I can’t say I ever made a conscious decision to be a writer. It’s just something that I’ve always done ever since I learned how to operate a pencil. Now, the idea of putting my work out for others to see is a different story. I don’t care about the money (luckily, since there isn’t any) but I think anybody who writes needs at some point to have strangers read their work and provide some objective feedback.
What is your story about?
A fun spoof of Disney World and the people who love It!
Dave Jevik wasn’t too happy to hear that his wife had scheduled a family vacation to Snodgrass World Resort with the Zandanels. Loudmouth Vinnie is hard to put up with for an hour, let alone a week. But when Vinnie spots wheelchair-bound George Van Morrison in first class on the flight to Florida, the dreaded trip takes on a sense of purpose. Van Morrison claims he was injured at a restaurant owned by Dave’s friend back home and the lawsuit has already been filed.
Dave and Vinnie just know he’s faking it and they have a week at Snodgrass World to save the restaurant by proving it. They’ll have to dodge fleets of wheel chairs and scooters long enough to expose him while taking in park attractions like ‘Brutal Yet Fun and Lovable Buccaneers’ and ‘Showcase of Random Allied Countries.’
Vinnie’s sharp-elbowed wife is indispensable as she leads the way past line-cutters, other people’s obnoxious children and the maniac driving the scooter with the on-board colostomy bag. When they befriend a crotchety bartender back at the hotel Dave and Vinnie unexpectedly tap an inside source that just might help them get their man.
Anybody who’s ever taken a trip to Orlando will recognize most of what they read about in Snodgrass Vacation, a 65,000 politically incorrect satire of theme park life.
Where did you get the idea to write your novel?
I’ve always been a wise-ass and I’m good at identifying/spoofing ridiculous behavior. Somehow, though, comedy isn’t something I ever tried before so I decided I’d give it a shot. I was at Disney last summer. Don’t get me wrong, I love the place, but there was just way too much material for me to ignore, between the worshipping fans and image-conscious Disney trying so hard not to offend anybody. I couldn’t help myself. It practically wrote itself.
Why did you decide to take the self-publishing route?
Well, I spent years querying agents with other things that I’ve written. There were a few times I thought I was pretty close to landing an agent but it didn’t work out any of those times. I just don’t have the energy for that anymore and I think it’s futile anyway. There are so many people doing the same thing that it isn’t worth it.
It finally dawned on me that most rejections were of a query letter. In most cases nobody was even looking at what I wrote. It made me realize that it just doesn’t work that way anymore, if it ever did. I don’t blame the agents — they are overwhelmed with queries and there aren’t enough hours in the day for them to spend more than a few seconds on each. But that model just isn’t going to get the typical unpublished writer anywhere in my opinion.
I honestly don’t know if anything I’ve ever written is any good but I do know that there is a lot of self-published stuff that is better than some stuff that is traditionally published. What that means to me is that there’s some intangible factor that doesn’t help me (and again, I accept that there is a strong possibility that maybe it’s just that I’ve never written anything decent). I just feel like no matter what I write, no matter how appealing it might be, nobody in the traditional publishing world is ever going to consider it seriously.
The only problem with self publishing is that the only promotion is self-promotion. I was frustrated a few years ago when, by coincidence, a mainstream publisher put out a novel about a high school wrestler at the same time that I self-published one about a high school wrestler. It was hard watching that book sell when nobody ever even knew mine existed. I thought mine was just as good, and there was room in the market for two, but it never mattered.
Has it been difficult writing your book? Why?
Not really. Sometimes writing is painful, and lot writers feel that way, but at the same time it’s something that writers just have to do. I haven’t had any problem at all writing this or any other book.
Other than simply persevering in writing when it comes to penning one’s novel, what other qualities do you think a writer should have?
Perseverance and discipline are indispensable. It’s easy to type the first paragraph of chapter 1, and maybe even the last page of book, but it takes so much discipline to write an entire story properly. There’s a lot of groundwork that has to be laid and that can be a grind.
The most important characteristic is a love of writing, I think. It’s a skill that can be learned by trial and error, but there has to be that spark to start off with. There also has to be a willingness to learn and grow. One of the ugliest truths about writing that a new writer must face is that the first few things he or she writes is going to be crummy. We all learn this when we revisit our early stuff after a few years. It’s embarrassing, even if there’s nobody else in the room!
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