BREAK THROUGH THE BARRIERS OF REDUNDANCY TO GET BACK INTO WORK – AN A-Z “HOW TO’ GUIDE by Sandra Bellamy (Interview)

Amazon.com ebook Sandra Bellamy was made redundant for the second time in 2009 and as a result she immediately began to dream of helping others who faced similar problems. She began to write the book in January 2013 and has worked steadily to get it published, finally succeeding in 2015. The book can be found on Amazon.com on both the US and Uk sites.

Ms. Bellamy is also a blogger and her site http://www.quirkybooks.wordpress.com has been a platform that Sandra used to publicize her journey. I’ve known her, through the site and the blogging community since 2012. Now that Sandra’s book has been published, an interview seemed to be in order and she graciously agreed to have a chat about the book and what it can do to help those who are facing redundancy or been made redundant.

MikesFilmTalk: Hi Sandra. Thanks for taking time to chat about the publication of your book and congratulations on finally reaching the end of your journey. Now that your book has been published how about talking a bit on how the whole thing works.

Sandra Bellamy: Thanks Michael for talking to me about the process and what my book can do for those people who have been devastated by the loss of their job. While my book is primarily aimed at those who have been made redundant, it is also a valuable tool for anyone seeking a new job or who want to vary their career.

MikesFilmTalk: The book is touted as a “complete system” can you explain what that means?

Sandra Bellamy: My book provides eighty benefits to my readers and covers twenty-six aspects of redundancy. It is referred to as a system because each chapter is broken down into five components of “redundancy”. In order to succeed you need to “master” all the components. The book takes a holistic view of redundancy and it should revolutionize the way you think about redundancy, job-seeking and life in general. One of the key components to master first of all is wellbeing skills, before exploring what options are available to you and learning the practical job skills. Although they are interwoven throughout the book, because what we feel and think about on the inside (our internal environment), reflects on what actions we take to change our outer environment.

This book is different because it does not just focus on one element of redundancy, but on the many barriers you need to conquer if you are to successfully get back into work. I show you how to deal with the inner trauma and turmoil of being made redundant such as grief and depression; before focusing on the practical elements such as job-hunting, CV and cover letter writing; and dealing with tough interview questions, so you can make an informed choice about which future path you should take.
The 5 components of redundancy are:
1. The inner elements (Care for the inner you)
Wellbeing:

• A is for Antidote to beat redundancy blues
• F is for Fun
• L is for Love Yourself
• R is for Rejuvenate,
• Z is for Zebra
Mindset and attitude:
• J is for Job-hunting
• K is for Keep
• P is for Persistence
2. Practicalities:
• B is for Breathing Space
• H is for Help
• I is for Interview
• Q is for Quit your job
• V is for Voluntary Work
• W is for Work Experience
3. Exploring options:
• D is for Dream Job
• O is for Opportunities
• S is for Self-employment
4. Outer elements (How others perceive you):
• C is for Confidence
• E is for Express Yourself Clearly
• G is for Great Customer Service begins at home
• M is for Marketing
• N is for Networking
• U is for Unquestionable
5. Persuasion Skills – An irresistible offer:
• T is for Transferable Skills
• X is for X-Ray (Xtra Reasons to Appoint You)
• Y is for Yes
Focusing on wellbeing skills first is essential in getting back into work. For example, if you have job skills, but not the confidence to project that to recruiters in an interview, you are not going to get the job. Confidence is achieved by learning to love yourself for who you are and believing in yourself, when others don’t. I show you how to love yourself and project confidence to recruiters to get that job.

MikesFilmTalk: What motivated you to write this book?

Sandra Bellamy: When I was made redundant for the second time in my career in 2009, after dealing with the initial grief, I discovered I had a talent for writing outstanding cover letters to accompany my CVs that got me almost one hundred percent response to my job applications. That seemed unheard of, particularly in a recession. Upon reflection, I realized I had great insight into what an employer was looking for in a CV and cover letter, because I had recruited as part of my management roles. It was then that I decided I could help others who had been made redundant. I wanted to help them get back into work and I could use my passion for writing, to enable me to do this. I noticed how frustrating it was to have to trawl through a plethora of websites searching for jobs, recruitment agencies and courses, as well as trying to learn about the various aspects of redundancy, such as dealing with the grief of it. I wanted just one website to go to, that would give me access to all of these and that’s when I had the idea of www.beatredundancyblues.com and www.beatredundancyblues.co.uk. These websites are your one-stop resources for redundancy, with access to job sites, recruitment sites and course sites, from within the one site. Just like the book, they tackle numerous other redundancy problems such as time management and preparing for an interview.

