CMT’s Cody Alan is adding another title to his resume–author.
His upcoming book, Hear’s The Thing: Lessons on Listening, Life & Love, will release Oct. 19. Country star Keith Urban wrote the foreword for the book.
Alan serves as host and executive producer for CMT Radio. He is also a host for CMT’s Hot 20, regularly getting the scoop on the happenings of country music’s top stars and other celebrities, having interviewed Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Bradley Cooper, Dolly Parton and more. The Academy of Country Music Awards have twice named Alan as the winner of the On-Air Personality of the Year-National category.
Alan recently told PEOPLE of the book’s genesis:
“Looking back at the struggles leading up to coming out made me realize that I could help people in their journey because of my journey. And I also thought that we live in a noisy world and people are not taking the time to listen to each other. And if we could listen better to one another and to ourselves that this could make us better.
“Larry King once said to me, ’I never learned anything while I was talking,’ which I thought was a great quote. And that is exactly the theme of the book, which is listening to each other, being present in the moment, laser-focusing on the person that you’re talking to and learning from what they have to say, and finally, ultimately, listening to ourselves, our own heart and intuition that that listening could also make us happier. All those things sort of led me to write the book.”
Alan told PEOPLE that the book also includes never-before-shared moments from his work interviewing Shelton, Bryan and other country artists, as well as a story about meeting TV personality Ellen DeGeneres.
Alan also spoke of the personal breakthroughs he experienced while penning his book, saying, “It was very therapeutic, honestly; I did a lot of reflecting back over the years on the many adventures in my life from country music interviews to things I’ve done on the road. And to obviously more personal moments like coming out. And so I was able to really write those things down and weave them into a cohesive narrative over the past year. So I’ve learned a lot about myself through all that, I mean including, I feel like, the effect that my journey could have on others. You know, you lead into coming out and think, okay, frankly, it was about me. I needed to make that move because I was not in a good place. And I knew that that struggle was being gay all those years and keeping secrets. As this happy-go-lucky guy on television, to have the chance to come home and not be that guy and realize I was sort of faking it.
“I needed to find that 100 percent of me that was missing. And so that realization of knowing that that journey of coming to that moment and then what I learned since could help others really pushed me to write the book and to delve into more of what I have learned. It’s not just about coming out, by the way, it’s all the hard work it takes to do what I do. I mean, we’re helping, I think, readers to maybe learn things that they could do to improve themselves by hearing themselves and the people around them more clearly. That’s obviously one of the themes of the book is listening and what I’ve learned by listening to others and to myself.”
See the cover for Hear’s The Thing: Lessons on Listening, Life & Love below: