Engaging! Intriguing! Poignant! And most of all entertaining! Love is not the end all, be all. It takes work, experience, faith, resilience and so much more. If that sounds like a daunting prospect, you’re absolutely right. But, there’s a solution. ‘Paradoxical: What I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married’ is the quintessential guide to navigating the sometimes intimidating yet always rewarding feeling of loving and being loved. This no-nonsense guide unashamedly shows you all the pitfalls of love gone wrong and showcases all the wonderful nuances that come with being a part of a loving couple. ‘Paradoxical’ is meant to be a timeless love toolkit to be used at your disposal no matter what stage you’re at. Whether you’re dating, looking forward to dating, or preparing to walk down the aisle, this fun, timely, and poignant guide is there to answer your questions. The truth is final – we can’t escape the need to love, nor can we resist the longing to be loved. Let’s journey on…with love and in love!
Today Richard Homawoo has set a little time aside to about ‘Paradoxical – What I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married’ his guide to romantic relationships which can be used at whatever stage in romantic relationships you find yourself at. Richard thanks for spending a little time with me today. How did the original idea for this book unfold for you?
This Is Where It All Began It was a question. I asked my 71-year-old mother-in-law “What she wished she had known before she got married?” She laughed. She paused for a few seconds and then said: “I wish I had a lot of fun” … Another laugh followed. But then my next question was: “Does it mean after marriage, there is no fun?” It depends. The variables are many. Every marriage is unique, right? The paradoxes of love have turned me into a philosopher. A mobile thinker. Almost. Celine Dion and the late Pavarotti so well captured it in their song “I Hate You Then I Love You”. Fascinating, isn’t it? Love has driven me to a destination I call “Questionland” where gradually the questions have become a book entitled ‘Paradoxical’. And guess what the subtitle is. It’s the question I had asked my mother-in-law but now with me at the center: “What I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married”. You’ve got to read this book…When I share the book idea with friends and co-workers, one statement has become common: “I hope your wife is going to love it.” She does. It turns out that what I wish I knew is the same she wished she had known. Isn’t there something we all wish we knew!
Did you include many experiences from your own relationships to highlight what you did and didn’t know?
The whole book could have been based on my own experiences as a husband for 20 years and a dad for 7. But I’ve gone beyond the two of us to interview and survey another 80 individuals to incorporate all the love and broken heart stories people have shared with me to enrich the lessons I shared in Paradoxical.
What kinds of things of responses did you find in these interviews with these individuals?
Their responses are captivating. Some of them are entertaining too. Almost all of us have a story to tell about love and marriage. There are pages that will make you chuckle. Some will make you sigh “OMG, Richard come on!” Some pages are intense and others will need your own qualifiers. Here comes my invitation: Let’s have fun talking about love. Let’s laugh at ourselves. And maybe, along the way, find a better way to catch love in its flight and make it stick around tight within the ropes of our hearts.
Did you only limit your interviews to married couples?
No, I used real life stories of singles, couples, together, separated or divorced.
Were there commonalities that you found across all people across all different types of relationships?
Yes, there is a common thread at the background of each unique love relationship. In ‘Paradoxical”, I bare it all.
Can you sum up the most important aspect that you hope readers learn from ‘Paradoxical’?
It takes some homework to find love. It takes some hard work to stay in love. Mastering the art of negotiation, conflict resolution, decision-making, process improvement, critical thinking is key to maintaining a quality love relationship. Understanding the dynamics of love, the power of humor, of vulnerability, of gratitude contributes enormously to a successful experience of a love relationship. Love is tough business. It does need the right tools to navigate the crises that come along.
Do you feel that providing the tools to allow people to navigate their relationships was the most satisfying outcome from this book, or did you find that something else delivered a greater personal reward to you?
I have surprisingly become the student of my own lessons. After all you never know it all. Or you may know enough but it still takes time to achieve mastery…I have also found the book therapeutic.
Writing books is not a bad form of therapy. Have you started on a new writing therapy project, or will your next book go in a different direction?