MikesFilmTalk: Can you expand on your recruitment experience?

Sandra Bellamy: I have worked in management roles for seven years. Part of my management duties entailed interviewing, recruiting, training and coaching staff and I took part in every aspect of the recruitment process from placing the advert to completing staff inductions and training. I have also experienced the other side of the recruitment process, when I was applying for work and being interviewed for jobs whilst redundant. I have been made redundant twice and each time managed to successfully work my way back up the career ladder. It is from experience that I have gained insight into both points of view and I am able to help others.

MikesFilmTalk: You have merged an A-Z guide with a “how to” book, why did you do that?

Sandra Bellamy: Each of its A-Z chapters is about an element of redundancy, and within each chapter it explains how to do things related to that element to break though your barriers of redundancy and beat your redundancy blues. That’s what makes it a quirky book.

MikesFilmTalk: One of your Facebook pages updates stated that you are creating a book trailer. How is that going?

Sandra Bellamy: Great! It’s going to be awesome. It’s something I am really looking forward to and excited about. I haven’t spoken publically about the content of my trailer so you will be the first to know about it. It’s an exclusive. I am working in collaboration with a friend who is studying Television Production in London, in the UK. In fact, he was recently on TV as an audience member of Big Brother’s Bit On The Side, which is an extremely popular show in the UK. At the moment we are still in the early storyboarding stages. Essentially though, it will be a short 2-5 minute video. But we won’t go down the usual root of jobseeker failing to get a job time and time again, and then getting one at the end, because not only is that type of thing predictable; my book is to help people successfully get back into work quicker, with less rejections. Instead, it’s going to be centered on my own redundancy success story, with getting my book published and living the life of my dreams, in the hope to inspire others to achieve theirs. I like to think of it as a mini Hollywood Blockbuster snippet and I am going to be playing my own character, which will be a great quirky concept to intrigue my fans. Expect emotion, drama, and inspiration.

Although my book is a self-help book, it also has an autobiographical element to it. My book tells of my own redundancy success story. About how I had a goal to be a self-employed businesswoman and writer, and despite having a lack of support and belief in my abilities from my nearest and dearest, I managed to achieve it by believing in myself. I want that to be a message to anyone who is reading this post or my book, that you can achieve your dreams, despite facing adversity. That you can achieve anything you put your mind to. I want people to realize that their future is their own to create and that all their choices in life belong to them alone. They can shape their destiny.

MikesFilmTalk: Will this be your first time in front of the camera?

Sandra Bellamy: Oh no! I’ve done quite a number of things in the industry. I was an Extra in the 13th episode, series one, of a show called Torchwood; that was a spin-off from the popular Doctor Who Sci-fi series, in the UK. I was screaming and running away from a monster in a white PVC jacket. I was in the trailer for that too and the Episode was called End of Days, if you want to check it out online. But blink and you may miss me. I have also appeared on Channel 4s The TV Show in the UK, debating some content of the popular reality TV show Big Brother, and that was filmed in front of a live studio audience. My Drama Teacher said that I should go to acting school, but I was too shy back then. I love acting and presenting and was a voluntary hospital radio presenter for 17 years. I have also had a number of work experiences within the media industry, including newspapers.

MikesFilmTalk: What is your goal for the future?

Sandra Bellamy: My goal is to be a world-renowned author with books on a variety of topics to improve people’s personal and professional development, and to be an inspirational speaker on stage in London.

MikesFilmTalk: Your book is available from Amazon?

Sandra Bellamy: You can buy from it from Amazon via Kindle. Like other Kindle books you can download an app if you don’t have a Kindle. Here is the link to the UK site: http://www.amazon.co.uk/BREAK-THROUGH-BARRIERS-REDUNDANCY-GUIDE-ebook/dp/B0128RWB5O and the USA site http://www.amazon.com/BREAK-THROUGH-BARRIERS-REDUNDANCY-GUIDE-ebook/dp/B0128RWB5O I am currently working on a printed version so if anyone would like to be emailed when the printed version is out, they can email me at quirkybooks@quirky-books.co.uk

You can follow Sandra on Facebook: www.facebook.com/beatredundancyblues
www.facebook.com/quirkybooksnet www.facebook.com/sandrabellamyUK

or Twitter: www.twitter.com/beatredundancyb
www.twitter.com/quirkybooksnet www.twitter.com/sandrabellamyUK

or subscribe to Sandra on YouTube www.youtube.com/quirkybooksTV

Stop by and like her book page at http://www.facebook.com/breakthroughthebarriersofredundancybook

MikesFilmTalk: Thanks for taking the time to chat about your new book Sandra!

