Monday, September 16, 2013
1. How did you come up with the title?
We were in the shower one morning discussing the title of the book. Debbie suggested: Two Are Better Than One since we had studied the book of Ecclesiastes together before we were married. We loved the verses in chapter 4 starting with that very phrase. Tim didn’t need any convincing, as that title reflected our cross-country bike trip quite well. After all, we never would have done that trip alone! So, the preliminary title became Two Are Better Than One. When a friend reviewed an early manuscript, he suggested that we shorten the title to Two are Better. We think it works well with a longer subtitle.
2. Is there a message in your memoir that you want readers to grasp?
Don’t give up on your dreams. It is never too late. And there is always hope. When you rest in the hollow of God’s hand, and you allow Him to shape your dreams, you can rest assured that He is faithful to accomplish them in you.
3. How much of the book is realistic?
Since we designed our book as a testimony to God’s goodness in our lives, and to convey some spiritual truths that we had learned along the way, sharing authentically was important. Had we left out or altered relevant and material facts, we ran the risk of either minimizing or misrepresenting what God had done in our lives. Friends who reviewed the book were impressed with the honesty and transparency in Two Are Better. We believe an effective memoir requires this.
4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
Yes. We would have had Debbie narrate more of the story. She was working full time at a demanding job and did not have the time to write during the school year, when Tim was doing most of the writing. We also made a strategic decision to trade an even more detailed narrative for the beautiful photography that we chose to weave into the story. The visuals are such an important aspect of bicycle touring and add a unique feature to a paperback that comes with high production quality. Most early readers really enjoyed this aspect.
5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The writing was not as difficult as some design considerations. Early on, we grappled with two challenges: how to share each of our perspectives; and whether to reproduce the book in color and, if so, how to lay out the photography. The latter challenge was an economic one because producing a full-color book is costly. Conventional industry wisdom for a book like ours would suggest it be printed in black and white. But that didn’t feel right given how important the visuals were to this bicycle tour and to this story. Having a color interior also helped with the first issue. We used different text colors for each narrator.
6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Tim felt that he improved both as a writer and as a grammarian while working with professional editors throughout the book writing process. Debbie has taught writing in an elementary school for years, but found writing for an adult audience to be a challenging adjustment. The marketing process has come with a significant learning curve. We’ve embraced industry advice that says, “Books don’t sell themselves, people do!”
7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Tim won a race-car set as a youngster when he wrote an award-winning letter to Santa Claus! He also won a timed essay contest amongst college freshmen. Debbie won some early writing contests in elementary school. Journaling has been a lifelong passion for her. In his twenties, Tim wrote his own personal treatise on his spiritual beliefs. Writing was a necessary ingredient to documenting his findings.
8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Tim likes Dan Miller’s books since they helped walk him through a life-changing time. Dan’s books are practical, yet gently provocative. Miller is a creative thinker who uses logic, case studies, and conventional wisdom to motivate his readers toward positive change. Debbie likes a variety of authors because she reads so many different genres. She likes deeply descriptive authors who immerse you into their books’ scenes. Each author possesses unique, incomparable gifts.
9. Tell us your latest news.
Debbie retired from her position as a Literacy Specialist in the public schools in June 2013. She hopes to do more reading and writing while pursuing other opportunities in the near future. Tim has been doing some consulting work as well as advancing the Open Road Press business, including our blog and book marketing.
10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Life is short. Make the most of every moment—plan adventures, pursue dreams, and cherish your spouse. Sharing life doubles your investment.
About the Book
From an engagement to a cross-country trip in just ten weeks? And with no experience in bicycle touring—or marriage? While Tim left behind a 26-year corporate career and familiar surroundings, Debbie was about to enter a “classroom” she hadn’t seen in her 24 years of teaching. Was it a grand getaway or a big mistake?
Prices/Formats: $7.99 ebook, $19.95 paperback
Publisher: Open Road Press
Release Date: May 15, 2013
Buy Links: Amazon, Open Road Press
Just 15 minutes into the day, we arrived at Rogers Pass and the Continental Divide. When I saw the sign, I was shocked. You’re kidding! I thought. Where are the Rockies? We had seen so few snow-covered mountains. Climbing through the Rockies had been much easier than expected and, other than Lolo Pass, did not seem like climbing at all. Rogers Pass only stands 5,600 feet above sea level.
Unbeknownst to us, we had been ascending and fast approaching the beginning of the downhill ride east. Another friendly tailwind had shrouded the climb. But we weren’t about to get cocky. After all, there were 3,000 miles to go.
Arriving at this landmark would not have surprised most bicycle tourists, but it did surprise us. We had done so little pre-trip planning and were so busy with other aspects of the trip that we hadn’t reviewed the map in detail, except when making immediate decisions about when and where to turn. But sure enough, there it was on the map: the Continental Divide!
The phantom climb up Rogers Pass seemed insignificant, but the descent was a treat. The eastern side of the pass was steeper with some switchbacks. My fearless wife, who sees no use for brakes when descending, flew around the curves and down the mountain. After all, why use brakes and spoil the fun after you worked so hard to get up the hill? Wasn’t this the reward? Of course, she does have a good point!
About the Authors
Debbie Bishop has taught for over twenty-five years, for the past ten years as a literacy specialist in Framingham, Massachusetts. She has a passion for reading and seeing that young people do it well. She also has high interest in recovery issues and encouraging others with her own triumphs over struggles earlier in her life. Debbie also serves as a Hope Coach for TheHopeLine.
Originally from Maine, Tim Bishop has over thirty years of experience in business, first as a CPA, then for many years in various roles in the corporate world. In addition to consulting for small businesses, Tim serves as a Hope Coach for TheHopeLine, a nonprofit organization that seeks to reach, rescue, and restore hurting teens and young adults.
Links to Connect with Authors: