Strapped into an American Dream captures America, whirling readers along a 35,000-mile trek through the 48 contiguous states in a rebuilt RV. I married, and my wife and I quit our jobs, sold our cars, put all of our belongings in storage and hit the road. We risked our future to satisfy the present, and now we have memories for a lifetime. I wrote about the great times as well as the brushes with death along this risky path.
Tell us something about yourself.
I was born in Glastonbury, CT and went to school at UCONN in Storrs, CT. My summer vacations were at the beach in RI every summer growing up, so I hadn’t been west of NY at the time of my journey. I had always wanted to have my name on the cover of a book, and I received my English degree and my desire to travel in my early twenties. I needed to build credibility, so I decided to travel and write about it as a travel correspondant in the local papers as I made my way through the country. I got two papers interested, which resulted in 20 published articles. I now had the credibility I would need to eventually get my book published.
What inspired you to write this book?
When my wife and I decided to travel, I knew it would be the inspiration behind a book. I wanted to fill the book with great stories of living on the road. The only problem was that there were so many stories I had to cut a lot out, but I knew it was the best it could be.
How did you choose the title?
The title just came to me as I was thinking about sitting in the RV ready to take off on our journey. My family was around us, we were about to live the American dream, and we could hear the simultaneous click of our seatbelts; we were strapped into an American dream.
What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?
When I divorced after 5 years, I had to take the book back from my agent, rewrite it to make it more of a travel book and less of a honeymoon book, rename it, and start the publishing quest all over again.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
Ever since I was in First Grade I was writing creative stories that stuck out to my teachers. I began writing longer stories about events in my life. When I went to college I would get cash sent from home, and started writing funny poems of thanks. The cash began coming faster, and from more family members, wanting a good laugh. I was an English major, and knew I had to do something with it.
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?
I heard that publishing a book is hard, but marketing it is the hardest part. That is the truth. I am constantly working at marketing my book even after two years. I learned a lot from the signing of the contract to the first time I held a copy of my book in my hand. I felt that I had been a part of every step in the publishing of my book.
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
It would be an easy answer for me to say that I would go with a bigger publisher who promised more marketing, but being a first-time author and already having too much time pass, I decided to sign the contract with the small publisher. Next time I would do it differently, but I couldn’t do it differently the first time.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
I have a fiction book about the paranormal, including an out-of-body experience, hypnosis and reincarnation. It is with an agent and she has submitted to publishers for consideration.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
If you want to write a book…write it. Be very careful before signing a contract, and be very ready to promote your own book. The only person truly interested in your book is you (unless you’re Stephen King or Oprah).
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
My book is perfect for Rvers, campers, retirees, anybody who likes to travel, or anybody who ever had the desire to chuck it all and hit the open road.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?