Author Q&A | Speaking with Jim Turner about his inspiration for reaching out to other ‘disconnected men’ and finding purpose within his message to effect change in others.

Posted Thursday, 1 March, 2018 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

You might have remembered a very personal reaction to my readings of “The Disconnected Man”, as not only could I find takeaways which cross-applied to my own experiences of having disconnected men in my family – what was quite interesting as I continued to think about the subject after I finished reading Mr Turner’s book is how it is true – there are some women who are also emotionally disconnected as I had experienced this as well. Therefore, it truly is an inspiring book to be reading – if only to better understand those who see and experience life differently from those of us who are emotionally connected to everything.

I wanted to start a conversation on my blog with Mr Turner which would examine what inspired him to draw the idea of the book together but also, to reach out to him and see if he could explain how this particular topic is not just of an interest of his but how this should be something everyone takes stock of and finds an a reason to become involved with how it affects more lives than you might first imagine it could. I am a strong believer in how books – Fiction or Non-Fiction – are beautiful gateways into encouraging empathy and compassion, of expanding our world-view and of giving us a path towards understanding those who are different from us. Books are a way of understanding something we might feel confused about or something we never truly knew existed until the subject was broached by an author who understood the subject well enough to make it palatable for us to feel a connection with as well. In essence, if we have an open-mind, through reading we constantly learn & grown dynamically throughout our lives.

I wanted to take a moment to have Mr Turner share his thoughts with us as an anchour to revealling my readerly reactions wherein I left behind a personal response as the book was evocative of my own experiences of striving towards better patience & humility to better understand how & why men who are disconnected need us to take extra measures to not allow our frustrations to turn to feeling bitter or left behind. You’ll have to read my ruminative thoughts to better understand why I connect to the message of The Disconnected Man – however, today, it is Mr Turner who is imparting a bit of clarity about how he approached writing his book.

I look forward to reading your responses & I am thankful I could chat with Mr Turner giving you an insightful conversation to read! Remember: brew a cuppa & enjoy your visit!

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Mr Turner did not disappoint me with his frank and earnest approach to piecing together this condition of being emotionally removed from all aspects of a lived life – except to say, no one is keenly that far removed from their experiences – it’s simply a matter of how each of us approaches how to process our experiences. Of how we shape our emotional reactions and if we choose to share those bits of ourselves with others – there are layers of vulnerability not everyone is comfortable with revealling to the outside world – this in effect is one cause of disconnection.

At the end of Chapter Two is a beautiful pause of thought in how to approach the men who are disconnected in your own life. From my own experiences – leading into a conversations head-on about something that is affecting a loved one’s life hasn’t been the best approach to be honest! If anything, it’s been the wrong way round completely! I take after my Mum and the rest of the women in my family – we like a more direct approach – of understanding what is going on and how we can focus our energies on either fixing it or repairing it – depending on what it is exactly that is affecting us. We’d rather know what we can ‘do’ rather than sit and wait to see how things will resolve without taking action. This isn’t just physical action – it’s also through our own walk in prayer and our own conversations with God. Of seeking out our internal wellness even if we’re working on a physical bout of unwellness – yet, I’ve noted that not everyone likes to know exactly what is wrong or how something they are afflicted with actually has a definition and ‘name’. Some take the longer approach to resolving whatever it is they are conflicted with and that in of itself is also (at times) frustrating for others in the family.

This is a beautiful primer for women who are frustrated with the men in their lives who are not translating their emotions into their conversations and are not being ‘present’ in their lives in an emotionally connectable way. For men, I think it might take them a bit longer to accept the message and to consider the implications – of how staying disconnected truly isn’t advantageous to them because it allows them to live superficially removed from the people who are important in their lives.

As I was reading the story about Mr Turner, I was cross-comparing his journey with those men in my lives I know this condition relates to directly. There are commonalities and there are differences as everyone is individually unique unto themselves and of course, on a different path from one another as well. What was pivotal and insightful is how he presented the case for disconnection becoming the mainstay in our society and how there are more disconnected men than there are connected men.

-quoted from my review of “The Disconnected Man”

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Author Q&A | Speaking with Jim Turner about his inspiration for reaching out to other ‘disconnected men’ and finding purpose within his message to effect change in others.Author Q&A (The Disconnected Man)
Subtitle: breaking down walls and restoring intimacy with him
by Jim Turner

THE DISCONNECTED MAN tracks the journey of one man's surprise discovery of his own disconnectedness and his desire to help other men, and the women who love them, before it is too late.

Disconnected men hide out in plain view: in our churches, in our families and in our communities. They are competent, capable men who quietly 'do their duty' and attract little attention. They are fairly happy guys, relatively unemotional and capable of carrying heavy loads of responsibility, but are very difficult to get to know beyond superficial friendship. A closer examination inside their marriages reveals a desert strewn with emotionally emaciated spouses. While their competence may build the church, organize a group, or run a company, they haven't the slightest notion how to connect intimately with those they love. Their wives suffer, usually in silence, while the church and culture press past this couple secretly falling apart.

