My day is usually pretty busy. When I get up in the morning I try to get up to date on what’s happening in the world. I’ll listen to the news headlines, maybe check out what the stock market futures are indicating, and read The Financial Times or The Wall Street Journal. That gets me prepared for the business day. I divide the working day between actual business operations, that’s the industrialist part, and writing. When I get to the office, I usually check e-mails, go over memos and reports from staff, solve any problems that need my attention, and so forth. I’ll usually have meetings throughout the day or just have normal work related projects to do. If things are running smoothly with business, I’ll take some extra time to work on my next novel or I’ll write an article or a blog post if I’m in the mood. Lunch meetings are a big thing with either staff or business associates or prospective business associates. Sometimes I just never know where the day is going to take me or where I may end up—three martini lunch or emergency round of golf in the afternoon or locked in my office writing after having some creative spark of genius or embroiled in some tough negotiations.
From time to time I’ll be invited to some charitable event as a guest or as a participant, so I’ll go to whatever event that may be. That’s the philanthropist part of my day. Sometimes it’s a luncheon where they’re raising money for an organization or a cause or sometimes it’s a golf tournament. Sometimes I’m asked to show up as a guest to help raise money and sometimes I’m invited to donate money. In any case, I usually try to make it to these type of events to show my support for good causes. It’s really all about giving money and raising money for worthwhile charitable causes. I have a few that are very near and dear to me, and I try to support them in whatever way I can. Of course, animals and animal welfare are very important to me, and I’m always looking for ways to help no-kill animal shelters and organizations that care for all kinds of animals. I try to help encourage shelters to adopt a no-kill policy and help educate pet owners on being responsible pet guardians. I feel that I’m very fortunate to be where I am in life, so if I can give a little of my time and my money to help bigger causes and help animals or people in need then it’s my honor and duty to do so. http://www.diggercartwright.com/Blog/Latest
They’re very much aligned. My business interests make the money that I can then contribute to various causes. I’m certainly not an Andrew Carnegie or a John D. Rockefeller or a John Paul Getty, but someday I hope to be of their caliber. Right now, I’m just doing what I can to build my businesses and help worthwhile organizations. I’m very cognizant of the pain and the suffering in the world around us, and I’ve been blessed with a modest degree of success. I am happy to give back to other causes and organizations that help those in need. If I make more, I’m happy to give more. Some people who have big businesses and who are extremely successful get greedy. The more they have, the more they want. They could do so much good if they put their mind and their resources to making the world a better place. Some people take success too far in that they lose sight of doing what’s right. I’m a pretty grounded person, so I just keep it real and do what I can.
Conversations on the Bench is an inspirational book that chronicles a number of conversations between two friends, Robbie and Sebastian. Most of the conversations took place on a bench outside a local pub or outside a restaurant or at a golf course. Basically, the conversations span a variety of topics but in each conversation Sebastian provides a lesson to Robbie. These are life lessons that you pick up along the way—things that you can use in business situations, personal relationship, and perspectives on life and living life that you may not have considered. There’s no book where you can go look them all up…at least until I wrote Conversations on the Bench. It’s wit and wisdom from Sebastian, who was a remarkable individual with a very unique set of life experiences, as could only be told by Sebastian. So it is a guide book of sorts, a guide book in life and a primer for life. http://www.diggercartwright.com/Blog/Latest
Yes, Conversations on the Bench was inspired by true events and true people. The story really revolves around Sebastian Peréy and his young friend Robbie and their conversations over a period of years. Robbie met Sebastian in the mid-1990s. They both worked at a hotel in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Robbie was a full-time college student studying finance, and worked full time. Sebastian worked two jobs—tax investigator by day and hotel reservationist by night—but had an educational background in economics. They would spend hours talking about anything and everything, and thus began a lifelong friendship. After Robbie graduated from college, Sebastian had some very poignant words of wisdom and anecdotes to share to help the young college grad. Robbie ended up starting his own successful business at about the same time that Sebastian was forced to retire due to health issues. That gave them the opportunity to spend a lot of time together, Sebastian mentoring Robbie and giving him encouragement and Robbie integrating Sebastian in the business as much as possible. They ended up starting a think tank, Thinking Outside the Boxe, to share their writings about any topic they could debate as well as their economic commentaries and research. As Sebastian’s health declined, Robbie was there to offer support and encouragement. These two guys had this great brotherly relationship. Robbie even referred to Sebastian on many occasions as the brother he never had. And I think Sebastian liked that and really thought of Robbie as his little brother. He was there for Robbie to give him advice on women, relationships, business, whatever, and all the advice came from Sebastian’s own experiences. It’s the type of friendship that very few people are lucky enough to find in this life. It’s really just a heartwarming and truly inspirational friendship that I have recounted in Conversations on the Bench. http://www.diggercartwright.com/Blog/Latest
Miss Matisse: Most people underestimate just how powerful social media marketing can truly be! It’s a great thing when you can market yourself, because you are the only one who really knows your product like the back of your hand, unlike anyone else. What else can we expect to see from Digger Cartwright in the near future besides the Money, Power, Greed, Sex and Revenge of Gems & Jewels?
