Dr. Roberts is a board-certified physiatrist, specializing in the treatment of physical disabilities with a focus of adding quality to life. He is currently in private practice in California. He is a member and lecturer at national and international conferences related to his specialty, a contributing author to Current Trends in Physiatry, and author of various scientific papers. In addition to his career, Dr. Roberts volunteers as part of a Christian ministry in maximum security prisons. He and his wife, parents of two grown sons, live in Indian Wells, California. Break the Chains is Dr. Roberts’ first book. Following in the long tradition of doctors who combine their passion for saving lives with their passion for writing, Dr. Roberts is currently at work on a novel, concerning children forced to work in mines. Website: http://jdrobertsmd.com/
Welcome to Blogger News, Dr. Roberts. Why don’t you begin by telling us a little about yourself and your work as a doctor?
I always wanted the love of my father, even just for him to like me or be proud of me. That is what drove me to be the best in what ever I did. But it did not work. He never told me once he loved me or that he was proud of me. It is “interesting” that I gravitated to treating people for their pain and wounds, while I could not heal my own.
When did you decide you wanted to write your memoir, Break the Chains?
After I was healed in 1999, I had a deep desire, passion to write, despite my head telling me not to. I ignored the feeling for a few years, but I could not extinguish the burning flame to write my story. Buddy, who you will meet in my story, kept telling me that I must write, to trust him, that everything would be okay even if I told of my past.
What compelled you to write such a poignant, compelling memoir?
It’s the way I am- all or nothing. It is true in my profession, my hobbies, and now my writing. I knew to write my memoir I would have to get into painful areas of my past. I could not do it halfway. But it was hard and painful. I shared my past not to evoke pity, but to show the reasoning why I hated my abuser even 32 years after his death, and why I did not believe there was a God, or at least He did not love me.
What past events were pivotal influencers in the writing of your book?
So many- tortured by my alcoholic father; turbulent lifelong dialogue with God; cheated death from accidents; escaped attempts on my life by rebel insurgents in the Philippines; healed from a fatal disease; hating myself, God, and my father, until I learned the power of forgiveness in prison.
What parts of this book were the hardest to write?
My childhood abuse. I had to break down the wall around my heart that had protected me for years.
Writing about the love I have for my wife and two sons, and their love to me. My family knows I love them. I have shown and told them many, many, many times.
Describe what your writing process was like during the creation of this book? Was it stream-of-consciousness writing, or did you first write an outline?
I did have a rough outline at the beginning. But as I wrote I went to places I had never planned to go. So there went the outline. I did use stream-of-consciousness writing at times when I was “blocking,” trying to unbury a hidden childhood event. It was very useful. I had never done this before. Well, I had never written a book before either!
Who is your target audience?
• People needing forgiveness
• People with history of abuse- mental & physical
• People needing healing, or wanting it
• People searching for a loving God, or just a God
• People living in two cultures
What did you wish to accomplish with the writing of this book?
My hope and pray is that my story will help others to break their chains and be set free.
Who is your publisher? What has surprised you the most about the publishing process?
My publisher is Tate Publishing. The biggest surprise about publishing: it takes time and patience!
Is there anything else you’d like to share with my readers?
Yes. I hope that my story helps you and if it does please help to spread the word so others may be helped. I plan to use proceeds from my book to build an orphanage and return to medical missionary work to help heal the wounds of the less fortunate ones.