Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Author bio:
Peter Sorrells holds eight patents and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) degree from the University of Arizona. He has held successful engineering, marketing, and management positions in a half dozen high-technology companies. His work has taken him to befriend and negotiate with the largest high-technology companies in the world, as far East as Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, and China. And as far West as Germany, the UK, France, Italy, Canada, and every corner of the USA. An entrepreneur and teacher at heart, he speaks to large and small audiences on technical, business, financial, and biblical subjects.

His first Amazon bestseller, 100 Ways to Save and Grow Your Money: Financial Fitness for Regular People, was originally written in 1990 - but not published at that time. It was later updated based on new technology and new life experiences, and first published in late 2009. The work grew from Peter's personal education in two disastrous financial events, conquering and recovering from those challenges, and distilling that wisdom in an easy-to-read, practical guide to help others. Peter's love of teaching and helping others is evident in his writing style.

Peter contributed a chapter to Brian Tracy's new book, The Secret to Winning Big, which was released and hit the Amazon bestseller charts in November 2012. He also released his own second Kindle book on finding high investment interest rates. Getting 10%: Great Returns of 1%, 5%, 10% and More on Your Money was released in early December 2012. Most recently, he wrote and published The Humanity of Marketing Business-to-Business with ExecSense.

Most comfortable in blue jeans and a T-shirt, Peter most loves spending time with his (very patient and understanding) wife and three boys. Self-described as a man with too many hobbies, he can be found coaching others in the financial ministry of his church, facilitating Financial Peace University groups, riding motorcycles, shooting a variety of firearms at the local range, and performing music on stages of some of the largest and smallest churches in Arizona (he plays the electric, acoustic, and bass guitars, writes music charts, and helps to MD the band).

Peter considers himself one of the luckiest and most blessed humans on earth, and meets each day with a list that's too big to finish.

Personal favs:
Drink – Sweet Tea
Food – Bacon Burger or Thai Curry
Vacation – Hanging out anyplace cool with my wife
TV show – Property Brothers, Sons of Guns, NCIS
Movie – Gran Torino, That Thing You Do, Freedom Writers
Animal – Bella the Akita
Sport – Baseball
Book – The Purpose Driven Life, Self-Made in America, Heaven is for Real

Book title: 100 Ways to Save and Grow Your Money: Financial Fitness for Regular people (paperback and Kindle)

Brief synopsis of your book:
Financial fitness for regular people! You don't need to know anything about finance or money to get started, and you don't have to read an inch-thick college text to finish! This little book is 150 pages packed with useful, do-it-today information. Includes lots of links to lots of resources. Over 28,000 words.

Are you frustrated with the month left at the end of your money? Are you starting from zero with no money at all, or worse - starting with a load of debt? There is hope! Do you have a "why"? A goal that absolutely must happen? A dream vacation, new furniture, college tuition, new church building, big medical bill, or well-fed credit card debt that's outgrown all your other bills? This book is for you! Through simple and practical ideas and examples, you'll learn how to put money back into your pocket, purse and bank account regularly and safely. You can watch your debt shrink and your money grow month by month. It's easier than you think.
Are you starting from zero with no money at all, or worse - starting with a load of debt? There is hope! Do you have a "why"? A goal that absolutely must happen? A dream vacation, new furniture, college tuition, new church building, big medical bill, or well-fed credit card debt that's outgrown all your other bills? This book is for you! Through simple and practical ideas and examples, you'll learn how to put money back into your pocket, purse and bank account regularly and safely. You can watch your debt shrink and your money grow month by month. It's easier than you think.

This book was born out of the pain of financial failure, the stress of too little money with too much month, and the frustration and embarrassment of creditor calls, lawsuits, and a damaged credit rating. Learn how to climb back to financial stability and wealth with the author, as he explains simple, safe steps to freedom and abundance.

This book has been used as curriculum for high schoolers, and is applicable to adults of any age. Whether you are a blue-collar or white-collar worker, whether you are employed or looking for work, this book will pay for itself many times over in the first month. It is a great addition to any program you may be working already, as this book gives you the rubber-meets-the-road mechanics of shrinking your debt and growing your money. It starts with small steps that anyone can do, graduating to larger steps... that anyone can do! Saving in small chunks and generating new money, to make big and safe stockpiles of money for your family' security.

