Just about two years ago, Guy Michaels thought his world would be turned upside down on Sept. 22, 2014, when his father died.
Since his father, Arvis Smith, was his hero, Michaels thought he’d be very shaken. But then, the unexpected happened. He had a moment with God and his worst day and best day became the same day.
Michaels found the inspiration to write the book he’d wanted to write for a long time.
“I’ve been wanting to write a book for many, many years and I just could not get inspired and I knew that inspiration is something that is granted to you, it’s not something you can drum up,” Michaels said.
His father proved to be the inspiration Michaels needed along with the book’s title. “The A.R.V.I.S. Effect” was released Aug. 23 and is available online at most major bookstores. It’s also available on thearviseffect.com and through Tate Publishing.
Michaels said the idea to pen the book happened about three months after his father’s death.
“After he passed away the inspiration for the book came and that was ‘Everybody loves Smitty,’” said Michaels, who described his father as his hero.
The two men were very close.
“When he passed away, it was a very spiritual experience for me,” said Michaels, who’s last name is Smith, but goes by Michaels professionally. “It was a very peaceful experience for me.”
And his father’s impact on him and his immediate family was apparent.
“The effect he had on everybody that he came in contact with and also what he taught me growing up that he didn’t even know he was teaching, he just was trying to be a good dad,” Michaels said.
So he took the life principles his father taught him and based them on a book he hopes will allow readers to have a fulfilled life.
The five principles correspond to letters in Arvis’ first name — accountability, respectful, vigilant, inspiration and service.
Several of those principles stemmed from watching his father run his own business, which was a plumbing and air-conditioning company in Texas. Michaels said his dad taught him and his brother about the business as they grew up.
“I learned responsibility and he held me accountable,” Michaels said. “As a man growing up I started to look back and say I get it now, I understand what you did and how you molded us and shaped us and taught us responsibility.”
With these memories in mind, Michaels started penning the book in December 2014. The book was written non-linearly and chapter one chronicles the last 24 hours of Arvis’ life and death.
“If somebody were to ask me what the best day in my life was, I’d say the day my dad died, because God showed up and he showed me some things that I did not realize,” Michaels said. “And I was so at peace with my relationship with my dad.
“And the worst day was the day my dad died.”
His father’s final months also affect Michael’s relationship with his mother.
“My mother and I shared a very, very special time (and) a very special moment when my dad died,” he said, pointing out he and his parents lived in Tennessee at that time. “She and I were the sole caretakers for the last 45 days of his life, and so we were both there when we took his last breath.”
Michaels said he expected to feel one way after his father died but didn’t.
“I just got a very overwhelming sense of calm and sort of like Christ said on the cross, ‘It is finished,’” he said. “The person laying in that bed was not my dad. The magic that was my dad was gone and this was just a vehicle. I went outside in the front yard and I had a very, very intense moment with God in the front yard and it was just a very peaceful moment and that is when the inspiration of the book started to set in.”
But it took Michael awhile to finish the book.
“The inspiration would flow and then it would dry up,” he said, adding when the inspiration stopped he stopped writing to not force anything.
But after writing only the first three chapters, Michaels submitted the book to 35 publishers. He said it was picked up by six publishers but the majority wanted to fictionalize the book by changing content or names.
Tate Publishing disagreed. Company officials said they liked the book as is, so Michaels chose to work with them.
“The A.R.V.I.S Effect” is the first book Michaels has written, but he has three more — all of which are Christian-based — currently in process. Two of the books are Christian fiction and the third is “The A.R.V.I.S. Effect: The power of revolutionary relationships.”
“Everything I do has a spiritual undertone to it because I’ve got a very strong faith, a very strong relationship with God,” he said “And everything that I do is because he allows me to do it.
Michaels, who lives in Cleveland and works as a comedy hypnotist in Gatlinburg, Tenn., is a neuro strategist working on his doctorate degree in counseling psychology.
“I’m very interested in the brain and why we do what we do,” he said.
Herb Plaster has read “The A.R.V.I.S Effect” twice after meeting Michaels at his comedy hypnotism show in Gatlinburg and highly recommends it.
“It’s very simple, very straightforward, but when you stop and think about it, you get that aha moment,” the Axton, Va., man said. “I was very impressed by the book.”
Plaster decided to read the book after meeting Michaels and realizing how genuine he was.
“Guy is sharing his lessons that he learned in life and ... the lessons he got from his dad and then he combines his faith with that it’s very poignant,” Plaster said.
“After you finish the book, it’s one of those books that you are just so thankful that you read it because it causes you to dig a little deeper about your standards or your own insights into life.”
Michaels hopes his book teaches readers to appreciate where they are in life.
“You climb a ladder one rung at a time and to be fulfilled on each of those rungs is the ultimate goal,” he said.