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EPISODE 025

Doing Business Differently with the Godfather of Ghostwriting Eli Gonzalez

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With Special Guest Eli Gonzalez

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Episode Transcript

Welcome back to the Well-Paid Creative. I am so excited to have with me Eli Gonzalez, the godfather of ghostwriting. I am so excited to have him here today. Welcome, Eli.

[00:14] – Eli

Thank you so much, Gabrielle. It’s a pleasure to be here.

[00:17] – Gabrielle

Wonderful. All right. So for those of you who don’t know Eli, he is the godfather of ghostwriting.

Your accomplishments are just astounding.

So why don’t you tell us a little bit more about how you became a ghostwriter and kind of your background to get to where you are today?

[00:37] – Eli

Thank you. Thank you for that compliment. You know. The way I got here is by doing something nice for someone, I did a favor for someone, I was working as a sales manager, my life was going well. Wife, pool, wife didn’t have to work. Life was well. A former pastor of mine calls me and asked me if I could help him with his book. And I’m like, why me? I don’t write.

But I had done like a play many years before in his church and I helped him with his book. Turned out it was the second iteration that he turned into the largest Christian publishing company. And he told and when he asked me to help him. I don’t know if you guys know how pastors talk, but like they never have money, number one. And number two, God’s always going to pay you back. God’s going to pay it back.

I can’t pay you. But anyway, I did this book for him. He tells them that they’re in Florida where I’m from. He tells them that the person who wrote the book for him that was local to them, they called me and gave me an interview and I took the job making 30 percent less or only 30 percent of what I was making as a sales manager. But when I had the opportunity to make a living as a writer, I talked to my wife about it and she said, Honey, you got this.

I’ll get a part time job. We’ll make it work. We got rid of the high end cars and got a little bit more reasonable. And I went after my dream of becoming a writer. And that’s how it happened by doing a favor for somebody.

[02:14] – Gabrielle

Wow, that’s amazing. So you taking that position at the ghostwriting for this company led to so much tell us a little bit more about what that led to.

[02:26] – Eli

Yeah. So once I once I took that job, I doubled down. I went to writers conferences. I went to writers equity groups. I read books on how to write books. I mean, I was consuming it. Within three months, I became their senior ghostwriter and I got to pick and choose which books, which projects I would work on. And as you might imagine, Gabrielle, I picked the biggest names. So within a year of me ghostwriting, I was writing for people all over the world in the Christian community, some of the biggest ministry leaders.

I mean, this company is the biggest Christian publishing company in the world. It’s a publicly traded company. It’s not a mom and pop. And as a result of their fame, their notoriety and maybe a little bit to do with my writing, I’ve written 12 books that became New York Times best sellers.

[03:22] – Gabrielle

Wow. 12. That’s quite the accomplishment.

[03:26] – Eli

Yeah. And you got to sign these nondisclosure agreements and everything else. And before I sign this, I tell whoever I’m writing with, OK? I’m not going to say anything to anybody, but I’m going to tell my mom. So my mom knows and she pretty proud of her boy.

[03:48] – Gabrielle

Oh, no doubt I would be, too, if you were my son. That’s awesome. So did you stay with that publishing company or have you since moved on?

[03:59] – Eli

Yeah, I was there for I was there for three years and I knew the rate that they were charging for me. The rates for me just after the first New York Times bestseller, my rates went up for them and I loved it there. And but it was time for me to move on. After three years, I started freelancing and thank God I never had the starving artist thing. As soon as I started freelancing, you know, things just kept on going.

And a year after that, I started my own publishing company called the Ghost Publishing because I am the ghost. And with that said, today, now I have a seven person company. They’re phenomenal writers and editors and designers, and the crazy thing is, Gabrielle, and for those guys, for those of you listening, don’t put limits on yourself. Every single person that works for me and I don’t say they work for me, they work with me, has a college degree.

But me, the person who signs the check has no college degree. I was just an avid reader growing up. My father, pastor, I thought he was an amazing storyteller, but that’s all it took. But once the door opened, I just barged through it, you know, like I said, I just doubled down and up to this point, I’ve written eighty five books for people and we’re still going strong.

