Today we welcome Allen Klein as we travel to San Francisco, California to learn how short poems, a messy desk, gardening, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and New York City are part of Allen’s past and current life. Call upon your inner Jollytologist®, we’re gonna be more playful with this one ….
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I live in a Victorian house in San Francisco where I write books that show readers how to use humor and positive thinking to deal with not-so-funny stuff. In addition, I am an award-winning professional speaker as well as a TEDx presenter and blogger on happiness. Comedian Jerry Lewis has said, “Allen Klein is a noble and vital force watching over the human condition.”
In which genre do you write?
Non-fiction / Self-Help / Inspiration
How many published books do you have?
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer and what ignited your author’s flame?
I used to write short poems in grade school, so I suppose my writing started there, but my real writing started when I had a passion to write about how humor helped me get through the loss of my wife when she was 34-years-old.
What is an interesting writing quirk you have, that we wouldn’t know by reading your biography?
Sometimes I put things that interest in a folder, never knowing if I will ever use them again. When the folder gets real fat, I use those articles and notes to write something about that subject.
What does your ideal writing space look like?
Messy desk, computer on it, me facing the wall to avoid distractions. Sometimes ear-plugs to avoid outside noises.
What are you currently reading?
The Energy Code. It has a lot of what I’ve believed in for years…that we are all energy, all connected.
It is very much aligned to the principles taught by Unity, which is a worldwide new-thought spiritual organization and which is my spiritual home.
What do you do when not writing or marketing your books?
Walk my dog, garden.
If you could have a fantasy tea or coffee date with an author or famous person from the past or present, who would it be and what would you ask them?
Woody Allen. I love his quirkiness and wonder if that is his persona or is he really that nutty and neurotic. I’d want to know if he was happy.
What is the most inspiring thing that has ever happened to you?
Although it has happened to me so many times, I probably should not be so surprised by it now, but I am. I have been able to create amazing things in my life, things that many might call mini-miracles. Some of them are:
-Wanting to march in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and getting to do so.
-Drawing pictures of Victorian houses and getting one when I moved to San Francisco.
-Having no place to stay when I vacationed in New York City and being offered a free apartment when I go there each year.
-Having a division of my publisher close their doors, thus stop publishing my books, and finding the ideal one by affirming “The perfect publisher will find me.”
-Adding that I wanted to do a TEDx talk in January to my bucket list and being asked to do one the following month.
What do you miss about being a kid?
I was a very serious kid, so I don’t miss much. I try to make up for it now by being more playful and having more fun. And also helping people to get more laughter and joy in their life. I’ve branded myself a Jollytologist®, so now I’m forced to come up with jolly stuff.
A penguin knocks on your door and is wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he there?
Since the publisher of my first book, The Healing Power of Humor, is now part of the Penguin publishing empire, the penguin is there to tell me that my book will be made into a major motion picture and to hand me the million-dollar advance. The sombrero is a fun way to indicate that the movie will be made in Mexico.
Do you believe things happen for a reason? Do you have an example from your own life to share why you believe this?
Definitely. My wife died at a very young age. I certainly didn’t want that to happen but her wonderful sense of humor, even during her illness, lead me to investigate the therapeutic value of humor, even in loss. As a result, I started writing about it. My first book, The Healing Power of Humor, is now the quintessential book in the field and has helped scores of people. I know there was a reason why my wife was in my life and why her death was instrumental for me, and as a result of my writing, to so many others too.
If you could ask your pet three questions, what would they be?
I’d ask my dog, what it’s like to be a dog, how does she handle never knowing exactly when I’ll return after I’ve left the house, how did she get so cute?
Tell us about your most recent books.
Two most recent books are:
Embracing Life After Loss, and Positive Thoughts for Troubling Times
Thank you Allen for joining us on MTA! It was great to learn more about you and your books. –Camilla
Original post found here.