Author: STEVE RICHARDS
Author’s website address: http://www.outskirtspress.com/
Books in Print: Everything You Will Ever Need To Know To Start Driving A Big Truck Or How I Became A Professional Tourist
Books in Process: to be determined
1. When and why did you begin writing? At an early age I started writing songs to go along with my guitar playing. I took a break at that a few years ago, when I realized the market for 40-year-old rock stars was limited at best. And, so writing a book became a logical extension of my previous endeavors.
2. What inspired you to write your first book? My first book was a sort of mini-book summing up all the good ideas that were being sold for hundreds and thousands of dollars at real estate and various investment seminars. I have pretty much seen them all over the years and will say that nearly every one of them has several really good ideas that can make you money, not to mention the fact that some of the marketers are incredibly entertaining public speakers. Unfortunately, these are sold as VERY expensive packages full of books, video recordings, and the like. The truth is that I took all of their good ideas from all of their books, tapes, and seminars, and compiled them into a 20-page booklet that actually covered in detail everything of value they had to offer. "Brevity is the soul of wit," says Mr. Shakespeare. Right? My inspiration was of course, MONEY! Unfortunately, I never really did spend any time trying to market it. While it’s now a little outdated, I might still rewrite it. You never know.
3. How did you approach writing your first book? In writing my first "real" book, the current one that is, I had been thinking about it for several years while gallivanting about the U.S. in various big rigs, talking extensively to myself, and taking lots of photos of the incredible sights I was seeing. I finally just sat down in front of the computer and started writing a chapter at a time, going back again and again, filling in items that had been ignored or those that required further elaboration. Computers are so nice when it comes to editing and deleting and such. Finally after a couple months I felt that I had pretty well covered the necessities.
4. Who or what influenced your writing? I could tell you who influenced my songwriting, but I am really hard pressed to come up with an influence for writing a book. My step dad is a retired publisher from one of those well-known educational publishers, which actually has his name on it. He has also authored several books including his autobiography, which was in part an inspiration for a documentary film about a POW camp in World War ll. That came out a couple years back. Being around someone like that probably moves one’s thought processes in the direction of literary espousal. Maybe, maybe not.
5. Why do you continue to write? I will only write if I feel I have something of relevance to say, and when I don’t I will most certainly just go away. Ahhh poetry indeed. Maybe I’ll use that line when I start writing tunes again, some day. Maybe, maybe not.
6. What do you hope to accomplish through your writing? I expect to accomplish something different with whatever I do. In regard to my current endeavor, my intentions are to let the many people who get into trucking every year know everything they need to know to get started, what the many surprises are they can expect, how to deal with them effectively, and how to get the most out of their many experiences, and still manage to spend the majority of their time within the comfort zone. That was a long explanation to get out in one breath.
7. What has been your experience as a published writer? Having been a published-book writer for only a few weeks now, I can only say, time will tell. Back in the early 1980’s, when as a published song writer and musician, my first record was released, I was pretty well ecstatic for an extended period of time selling lots of records in Great Britain. I only hope to have a similar experience with my current book. That would be quite satisfactory.
8. How do you promote your book(s)? I probably promote my book a bit differently than someone else. Being that mine is a book about the trucking industry, I have spent a bit of time contacting various folks in the industry (various trucking publications, various trucking affiliated executives, various media outlets, which have in the past shown some affinity toward the plight of the hard working "professional tourist" errr uhhhh truck driver, important people like the President of the United States, but just basically anyone who might pay attention. You never know who is paying attention. Do you?
9. What advice would you like to share with other writers? Persistence is what will pay off more than anything. I got a record deal right out of my basement in Denver, but attempting to get the attention of a myriad of literary agents, who are far too busy (or so they say) to give you the time of day, is like pulling your teeth out with a plumber’s wrench. While my step dad told me that I first needed to acquire the services of a literary agent, I have chosen a different direction and thus far do not regret it. Things are a bit different in today’s world of technology and the opportunities available in regard to writing and publishing your literary masterpieces are unlimited. Be persistent.
10. Any other comments you would like to add? If you have something you want to say, then by all means write it down and get it out there. Nothing more to add. Just do it! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Thanks for tunin’ in. See ya. Out!
Thank you, Steve, and I wish you the best of luck!
Interviewer: Kaye Trout - July 25, 2006 - Copyright