Book Talk

by Hugh Fitzgerald (Dec. 2008)


“I’m Jeanette Ferguson, and this is ‘Book Talk.’ Today’s guests are Barbara Brest and her husband Frank DiGiacomo. Hello, Barbi and Frank, and welcome.”

“Thank you, Jeanette”

“Well, I noticed that your new book has a really fascinating title, Psycho-psychology.”

“Yes, that’s right.”

“Barbi and Frank, how did that title come to you?”

“Well, Jeanette, what we wanted to do is to let people know right away what the book was about. Too often people will buy a book thinking it is about one thing, when it is about something completely different. Our book is about how to ‘use your mind’ to ‘deal with your mind,’ rather than looking outside your mind for help. After all, who knows your own mind best – but your own mind?”

“You know, I’d never thought of that. Now I haven’t had a chance to really read it yet, but it got some awfully good reviews. Dr. Hans Geheimrat wrote that your latest book is ‘dazzling…the book this generation needs.’ And Kimberly Wood writes, ‘This book should be required reading for all of us, educators, students, parents, children, mayors, governors, presidents.’ So tell me, what gave you the idea for a book on psycho-psychology?”

“Well, Jeanette – by the way, I hope you don’t mind if I do the talking – Frank’s kind of the strong, silent type, if you know what I mean. Well, to get back to your question. After our last book, Interpersonal Preference Theory stayed at the top of the best-seller list for 79 weeks, we thought people really wanted to hear our message.”

“What exactly is that message? I’m sure our listeners would like to hear it too.”

“Well, they can still buy copies of Interpersonal Preference Theory at any Books ‘n Such outlet, but let me tell them anyway. Our message is one of integrative hands-on healing. Our message is one of hope. Our message says that people care. Our message is that you aren’t alone: millions of people are with you. Our message is that if you follow what is in our guide, Sixty Simple Rules for Happiness, available to you simply by mailing in the coupon found in every copy of Psycho-psychology, you can, and at a very attractive price, find true happiness.

“Sounds great. I’ll buy that.”

“Well, for you Jeanette, we have a special complimentary copy of our guide, Sixty Simple Rules for Happiness, which we just happen to have brought along with us today.”

“I’m absolutely thrilled. Do you mind if I open it?”

“Be my guest – no, be our guest.”

“Let’s see. Rule #14: ‘Don’t let things bother you.’ That’s really excellent advice. Rule #29: ‘No sense getting upset about things you can’t do anything about.’ How true. Rule #38: ‘Take a nap when it’s nap time.’ I wish I’d had that rule with me yesterday. Rule #43: ‘Be true to yourself and you’ll feel a lot better eventually.’ Absolutely. Rule #56: ‘Don’t take the other kid’s Crayolas.’ My God. That’s right on the mark. I’m a new mommy and I know how true that is. It’s uncanny. I wish we could run through all sixty, but these are fantastic. Well, I’m very glad to have this, and I’m sure our listeners will, too and they can order it with the coupon contained in every copy of Psycho-psychology. But let’s get back to that book in a little more depth.”

“Delighted, Jeanette. And please let me autograph your copy for you.”

“Would you? Here it is – I haven’t had a chance to open it yet.”

“There you go. I hope you enjoy it.”

“Oh my gosh. It’s thrilling. Would you mind if I read out to our listeners what you wrote?”

“Absolutely not.”

“’To Jeanette, with love from her new, true, two friends Frank DiGiacomo and Barbi Brest.’ That is so beautiful.”

“We thought you’d like it. And now maybe I should describe what the book isn’t about. It isn’t some kind of faddish study that’s here today and gone tomorrow. It isn’t full of solemn sermons from psychiatrists with diplomas hanging on their walls. We think the human mind is too important to be left to the so-called experts. We know that each and every one of us can deal ‘with our mind’ by ‘using our mind’ – which as I say is why we called the book Psycho-psychology. In fact, I know readers will find that they feel better right away, just as soon as they buy the book.”

“Why is that?”

“Well, it’s really interesting, and I’m glad you asked that question. Research has shown that if you invest in yourself, then you feel better about yourself. You prove to yourself that you thought you were worth it. Before you were sitting at home thinking: ‘Do I really care about myself?’ Then you walk into a bookstore and instead of buying some novel or poetry or history book that doesn’t have anything to do with you, that wasn’t written to help you but just because some author felt like writing it, you decide to buy our book, Psycho-psychology. Then you start thinking, ‘well, maybe I do care about myself after all. I cared enough to spend $18.95 on Psycho-psychology, which was written to help me.’ And that decision, that commitment, makes people feel better already about how they feel. They bring the book home, they take a look at it, maybe they read the blurbs on the back, maybe they check out the table of contents and the index and already they feel good. We’ve had some marketing surveys done in three major metropolitan areas, and it seems that the people who buy the book feel an average of 28 percent better, just from the time they buy it to the time they get home with it. Unbelievable, but true.”

“Gosh, I feel like I ought to rush right out and buy about a hundred copies for everyone I know.”

“Well, if you do, you won’t be making a mistake. In fact, your listeners might be interested to know that Psycho-psychology is the ‘Book of the Week’ at the Books ‘n Such chain, with a special 20 percent discount. That comes to $15.26, this week only.”

“That’s wonderful. Tell me, Barbi, do you and Frank have some plans for the future?”

“Well, once this book tour is over, Frank and I hope to get a little rest. To tell you the honest truth, Frank hasn’t been feeling all that good lately. But once he’s better, then we’ll start making notes for Media Ecology. Should be a great book. We hope to do for the media what we’ve done for people. I think it will be required reading for our generation.”

“Well, I certainly look forward to that one. It should be a great book, just judging by the title. And I hope you’ll be back with us as soon as it’s ready. The Welcome Mat is always out at Book Talk.”

“Oh, Frank and I would love to. It’s a really big book – so it might not be ready for a year or two. Meanwhile, hope you get a chance to read Psycho-psychology.”

“I can’t wait. Well. We’ve run out of time. This has been Jeanette Ferguson with Barbi and Frank, authors of the best-selling Interpersonal Preference Theory and a brand new best-seller that has just come out, Psycho-psychology. Do yourself a favor, folks, and buy a copy. Buy a few. Well, it’s been wonderful having the two of you and we’ve all learned a lot. This is Jeanette Ferguson saying ‘Bye, now.’”



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