HS!: What sets Gentlemanliness apart from other self-help books?
EBJ: Women have self-help books on nearly every possible aspect of womanhood, and most self-help books for men are written by women as well. Being a man, I have a better idea of how to approach men on betterment of self as well as what it is like to just be a man today. I researched the best way to design the book, as far as the average number of pages men would read before setting a book down. I also asked men what they would focus on, then asked women which gentlemanly attributes they would like to see become more popular again.
HS!: What are some of the other subjects you'd like to tackle in the future?
EBJ: I am currently working on a fictional book dealing with men in bad relationships that include mental illness, addictions, and psychological abuse. In the future, I will also write other fictional works dealing with relationships, escapes, vengeance, technical thrillers, and other topics. There will also be inspirational and religious themed books in my future as well. I still write for a magazine that features travel information, inspiration, and opinion, and I will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
HS!: OK, now I'd like to switch off-topic and ask a few random questions: Who do you consider your role models?
EBJ: Jesus is my main role model. I also look back to a time when classiness was the norm and not the “odd moment” it is now.
HS!: Well I thank you for trying to bring it back. Have you ever wanted to do a do-over in life, if so, what was it?
EBJ: Yes. I met someone once that I would have simply walked away from if I could have known the impact on my life that meeting had. Of course, if I could do it over, I would not change much because all those moments made the “me” that I am now.
HS!: I belive that people come in an out of our lives to teach us life lessons. Whether they are here for the long run or just little while, they have a purpose in our lives and how we deal with it shapes our experiences.
EBJ: I couldn't agree more.
HS!: So, did you vote for Obama?
EBJ: Change Has Come!
HS!: LOL it sure has. What's next for Earl Betts, Jr.?
EBJ: I am a writer, always have been and always will be, but I am also a photographer. My artistic goals are to run my own publishing company for new writers and have gallery showings and sales of my landscape art. A gallery to showcase other photographers would be a great way of moving artists from unknown to mainstream.
HS!: And last but not least, why haven't we talked in eons? I'm just saying...LOL
EBJ: The passage of time can be tricky. In life, we meet new people every day, but rarely do we forget people we care about. In the trillions of moments that have passed between us, there have been marriages, births, deaths, failures, and successes. It is sad that more of those moments did not include someone so wonderful to me…I’m just saying. Oh yeah, phones, email, and with the right wind conditions present, even smoke signals work both ways! :-P
HS!: Oh no! Did I just get read? LOL In 10 seconds or less, what other information would you like to put out there?
EBJ: Visit “The Written Lens” a nickname that has stuck with me since someone first pointed out my love for writing and photography, at: www.earlbetts-freelance.ws or www.freewebs.com/ebetts2
I will post links to new books and rotate my photographic images as more are taken. I travel with my wife every 3 months, so there will always be new travel art to view.I am also a staff contributor for “The Chocolate Voice” Magazine, which can be reached online at www.thechocolatevoice.com
Thanks so much Earl for your time and for hanging out with us at HeyShae! we hope to see more of your work in the near future!