[05:22] – Gabrielle

Wow. Eighty five books. That’s quite the roster.

[05:26] – Eli

Yeah. And I wrote two books, one last year, one a few years back, that this year twenty twenty one are being converted into major motion pictures.

And that’s kind of the New York Times stuff because I can’t even tell people about the books for the New York Times stuff. But ever since I started going on my own, I have my own non-disclosure agreements that if it reaches a certain status, that I get the recognition for it.

[05:58] – Gabrielle

That’s an interesting clause in a contract.

[06:00] – Eli

Yes, and you know, and it shows the client that I believe in the project and that I’m going to do my part to push it as well once it’s out.

[06:09] – Gabrielle

Oh, wow, you know what, I love that because in Episode 17, I talked about becoming invested in the outcome of your projects. And one of the ways that I’ve helped myself do that in my own business is tying myself to that outcome, usually by money. So profit sharing, name recognition in your case, things that help you be more motivated to make that project succeed.

[06:35] – Eli

Yeah. And for you guys watching or listening. It’s not all about the money on the front end, though. One of the books that I wrote for someone, the book’s called “Undaunted”. It’s a true account of a Holocaust survivor, and her story is absolutely incredible. But they couldn’t afford my rates and and you got to you know, you got to see what the universe is speaking to you, you got to be open to opportunities.

And they don’t look like great opportunities. At the time. I made a deal with the family and I said, OK, what can you afford? Because I have to write this book like you can’t give the story to anyone else. And so my clause was that my name is on the front cover. So that’s as told to Eli Gonzalez. So now the guy who runs the Clearwater Aquarium in Ocean in Clearwater, I don’t know if you remember the Disney movies, Gabrielle, Dolphins Tale?

So Winter, the Dolphin doesn’t have a fin or whatever. Harry Connick Jr. Played the guy, morgan Freeman’s in this movie. Anyway, the guy that Harry Connick Jr. played, he read the book, Undaunted, that I wrote, and he’s the one that’s pushing it to Lionsgate right now to turn that book into a movie.

[07:53] – Gabrielle

Oh, wow. That is so cool. And I love how serendipity happens there.

[07:58] – Eli

Yeah, yeah. I just saw it and I said, wow, this is big, And so you got to take chances to be successful. It’s not all on the front end. You know, and if it never happens in the back end. It’ll come back to you see, like if you’re a farmer, if you’re in religion, Christian, right. You’re taught to sow seeds.

So there’s a lot of parables about sowing seeds. And the thing is, we understand the phrase you reap what you sow. Right. That’s very common. But the truth is, sometimes you reap what others have sown before you. Sometimes you lay down on the shade of a tree that someone else planted. Right. And sometimes you’re called to sow that you’re not going to reap from and that someone later is going to reap what you sow.

So when you see opportunities to do something and even if the money isn’t right that time, it can come back to you later or, you’re going to walk into another opportunity that somebody’s set up for you. So the thing isn’t just a cash and grab, you know, it’s just investing, investing in people, investing your time, developing yourself and just being a good human being.

[09:18] – Gabrielle

And I love that that idea of compensation may not always be money, it could be opportunities. It could be just network. It could be good graces and being open to that too.

[09:30] – Eli

Yeah. And it gives you it opens you to proximity. So I have the luxury of writing books for very successful people. And one time I wrote a book for a guy, multimillionaire. He’s in Clearwater. We have some some PR stuff to do. We’re in a car for a few hours and I just said to him straight, what’s the secret? How do you become a millionaire?

[09:54] – Gabrielle

With notepad in hand, right?

[09:57] – Eli

Yeah. And I had been with them for a couple of days now. So I’m like, give me the straight dose, like tell me what to do and I’ll do it. And one of the things he said was serve on a board. He told me three things. Right. But that was one of them. And by the way, I was very disappointed with the answers because there was nothing concrete, and then I’m just like, why do you keep hiding these secrets?