Sandra Bellamy: Thank you!

Sandra Bellamy
Sandra Bellamy, author of BREAK THROUGH THE BARRIERS OF REDUNDANCY TO GET BACK INTO WORK – AN A-Z “HOW TO’ GUIDE

David Carradine: The Eye of My Tornado: A Portrait by Marina Anderson

Book cover of Marina Anderson's autobiographical taleAfter spying this biographical tale in the second-hand section of the local thrift shop last year, I grabbed it on a whim. I was still in shock at Carradine’s death by “autoerotic asphyxiation” as determined by a coroner back when his body was discovered in a Bangkok, Thailand hotel closet in 2009.

The reason that his death stuck in my mind so firmly was two-fold. One, the news of his death came literally on the same day that SyFy’s “Celebrity Ghost Stories” had advertised a segment by Carradine where he talked of a haunting. I remember being stunned at the news and the timing of it. Secondly, his death was eerily similar to another actor’s whose dead body was discovered after the dead man’s fiancee raised concern for her missing fella. Albert Dekker, whose last role was that of the railroad man Harrigan, an agent for the company intent upon hunting down and killing the gang in “The Wild Bunch.”

Dekker had been found in ladies lingerie with obscenities scrawled on his near-naked body and hanging from the shower rail in his apartment. The death is recounted in the “underground classic” “Hollywood Babylon” by Kenneth Anger. The similarities are remarkable, especially as both women whom the men were attached to, were adamant that foul play was involved.

In this book, Marian Anderson writes, as a sort of catharsis, about her time with Carradine and the side less known. Her recounting of their affair shows just how much she did to rejuvenate his career and her work to get he and Tarantino together before “Kill Bill.”

That David Carradine was a very talented actor is undeniable. Watching him in “Night of the Templar” in what was, except for the 2016 film “Mata Hari” which is still in post production, his last role is an example of his effortless style of delivery in an otherwise poorly executed film.

Marina tells of David’s attempt to stay sober during their six year relationship and his going back to booze afterward, along with what appears to have been opiate abuse throughout, and one marvels at the amount of talent that still shone through in his performances.

Sadly, it seems that Carradine was not an overly pleasant man when dealing with his fans and he was at the forefront of autographs for money. Reading the book, which is very well written, Carradine comes across as romantic, controlling, narcissistic, passive-aggressive, and wildly talented. He was a musician, singer, and writer on top of his acting and Marina is not hesitant to point out the creative sides of her ex-husband.

There are things about David that are shocking, incest on top of the alcohol abuse, and his sexual practices sound like something out of “50 Shades of Grey.” Anderson does not flinch at showing all the sides of her relationship with Carradine, warts and all. Her cleansing act of revelation is entertaining and one leaves the book with a feeling that Carradine never realized what he had in his grasp.

Sadly, it seems to be a trait which he was doomed to repeat regardless of whatever partner he was with. After buying this book, written in 2010, it took me over a year to get past the first chapter. Not because it was “hard reading” but because of my business schedule. I picked the book up yesterday and once started, it was impossible to put down. Finishing this morning, I realized that this was one of the best celeb biographies I’d read in a long time.

Kudos to Marina Anderson for her portrait of David Carradine, “the eye of her tornado” and the times spent living with him and getting over him. She also tells of her own personal investigation into his suspicious death in Thailand and her conclusions. This is a 4 out of 5 star read, fascinating and difficult to put down.

Lena Dunham Bart Simpson of Feminism

Lena Dunham Bart Simpson of Feminism

It has not taken long for Lena Dunham to raise a ruckus in her worldwide book tour of Not That Kind of Girl, there should be no surprise as the writer and actress really is the Bart Simpson of feminism. The creator and star of the HBO comedy Girls, courts controversy on a regular basis. As one journalist pointed out in a Q and A last year, the 28 year old performer likes to appear regularly on the series in her birthday suit in situations that make no real sense to the show’s plot.

NOS4R2 aka NOS4A2, by Joe Hill: Family Tradition

NOS4R2 Joe Hill Carrying on a family tradition

Had it not been my birthday, I never would have read NOS4R2 by Joe Hill. Firstly, because I’d never heard of it and secondly, because I’d never heard of him. But there is a family tradition in the Smith household. Every year on my birthday, my daughter buys me the latest Stephen King novel. It is a nice tradition as I am a rabid King fan and, thus far, the master has never failed to enthral me with his stories.