Digger Cartwright: For the near future, I’ll probably continue with the Gems & Jewels series. That’s been on my mind for a while, and I’d like to finish Books II-V next. I’ll be doing a lot of commentaries for ThinkingOutsideTheBoxe.com, the think tank. I generally participate in their annual symposium in December and some of their quarterly champagne summits. You’ll be hearing my thoughts on politics, the economy, business and society. I’m in the process of developing a series of books that is a bit futuristic looking at what America and the world may look like in thirty years. I’m far from actually starting to write that, but that’s on the drawing board. I have plans for a sequel to The Versailles Conspiracy and The Maynwarings. Of course, time is always at a premium, so I’ll just take these projects one at a time. But I’ll say this, if you’ve liked what I’ve done so far, you’re going to love what I have planned. The best may be yet to come.
Miss Matisse: I am seriously laughing hysterically right now at your comment about someone worrying about another person living in their parents’ basement. It’s so true! Why care about what others think of you? Live your life! Speaking of yourself…What would you say has been the most successful way for self-promoting of your books?
Digger Cartwright: The world of social media and the internet are great ways to reach millions of readers and engage them. You can interact with people on Facebook and Twitter that are of like interests. You can reach hundreds of readers groups online who love to read indie authors’ work. You’re able to reach people all over the world online and with social media while you get lost in the shuffle on places like Amazon.com.
At the end of the day, there’s no better way to promote your work than word of mouth. You have a friend who reads the book and makes comments on their social media profiles. Their friends see it and they take an interest. They post something and so on and so forth. And of course, it always helps to have fair, impartial, and unbiased reviews by known or reputable reviewers, and there are plenty of them on Amazon and other places. These aren’t paid reviews; these are reviewers who consider various genres and my take an interest in your book to review. It always helps to have people who have bought your book on Amazon leave a comment or review or rating.
There’s really no one way that’s better than all the rest. It’s actually a combination of efforts that help expand the presence of the book and build an interest in it. Self-published authors should use all the tools at their disposal and that are financially available to promote their work. It becomes a lot easier once you gain a following, so make sure you engage with fans and keep producing quality work.
Miss Matisse: Yes, taking too much time off can throw you for a loop! If you have the time I’d add that as a writer you should jot down your ideas while you can so you don’t forget them later or as you go along. What advice do you have for others who are experienced, but struggling in the writing field/industry?
Digger Cartwright: I think a lot of people sit down to write thinking that they have the ability to do so. Writing isn’t easy. It’s very difficult to be creative, come up with a storyline, develop characters, and write a book that flows well, is coherent, and interesting. If you’re struggling with the writing process itself, get some mentoring or take some writing classes. There are plenty of resources available for aspiring writers to help polish their storytelling abilities which helps translate into increased opportunities for the book.
I like to have testers, for example. It has really helped me over the years. I run a storyline and synopsis by a group of people to see if it piques their interest. Once I have a draft of the story done, I’ll let them read it and see what they think. I welcome constructive criticism. They may come back with something that I hadn’t thought of as the author in terms of how it impacts the readers’ experience. In reality, the work product you’re putting out may or may not be interesting to the readers.
I always encourage aspiring writers to make sure they have great editors. Not every manuscript is going to be perfect. I have two or three editors read each book, and inevitably some things escape all of them—typos or incorrect references, etc. It’s human nature, but you’ve got to strive for perfection and produce a manuscript that is as flawless as possible. A manuscript filled with one mistake after another is not appealing to the readers. They’ll let the occasional typo slide, but if you’re work is overrun with mistakes, incorrect grammar, etc, they’ll not look favorably upon that and they’ll let you know about it.
And don’t let the critics get to you. You’re always going to have critics who won’t like what you do no matter what. Don’t let them get to you. Constructive criticism is something that you need to listen to and take seriously. Criticism from someone who has never written a book and who is just jealous of your accomplishment isn’t usually very valuable. Don’t let it get under your skin. You’ve got to have thick skin. If you’re worrying about satisfying someone living in their parents’ basement playing video games and criticizing your work, you’ll be your own worst enemy.
Miss Matisse: I totally agree with you! A writer does have to be in a certain mindset in order to produce their best work. Otherwise it can throw the whole story off! So…sticking with the same subject, have you ever made any mistakes in your field that you would like to advise others against?
Digger Cartwright: Stay productive. Keep writing. Don’t take too much time off between books. If you do, you’re likely going to become complacent and take your time before starting the next book. As soon as your current manuscript is with the editor, get to work on the next one. If you’re serious about writing, keep producing as much as you can without sacrificing quality while you can when you can. The day may come when you don’t have the time or the creative juices dry up. I find that if I take too much time off between books that it becomes more and more difficult to start the next one.
Miss Matisse: I happen to absolutely love that you keep your fans in mind while writing too! Your new series sounds like it’s going to be a big hit! When it comes to writing, have you ever had to overcome writers block? If so, how were you able to work around it?
Digger Cartwright: I will occasionally encounter writer’s block. For me, I have to be in the right frame of mind to sit down and write. I really have to be in the mood. When I’m in the zone, so to speak, I can just sit and crank it out. If I’m not in the zone, it’s tough; it’s very laborious under those circumstances. Where I often encounter writer’s block is that I create a situation while I’m working that impacts the direction I was taking. I have to work through the change and the implications for the storyline. I like to say I’ve worked myself into a corner and have to figure a way out. Usually it’s just a matter of stepping away for a while and letting it all work through my mind. Sometimes I’ll need to take a break, have something to eat, get some fresh air, go walk around, or even listen to some music. Really it’s just a matter of stepping away and clearing my mind. Once the answer comes to me, I’ll get focused and get back to work.
Ultimately, I think any writer really has to be in the right frame of mind to do their best work. I’ve read a lot of books in the recent past that seemed to indicate the author was trying to force the words onto paper and it came across as being of a lesser quality than their normal prose.