But he said, serve on a board. And I’m like, but you don’t get paid. I do serve on a board. I’m on the board of directors for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the board of directors for a college. And he said what you get there is proximity, right, you find the big donors and then they appreciate you for what you’re doing, for your serving and then the law of reciprocity, the way it works is he said to me some he serves on seven boards and he says, I get called into deals.

I get pulled into deals that I would have otherwise never found. And some of these deals is what made my net worth. And so that’s kind of what it’s about, just being there, finding a passion, something that you you really believe in. Serving in there, and you never know when things can open up, how things can open up. And so I started serving in other boards and then I created my own nonprofit to empower Hispanics through education.

And we provide grants for middle school kids, for tutors, for high school kids that are going to college that come from single parent homes and grants for adults who have been incarcerated, something to give them hope so that they don’t resort to doing what they did that got them in trouble in the first place. Because hope is a life changer. And I got to tell you, Gabrielle, I’m now rubbing elbows with very, very wealthy people, just like he said, but it wasn’t to do that, it was to serve.

And if you serve the right way, I mean, good things do happen to good people. I’m a firm believer that.

[11:58] – Gabrielle

Absolutely. And you know what? I have kind of a similar story in that I started working in a lot of the theater and arts communities in Edmonton up here, and a lot of the work was barely paid, such small budgets.

But I just kept doing it and I loved it. I love the people I worked for. You know, I got free tickets to shows. I got a bunch of little extra perks and stuff. And I just continued to show up and do the work. But all of these arts communities and arts foundations have big fundraisers all the time. So I would do all the design work for these fundraisers and I would get to go. And that’s actually how I built up a lot of my first high paying clients with meeting a lot of the donors and a lot of the businesses that were attending these fundraisers, because I would inevitably be pulled over and introduced in conversations.

And this is the person you need to know. And just that network that it just built my business so much in a very short period of time when I was first starting out, basically by giving away my work for free.

[12:57] – Eli

Yeah. That is the secret, you know, but and I get it, when you first start, you know, if you’re first starting a business, you know, the pandemic has changed the whole world and a lot more people have started online businesses and writing and doing all these things. If you can get away with doing I mean, look, if somebody’s paying for it, charge them. But to get started, you need a Rolodex of clients, you know, but you can do stuff for free.

Whereas there’s no interaction or exchange of moneys, but there’s still things that they can do for you. Can you introduce me to ten people? Will you put this on Facebook? You know, there’s different ways that you can start by not getting money on the front end.

[13:46] – Gabrielle

Absolutely, and, of course, not putting all of your eggs in that one basket, right? That’s not the only strategy you’re going to be using. That’s just one of many.

[13:53] – Eli

Right, exactly. Exactly.

[13:55] – Gabrielle

I love that. So when you were first starting your freelance ghostwriting business, how did you find the majority of your clients? I remember, we talked a little bit about content creation and how key that was for your business.

[14:10] – Eli

Yeah, so I went to a networking group and I told everyone that I was a publisher because I had started the business and nobody cared. Like, I swear, nobody cared. You know, it’s one of these things. You stand up, you get to talk for 30 seconds, you sit back down. I went to the next networking group and I said I was a ghostwriter. Oh, my God. I was like the hottest girl at the ball.

Everybody wanted to dance with me. Everybody wanted my number, everybody. And it just took off. Gabrielle, within two months of me freelancing, I was writing six books at a time

[14:46] – Gabrielle

Just that simple change in what you called yourself.

[14:50] – Eli

The pitch. I changed my pitch and everybody and their mother wanted me to help them with their book. And so the way I do it is I would interview someone on Monday, write for that person on Monday and interview someone else on Tuesday, write for that person on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. And I got super, super busy really fast, to the point where I had to bring people on. And up till now I have subcontracted thirty five writers since I’ve been on my own.

And then I formed the International Ghostwriters Association in twenty seventeen. I found that I’m not the best writer in the world, like I found that so many people can write circles around me, and they would have an amazing business, but they don’t have the business acumen. You know, a lot of them are introverts. And I was in sales for twenty two years and I was a sales manager before that, before I started writing.

