Straight from the Mouths of Tim and Debbie Bishop, Authors of Two Are Better

Tim Bishop

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.

Debbie Bishop 

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. 

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Thanks for letting us interrogate interview you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

We wanted to be authors because God had given us a story to tell, one we believe can bless others. Tim has had some history with writing. He had written a personal treatise on faith twenty-five years earlier. Writing was on his short list of work models to consider after leaving a long-term corporate finance job before we married in 2010. Nevertheless, co-authoring a book about marrying and bicycling across America was an unexpected outcome.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be? I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

Writing offers work autonomy and flexibility in one’s schedule. You get to be your own boss and exercise your own creativity. And you'll keep on learning and grow professionally. One of the down sides is that writing can be socially isolating. You’re tied to a computer and your eyes know it by the end of the day. The financial reward seems akin to high stakes bingo, or a soup kitchen meal plan. With Tim’s business background, he’s never seen an industry financial model quite like this one!

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

We split the difference. We weren’t about to let this story get bogged down in traditional publishing channels, without any guarantee our story would come out the other end as it happened, or even at all. We also weren’t about to hire a vanity press and give away any chance for profits while sacrificing quality. So, we started our own publishing company, Open Road Press, and lined up the experts ourselves. It’s been quite a learning experience. However, we’re pleased with the quality of the product.

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

We can only surmise because most of them don’t pay much attention or simply remain silent. We think some of them might consider it a waste of time, others have been supportive, while others think, good for them! Regardless, writing and publishing Two Are Better has really been about sharing what God has done in our lives. The book is one of a few avenues to share that story effectively.

This is for pet lovers.  If you don’t own a pet, skip this question, but do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?

We don’t have pets, but there’s a comparable question with regard to our own feeding time! Sometimes, we defer meals until very odd hours if the right piece of inspiration touches down. 

Out of all the people involved in getting your book published, which one would you say did the most for you?

Dave Aldrich of Aldrich Design in Rhode Island designed the cover and laid out the interior. Two Are Better comes with a full-color interior that features over 100 photos that we took while bicycling across America. It also contains maps. Dave’s layout work resulted in a beautiful project. You don’t find many paperback memoirs under $20 that look like this one, but, of course, we’re a bit biased! Dave was a substantial contributor to the cover and layout work of The Shack, which has sold over 18 million copies, so he knows his stuff.

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

A substantial portion of Tim’s work was done while laid up with a blood clot. So, whether he was writing or watching TV, he was virtually chained to the love seat in the living room for weeks. Debbie’s contributions fit best around school hours.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

That’s a good question, one with an elusive answer. Many social networking tools can contribute to marketing a book, but they also consume time, often too much time. Blogging has been our best means of keeping people informed, where we have few limitations in creating engaging and informative content that lives on forever. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn then help propagate the message. YouTube has more potential than we’ve realized to date. Our story has great visuals conducive to video sharing. But shooting and editing are very time consuming as well.

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of)? How are you making the sales happen for you? 

We’ve found book sales to be unpredictable. Naturally, they’ll always be less than you want, whether you’re selling 1 or 100 a week! We’ve been working with a publicist to make people more aware of our story. We’ve garnered more reviews and media interviews as a result.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

Nothing. The pitch is too steep. But we might like to shout out the window for people to give our book a try rather than some of the high volume books that have little redeeming qualities. In our little world, uplifting, wholesome, and inspirational are attributes worthy of one’s time and attention. Toss in entertaining and challenging, and you have something of real value for readers.

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

When you’ve given your best efforts, through extensive thought and preparation, by enlisting the help of experts along the way, and in painstakingly combing the work to enhance and improve it—and then committed the outcome to God—you can shove the dinghy away from shore with confidence and satisfaction, no matter the result. At some point, it will float on its own. Whether it will float in a puddle, in the ocean, or somewhere in between, only God knows! 

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