A. Latin teacher, Assistant Field Director, the American Red Cross and Sales Director, Ladybug Sportswear
Q. Favorite job
A. My favorite job is the one I have now: astro-intuitive and transpersonal psychologist
Q. High school and/or college
A. I went to Ensley High School and Birmingham-Southern College
Q. Name of your favorite composer or music artist?
A. It's a tie: Puccini and Verdi
Q. Favorite movie
A. Finding Neverland
Q. Favorite television show
A. I have two favorites, currently Ugly Betty and in the past, Frasier
Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
A. Mixed blessings ordinary man possibilities visionary servant leadership
Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. What can I do for you?
Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
A. Perfect happiness might be impossible to attain in this life. Near-perfect happiness is when I am as real as I can be to who I am and what I know to be true for me without need for approval or legislation from outside sources. It is when joy springs from the wells of divine Source, in harmony with what I was born to do and in the midst of doing it.
Q. What’s your greatest fear?
A. MY greatest fear is that I will fail to be true to myself and fail others who come to me for counsel.
Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A. I would still choose to live in Sedona in my house doing what I am doing. My favorite ancient homes are Egypt, France and Italy.
Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
A. I most identify with Rameses II
Q. Which living person do you most admire?
A. I most admire Barack Obama because he has come to lead at a time in civilization when no one could do exactly what he will do.
Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
A. I most overuse, "Do you see what I mean?" and "interrelated and interconnected" and "...and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His Glory and Grace.
Q. What do you regret most?
A. In recovery we don't regret but I wish that I had gotten sober sooner and had saved more than I spent.
Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A. I would love to sing at Covent Garden and act on Broadway, as well as paint and cast bronzes
Q. What is your greatest achievement?
A. My greatest achievement is being sober 29 years in February and having the incredible clients I've had and do have.
Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
A. I have a tendency to eat what a man my age should have let go of at 35, and loving whom I love too hard and having too great a capacity not to like a lot of folks.
Q. What’s your best quality?
A. I am more loyal than Jonathan or David from the Bible. I am wont to say that I would go to the electric chair for the ones I love.
Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A. I do not want to be anyone but me. I know my karmic past and also am aware how close I am to completing redemption for past miscues, so I don't want to chance a life exchange that would put me in greater harm's way.
Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
A. I tell you the truth no matter what, even to my own detriment.
Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A. Larry Darrell in The Razor's Edge
Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A. My favorite villain is Tom Ripley from The Talented Mr. Ripley by Elizabeth Highsmith.
Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A. If I could meet Larry Darrell a character from Somerset Maugham's The Razor's Edge, I would ask him if, when he saw God in the Himalayas, he knew beyond words that he could not marry Isabel and that he had no other purpose but to live humbly and serve others? He is the character in literature whose spiritual experience foreshadowed my own.
Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
A. My biggest pet peeve is selfishness followed closely by lying.
Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A. I would rather be in an opera house enrapted by Puccini or Verdi or in a theater thrilled by a great play. I also like good movies.
Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
A. My fantasy would be to have a Larry King kind of television show where I could interview all the great men and women in the world and let them confess their flaws as well as be humbled by their greatness
Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A. 1.Always tell the truth no matter how much it costs you; 2) Always ask what you can do for someone else; 3) Always give the credit to God.
Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A. I have a close friend named David Bell, who is the best cook in the world. I would love to eat anything David cooks--no matter what it is.
Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
A. "When the World Was Young"; "Un Bel Di" from Madama Butterfly; anything sung by Ashley Bell; "Ya Gotta Have Friends" and "The Rose" (Bette Midler)
On Books and Writing
Q. Who are your favorite authors?
A. Paulo Coelho, Somerset Maugham, Agatha Christie, Ernest Hemingway, Flannery O'Conner, Eudora Welty, Truman Capote, William Faulkner, Katharine Anne Porter
Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A. The Alchemist, The Razor's Edge, Everything that Rises Must Converge, Ship of Fools and The Sound and the Fury.
Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
A. The Alchemist
Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
A. If you think you're a writer, pick up the pen every single day.
Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
A. I went to my guru, Swami Swahananda, who is my touchstone in You're Not several years ago to complain about a man who had said some very unpleasant things about me. It took me 45 minutes to get the sordid story out. When I was finished, Swami said to me, "Ramapriya (my Sanskrit name), you often tell me that you are not who you think you are. Perhaps you are not who he thinks you are either." He suggested that I write about how to know when we are authentic and when we are not.