So I founded the International Ghostwriters Association to teach people how to make a business as a writer, as a ghostwriter specifically. And that’s where I got the moniker The Godfather of Ghostwriting.

One of my students called me that and I was like, “What did you call me?? He says, you’re The Godfather. You know, you blessed me with this, like, kiss the ring kind of deal.

[16:21] – Gabrielle

Well, and that’s really prevalent in a lot of the creative communities. Like, we get really good at what we do. So either writing or designing or painting or creating whatever we’re doing. And that is the focus of our training, for the most part, getting really good at developing that. And then we go out in the world and we have to all of a sudden be a business owner and we have to get clients and we have to do all of that business stuff that nobody told us how to do or trained us on or even really mentioned when we were going, if we went to school for it, and we’re expected to do this.

And that’s where a lot of creatives fail because they just keep getting stuck in focusing on one part of the business, which is the creating, and when they really need to bring in this business acumen that you were talking about. So I love how that background in sales and sales management really helped you. You almost did it backwards. A lot of people start as creatives and then get the business knowledge, whereas you had the business knowledge and then got creative.

[17:15] – Eli

Yeah. And I tell people that are very creative but aren’t strong in business negotiations and advertising and all that stuff. I tell them just partner up with someone. You don’t have to be King Kong and take on the world on your own, you know. Find your weaknesses and find someone who that’s their strengths and, you know, and maybe not partner up like 50/50 in the business, but find a strong salesperson and give them commission, you know, incentivize them on commission.

So many people are so talented and they struggle because they don’t know the business side of it. And a lot of them it’s because they’re too greedy. They want all the money themselves.

[18:01] – Gabrielle

And part of it is investing as well. Identifying where you’re not strong and either paying someone to either do it for you or paying to learn or get mentored or taking programs or even just seeking out paid products or because the paid versions are always more helpful than free stuff that you’re Googling online. That’s where you get the secrets. And it’s not just like random stuff that doesn’t really make any concrete sense.

When you make that investment it brings so much more of a payoff to you in your business. Yeah.

[18:33] – Eli

So the way we start books for business books, I like to start a business book or any kind of a non-fiction book with what I call a universal truth. You want the reader to think, OK, I think like this person. Right. So for example, a universal truth could be you can’t choose what family you’re born into. Right. Nobody’s going to argue with that. And now you’ve developed a certain kind of commonality with the reader that doesn’t know who you are.

But I say that to say that one of the universal truths that I just did with someone is you grow a lot quicker with a mentor. Yeah. And that’s what we were just saying. You know, you can go leaps and bounds, leaps and bounds if you realize I need help and this person can help me and I would pay for this, I’m going to invest in myself. I’m so surprised how many people don’t invest in themselves.

They won’t pay for it and it’s not like they can’t. They can. And it’s the steroids of business growth and personal development. So when I started freelancing, I hired a life coach. Because it was a new transition, I for many, many, many years, over 20 years, I was dependent on a pay-check. So I hired a life coach and we didn’t have a lot of money at the time.

And I hired a pretty good one. And my wife really wasn’t on board with it. But I didn’t hire a business coach.

I hired a life coach that had serious business knowledge and really because I had to transform my priorities. To go to a business owner from an employee, you know, the way I spend my time. And that’s really if people can understand that you have the ability to tell time what to do. Then you’re going to be a monster in life and so many people say, Gabrielle, oh, I don’t have the time. I don’t have the time.

You have the time. You know, you have the time to binge watch Netflix, a whole season in a weekend. You have the time. The problem is you’re a slave to time and not the owner of your time. You know, it’s as simple as a spreadsheet with with what you’re going to do. At this time, I’m going to do this and you tell time what to do and make time serve you.

