One of the great things about taking road trips as we did recently is being able to make new friends along the way, whether they are someone I know online or somebody I meet along the way. Many of those folks are authors, which is always a treat. While we were in Arizona, I got together with Mike Leonard and Scott MacKenzie, two authors from the Phoenix area that I had met online. It was fun to sit down with them in person and talk about writing and self-publishing.
A couple of weeks later, when we were in Alabama on our return trip from out west, Miss Terry and I had lunch with TW Robinson and his beautiful wife Amy. We were really looking forward to that.
TW is a retired cop and the author of an excellent book called The Retirement, about a group of police officers getting together to toast a coworker who has left the department. Anybody who has spent time around cops would recognize many of the stories they swap at a table in their favorite watering hole, because whether you’re a big city officer or work in a small town or a rural county, so many of the experiences are a universal part of police work. Reading about their adventures and misadventures together, I could have been sitting with any group of cops I’ve known over the years. I really enjoyed the book, but the ending made me sit up and go, “Wait, what?” I didn’t see that coming!
TW is also an ardent supporter of new authors and not a man who suffers fools lightly. It did not take long after he immersed himself in the self-publishing business to realize that there are probably more crooks out there trying to separate an author from his money than all the hoodlums he crossed paths with in his long career in police work. Growing frustrated with all of the scam artists who contact authors every day with promises of great riches, he put together a quick and easy guide to self-publishing that every new author should read, whether they’re going to do things themselves or go the traditional route and try to find an agent and publisher. How To Self-Publish Your Book For Free And Not Get Conned tells you how you can write and self-publish your own book while avoiding the pitfalls of those who will promise you the world and deliver nothing except an empty bank account if you believe their lies.
Amy works for the newspaper in Tuscaloosa, so with their backgrounds and ours, we had a lot in common and a lot to talk about. While I spent much of my life publishing small town newspapers, and then Terry and I published the Gypsy Journal RV travel newspaper for 18 years while we wandered around the country in a motorhome, the industry is changing dramatically every day. It was interesting to hear Amy’s perspective on how things are evolving.
I think we all expected it to be just a quick lunch, but we clicked so well together that we wound up sitting in the restaurant for several hours talking, and none of us realized how much time had gone by. We are definitely going to get together with them again when we go back to Alabama to see our son and his wife. Meanwhile, do yourself a favor and check out The Retirement, and if you have ever thought about writing a book, be sure to read How To Self-Publish Your Book For Free And Not Get Conned, too.
And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us.
Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Luminous: The Story of a Radium Girl by Samantha Wilcoxson. It’s a novel about Catherine Donohue, who worked at Radium Dial in Ottawa, Illinois, and the secret lurking in the greenish-grey paint the company used that magically made things glow in the dark.
To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books to foreign countries, only entries with US addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed.
Thought For The Day – You know you’re in trouble when the voices in your head tell you it’s time to sit down for an intervention.