Thursday, October 11, 2018

Interview with author Dr. Ann Schiebert

Let's Make a Contract: Getting Through Unhappy Romantic Relationships

1. What really inspired you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and conveying it into a book?
My patients and my own personal experience with unhappy romantic relationships inspired me to write this book. After seeing hundreds of patients who came to me depressed and suffering due to unhappiness with their romantic relationship, I categorized some of the major reasons for their discontent:

1.     “My spouse/partner changed.”
2.     “He/she started drinking, cheating, being mean to the children and to me, spending money on ‘toys,’ calling me names, etc.
3.     My partner/spouse won’t change to make me happy.
4.     My partner/spouse won’t stop doing what makes me unhappy.
After processing my patients' unhappy romantic relationships with them, it occurred to me that these patients were living with someone who had become a stranger. They were with someone who had inexplicably changed! We started investigating how their relationships began, if there were any “red flags” that made them hesitate before committing to their relationship and why they stayed in their unhappiness.
From these sessions with my patients I began to explore my own romantic relationship failures and how they happened. I became determined to find some ways to reduce the suffering of those of us who have found ourselves derailed and afraid of our future. I researched the rhythm of romance and the road to its demise. The more research I did the more determined I was to provide a different path to romance. I hope I achieved that goal.

2. What is it about and whom do you believe is your targeted reader?

This book is about romance and how we land in unhealthy romantic relationships, why we stay and how to leave. The final chapter is dedicated to the goal of the book – giving readers information about healthy romantic relationships. It is meant as a guide for how to develop and sustain one.

The target audience can range from teens to seniors. I wish every parent would review this book with their teen and young adult. The information provided will give them help in discerning relationship red flags and deal breakers. It will offer a template with which to look for compatible, stable love. What great conversations we can have with our teens about the topics addressed in this book!

I think this book will resonate with adults who have gone through divorce and wonder about how they selected the person from whom they just parted. Divorce rates in America indicate that a majority of us are entering romantic relationships with people we really don’t know. Sure, we know a little about them but we seem to ignore or be dis-interested in the non-emotional information such as our potential partner’s view about child rearing, budgeting, etc. It is this information that outlines one’s character. We need to think about romantic relationships in a different way. We need to temper the belief that drives many romances: if it feels good, it must be for me.

3. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book? What should remain with them long after putting it down?

One of the best foundations for a happy romantic relationship is having like values. How many people really have a “value” conversation with a potential romantic relationship? Know your values. Know your partner’s values. Talk about them and compare. Having similar values will help you keep your relationship from being built on sand.

4. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers?

Having an interesting format that is reader friendly and somewhat unusual can attract readers. All my books are based on the idea of contract making. All of my books contain original artwork and topical contracts. Contracts work in relationships! They open conversations. They help people get on the same page. They solve problems. Over the years I have time tested them with hundreds of my patients. They work if you keep to your agreements!

5. What trends in the book world do you see and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?

I have friends who have had books published by some well-known publishers. Without exception, the authors feel that they have received little support and that promises were not kept. This is secondhand information because I have no personal experience of this type.
I have been fortunate to put together a publication team that I trust, that keeps its promises, that communicates with me on a regular basis and that, I feel, has my best interests at heart. With that said, I am far from a visionary in the field of book publication.

6. What great challenges did you have in writing your book?

There have been many challenges. Being uniquely creative and making sure my research is accurate has been a challenge. Being a total novice in the publishing field, another great challenge was deciding whether to submit book proposals to a publisher or to self-publish. I ended up with a hybrid publisher and that has worked for me. Writing a book is very time consuming. I am grateful that I have loved the topics I have selected.

7. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours?

It’s easy to read. It will change your life. It will provide you with information you might not have considered. It is an interesting and fun read.

Dr. Ann Schiebert teaches about relationship challenges at the medical center of one of the country’s most respected major HMO’s. Her expertise has helped countless individuals of all ages align their core values for future healthy and happy relationships. She is currently a psychologist in the Emergency Department. She also works in the medical center’s Chemical Dependency Department where she treats patients challenged by trauma, chemical dependency, codependency and dual diagnosis. Ann is the mother of three children. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband and her two ragamuffin kittens, Biscuit and Teddy. For more info, please see:

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America and participated in a PR panel at the Sarah Lawrence College Writers Institute Conference

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