The Character Building Project

Michael J. Kerrigan

Among the lessons I tried to learn in publishing three books on character is the importance of the book’s cover. Research supports the adage that, “You Can Tell a Book By Its Cover.” In the first two books, I followed the advice of my publisher who offered five suggestions:

Placing the photos of those profiled in each book.

Making sure a large number was also on the cover. For example, 10 Characters with Character and 7 Warriors with Character.

Including the word “Character” in each title.

Carrying on the red, white and blue patriotic color scheme.

Including one of the better testimonials on the book’s cover.

After reading a 2008 article in Psychology Today… “Why You Really Can Judge a Book by Its Cover,” I felt prompted to go beyond psychology research in order to consult with other authors. Their common reaction was…”Of course you can judge a book by… Continue reading

Restoring Character in America was the hardest of my books to publish. The first book, Politics with Principle was written from my 30 plus years of experience as a Washington Lobbyists. The second, Courage in America was a natural outcome of gaining the trust of the wounded warriors and just guiding them on their story of successful rehabilitation.

The idea of Restoring Character in America did not come easily to me. I read endless books, articles, and visited numerous web sites on several character related topics. Initially my plan was to write a book about our law enforcement heroes. I thought this would be a logical extension of the heroic qualities of the wounded warriors I knew. I had already reported on the wounded warriors traumatic loss, their vulnerability in rehabilitation, then their comeback, the final triumph of successful rehabilitation and transition to civilian life.

In my opinion, our country… Continue reading

 

Courage in America began as part of my service project as a member of The Knights of Malta, a Roman Catholic service organization. As part of my “work,” I visited wounded warriors at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington D.C. The results of those and subsequent visits to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda Maryland provided the opportunity for me to select wounded warriors who already have, or were in the process of successfully overcoming traumatic injuries. My mission was to understand the character traits that enable some of them to turn their adversities into successful recoveries, while others did not.  Courage was clearly present in the successes.

Marine Corporal Todd Nicely**, was the first of the seven warriors I was to profile. Todd challenged me to write his story. I replied to Todd that given your serious injuries the story could be depressing. Todd replied…… Continue reading

When I launched the Character Building Project site ten years ago, I began my research in the character genre and continue to do so, with Malcolm Gladwell’s 2008 book Outliers  in mind. Gladwell’s rule is that 10,000 hours is the magic number to gain expertise in a subject.

Three years later, Wheatmark, Inc. published my first book… Politics with Principle: Ten Characters with Character. Before choosing Wheatmark I had interviewed several other independent publishers as I was not seeking an advance, knew I wanted to control my own intellectual property and wanted to work with people I trusted that could guide me through the publishing process

My first step was to seek the advice of my wife (a scientific editor for the National Cancer Institute), my valued clients who I had represented for many years and the opinions of those in politics I respected. All recommended… Continue reading

Adam on the Road to Recovery

Recently, I have been absent (with leave) from posting articles on this site because my neighbors and I hosted an event to support the recovery and rehabilitation of Adam Williams’s traumatic injuries. The good news is that Adam is making a miraculous recovery and the reception raised over $30,000 to help Adam and his family defers huge medical expenses.

As many of you may know, I have been working on character building for over ten years and have just launched my third character book, Restoring Character in America (RCIA.) At this stage of the project, having dedicated 10,000 hours to studying character education, we are generating growing interest in citizen participation in character building, sold over five thousand copies of my first two published books,…  Politics with Principle: Ten Characters with Character and Courage in America, have almost 700 loyal followers who… Continue reading

Just Released!

Restoring Character in AmericaRestoring Character in America identifies the decline in character in our country, but then gives the reader hope for the future by showcasing leaders whose careers are successfully turning around this trend in our schools, communities, businesses, and the military.

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For the Visually Impaired

Courage in America has been aurally transcribed for the visually impaired, thanks to Volunteers of Vacaville, California. Tel: 704.448.6841 ext 2044.