[21:20] – Gabrielle

That’s what I’ve been talking for years about mastering your schedule and how that’s the key to reducing burnout, reducing overwhelm and like you said, mastering time because you can get so much more done when you have it scheduled into your calendar. You know, at 10 a.m. I’m doing my business writing at 10:30. I’m going to do ten minutes of social media and then at 10:45 I’m checking in with my clients, you know, and it can seem overwhelming because essentially your schedule is jam packed, but when you don’t look at that and get overwhelmed, it’s freeing because you know exactly what you’re doing at any given time.

[21:59] – Eli

Yeah, absolutely. So my life coach said to me, Eli, what’s the four most important things to you? And I told him right, if you’re a Christian person, you say the same things. You know, it’s God, family, ministry, the business. And then he said, OK, here’s a spreadsheet, I want you to write down what you do every half hour, because in order for me to coach you, I need to know you.

I’m like, OK, cool. So I was very transparent. Whatever I did the bulk of the half hour, I wrote it down when I met him again, this was our second meeting. He didn’t say it this way, but it kind of came across this way because he’s a really nice guy. He has a lot more tech than I do. But basically he was like, why did you lie to me? You said that these things were the foremost important things, the most important thing to you is your TV.

Because that’s where your time is. And I saw what I did. And I’m like, and everything that I said was more important I had no dedicated time for it in the way I lived my life. So then he gave me the same spreadsheet, that was empty. He says now we’re going to fill out how you want to live, because you’re not the person who you think you are. So write down now, the person that you want to be and let’s live up to that person.

Changed my life. And now whenever I’m off the rails, I go and I’ll do my ideal week and the secret to that is you’ve got to forgive yourself because you’re not going to be on fire, on point all the time. When you fall down, just do the next thing. Just get back up. Just get back up. You can get anything you want in life if you learn how to get back up.

[23:43] – Gabrielle

Oh, I love that. So as you have been growing this publishing company and working with mentors and really investing in its success, what would you say has been kind of the main lessons that you’ve learned, working with clients and growing a business dependent on the work of you and your writers?

[24:05] – Eli

Yeah. I’ve learned not to take things too personal, so the first time I brought in a writer and I have my own proprietary ways that I write books like The Universal Truth, and I have this whole deal.

So I brought someone in, she worked with me for about seven months, did about three or four books for me, and then she left me, started her own thing, told everybody in our area where we live in that she used to work for me. And now. So this is business, right? So of course, the company takes some of what she’s being paid. So now she’s telling people you only have to pay me this much because that’s how much you pay me anyway.

So now they were getting a super savings with someone who knows my system and had my seal of approval that I took all around town. And that’s happened to me four times. Where people get close, they work with me. They know my system. They know how I sell, how I negotiate, they know everything and boom and they start their own thing. And a couple of times I was scared. I’m like, oh my God.

Like, how can I grow? All right, I’m going to be this lone wolf guy. But but I was born to be in a pack. I don’t like being a lone wolf, you know. So the thing is, I had to stop taking things personal and not even like hate on them. Just you know what? I’m glad I taught you that skill. Best of luck to you, and that’s a lot easier said than done.

[25:49] – Gabrielle

Obviously hasn’t affected the success of your own company, though, in the long run.

[25:54] – Eli

No, I believe in abundance, not scarcity. Like money, there’s never a shortage of money. Money does not have the ability to disappear. A lot of the money that’s printed, is still there. It just flows to different people in certain times and a very, wealthy person that I worked for one time, we put this in his book. He talks about money as an entity and he says money will come to you if it knows it can flow through you.

And that is giving of not just money – of your time, of your attention, of your skill set. And that’s just showing the universe or showing money. You can trust me with you. I’m not going to harm you, and that’s the way it is. So when these people started trying to take my clients, I knew there’s more.

There’s not a shortage of clients out there for me in the world, if you’re a writer and you want to be a ghostwriter. If you’re a writer, there’s not a shortage of readers they are abundant. There’s no scarcity in readers. Just keep getting back up. Just keep writing.

[27:15] – Gabrielle

If you’re a designer, there’s no shortage of clients that need design work, if you’re a web designer, there’s no shortage of websites that need to be made. There is always more.

[27:30] – Eli

Absolutely, and that’s how I’ve grown. And I didn’t let those people change me. And I kept hiring people and it might happen again, but, I’m going to keep getting back up.