Jim Turner was that disconnected man going about his life, happily fulfilling his duty within his own self-protective bubble, until God suddenly burst it in a most horrific way. His story starts when that devastation left him clinging precariously to the remaining shreds of his broken marriage. Jim longs to share with other disconnected men what he learned through that ordeal, to help them understand their disobedience and show how they can achieve real connection with those they love.

Genres: Biography / Autobiography, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Self-Improvement & Self-Actualisation, Spirituality & Metaphysics

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9781478975649

Also by this author: The Disconnected Man

on 12th December, 2017

Published by: FaithWords (@FaithWords)
an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc. (@HachetteBooks) via Hachette Nashville

Formats Available: Hardcover, Audiobook & Ebook

Converse via: #INSPYbooks, #NonFiction #SelfHelp & #TheDisconnectedMan

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What did you initially do to change your disconnected life from the moment you realized this was something which was going to adversely affect the rest of your life?

Turner responds: I wish I had a really clever answer to this question. I mostly fumbled around in a blank haze initially. I didn’t know what to do. Once the fog started lifting and I had spent enough time praying and asking God to help me, I started with my adult children. I sat them down and asked them for help. I told them what I had discovered about myself, that I really didn’t know how to do relationships, and asked them to teach me, keep me accountable, and even rebuke me when they saw me fail. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done. My kids have taught me a great deal about relating and being emotionally available!

I thought from the very beginning you had a very humble approach of how to rectify this part of your life – to find a way ‘back’ from a place you hadn’t realised was preventing you from having a connected life with your children, family, friends and the community around you. It was an all-faceted journey – of finding your way back into being emotionally engaged but also, the internal process you went through is commendable because you took it to a higher layer of personal conviction and insight into better understanding why you were processing everything ‘at a distance’ whereas now your more in-tune and accountable (as you said).

What was your first light-bulb moment where you realized your story would have greater weight being shared than keeping your journey private? What inspired you to write your book “The Disconnected Man” in other words?

Turner responds: The first thing that came to me as I worked through my own disconnection was the title, The Disconnected Man. When my mind landed on it, I knew I had to share it because I knew I wasn’t the only man who could be described this way. Titles aren’t usually determined until a book is written but I knew this was it from the first. When I shared the title with a couple I knew, the woman immediately finished it with, ‘And the Women Who Love Them’ which didn’t end up being the sub-title but it was a springboard into writing the book for men and from there the whole project came into view and I was able to see how the book needed to be primarily for women while including enough for men to use as well.

I love how the first reaction was ‘and the women who love them’ as this is wicked accurate! It’s quite true – even though there are other disconnected men, there are women who have patience and acceptance of the men who pull back or recoil from sharing their emotional selves. Sometimes, though… as you go further back in your family tree, sometimes I’m not even sure if other generations could even identify it as well as you have in your book – as sometimes I think men were on the quieter side; raised not to share their sensitive sides and perhaps, to do so was a step outside what they knew or understood. I still think this is true in some ways, but more to the point – I did appreciate how you wrote this with a dual-focus – of approaching the men but also reaching out to the women who feel frustrated & don’t fully know how to process the disconnection issues they are facing.

One of the more remarkable things I observed whilst reading your story is how relatable your observations are – did you realize this prior to writing the book? Was there a test audience or a test group of men you sought out to see if what you knew and had observed would track with their own thoughts on the subject? Or did you hope by writing the book, you’d reach the audience of men who could look at your story and see a version of their own?

Turner responds: This is a really good question. I didn’t realize or have any hopes of my observations being relatable. I just knew my own experience and that I had to share it. I wish I had had a test group, but at the same time in retrospect, glad I didn’t. I think now that it would have clouded my vision. I knew what I experienced and I believed I wasn’t unique, so I just wrote what I knew without any additional input. As I wrote I was mainly focused on helping women with the hope that the book would leak out and find its way into a man’s hands from time to time. What we are learning is that men are finding it and are being greatly impacted by it. There have been several contacting us to say things like, ‘I feel like you’ve been living in my skin,’ and ‘you described me perfectly’.

I can attest the same – as I shared this with the disconnected man in my life – and he murmured the same reactions. In fact, at one point he said – he hadn’t been able to put a word or finger on how to describe a part of this until I read quotations out of your book and things just ‘clicked’. I think this is the beauty of the book you’ve written – it will continue to make strong impacts because your the first person whose had the courage to vocalise a condition many have but might not have even realised how this affects the women in their lives or the men, who are trying to have a bonefide friendship with them but feel they are not worth their interest. We never know what we’re lead to do in life – of how it will touch more lives than we can even think about impacting. I’m thankful you followed your instincts – writing it from a raw perspective of having lived your life and thereby, in many ways — you lead the movement for change by providing a baseline of what others can read to see pieces of themselves which need improvement.

