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Introversion to Art: An Interview with Peter Gibb, author of Mindful Conversation

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Peter Gibb is the author of the critically acclaimed, multiple-award-winning memoir, King of Doubt (2017), several children’s books, two unpublished novels, and his most recently published non-fiction, Mindful Conversation: Speak Openly, Connect Deeply, Live Joyously (2022).

For twenty-five years, Peter taught leadership and communication skills on four continents, sixteen countries, and three languages. He now teaches Mindful Conversation online, coaches individuals and couples, and is a popular speaker on topics relating to conversation, mindfulness, and relationships.

You can buy Mindful Conversation here.

Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.

Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

I now believe that all book titles are just placeholders until the book is complete. And even then…I went through at least ten different titles. I settled on the ultimate one simultaneously with placing the last comma in the last revision.

How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?

I love the book cover. I had submitted samples that I liked, design criteria, etc. The one I chose didn’t match any of my criteria and was hands down my favorite. So much for logical processes. I’ve received so many compliments on the cover. People refer to it affectionately as “the birds.” When I’m looking for a copy of the book, I always think, “Now where are the birds?”

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

I’ve been interested in this topic since before I was born. I had to write this book. My own years as a shy kid—trying to figure out what to say and to whom, struggling with feeling left out, then too many battles with self-doubt—all gave me no choice. I have learned so much over the years; now I want to spread the word.

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

At various times, I have worked as a fine arts painter, singer/songwriter, children’s book, fiction, and nonfiction writer, also a waiter, solar installer, and teacher. When/if I grow up, I’ll figure out what I’m meant to do. I’m pretty sure it’s write.

What was the most rewarding/meaningful part of publishing your book?

Knowing that I had put my heart and soul into it and did the very best I could do.

If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?

Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water.

Also, my own Come Talk With Me, which I wrote and perform as a sing-a-long to accompany talks about the book.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

My perfect reader is someone who really wants more from their relationships and conversation, and who is willing to take a few risks and do the work necessary to reap that reward. Both introverts and extroverts have told me that they’ve learned a lot from the book, but (probably because I am one), I think introverts are more frequently drawn to it.

What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?

I am taking a detour back into fiction these days, writing short stories, which often touch on insights from this book. I am also obsessed with songwriting and performance.

How was working with Atmosphere Press? What would you tell other writers who want to publish?

Working with Atmosphere Press was a very enjoyable, satisfying experience that produced a product I will be forever proud of. Hybrid is a great way to go, and Atmosphere does it with grace, heart, and professionalism.

You can buy Mindful Conversation here.

Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.

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