Father’s Day is a happy celebration for fathers, but for divorced Dads, any holiday can be a flashpoint for conflict or disappointment. However, for father Andy Heller, author of Take the High Road: How to Divorce with Compassion for Yourself and Your Family (Dudley Court Press, 2022), holidays go smoothly, thanks to what he’s learned about creating a better path to a happier destination after divorce.
Heller, a real estate investment expert and international transportation logistics executive, co-wrote two highly successful books on real estate (including “Buy Low, Rent Smart, Sell High”), before writing this groundbreaking guide. The new book is based on his own journey through the challenges of divorce. “Part of the impetus of Take the High Road was to find a way to help others not repeat some of the same mistakes I made,” he says. “Taking the high road means learning to let some things go, fostering forgiveness when possible, and incorporating empathy into actions that affect your former life partner.”
As a pragmatic, compromise-oriented businessman, he learned to “keep his eye on the prize” – his relationship with his children – as he navigated his way through the process with the aid of friends and trusted professionals, ranging from therapists specializing in co-parenting or children’s counseling to helpful attorneys who favored his “high road” approach. Often the professionals would pull books from their shelves and recommend parts of them. Heller realized the need for a single book that condensed key issues and provided a blueprint for an alternate vision of a divorce.
It took eight years to research and write the book he wanted to share. He began by interviewing dozens of couples at different stages in the divorce process, most of whom had children. Their stories (with changes for anonymity) add real-world context to each of the 46 short chapters. Heller understands his readers are busy people: each how-to chapter includes key take-away points. The book ends with checklists for effective marital settlement agreements and parenting plans that are worth the price of the book in itself.
Take the High Road is a powerful inspirational book, but it is also aspirational and achievable. Now, years after his divorce, the author and his former wife share an amicable relationship: a partnership that puts their children first and foremost and that enables both to move on with their lives. Visit www.dudleycourtpress.com and click on the book’s cover to order your copy. At the site, you can also listen to Heller’s new podcasts that help others follow a less traveled route designed to prepare for the future, nurture the children, and most importantly, heal hearts.
As we approach Father’s Day, what advice do you have for divorced fathers?
Any time the children are with you, make it special, particularly if you are not the primary caregiver. You don’t want to overcompensate – you don’t want to be one of those ‘Disneyland Dads.’ However, if you only have the kids two or three times a year, maybe you should make the time memorable. You don’t want to be the Dad in the rear-view mirror who waits to be involved with his children when they are adults. My strongest piece of advice is to do whatever you can to have a regular physical presence in your children’s lives.
What three tips could you share with those who want to write a self-help book?
- Research the space. There are countless divorce books, but there’s none like mine. Be sure that there is a specific place in the self-help category that you intend to write about.
- Don’t trust yourself by yourself to create a quality document. Enlist experts to provide content and invest in an editor or editors to help you organize the content in a manner that will be optimal for what you’re writing about.
- Carefully think through your selection of publishing route. If you intend to self-publish, you better have a publicity plan and the time to execute that plan, or self-publishing is not the route to go. If you want to go with a traditional publisher, you need to ask yourself if you even have the resume for them to be interested in your book. Very few are interested in a self-help book unless you are already known as an expert. The third choice is a hybrid publisher like Dudley Court Press. If you are in a position to do some marketing but want a publisher that can help organize your book and do other marketing for you, a hybrid publisher could be the answer.
What has been most rewarding about publishing your book?
At this early stage, about 60 days since publication, the biggest reward has been the feedback from the therapy community and the divorce support network, including co-parent counselors, family therapists, children’s therapists, attorneys. The number of recommendations, referrals and reviews of the book has been rewarding, along with hearing about fellow authors, divorce gurus, and others who are recommending it to people. If those individuals can report that the book helped them land in a healthier place during and after their divorce, that will be the ultimate reward.
Dudley Court Press works with writers like you every day. As a full-service, hybrid publishing house, we help thoughtful people write and publish books for all sorts of reasons. Contact us to discuss our VIP, A La Carte, and Assisted Self-Publishing options today. For more information, including about DCP’s latest programs, please reach us at 520-329-2729 or Info@DudleyCourtPress.com. We’ve recently launched our latest program, Memoir Writing for Non-Writers. This comprehensive, 10-week course helps you turn your memories into a compelling memoir.
– Gail Woodard