[27:43] – Gabrielle

Yeah, I love that. So you talk a lot about the importance of having a book. Now, I wrote my own book last year, 2019, and that was a really fun process for myself, doing all the publishing myself, doing the actual writing, realizing that, hey, I can actually do this.

But how have you helped your own clients with writing a book? And you also have a challenge that I want to talk to you about, too.

[28:08] – Eli

Yes. You know, so we do a few different things. You know, we will write the whole book for you, interview you and write the book for you. But we’ll also coach people. The end game is you’ve got to reverse engineer, right? So when I take on a client, when the client is still a prospect. I ask them, two years from now, if this book was a wild success, what did it do for you?

And you have to know the destination, so if they want to become speakers and get on stages, then there’s ways to there’s ways to embed those stories in. And there’s different ways that you can write about it so that by the time the reader is done, they understand that you’re a speaker. And actually, that final chapter. In that final chapter, we have a process called New Normal. Now that they’re done reading your book and they understand your intellectual property, they understand your methodology.

We write something to the effect of to your reader, close your eyes and envision yourself 12 months from now. Now that you’ve applied these things, what does your life look like? If it’s a book designed to help a marriage, what’s your marriage like? What’s your weight look like? How has your physique looked like now that you understand these dieting principles? Right. And so you have your reader envision their best outcome. That’s new normal, but then you give them a call to action, and this is what’s missing in almost every other business book that I know of.

If you want to be a speaker, put it there in the book when people are still reading. You know, some people think that their book is going to magically transform their lives. You’ve got to make it happen. You’ve got to push it. Invite me to speak at your church. Invite me to speak to your group. I would love to go here, go to my private Facebook group, where I get on once a week and I give tidbits for free.

When someone spends two, three, four hours reading your book, they will never be more inclined to go where you send them than when you’re about to say farewell to them. And so that by itself has changed people’s businesses. Has built them a tribe, has gotten them what they want out of the book.

[30:37] – Gabrielle

And this is just such an expert authority maker, basically, having a book.

[30:43] – Eli

But you got to understand, one of my pet peeves is when people say a book is like a glorified business card.

[30:52] – Gabrielle

Oh, there’s way more work in a book then a business card.

[30:58] – Eli

And those are the kind of people that write books and it really doesn’t do much for them.

Yeah, if that’s the expectation you have, like a business card, I don’t care who designs it. A business card can’t make you cry. It can’t teach you. It can’t make your heart race. You know, a book is a juggernaut. It’s a wrecking ball that will smash through walls and show you down paths. You never knew that you were destined to walk. But if you don’t believe it, it’s not going to happen.

So a large part of why I think we’re successful is that our clients have met that two years down the road. What they said to me, what they want from the book when they’ve achieved it. We don’t spend anything on advertising, it’s all word of mouth. Our clients get what they want for it, not all of them, of course, you have to sell.

I had one client. We wrote an amazing book about ADHD. Amazing book. I got her some some some some radio spots, and I had her on a TV show, but they canceled because they saw the radio spot and she was so shy, you know, she answered with one word answers. It was the most uncomfortable interview, you know. It was such a shame.

But you kind of need the whole package. And that’s why when people say to me, hey, I don’t have much money, but you can get the royalties. I don’t take royalties, by the way. Your book is your book, you get 100% rights, 100 percent royalties when we publish with you, because it’s up to the person and how hard they’re going to go at it.

[32:46] – Gabrielle

So tell me a little bit more about this book writing challenge. You have got forty five day challenge. Yes.

[32:51] – Eli

Yes. So it was late last year, pandemic’s going on and I had a meeting with my team and I’m like, OK guys, how do we help people? You know, and I had done a challenge, Tony Robbins had a challenge and some of the big gurus that I watch I was in their challenges. So we threw out the idea, let’s do a forty five day challenge. Let’s not charge anything.

