Submitted by Susanne Bacon.
Author Edward L. Conley from Seattle, Washington is a retired disaster responder now embarking on a second career as a writer. He published his first book, “Promote the Dog Sitter and Other Principles for Leading during Disasters” in 2022. As a member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association (PNWA), Edward is on the lookout for more opportunities to share his book, get feedback, and discuss his reflections on crisis leadership. He is also a member of several LinkedIn and Facebook groups dedicated to nonfiction and leadership books and a member of emergency management, disaster research, and crisis management associations. He is also active on Medium, a “wonderful writing community”. When Edward isn’t writing, he loves participatory sports like skiing, surfing, and hiking. He now spends most of his free time at area dog parks with his Golden Retriever. And he is also recertifying as a medical technician and hopes to work part-time at a hospital.
Which genres do you cover?
Edward L. Conley: Nonfiction, knowledge share, leadership, crisis leadership, emergency management, disasters, history, and memoir.
Which is the latest book you had published, and what is it about?
Edward L. Conley: “Promote the Dog Sitter and Other Principles for Leading during Disasters”. It was published on October 25, 2022. In “Promote the Dog Sitter”, former FEMA responder and NATO advisor I share ten proven principles for acting decisively and leading dynamically throughout any disaster. I show up-and-coming leaders how to overcome setbacks, develop teams, respond compassionately, and serve with integrity. “Promote the Dog Sitter” is a guide for those who heed the call to make a positive difference in the world’s biggest crises.
At which book events can readers find you?
Edward L. Conley: I don’t have any book events currently scheduled, but I’m open to invitations! I’m a new author, just discovering the publishing world and looking for opportunities to discuss my book.
Which book event connecting you with readers is your favorite and why?
Edward L. Conley: In the past, I did quite a bit of public speaking. My favorite events included community organizations, colleges, town meetings, conferences, and employee development seminars. I imagine I would have a blast speaking to local book clubs.
Do you have any specific messages to your readers, and if so, which are they?
Edward L. Conley: We need more caring, compassionate, authentic, and wise crisis leaders. I wrote this book to help people rise to the occasion when disaster strikes. My book is not academic or theoretical – it is written by a disaster responder for disaster responders. From 9/11 to Katrina and from Montana wildfires to typhoons in the Western Pacific, I tell stories about leaders, survivors, and unexpected heroes who made a positive difference and how they did it.
Which writer(s) keep(s) inspiring you and why?
Edward L. Conley: I was inspired by Doris Kearns Goodwin, John N. Maclean, Erik Larson, and Amanda Ripley. In addition to being unbelievably talented writers, they bring crisis leaders to life. They have helped me appreciate how all of us can draw upon lessons from history when we’re dealing with our own crises.
Do you have specific writing habits?
Edward L. Conley: I wake up super early when I’m writing – usually around 4 a.m. I’m most productive in the mornings and lose momentum around 8 a.m. I also write on my phone – short emails, voice memos, and texts to myself – whenever the inspiration strikes. I strive for consistency rather than volume. If I can write 250 to 300 words daily, I’m meeting my writing goals. I love research and can do that anytime
What are you currently working on?
Edward L. Conley: I have two other books I’m writing. I can’t make up my mind which one to do first. So, for the time being, I’m doing the outline, positioning, research, and some initial rough chapter drafts for both on alternate days. I don’t recommend this. I need to pick one. Both are about disaster relief work.
Which book are you currently reading simply for entertainment?
Edward L. Conley: The last few months have been crazy with my book’s final editing, cover design, layout, and launch planning, so I haven’t read much for pleasure lately. I do have 20 books waiting on my desk. First are “Winds of War” by Herman Wouk (I read it before but want to reread it), “Days Without End” by Sebastian Barry, and “Home Waters” by John N. Maclean.
What advice would you give any aspiring author?
Edward L. Conley: Describe your book in one sentence. Set easy and achievable daily word counts, so you’re building on accomplishments rather than being discouraged by negative self-talk. Keep imagining your niche reader. Write to that person. Once you’ve gotten your book about 60 to 70 percent done, work with an experienced editor who knows your genre to help improve structure, content, and flow. Make decisions – however imperfect – and keep moving incrementally but steadily forward. Decisiveness turns an aspiring author into a published one.