What kind of feedback were you receiving from close friends and family about your transformation which keyed you into the fact you were on target with recognizing what was wrong and how you were changing?

Turner responds: My initial confession and description of what I was discovering about disconnection hit home immediately with my adult children. My male friends agreed as well and were quick to point out the things I did that they recognized as disconnection. In both cases they pointed out when I detached, when I put up a defense, when I came across as arrogant and hurtful. They were quick to show me because I asked them to. If I hadn’t, they may have continued to play the game and assume it was just my personality quirks they would have to live with.

Your quite right – without better understanding of how someone is processing their own life and their living hours – the hard part for any of us on the outside of their experiences is understanding ‘how’ they feel or how they interpret what they are feeling. Without a prompt of emotional response – we’re living in a fog of unknown and that makes it difficult when your living with those who are disconnected. They don’t realise what their doing but it’s hard on the other side of it too – like you said, you learn how to bend round the issues but you never truly get to the heart of what is wrong; until now. As you’ve opened a thread of dialogue to effect positive change.

You mentioned in the book we are living in a age of having the most disconnection – what do you think is fuelling this disconnection? What are your thoughts about the future – say even ten years from now? Will there be a hopeful turning point where less people will disconnect and realize they need to reconnect? What do you see projecting forward about this pattern being reversed?

Turner responds: In short, I think less face-to-face, and more online interaction is contributing more to disconnection than connection. Speaking generally, we don’t spend the time physically present with people as we once did.

I’m not big on separating generations into categories but I think in this case it’s helpful. My thoughts on this are broad and anecdotal but accurate to my experience as well as many I’ve spoken with. The baby boomer generation was raised for the most part by silent dads. Hardworking, loyal, but silent men. We didn’t learn from them how to be intimate, relatable, and transparent. But men like James Dobson and others came along and told us we needed to be more relational and then started to teach us how.

We started to learn how but I think it took the next generation of fathers to carry the baton a little farther. I’m hopeful. I see the younger generations connecting and caring. I give a lot of credit to Starbucks – not because coffee makes a huge difference for relationships (some might argue) but because Starbucks became community and at least two generations have fully embraced community. That’s a very positive sign for the future. A turning point you might say.

There are some disturbing trends that, if not countered, will lead to more disconnection. VR video games and simulations, intimacy robots, ideological divisions that cannot, because of social pressures, be debated peacefully, and others threaten to isolate people. If we can keep fighting against these isolating influences, I have hope that this younger, more emotionally connected generation, can overcome and move forward to healthier relational connectivity.

Your quite right – it takes all of us to find ways to connect with one another – it’s not just the personal relationships which are affected between couples, families and children – it’s the greater scope of it – how disconnected we’ve become as communities. It isn’t as common now for people to reach outside their circles to engage with others they might meet randomly in their community – the grocery store, the coffeehouse or even a fast food place which offsets the long hours at work – you start to see small changes, but there are still leagues to go in order to find all of us pro-actively helping to re-engage with everyone else.

Of taking a moment to be kind – whether that is as simple as opening a door or helping a man read the sign on the soda machine – the little gestures speak volumes in the long run. A kind word here or there to wait staff and others in your community who struggle finding a smile after dealing with the public during their long shifts is also another way of adding a positive mark on your community.. each of us has a way of changing the status quo. We just have to find our voice and lead with our Light.

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Kindly leave your thoughts & comments for Mr Turner, as I am looking forward to hearing from my readers & visitors who feel this topic of interest is one which can also be as thought-provoking for them as I found it was for me.

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Similar to blog tours where I feature book reviews, as I choose to highlight an author via a Guest Post, Q&A, Interview, etc., I do not receive compensation for featuring supplemental content on my blog. I provide the questions for interviews and topics for the guest posts; wherein I receive the responses back from publicists and authors directly. I am naturally curious about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of stories and the writers who pen them; I have a heap of joy bringing this content to my readers.

{SOURCES: Cover art of “The Disconnected Man”, book synopsis, author photograph of Jim Turner and author biography were all provided by the publisher Hachette Book Group Inc. via their Bloggers Portal and used with permission. The quotations from the text of “The Disconnected Man” were chosen by Jorie and are being used with the permission of the publisher. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were able to be embedded by the codes provided by Twitter. Vimeo Intro by Author was embedded due to codes provided by Vimeo. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Conversations with the Bookish and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2018.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Thursday, 1 March, 2018 by jorielov in 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host, Christianity, FaithWords, Family Life, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Modern Day, Spirituality & Metaphysics

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