Because I mean, it is business, right? We will get publishing clients, but let’s just give and offer a discount on the publishing side. That’s the business side of it. So I went to Facebook. No ads or anything. Hey. You know, I know a lot of you guys we’ve talked to you before but it wasn’t right for you, it was the money, or whatever, but now I’m doing this for free.

And I had like 50 people join the challenge and every day for forty five days, at seven o’clock at night, including weekends, I got on and I talked. And I taught and I taught my secret sauce like the same thing I do for my most expensive clients, I gave that information away and it was great. But it was sad because well, I only had 10 people out of the 50 that finished their book.

But ten people finished their book. Which is a great accomplishment in forty five days. Yeah, so and we’re going to have it in March, we’re going to have a book signing, a book signing party in Floridand, it’s a little bit more relaxed with the pandemic. We can still kind of get together and gather social distance. And it’s going to be a huge bash. It’s going to be a party. So I figured, let’s do it again.

So we did. We’re doing it again right now, we’re in the middle of it right now. And this time we’re charging ninety seven dollars because and we’re not going to get rich off the ninety seven dollars for somebody to have the skin in the game. And so far and I’m starting it again for anybody watching or listening, get in touch with me. I’m starting it again in May.

[35:02] – Gabrielle

In May. Perfect. OK, I’m going to put all of the links to Eli’s challenge down below. So if you guys want to go check it out and go sign up if you’re interested in writing a book or even just learning Eli’s secret sauce. Definitely go check that out also.

OK, so this is the last question of the interview. It’s one that I ask everybody who’s on the podcast. Do you have a hobby or creative activity that you do on the side just for yourself?

[35:32] – Eli

I would answer that two ways. Number one, I don’t believe in writer’s block, so I have a creative activity that I do. If you have a comprehensive outline, you know what you’re writing about – people have writer’s block because they don’t have an outline, they write themselves into a corner and then they begin a writer’s block. I’ve written eighty five books. I’ve published five books. Writer’s block to me is like the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot.

I’ve heard about it. But I have never seen it. Anyway, my creative prompt is I’ll have my kids tell me 12 different words and they always throw zombies in it because they love zombies.

And then I would write a paragraph or two with a little story with those words, and that gets my creative juices flowing. And then I could go to write. So whatever I’m like, how do I start this and I use that quick 12 words. And I forget about the bills, I forget about the pressures of life and I can tap into my creativity.

So that’s one, the second thing I do is I read, I read to just get away. I read even though reading isn’t as enjoyable because now I read like a critic.

[36:46] – Gabrielle

You start to pick it apart a little bit. What’s your genre to read?

[36:49] – Eli

Fantasy.

[36:50] – Gabrielle

Fantasy, oh me too! That is funny, my husband laughs, he’s like, I was going to buy you a book, but it didn’t have any magic or dragons in it, so I figured you wouldn’t like it.

[37:01] – Eli

By the way, who’s your favorite author and fantasy?

[37:05] – Gabrielle

My favorite author. I have a soft spot for Anne McAffrey, her Dragonriders of Pern series. When I was young, I loved those. And then Terry Goodkind as well, mostly because he has so much to read, like the man is so prolific and those would be my top two, mostly because they just always come to mind whenever I think of fantasy. I also just finished re-reading Stephen King’s the Watchtower series.

[37:42] – Eli

Oh, yeah. Yeah, that’s good. Well, hopefully next year, Gabrielle, somebody ask you that question and you’ll say Eli Gonzalez, because my fantasy novel will be released.

[37:52] – Gabrielle

Yes. You’ll have to definitely send me a link when it’s released, I’ll go buy a preorder on it.

[37:57] – Eli

This November 2021, a Champion’s Legacy will finally be released.

[38:03] – Gabrielle

Perfect. OK, and once it’s released, we’ll have to update the show notes on the episode and we’ll include a link to go by Eli’s fantasy book as well.

Well, thank you so much, Eli. This was just an amazing conversation. I really enjoyed myself and I think everybody is going to get a lot out of it. Thanks so much and have a fantastic day.

[38:23] – Eli

Thank you so much. You’re a fantastic interviewer. Appreciate you.


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