Friday, November 21, 2014

Interview with David Bernstein, author of I've Got Some Good News and Some Bad News: You're Old

Title: I've Got Some Good News and Some Bad News: You're Old Author: David Bernstein
Publisher: Dynamic Learning
Pages: 202
Genre: Health/Fitness
Format: Paperback/Ebook

 Life is an aging process. Each of us will go through it in our own way. How we lead our lives when we are old, particularly as we near the end, is, I believe, worth pondering. In this way, "I've Got Some Good News and Some Bad News: You're Old" serves as a guide for all of us as we age, providing topics for contemplation and discussion with friends, family and colleagues. "You're Old" uses real patient experiences to explore what happens as we age-physically, mentally, and socially. The book also examines the tremendous abilities of medicine today as well as its limits, and the social issues that adults in America face as they age. Each chapter concludes with Notes on Living Longer, and a resource section, providing topic-specific information on organizations, websites, and other expert sources that can help the reader better understand and prepare for the prize of surviving youth and middle-age: becoming old. "You're Old" is written for the aging and the aged, their children, and younger people who aspire to grow old. It is written for the physicians, nurses and other providers who care for the elderly. The experiences explored in this book include the "good news and the bad" as the inevitable ravages of age intrude into the lives of Dr Bernstein's patients. From the most mundane situations to the truly sublime, the tales illuminate the emotional, psychological, and spiritual aspects of aging along with the diverse strategies people use to adapt to its realities.

For More Information

  • I've Got Good News and Some Bad News: You're Old is available at Amazon.

How have you been able to use social media (Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, etc.) to help market your book? 

I'm keenly aware of the importance of social media(SM) to market my book and have attempted to become more immersed in all the SM channels on a daily basis. My Press/Media Agent coordinates with her social media assistant to actively support my efforts, so we strategically plan our approach to SM with a focus, for example, we utilize current articles and events related to aging that we include in our SM messaging to our followers. 

It turns out that my book is mainly directed at baby boomers and senior adults who do not participate as much in the social media phenomenon of today. I have worked on putting out blogs and a newsletter to attract fans in order to build my mailing list as another strategy that might be better directed at my demographic.

Do you have any advice for new authors looking to promote themselves on these sites? 

I post aging focused information multiple times a week on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+. My blogs come out every two or three weeks, making them interesting, provocative and engaging as possible to stimulate the conversation. As you know, the entire SM ongoing process is very time-consuming and does, an often time take away from my writing time. 

New authors must find a schedule and balance that works for them to engage in SM activities to maximize the effectiveness of their writing efforts as well as self-promotion.                                                                                                                                                                         

What type of writing routine do you have? Any tips you can share about it?

My typical day begins with a short flexibility workout, a light breakfast, followed by hospital rounds and treating patients in my medical office. Because of my involvement in community activities some nights I get home at 7:30.  One or two nights a week ago I attend a spinning class after work. I enjoy my workouts and as a doctor I have to keep up my healthy image.

With all that said, I devote two (2) nights a week in three (3) hours blocks and five (5) hours on weekends to writing related projects. These projects might include; working on chapter(s) for my new book, writing blogs, summarizing stories about interesting events that happened during the week that I can turn into blogs/tweets or posts, or time spent working on marketing and social media schedules.

How has it been trying to balance your writing with your day job and/or family life?  Is there anything you would change?  

Balancing my life is the hardest thing I do. Since I am a full-time working physician, and have some additional weekend responsibilities, I really have to set concentrated time to focus and do my writing. As a result, sometimes projects take longer time than I would like. 

With the support of family, fitness and health are essential and I strive to always “Walk the Walk”, and practice what I preach!  There's nothing I would really change in my life, except stretching the workday to have 30 hour to get it all done!

Setting is an extremely important aspect in grabbing your reader’s attention.  What made you choose to set your book in your office in Clearwater Florida?

Choosing my office as setting of the book was obvious. With so many movies and television shows made about medical doctors and the patients served, (and with my eye on either a television sitcom or the big screen) it was a no-brainer. My wife figured Brad Pitt would be an excellent choice for my character!  All kidding aside, I wanted my voice to be heard throughout the entire book  for the readers to sense many of the prevalent conversations I had with my patients, that they could realistically have with their physician in order to address some of the real challenging subjects about aging.

What types of books do you read?  How do you think they have influenced your writing? 

I read all sorts of books.  I have enjoyed mysteries and humorous books including one of my favorites, Carl Hiaasen.  More recently, I have been reading medical books that led to the reading Jerome Groopman, MD, Atul Gawande, MD, Rachael Remen, MD,  and Malcolm Gladwell.  I enjoy the way each of them told stories that leave strong messages, and at times, answer questions.

Each author has influenced me through their words resonated for me and facilitated me to look deeply recesses of my memory to find just the right stories about my patients over the years that taught me lessons about life. 

David Bernstein, MD is a highly respected physician who is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Geriatrics practicing in Clearwater, Florida. His 30+ years of experience have provided him with opportunities to observe and empathize with thousands of adults as they age. His compassion and ability to see the souls of his patients has compelled him to share his stories in his book “I’ve Got Some Good News and Some Bad News You’re OLD: Tales of a Geriatrician What to expect in Your 60s, 70s, 80s and Beyond” Dr. Bernstein has served as chairman of his hospital’s Pharmacy and Therapeutic committee for 20 years helping to improve patient safety and outcomes. During this period of time, he also served on the board of the local Jewish Family service and as chairman. As an associate clinical professor in the department of medicine at the University of South Florida College of Medicine, he has taught the skills he has acquired over the years to first and second year students. Dr. Bernstein has been a nursing home medical director for 20 years. He was responsible for addressing administrative and quality assurance issues. “When you give, you get back” he says about what his patients have told him and taught him about life and aging. His writing style of telling stories about his patients allows the reader to understand the complex emotions and struggles of growing older and losing independence. He lovingly tells these stories adding his own insights about this complex process. Dr Bernstein is an avid public speaker, addressing various medical topics with his colleagues and with the community at large with a focus on families facing the complex problems as they near the end of life. For More Information

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