Current book or project you’re working on:
My next book will be a cookbook for low-cost meals.

What was the inspiration for your novel?
First draft in 1989: after a failed real estate event and other financial challenges, I set out to compile a list of money-saving ideas, that grew into a book.  But did not publish for two decades, though every few years I pulled out the manuscript and did some more editing.
Final draft in 2009: after a much larger failed, giant real estate event which devastated our family finances, I rewrote and updated the draft to help others avoid and recover from similar painful financial situations.
Most of the ideas in my books come from personal experience, or from research that I have done to find and check facts. But some of them come from friends and co-workers, whom I observed making better decisions than me. I'm not actually a financial guru, but rather a regular person who's made an awful lot of mistakes. I learned from those mistakes, and I learned from smart people around me, and just wanted to pass along that wisdom. It is absolute misery to be in financial hardship, with creditors calling all day and wondering how you'll make it to the next paycheck. Wondering if you'll lose your house, your car. I've been there, and wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Pressure like that causes stress, medical problems, marital problems, and sometimes spirals into more bad decisions. I put these books together to uplift & help as many people as possible.

Please share three interesting facts about your book which are not covered in the synopsis.
1) The book was originally written on a Sharp portable computer (pre-laptop) with 3.5” floppy drive and no hard drive.  And pre-Microsoft Word.  And mostly written between the hours of midnight and 2am.  Come to think of it, the final version was also edited during similar hours, over a 6 month period.

2) It was my friend and two grammy-award winning, professional bassist Mel Brown, who pointed me in the right direction on self-publishing. His book From Zero to Sideman in Five Steps, was an inspiration for me to finish & publish 100 Ways.  And his encouragement helped me to finish what I had started 20 years earlier.

3) Bestselling author Scott Alexander actually read the original manuscript in 1990 or so, and encouraged me to self-publish at that time.  It took me about 20 years to take his advice and when I did, he wrote an endorsement for the new version (his words are printed on the back cover).  His encouragement was also a motivator for me. I will never underestimate the power of encouragement to another human being.

Who is the most complex character from your current novel?
Me, I guess…how does someone with financially conservative upbringing and a solid college education, go from a stable and healthy financial situation with plenty of margin, to a bankrupt and heavily debt-ridden life, and back again?

Are there any characters in your book that remind you of yourself?
All the mistakes that I list in the book, are mistakes that I’ve made.  Many, though not all, of the solutions given, are solutions I’ve used personally and/or witnessed others using successfully.

If you could pick any well known or famous author to review your book who would you pick and why?
It’s already been endorsed by bestselling authors Steve Chandler, Scott Alexander, and Loral Langemeier.  But the #1 guru of personal finance in the USA is probably Dave Ramsey, a man whose success, teaching, and ministry I respect tremendously.  Though I had not read any of his work prior to publishing 100 Ways, I have since read some of his work and even facilitated several Financial Peace University groups through my church.  I would love for Mr. Ramsey to review my book.

What, who, and when were you first inspired you to write?
In my youth, I enjoyed reading a lot, mostly fiction. I always loved how words go together to teach, uplift, and wring emotions out of a reader. And ever since college, I've enjoyed writing. Putting just the right words together, gives me the same satisfaction as creating something artistically/visually appealing. I spend too much time writing emails with too many words, for this reason. :-) I appreciate so much reading other authors' work in books, articles, famous quotes, even song lyrics. I did not set out to be an author; it just sort of turned out that way. I'm an engineer and business person by training and career.


What genre does your book fall into?
Personal finance, budgeting, money management.

Which genres do you write?
Personal finance, investing, success, marketing.

What is the first book you remember reading, that affected how you thought or felt about something?
The Bible – I was raised with it, grew up with it in church, it shaped my beliefs and world view more than any other.  Beyond that, I think The Purpose-Driven Life by Rick Warren is the second most powerful book I’ve read.

Is there a book you loved that was also made into a movie that you also loved? If so, how did the movie connect with you?
Dune by Frank Herbert – but the book was better than the movie.  It was interesting to see how the producers, artists and actors interpreted the book compared to my mind’s eye and imagination when I read the book myself, years earlier.

Which three authors have inspired you the most, and why?
1) Rick Warren, because his book is such a powerful life changer, and his personal character is such a strong example.

