Greg Lentz lives in Texas and is a musician, mountain biker, snow skier, and Shotokan black belt. Searching for Truth most of his life, he discovered a large part of it while enduring the pain of personal loss. His pets Max, Mikey, and Newt helped show him the rest. The answer was Love. He spent over twelve years researching, testing, and writing his book, The Nexus Complex: A Personal Guide to Truth, as a comprehensive look into the human condition and our quest for happiness. Greg can be contacted via email at: www.thenexuscomplex.com.
What inspires you to write?
Before and during the writing of the manuscript for The Nexus Complex: A Personal Guide to Truth, I possessed a passionate desire to share the knowledge I had gained with other people to help them understand the power of Truth I discovered through years of contemplation, research, and testing. This passion still burns as bright as ever. The profound insights I gained from my journey to seek Truth led me to the realization that the only way to truly continue my self-enlightenment was to unconditionally love myself and others. This was my mission and I wholeheartedly chose to accept it. Although this consistently inspired me during the thousands of hours at the keyboard, it also compelled me to finish the book at all costs. This had nothing to do with gaining any fame or fortune from the book (though these would certainly be welcomed by-products) but rather, it was a personal goal to produce a system of knowledge that would help people to understand and apply Truth in their lives to allow them to create experiences of happiness in the face of life’s many difficulties. But even more compelling was my desire to experience greater levels of Love myself…by helping others to experience them. As Truth willingly illustrates, Love produces all things beneficial throughout the scope of humanity and in my travels, I’ve found there is no higher source of inspiration.
Tell us about your writing process.
Before writing the manuscript, I knew I had several monumental challenges and the foremost was presenting such a subjective topic as Truth in a way that removed the reader’s bias regarding their own perceptions of it. Although I knew I couldn’t actually do this (since I have no control over another person’s choice), I took care to let the reader understand that if they wanted to understand Truth in its actuality, it was imperative they must “let go” of what they thought or believed to be Truth…at least temporarily until they had digested the data presented in the book. Second, I was faced with presenting a huge amount of data that could easily overwhelm. So, before I even began writing, I decided to “design” The Nexus Complex as a system of information that could be understood and applied by sectioning out various aspects from the whole of Truth. This meant breaking Truth down into discernable facets along with several step-by-step instructions that enabled the reader to implement the data they were being presented with throughout the book. Thirdly, I needed the reader to understand that Truth crosses all human boundaries such as age, race, gender, religion, intellect, education, socioeconomic status, politics, even time itself. Therefore, it was important to let them know that regardless of these issues, Truth operates in the same way for every human being. Fourth, I felt it would be irresponsible to present Truth without including a method for the reader to be able to unquestionably prove the data being presented was Truth rather than my interpretation or opinion. This was a critical point to the integrity of the book and for the reader to have a way to separate perception from reality. Lastly, not only did the system have to be user-friendly, it would have to be applicable so that the reader could observe and experience an advancement in their self-enlightenment. Without this, the book would not have achieved its primary goal. Once the overall design was outlined, the writing began. In general, this part of the process was seat-of-the-pants since I had a firm grip on the design elements and how they would work together within the system itself. However, getting it right was easier said than done. An enormous amount of thought went into fitting words into the system’s design. Several years of testing the system on myself gave me the knowledge that it coincided with Truth and that it WORKED. The rest was a matter of putting this knowledge down into the framework. However, it was fraught with endless hours of trying to pour out a massive amount of data in a way that was cohesive enough to hopefully allow the reader to have as many “Aha!” moments as possible. Since The Nexus Complex is non-fiction, character development, dialogue, backdrop, etc. weren’t applicable though it posed a host of other difficulties that kept me pounding at the keyboard for five years with the last year spent working with a professional editor and ebook formatting specialist. It’s been quite a journey propelled by the power of Truth and Love. As difficult as it was, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
What advice would you give other writers?
Know your subject. Research it. Test it. If you have to…live it. I think another important aspect is a passion to get the data out of your head and onto the page is vital. You really have to WANT to tell the story so that someone else can experience something. Also, get a good editor. There is no better way to offset your own bias to the personal nature of your work.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I thought about seeking an agent and even did a ton of research to produce a viable list of fifty agents that were open to my genre. However, being an unknown and debut author , I decided I’d have much more control of how The Nexus Complex was marketed and interpreted by the public. In addition, I didn’t want the book (and my hard-earned profits) torn to pieces by the big houses in New York. This book is not the typical approach to self-help and I felt it would probably be misunderstood by the gatekeepers. Besides, with the internet and social networking these days, a lot can be done by the author to guide their work to success. Although this takes a lot more work and diligence on the part of the author, the rewards appeared to outweigh the difficulties. I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge and I liked the idea of controlling my book’s destiny. That’s not to say there aren’t people out there in different areas of expertise that can provide copious amounts of help. There are and I recommend seeking them out to supplement any lack of knowledge, skill sets, and experience that the author might lack. In my case, no one else on the planet knew as much about what I was creating as I did so, I didn’t need help in the design/writing phase (other than my editor). However, when I was ready to unveil my masterpiece and present it to the world, I needed all the help I could get! After your manuscript is written, rewritten, edited, polished and so on…now you have to market it. That’s a completely different animal!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Being a new author, I don’t have a lot of experience in this industry but I have done a great deal of research. For people who are well known (celebrities, politicians, academia, established best sellers, etc.), the New York publishing houses are much more likely to be responsive. For everyone else, indie publishing is the only viable alternative. Anyone these days can write and publish a book with a POD service. The question is: how far do you want to go to produce and present a competitive product? It takes a lot of diligence, patience, work, and research (along with a reasonable amount of money) to independently create something that will reach the masses. Still, for unknown authors like me, it’s the best alternative available and thankfully so. Not so far back it wasn’t even possible. Thanks the stars for the digital age!
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print