My book Winter South 02014 was published in March, and apparently an email from the marketing team slipped through the cracks, so we are just now getting around to forming a press release to launch my book into the stratosphere.
I took some time to fill out a formulaic series of “interview” questions for the Lulu marketing team (their “Press Release Questionnaire”), and as I continued down the list, I couldn’t help but notice that some of the questions felt quite absurd. As such, I’ve decided to publish the questions — and my actual answers — here on my blog. Just for fun.
Lulu: What inspired you to write this book?
Me: I was planning a move from California back to my hometown in North Carolina, and I’ve always been a deep thinker and a writer, so I thought I’d try my hand at travel writing. Honestly, it was kind of a “fuck it, why not” moment. Then, I decided to turn it into a Kickstarter campaign to pay for some bells and whistles at Lulu, and it kinda snowballed a bit. I felt obligated to finish the project once the campaign got funded.
Lulu: Summarize your book in one to three sentences as if you were speaking to someone unfamiliar with your book and its topic.
Me: I decided to take a month to drive relatively slowly across the southern part of the USA, camping, couchsurfing, shooting photographs, and taking notes about my observations and experiences as I went. I pondered our place in this world as a species, as well as our relationship with the technologies we’ve created. I met a lot of new people and spent a lot of time by myself.
Lulu: What is the overall theme (central topic, subject or concept) of your book?
Me: Mankind, the natural world, technology, experience, and design.
Lulu: Where does this book take place?
Me: From California to North Carolina, across the southern portion of the United States of America.
Lulu: Who are the main characters and why are they important to the story?
Me: I am the main character, I guess. My conscience?
Lulu: Why do you think that this book will appeal to readers?
Me: My experiences and perspectives are atypical and thus intriguing.
Lulu: How is your book relevant in today’s society?
Me: It’s a real story with a long view perspective that more individuals of our species need to adopt. Otherwise, your guess is as good as mine.
Lulu: Is there any subject currently trending in the news that relates to your book?
Me: I don’t watch the news, so I couldn’t tell you one way or the other. My book is the opposite of the 24-hour news cycle, I guess.
Lulu: What makes your book different from other books like it?
Me: I’m not sure which books are like mine. I guess of those that are (of which I’m not aware), one major difference is that I wrote my book, as opposed to someone else. Another interesting fact: I wrote the entire book in Google Drive, up until the point I had to convert it to a Word Doc for Lulu. I’d really appreciate it if you’d read my book and form your own opinion about why my book is different (better) than other books like it. I think you’d write a better press release.
Lulu: What do you want readers to take away from your writing?
Me: I want them to want to call me up and have an intelligent conversation. I want them to rekindle a fire for learning and discovery that makes them feel alive every goddamned day. I want them to write their own book about their own experiences and observations and reflections, published or not.
Lulu: How did you learn about the topic? (i.e. personal experience, education, etc.)
Me: To get a little philosophical here, I’m constantly learning about every topic I can possibly comprehend, right? Pragmatically speaking, I’ve been alive and aware on this planet for thirty-five years and counting (not counting the nine months in utero?). If I’m not learning, I’m not living. I also got an amazing humanities-based liberal arts undergraduate education at UNC-Asheville. It’s the best thing that has happened to me so far in this life, as best I can tell. Well, maybe that, and the fact that I really learned how to write at Emerson College and during my doctoral studies at Arizona State University. Being an introvert really helps too. I spend a lot of time alone, which allows me to focus, perceive, digest, analyze, and reflect in a way that I believe most people caught up in the shallower aspects of society do not. Oh…and that should be e.g. up there in your question, not i.e. ☺
Lulu: Is there a particular passage from your book you’d like us to utilize? If so, please provide.
Me: Again, I think you should read my book and choose for yourself. If you can’t, then, well, I guess I’ve failed at writing a good book, haven’t I? Haven’t I paid Lulu’s marketing department substantial funds to craft this press release? I think the least you could do is read my book. I’m sure you can get a free copy from Lulu – or find a pirated PDF somewhere online. Just ask your nearest fifth grader. If not, I’ll mail you one.
I’m dying to see how the press release turns out. Stay tuned! 🙂