Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed businessman Steve Gormley about what inspired him to write his hit book, Investing In Cannabis For Dummies. He talks about his career, writing experiences and the advice he has for others.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
My name is Steve Gormley and I was born and raised in New York City. I am the father of four amazing children and have lived and worked all over the world and all over the US. I was educated in the US, Europe, and Asia and I speak English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, and Dutch. I am a pioneer in the US cannabis business and have been working in the industry for nearly 10 years. Prior to getting into cannabis, I worked in private equity specializing in media and technology. I love to read, love the outdoors, especially the beach, and love music.
When did you first WANT to write a book?
I have always loved writing, particularly non-fiction. I have kept a journal most of my life and have documented many of my travels, significant life experiences, and views on people, politics, and society. By the time I was 20 I knew I wanted to one day write and publish a book. I have also written creatively; I am presently working on the pilot of a television series.
When did you take a step to start writing?
My first attempt at writing began with my first journal entry in college. I started writing about the people I was meeting, experiences I had and insights I gained while studying in Hungary.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
It took me roughly 9 months to write my first book. I was approached by an editor with Wiley Publishing in the US, the publishing house that owns the “for Dummies” series. From the time I was approached and commissioned to the time, my book was released on Amazon was approximately 18 months.
What made you want to write Investing In Cannabis For Dummies?
I wrote “Investing in Cannabis for Dummies” because I was commissioned by the publisher of the series. I wrote the book to help promote my personal brand in cannabis and to promote the businesses I run.
What were your biggest challenges with writing Investing In Cannabis For Dummies?
As a single father of four running a large publicly-traded company, my biggest challenge in writing the book was finding time to sit down and write.
What was your research process for Investing In Cannabis For Dummies?
I collected much of my research through people I work with in cannabis and by talking to lawyers, cultivators, manufacturers, lobbyists, regulators, and by doing a great deal of online research. I also drew from my own personal and professional experiences.
How did you plan the structure of Investing In Cannabis For Dummies?
I was fortunate in that I worked with an experienced editor who knows the For Dummies series inside out. He presented me with a template for writing after we developed the table of contents.
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did Investing In Cannabis For Dummies need?
I had great support from my editor at Wiley Publishing. Some chapters required more work than others. It was an iterative process.
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a book?
Create a writing schedule and a set of rituals that will support you in writing every day.
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
I will likely write more about emerging markets and am also working on creative projects as well. I’m working on a television series about the talk show industry set in New York in the 90s.
And, finally, are you proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
I wrote part of the book during the pandemic and while I had COVID. I did so while raising four children who were remote learning and while running a company over zoom. I’m quite proud of that accomplishment.