The tradition had fallen a bit behind. The last few years have been fragmented. Divorce, or as I liked to phrase it at the time, running away from home, injury; near death; early retirement; job losses; new life choices; and a new job have all interrupted the King tradition.

This year, though, found a new author’s offering being placed in my hands on the day of my birth (actually the day before as I was unavailable on the real day). As Megs, my daughter, and Max, her significant other, presented the massive tome to me, she explained that Joe Hill was not just any writer, he was the offspring of Stephen and Tabitha King. She’d read good things about the book and as I’d already purchased the latest King book, via Kindle, this was her solution.

There is an old adage that states: “An acorn never falls far from the tree.” In author Joe Hill’s case, this is obviously true. I can honestly say that I have not been this excited by a new author since I first discovered this writer’s father, Stephen King, back in 1979.

The book was The Stand and it is still my favourite King book. I still re-read it and still enjoy the hell out of it. This book was the first one that had characters I could relate to, like, and recognise; even the baddies struck a chord. You were able to empathise and understand their actions. They seemed real.

The Stand

Joe Hill (I know, you’re thinking: “Geeze, it took you over 300 words to get to the guy. Hurry up, already!”) has that same knack of making his characters understandable, relatable, and you can connect.

The other ability he has is that his words and story move so quickly that they seem to scream along the pages. Like his father’s books, I literally could not put the story down until I had finished it. Although I did have to read it in bits and pieces over the weekend, as I write the most myself on those two days for the paper I work for. I got the book on Friday the 20th of September and finished it on Sunday the 22nd of September.

At 698 pages, it is not a small literary effort. It is a massive bit of work that was addictive from the first page.  Joe Hill is carrying on the family tradition of superlative writing combined with a breakneck pace that thrills and entertains.

The story is, in essence, an ensemble piece that really focusses around five characters: Charles Talent Manx – whom we meet first in the story; Victoria ‘Vic‘ aka “the Brat” McQueen – whom we meet next; Bing Partridge – the next player we bump into; Maggie the librarian and her special Scrabble tiles,  Louis “Lou” Carmody – the fifth member of this saga; and finally Wayne Carmody – product of Lou and Vic’s union.

There are other peripheral characters who flit in and out of the story, but although important in their own way, they are too distracting to include in  a review.

At the start of the book Charles Talent Manx is in a coma. He is a very evil man who is very old and should, by all rights, be dead. Vic is a girl who rides her Raleigh Tuff Burner bicycle to places much further than usual with the aid of a decrepit old covered bridge called the “Shorter Way Bridge.”

With her bike and the bridge, she meets Maggie and she finds “things.”

She learns from the librarian that her ability to travel and find lost items really has nothing to do with the bike or the bridge, she has something in her that allows her to do these things. But the ability is aided by the bike. This ability also costs. Vic pays a price for her trips, just as Maggie pays for her secret tile knowledge.

Manx wakes from his coma and resumes his evil ways with the help of his old partner in crime Bing. The two abduct children and take them to an imaginary place called Christmasland. Both men are murderers, but Manx kills and collects souls with the help of a 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith.

Vic, Maggie, and Manx all share the same ability. They can create a reality that parallels the real world and they all have a device to help them. When Vic found Manx when she was younger, she defeated him and in the process lost her bike. She is saved, partially, by Lou Carmody and they become a couple.

Years later, after Manx returns, she must re-learn how to find the Shorter Way Bridge so she can save her son who has been taken by Bing and Manx.

Joe Hill has taken the genre of horror and revitalised it. NOS4A2, or NOS4R2 in England, is Hill’s third novel and apart from bearing a striking resemblance to his famous father, he has taken onboard all the things that work in the world of horror.

But, Hill has his own voice. There are areas of his work that seems vaguely familiar, but, not in a bad way. It is more in the way of reassurance. His writing says: “Look, I’ve learned a thing or two about writing from a master. Who am I to turn my back on it?”

I agree.

NOS4R2/NOS4A2 by Joe Hill is an excellent entertaining bit of literary magic. He has kept up the family tradition of simultaneously scaring the pants off of his reader while allowing them to really care about all the players. I have discovered a new “favourite author” and will have to make room in my bulging bookcase for more of his work.

This is a real 5 out of 5 star read.

Joe Hill carrying on the family tradition