Jay Rankin – Author Interview

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

UNDER THE NEON SKY…A Las Vegas Doorman’s Story. The book is an account of my experiences working for the largest hotel in the world on the Las Vegas Strip. From the cabbies to the hookers, this story is gritty, tragic, humorous, dramatic, and true.

It is told from the other side of the fence, from an employee who stood in the middle of the masses that came to Vegas to party and blow a lot of steam.

Tell us something about yourself.

I was born in Los Angeles. My father left when I was about four years old and never came back. Years later I found him in Las Vegas and although having anger management issues with him, I fell in love with the city. I worked for Los Angeles County as a probation officer within the detention camp system for a couple years. I went on to receive my Master’s degree in psychology while working my way through college in the locked unit of psychiatric hospitals. In time, I returned to Las Vegas and ended up landing the job as the doorman for the MGM. Because it was such a high tipping job, there were about 2,000 applications for the 9 positions. On a more personal level, I’m a very perceptive person when it comes to people. I am usually very good at communicating and dealing with people. But I also have a temper. It’s no longer a big temper, but it’s there. My challenge was dealing with people nightly, who had little sleep, lost money, and were drinking alcohol.

What inspired you to write this book?

Early on with the job, a friend insisted I take notes after hearing some of my experiences. After several years, I one day looked over some of my stories and realized it would not only make a riveting story, but might also be very therapeutic for me to write. It was at that point that my world was really falling apart. I knew that if I was going to write this story, I had to be honest and at times, humble. Things with my wife, and co-workers were beginning to crumble. There was some tragedy going on as well. My own demons were beginning to take hold.

Why did you decide to self-publish?

After writing my story I had spent quite a while going through the submission process. It took a very long time to eventually get rejected because my story always seemed to make it to the final meeting. But after a couple years of rejections, I decided to learn how to self publish and market my book. The publishing part was easy in comparison to the marketing. There is so much to know and do to be somewhat successful in this business. There’s also some luck involved.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

The best advice I can give is this: Would you walk into a casino with a dream and lay it all down on a game you knew nothing about? Write, re-write and re-write. Carry around a pad and pencil. Place a pad and pencil everywhere: bathroom, bedroom, car, etc. Your best lines come at the oddest times. If you don’t write them down immediately, you will forget them. Everyday you will change and become more and more brilliant. Get a good editor, one who knows how to place all the pieces. You will need to learn the business of marketing. It is vast and at times very disappointing. Life is not always about money but it is about your (you) story.

What are you doing to promote your latest book?

I have had a short but very intense journey promoting my book. I have done about 50 radio interviews all over the country, three TV interviews, and had numerous reviews from publications around the country. I am just beginning to market over the Internet. I have now published and posted several articles on Las Vegas. I’m constantly looking for target markets. The learning curve I’m on for marketing my book is every bit as complex as the writing. I never knew my book carried so many different subjects. Lastly, be proud of yourself.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

UNDER THE NEON SKY…A Las Vegas Doorman’s Story is the title of my book. My website is: www.JaysLasVegas.com. On my website (or Facebook page) you can view my video book trailer (first one I’ve ever done). You can also download for free, my first chapter which I believe will be extremely difficult to put down. On my media tab you can also see and hear many of my interviews and reviews. My book can be purchased on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble, the direct links are on my website. You can also get all contact information on my website.