2) Brian Tracy and Steve Chandler, whose practical teaching in books and audio helped me to crawl off dead center, break through the inertia of self pity and desperation, stand up and move forward again after a devastating financial disaster.

3) Todd Burpo, whose true story in Heaven is for Real gave me a fascinating glimpse into heaven.

Have you ever read a book you couldn’t finish reading?
Two: The Hobbit, and Evidence that Demands a Verdict.  I just don’t have a long enough attention span, despite their very high quality.

Do you read a book, while you are writing a book?
I am always reading a book (usually several books at once), so yes that would include when I am writing – but I’m not reading about what I’m writing.

The process:

How many books have you written? Which book is your favourite and why? 
I’ve written one printed book which was later published as an e-book; three shorter books as e-book only; and contributed a chapter to a Brian Tracy book that was released in hardcover and e-book formats.
100 Ways to Save and Grow Your Money: Financial Fitness for Regular People – paperback and e-book.  Still my favorite because it is a powerful life-changer for anyone who’s serious about making things better in his or her life.  It’s designed for the broadest audience.  And though primarily financially oriented, it also touches on life management, relationships, and spiritual aspects of a successful life.
10 Ways to Save Your money Right Now! – e-book
Getting 10%: Great Returns of 1%, 5%, 10% and More on Your Money –e-book
The Humanity of Marketing Business-to-Business – e-book
The Secret to Winning Big – hardcover and e-book (contributed a chapter with other authors including Brian Tracy)

Is there anything that helps get you in the mood to write?
It usually helps to isolate myself from personal interruptions – preferably quiet but sometimes when I’m in the zone I can write with music & other noise around.  I often write late at night when everyone else is asleep, or park myself someplace mid-day at a restaurant or coffee shop with a laptop or ipad & Bluetooth keyboard.  
What were three challenges you faced when writing your book?
1) I kept allowing life to distract me from the goal.  For 20 years. Job, kids, cars, house, church, other business ventures, and… well, TV.

2) Being my own worst critic; not being sure the book was good enough to publish.  This also caused delay and procrastination.  It was the positive responses and encouragement of others that helped be believe enough to finish the project.

3) Endless quest for perfection (related to #2).  Editing, re-editing, scouring the manuscript for every possible error or omission.  This was necessary I believe, in order to make the book as good as it is.  But we have a saying in the technical world: “there comes a time in the life of every project in which it becomes necessary to shoot the engineer, and go into production.” At some point, you the author must pull the trigger and stop editing.  Publish it and move forward.  You can always make a revised edition later if necessary.

What lessons have you learned as an aspiring writer?
1) Just do it. Don’t wait until your ideas are perfect, or your timing is perfect, or your life is perfect.  It never will be – just write.

2) Let others whose opinion you respect, read your manuscript. Take their inputs as good advice.  But don’t take all their advice – make sure the book is still you, still yours.

3) Have a professional editor go through your final manuscript – then undo some of the edits as necessary to make sure the book is still yours.
Face your fear and ASK.  Ask others for reviews, ask for endorsements for your cover, ask other authors for advice, ask for placements in stores.  If you don’t ask for what you need, you likely won’t get it.  If you do ask, the best result is that you’ll have what you need; at worst, you’ll just keep asking.

Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so what helps you to ‘overcome’?
Yes.  The only thing I’ve found to overcome it, is to write.  Write anything, even if you go back later and heavily edit or even delete.  Go someplace quiet.  Or go someplace noisy.  Start early in the morning.  Or mid-day.  Or late at night. Just go someplace, now, and write.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned, either in the self-publishing or traditional publisher, route?
Holding that shiny, glossy new book in your hands after months or years of work, feels GOOD. What started as an idea, became a reality.  A tiny, tiny fraction of the world’s population will ever do the work, or have the opportunity, or push long and hard enough toward that goal to hold in his or her own hands a book they wrote.  Or hand it to someone else to enrich another’s life.  It is an awesome joy, privilege, and responsibility to do your very best and not give up until it’s done.

How can people connect with you?

Twitter: @PeterSorrells

Where can readers find your book? 

100 Ways (paperback):
100 Ways (Kindle):
Getting 10% (Kindle):
The Secret to Winning Big:

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