Richard Alan: Straight to the Heart
Most reviews on Richard Alan’s Amazon page say the same thing, in tone if not verbatim: “Oh, thank God I am not alone!” This is the heart-cry of most people who have had unfaithful partners and one of the reasons Richard’s exceptionally frank book, First Aid for the Betrayed, is so popular. First Aid is written around excerpts from his journal and interviews with others who have been betrayed by their partners. Some chapters even reach out to the unfaithful mates and the third party in the affair.
A devoted music historian and journalist, Richard (or Rick, as he calls himself) now shows none of the anger and despair that resonated through his book. Which is understandable; it’s been a few years since he and his wife mended the rift between them. Rick’s says writing the book was a huge part of the healing process: “Writing the book and researching many of the issues was, in its own way, my own ‘first aid’ and a healing process in and of itself. I was very motivated to help others and in some way to help them avoid some of the difficulties in healing I personally experienced and saw in others.”
He’s modest but enthusiastic about his writing. “I suppose my own values have always been reflected in my writing style,” he says. “I’ve always tried to approach writing from a more personal point of view versus an academic point of view. I like to relate to my readers and treat them as equals and with respect for their own intelligence and needs.”
When asked what drove him to write such a forthright account, he says, “I saw a need to address the most immediate damage and to let others who have been betrayed know that they were not alone in their grief and what was needed in the short term to help them begin healing. I saw a need for immediate ‘first aid’ for those who had been so devastated by the experience.”
The response to the book has proven him right. His reviews resound with the relieved astonishment of people who discover that someone understands their rage and pain . . . that they are not the only ones to feel so destroyed.
Rick also led a support group for betrayed spouses while writing his book. This, he notes, “gave me even more insights as to what people needed to heal the wounds . . . that experience combined with my journal provided the basis for the book.”
Why did he decide to self-publish with Trafford? “While I was drafting my book, I researched virtually all of the on-demand publishers. I also had two contacts that already had experience with Trafford who recommended [them]. In researching I looked at BBB ratings, user complaints, and factual comparisons of services and pricing. I chose Trafford because I felt [they] had a high quality product and the most support and market placement options to get my book visible to the potential buyer and my target audience.”
This combination of meticulousness and passion seems to be Rick’s central trait as a person as well as a writer. He is content with the reception his book has received and says monetary success was never his goal. First Aid for the Betrayed was written with a different purpose: “Simply to know that the emotions and reactions [experienced] on discovery of a spouse’s affair are shared by all of us and that it is ‘okay’ to have those reactions and feelings. Secondly, to know that there is hope for the future and that they will be able to recover and find happiness again. Third, to provide specific information and help in making their recovery and guide them in finding their way. Finally, to give them some insights on the issue of affairs and recovery and provide some advice on how to react and deal with others in their circles.”