Desperation. You can laugh, but it’s actually the truth. You see, I first shared a few tales about my feed store days on my blog back in 2007. At the time my blog was brand new and I was struggling to come up with entertaining and fresh content. As well as gathering enough readers to make writing it worthwhile in my mind. A few months in, I began a weekly series called THE FEEDSTORE CHRONICLES highlighting my rather incredulous boss’s exploits. My blog readership took off and one of the most common comments I received was, “Man, you should write a book about those days.”
2. Well Travis, I'm glad you decided to take the plunge and get the book published. Not everyone in the book is shown in a favorable light however. Did you ever worry about hurting anyone's feelings?
Come on Eric, you’ve read the book. No one that hung at the feed store had feelings. Just kidding. Actually I worried about misrepresenting the people the characters were based upon. I wanted to cast them in an honest light. Myself included, which was harder to do than one might imagine. Luckily, you can get away with lots of things for the sake of humor that otherwise might be considered mean-spirited. I certainly didn’t want to vilify my boss as I still count him as a friend, but I didn’t want to sugar coat his personality either. Most if not all of the people who were a part of my life in those days have read the book. Several attended the release party, including my boss and one of his ex-wives. (Yes the one that twice tried to kill him. but no there was no bloodshed at the party) My ex-boss has even pledged to supply me "more shocking tales"for a sequel should the demand call for one.
3. You can bet I'd buy a sequel in a heartbeat. Instead of Shock and Awe, your book is more like Shock and...Damn That's Funny! So now that you've worked your way through the publishing process, what advice can you give those of us working towards that goal?
Don’t give up. Yeah, I know it’s clichéd, but I’ve seen firsthand lots of talented writers (certainly more so than me) simply toss in the towel because they couldn’t handle the rejections and disappointment. I’d also say be active. The days of the solitary writer pecking away in seclusion, sending off their query/manuscript and finding an agent/editor to be their champion are over. Oh, I suppose it might happen but dang near every writer I know finding success these days is out there hustling, marketing, social networking to build name recognition and a brand name – before they have an actual book on the shelf. In 2011, I published 3 shorts stories, landed a job at a sports magazine, and published my first full-length book all as a direct result of networking.
4. Wow, that makes for a busy year (but congrats on all that success). Juggling time with a family and a writing career (not to mention a full time job) is difficult at best. What do you do to satisfy all these demands on your time?
Forego television, sleep, and many a fishing trip. It’s tough at times, even more so now that I’ve saddled up the promo horse. I sneak in writing time when I can. At work when the boss ain’t looking. At my son’s soccer practice. In the doctor’s office. Used to be I’d read during those times, but sadly my reading time is another casualty in the war of career building.
5. I feel your pain regarding the lack of reading time. It's important to read as a writer, but fitting it in with all the rest of what we're trying to do can be difficult at best. So can we expect a book tour to celebrate the awesome-ness that is The Feedstore Chronicles?
Yes. As a matter of fact the final touches are being put on a trip up your way to Colorado. Coordinating the dates to hit multiple venues on one trip has been tough but I should have details soon. And come spring, I’ll be hitting feed stores and books stores in Texas and Oklahoma.
6. There's nothing I'm looking forward to more than catching up with you when you hit Colorado. Okay, maybe I am really looking forward to the new pipes I'm getting for my motorcycle (Christmas present), but you're a close second. Anything else you want to share about yourself, the book, ....your hatred of lettuce?
I am putting together another humor book based on both my personal experiences as well as my skewed opinions of food. It is titled LETTUCE IS THE DEVIL:The Culinary Dogma of a Devout Meat Man and depending how things go it could see the light of day sometime in 2012. I’d also like to thank you Eric for having me and for the kind words about my book.
Travis, it has been a true pleasure having you here. You continue to be an inspiration to all of us, particularly now that you've achieved this publication goal. For those interested in picking up a copy of Travis' new book The Feedstore Chronicles (everyone nod your head, you know you want one), head on out to Amazon or Barnes & Nobles and get your copy today.