Meet the Author Monday: Mark Holmes

It’s Meet the Author Monday! Each week we meet a new author and get to know a little about them, their writing process, publishing experience, and tips for other writers. Today we’re talking to Mark Holmes, author of Holmes’s Complete Guide To Stop Drinking; The Easy, Mindful and Pain-free Way.

About Mark Holmes:

Mark Holmes is the CEO and Founder of the Addiction Help Agency with a Master’s degree from the University of London, and he has been teaching, lecturing and instructing for over 20 years in the UK, South East Asia and South America.

A former high-functioning alcoholic, Mark spent years researching alcohol to find a way to control and eventually stop drinking alcohol, which culminated in a 375-page book with over 300+ academic references.

The Independent Review of Books described it as “fact-based”, “highly entertaining” and a “great self-help book”. As well as a “must-read if you want to totally abstain from drinking alcohol.”

Mark is based in London, England, and is happily married with two children. His hobby is taking his children to theirs.

About Holmes’s Complete Guide To Stop Drinking Alcohol:

Holmes’s Complete Guide To Stop Drinking Alcohol is the world-leading 375-page authoritative guide on how to stop drinking alcohol written by Mark Holmes, a former schoolteacher and registered Alcohol Addiction CBT Therapist with a Master’s degree from the University of London, CEO and Founder of the Addiction Help Agency.

Search for the House of Dreams

Mark knows what it’s like because he’s been on both sides of the fence – alcohol addicted patient and alcohol addiction therapist. So he knows what you’re going through, what you need to stop drinking alcohol and how to deliver the best therapeutic treatment plan in the world.

Written in a lively, “fact-based” and “highly entertaining” style [The Independent Review of Books] and utilizing tried-and-tested Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, which has helped millions achieve permanent sobriety, combined with the latest scientific research with over 300+ academic references, including mindfulness techniques and established therapeutic ways to stop drinking alcohol, requiring no belief in a higher power, you will find it easy and painless to stop drinking alcohol in this easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide that will give you the stop drinking help you need and teach you:

* How to fully self-diagnose your current level of drinking alcohol using clinically approved and thorough self-assessment tests

* Why you inevitably turned from being an occasional drinker to a habitual drinker to a purposeful drinker (drinking for a purpose)

* Why you have found it repeatedly impossible to maintain sobriety after previously trying to stop drinking using willpower.

* What are the major causes of relapse and how to tackle them before they happen.

Holmes’s Complete Guide To Stop Drinking Alcohol will transform any negative into positive thinking whilst building your self-esteem and, most importantly, nurturing your self-compassion to remove the pain of any guilt or shame you have been living with. Ultimately, it will give you the courage and confidence to redefine yourself in a happier and brighter world.

Holmes’s Complete Guide To Stop Drinking Alcohol is the only guidebook you will ever need to achieve your sobriety dream and be happy permanently clean.

Don’t hesitate, click “Buy Now” above to make your dream come true today.

Author Interview with Mark Holmes:

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I’ll receive a small commission if you purchase using those links.

1. What inspired you to start writing?

I spent years daily counting down the hours until party o’clock and the terrible torment, trials and tribulations and torture that always followed in the inevitable aftermath. Sadness following happiness following sadness on “full” in the spin cycle of alcohol addiction left out to dry in the mornings like a bloated beached whale beside the receding tide. I started writing to show them there’s a way out and there always is.

2. What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book(s)?

A lot of self-help “quit-lit” books have got the most important fact about alcohol wrong. They all called alcohol a “depressant”, which you’ve probably learnt yourself, but it actually isn’t. If it was, why would so many people get a buzz or high from it? No, you’re not crazy, alcohol is a biphasic stimulant sedative. This means it acts as a stimulant, rewarding you with a pleasant sensation, before immediately following with a sedation effect, as surely as night follows day. Unfortunately, you can’t have one without the other. But if you ignore the “stimulant” effect you ignore the main reason why people drink. And seriously, every single “quit lit” book out there does. I feel like I’m trying to start a one-man revolution and shouting “the emperor has no clothes!”

3. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

There is so much misinformation on websites, I only work from primary academic sources, that is original scientific research papers or textbooks. But even then there is probably more research on alcohol than any other drug. Fortunately, I had a sharply tuned filter as a former alcoholic, and training as a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist, so I was able to take a therapeutic as well as scientific approach. In the end, I managed to narrow it down to just over 300 academic references, which is probably still too much (!) even for a 375-page book! But I wanted it to be a “Complete” guide to stop drinking alcohol, and give the reader all the tools and techniques they needed to quit drinking, and not leave anything important out which I felt was essential to their success. I was writing it for myself, really, for the alcoholic I was, in a way that would have made sense to me when I was drinking. And I knew I wouldn’t listen to anyone else’s opinion, alone, unless it was backed by chapter and verse so they could check the facts themselves. 

4. How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader?

I see what you mean, too much research! The challenge was trying to present the research in an interesting way so I established the leitmotif of a Sherlock Holmes investigation into a “Suspect” who used a “Murder Weapon” to poison himself, and the facts came along for the ride.

5. What is your writing Kryptonite?

That would make an apt name for a drink! Kryptonite pretty much wiped out Superman, and alcohol pretty much wipes out the superman in you, too, if that’s not too contrived! (Sorry!) But I suppose alcohol is actually my “writing kryptonite” because it used to make me think up bizarre quotes and ideas, which at the time I thought were literary genius (!) but robbed me of any energy or enthusiasm to do anything with them. 

6. Who is your favourite author and why?

I’m a huge fan of Charles Bukowski, and I will never understand how he produced under the influence, except to hazard a guess he probably didn’t. I mean, the drinking he did while writing probably only brought him up to most people’s “normal” level, so he wasn’t really under the influence at all. A bit like, I suspect, the alcoholic comedian, Doug Stanhope, who I also still adore and is still brilliantly funny on stage and in his “The Doug Stanhope Podcast.” What I thought would be really funny would be to ask him to write the Foreword to my book! Well, he did ask the addiction specialist TV doctor, Dr Drew, to write the foreword to his memoir, which he did. If you’re reading this, Doug, what about it? I’ve sent Brian Hannigan [Manager] an ARC for you!

7.     Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

Are we talking about Charles Bukowski or Doug Stanhope here? Or me? I really hope it’s not me. I did the whole ego self-important careerist my job-status-is-my-raison d’etre for twenty-years through the ranks of school leadership making a pretty decent living and travelling the world before finding sobriety and becoming an impoverished alcohol addiction therapist! But I feel more grounded and fulfilled doing what I do now than I ever did in education. Maybe I’m at that time in my life where it’s not all about the money, although fixing the boiler and hot water would be nice (!) (I’m like Petrocelli eternally trying to build his house), but instead doing what feels meaningful because you’re like over the half-way mark, by almost another half… hopefully! What was the question? Ego? I honestly think you lose your ego at a certain age in life – the pandemic, job crisis, life crises, kids, helped me lose mine – and if you don’t, you should have!

8. What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

No ego! Honestly, honesty. That may be taken for read in a non-fiction book, but there is still such a thing as academic integrity, which isn’t always there. It would be so easy to write a Stop Drinking Alcohol Book and use only research that favoured your argument. There is sometimes research for and against things that would make quitting the least likely option after reading it. And when I quote something, the quote has to be true to the academic conclusion otherwise it’s a misquote. And if I know more recent research evidence disproves earlier evidence then I don’t use the earlier evidence. But all of these things are not necessarily apparent on the surface, but hopefully the bedrock at the core that holds the book together and will establish its place in time, especially if Doug Stanhope doesn’t write the foreword!

9.  Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

I came across research that proved sex was better on alcohol. Now I had a choice. Do you ignore it? You know that 9 out of 10 readers have suddenly decided quitting alcohol isn’t such a great idea anymore if you use it. Can you hide it somehow? That’s a pretty big secret to hide. You need to be honest. So, I quoted the research. Now I’m telling you that I personally believe sober sex is better but I still quoted the evidence, because if the reader doesn’t trust me to do that, and let them make their own minds up, then they couldn’t trust anything in the book. But I made sure to back up my personal belief and include research on why sober sex is better, too!

To learn more about Mark Holmes, here’s where you can connect with him:

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Published by Kelly Schuknecht

Kelly Schuknecht is a marketer with a background in the publishing industry. She is passionate about all things related to books and loves helping authors navigate the world of social media for book promotion. She recently launched the course Marketing Your Book on TikTok.

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