Return to Graphics Mode talks to Thom Hartmann

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The author's home page is at: http://WWW.MYTHICAL.NET How did you begin writing? Did you intend to become an author, or do you have a specific reason or reasons for writing each book?

T.H.: I've been writing since I was a kid. When I left home at 16, my bedroom wall was papered with rejection slips, mostly for terrible poetry. Since then, I've been published over 250 times in magazines, was contributing editor to 7 different publications and a monthly columnist for 5, and have published 6 books, sold 7, and written 14.

The books on Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) were written more out of passion than interest in writing. My son was diagnosed with ADD about 4 years ago, and I'd formerly been "in the business" of ADD, as Executive Director of a residential treatment facility for children. I was appalled by the way ADD was presented to Justin, and so wrote my first book on that topic largely to and for him. When TIME magazine did a cover story on ADD, however, and devoted a third of a page just to my book, it really took off. What authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?

T.H.: I love to read, and re-read, and re-re-read: James Lee Burke, Raymond Chandler, Rupert Sheldrake, Jack Vance, John D. MacDonald, and T.S. Eliot. A rather eclectic mix, I suppose... All have influenced my writing, and at various times I've written bad imitations of each. Could you describe the mundane details of writing: How many hours a day do you devote to writing? Do you write a draft on paper or at a keyboard (typewriter or computer)? Do you have a favorite location or time of day (or night) for writing? What do you do to avoid--or seek!--distractions?

T.H.: I try to spend 3-5 hours a day writing, but it usually works out to half that, what with all the stuff attendant to the business of writing. I've been doing a lot of touring and speaking the past two years, both in the US and Europe, and there's a growing demand for that. I love it, but it really cuts into the writing time. I write using Microsoft Word and have used computers to write since my first TRS-80 in 1980. Before that, it was always electric typewriters: I got my first, used, as a Christmas gift when I was twelve. I prefer to write in the morning, and often will present a problem to myself before going to sleep and then find the answer in my waking dreams in the morning. It's a very nice system. For writing I must avoid all distractions, as I'm a highly distractible person. Do you meet your readers at book signings, conventions, or similar events? Do you interact with your readers electronically through e-mail or other online forums?

T.H.: I am constantly meeting my readers, and love it. I've spoken to over 10,000 people in the past 5 years in various venues, and enjoy both the speaking and the talking afterwards tremendously. I'm also generally glad to reply to email. I also run the ADD Forum on CompuServe, so am easily accessible there just about any day. When and how did you get started on the Net? Do you read any newsgroups such as rec.arts.books and rec.arts.sf.written, mailing lists, or other on-line forums? Do you use the Net for research--or is it just another time sink? Are you able to communicate with other writers or people you work with over the Net?

T.H.: I have a home page ... that contains information about my books, my speaking tour, and my forums on CompuServe. I encourage people to visit and check out the speaking and signing locations around the country. We're in the process of making the page extra-convenient to use - with map links to the locations, for instance. Feel free to use this space to write about whatever you wish: your family, your hometown, hobbies, favorite places, where you've lived, where you went to school, what jobs you have had, your last (or planned) vacation, your favorite color/food/pet/song/movie, what books you'd take to a desert island, what you intend to do before you die, or what you think of just about anything.

T.H.: Well, in March I have two books coming out - one called "Healing ADD" and the other called (tentatively) "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight." I think a lot of people will like Healing ADD because it explains how to re-frame the past so that we can go forward into the future without so much past baggage holding us back. Last Hours is a different kind of book, having to do with changes in ourselves and our culture as well as the using up of Ear;th's resources. Since we last talked, we've moved to Vermont and are enjoying the change very much. I've also been doing a lot of traveling this year, speaking to groups and at conferences.


Go to to order ADD: A Different Perception -- More Information about ADD: A Different Perception
Go to to order Healing ADD -- More Information about Healing ADD

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