Two local writers, Bill Black and Tom Tozer, laughed and cried their way through many lunches and finally decided to pitch an idea for a weekly column to their local paper.
There was little information from real dads providing real-life perspectives about navigating the typical minefields of raising teenagers.
Nearly four years later, the syndicated column appears in more than 30 print and online publications, and a collection of columns is now a book titled Dads2Dads: We Survived and You Can Too—Tools for Raising Teenagers (plus a few tirades).
The 170-page book is divided into sub-sections: The Clueless Dad, The Connecting Dad, The Learning Dad, The Family Dad, The Modeling Dad and The Teaching Dad. At the end of each section, the authors offer “Try This” exercises for the family to do at home. The exercises themselves are not difficult; the real challenge is to bring the entire family together amid all of today’s distractions.
“We decided to publish the book ourselves because in today’s world there are countless ways to get a book in print,” said Tozer. “The self-publishing options are growing in popularity. They are less expensive and most certainly you’re not waiting months and months to get a response from a publisher.
“The resulting challenge for us is that most of the marketing is in our hands,” Black added. “We have hired a consultant who is providing guidance, and we have formed Dads2Dads LLC as an umbrella for our writings, our syndication and the workshop that we are planning.”
Tozer and Black are now working with a graphic artist to design their brand, and they are reaching out to major events to offer Dads2Dads as a breakout session for seminars and conferences.
Also, they want to get their book into the hands of reputable reviewers as well as movers and shakers who have expressed interest in parenting and family issues.
“We don’t tout ourselves as professional counselors or therapists,” Tozer explained. “From the get-go, we said we are regular dads who have struggled with raising kids, made mistakes and enjoyed some triumphs during those wonderful and turbulent years. Dads don’t talk to one another about parenting issues—and they often don’t have a forum to share their questions and concerns with other dads. We’re hoping to provide that forum.”
“Our focus groups with other dads revealed that men want to share their thoughts and ideas, but they want to do so in a non-threatening, non-judgmental environment,” Black noted. “They don’t want to be preached to—they want to learn from one another. There is no textbook for fatherhood.
Most of us just fumble through and do the best we can.”Tozer and Black plan to expand their column readership throughout the nation. They expect to have an in-person presentation ready by spring and will speak at events large or small, for civic clubs and men’s groups in particular.
Dads2Dads is available on CreateSpace (https://www.createspace.com/4178123) and on Amazon. Contact Black and Tozer at Tomandbill@dads2dadsllc.com or visit www.dads2dadsllc.com.