My next book will be about the battle between faith and doubt. For three years I had an extensive email exchange with one of my childhood friends. He’s been through so much that he had forsaken his hopes into the hands of despair. Gradually, I was able to bring him back to his faith. This is a true and real life story we are getting ready to turn into a book.
What drives you to write about topics like faith and relationships?
I write because I want to share. And when what I share can help a reader find relief, an answer or way out of the “caged life”, it feels like a blessing.
When you approach writing a new book, do you know how what blessings that you want to impart on the reader?
Paradoxical is my first real story driven book. Though I had an outline, within every chapter, I allowed the muse to guide. I write without constraint. However, after writing I take time to rearrange all the different pieces into a more logical and coherent sequence for the purpose of elegance, flow and engagement.
Are you strict with your writing habits, or do you allow your muse to guide when and how you write along with what you write?
I’ve read how it is good practice to structure one’s writing. Everybody is different. I usually don’t feel like I decide to write what I write. I feel like I have been ordered to write given there are things that, in retrospect, I don’t know when and how I wrote them. So I don’t order myself to write. I write when I am ordered to. What I do order however is the rearrangement of what I have already written.
As your muse is guiding you did you find that you ran into writer’s block?
I’ve never felt a writer’s block because I don’t order myself to write. I write at the request of an unknown energy.
How does that unknown energy manifest during editing?
I do the first couple of editing to make sure the content flows from one end to the other. Then I work with two different editors, the first for two rounds and the second for many other rounds until the book is published.
Did you learn much about your writing style during editing?
Yes, now I know a lot of those words that come naturally that need reduction or elimination. But. And. Right. So.
Those words do have a funny habit of cropping up when you least want them to. Speaking of cropping up, I do believe that we have finished with the book and author related questions for today and my quick fire round has cropped up. In this round I will try and show readers a bit more of your fun and spontaneous side with questions like: Do you have any philosophies that you live by?
Absolutism is deadly. Ignorance is fatal. Reading is like a gym for the brain. If we can feed children with love the world will be a better place for all.
What is your favourite quote?
“Despair does not repair anything. Like Dopamine hope takes us beyond what humankind can see.”….personal quote.
If you invented a monster what would it look like and what would you call it?
I won’t invent a monster. I will invent an Angel and it would look like the heart of child filled with love and laughter.
Are you introvert or extrovert?
I am both depending on circumstances. But once I acclimated, I talk about difficult subjects…smiles…I guess I am extrovert, right?
Have you ever danced in the rain?
When I was a child, I did. I have to say I miss those days.
You can always revisit them :). If you ruled your own country, who would you get to write the national anthem?
Myself..smiles maybe because I am a singer/songwriter too. But for democratic reasons, I would love to collaborate with one or two great musicians.
Are you left or right handed?
Would you have a cast party with the characters in your book if they could come to life?
How are the colours in rainbows made?
“Rainbows happen when sunlight and rain combine in a very specific way. The beams of sunlight separate into the colors we see in the rainbow as they enter a raindrop”…This is actually from Google…the encyclopaedia of the 21st century.
Are you a valuable asset on a quiz team?
What is your zodiac sign?
What is your favourite song or music to work by?
Throughout the writing of Paradoxical, my favorite music was Yanni…ethereal piano background.
I haven’t heard of home but I will have to check him out, I’m always looking for another talented pianist. What is your favourite ocean?
If you could breed two animals together to defy the laws of nature what new animal would you create?
Will think about his one.
What color socks are you wearing?
What is your favourite flavor of ice-cream?
What is your favourite line, quote or statement from your book?
Adversity is the most populated university on earth. Access if free…All you need is your birth certificate
What is your favourite word?
“Flexism” as a substitute for flexibility
What is your best tip for authors?
Like Nike, “Just do it”…Writing only gets better by writing
And I hope that your writing improves too. Richard thanks again for spending a little time with me today and I wish you the best of luck for your book promotion and your progress on your newest work.
Want to find out more about Richard? Connect here!