Friday, February 1, 2008

A Keg Beats a Six Pack ... Right?

Believe it or not, that is not a shot of my rock hard abs on the cover of that book. Sure they asked me to pose, but I couldn't fit the photo shoot into my already busy schedule so they had to settle for a measly six pack when they could have had an entire keg. He's probably not even a Texan. And I'm pretty dang certain he's not from Amarillo.

But this collection of stories is all about Amarillo and three of the four authors, Jodi Thomas, Phyliss Miranda, and Dewanna Pace, are as well. And I'm proud to call them my friends. The fourth author Linda Broday hails form Wichita Falls, Texas and though I have met her, she probably wouldn't know me if I stepped on her toe.

I also know the editor for this collection, Hilary Sares, and you would have to go some to find a nicer person in the business. I have blogged about a couple of my adventures involving Hilary. If you missed those hilarious stories, check them out here and here.

Here is a shot of me and Jodi from last years Frontiers In Writing Conference here in Amarillo. For info about this years conference in June click here. Or for the associated writing contest, click here. Deadline is March 1st, 2008.

Simply put, I, would not be writing and seeking publication without Jodi Thomas and her incredible generosity and willingness to encourage new writers. I've always been an avid reader but until I met Jodi I never thought becoming a published author was an attainable goal for a good ol' boy from Texas. She encouraged fan the spark of my literary hopes and guided me in the beginning until that spark turned into an outright flame. Jodi is a New York Times best selling author and RWA Hall of Famer after winning her third Rita award.

And in the very first class I took from Jodi I met Phyliss Miranda. For a good many years, I'd guess about five in all, me and Phyliss were in critique group together. Matter of fact, her story in this very anthology is one of the things she worked on in our group. I left the group before getting to read the last of it so like all of y'all I'll have to buy a copy of Give Me A Texan to find out how things turned out for her spunky newspaper woman.

All of the stories are set in Amarillo between the years of 1888-1916. So if you are a reader of historical romance, or would like to know a bit more about Texas history, particularly about like in and around Amarillo, or you just want to help out five classy ladies (the authors along with their editor) and friends of mine, pick up a copy from your local bookstore or click here to order from Amazon. And stop by their websites Jodi Thomas, Phyliss Miranda, Dewanna Pace, and Linda Broday and tell them I sent you.

Let me leave you with a brief story about Romance novels ...

I have taken a good amount of ribbing over the years from my predominantly male coworkers for writing Women's Fiction. Then one time I was in our maintenance shop reading a romance novel. I don't remember the title or the author, but it may have been one of Jennifer Archer's. another friend and fellow Amarilloan who has many published books to her credit.

Anyway one of the guys walked in saw the cover and commenced to giving me a ration of B.S. so I looked up, stared him the eye and said, "You know I need a name for this character in my novel I'm working on. It's about this guy with an extremely small penis and it just hit me that I should name him after you."

That was the last time any of my coworkers harassed me about a book I was reading or writing.


Anonymous said...

LOL - Now that's a good way to scare them off!

And you're so fortunate to have such valuable connections and nice friends.

Shauna said...

Anyway one of the guys walked in saw the cover and commenced to giving me a ration of B.S. so I looked up, stared him the eye and said, "You know I need a name for this character in my novel I'm working on. It's about this guy with an extremely small penis and it just hit me that I should name him after you."

That was the last time any of my coworkers harassed me about a book I was reading or writing.

Oh, the power you authors hold. Brilliant.

And, nice book cover. :-)

jjdebenedictis said...

*snerf* Oh, that's quite brilliant. To still their tongues, put fear into their hearts.

Y'know, the guy in that romance cover is 1) falling out of his pants, and 2) anatomically incorrect. Pretty sixpack notwithstanding, his torso and hips are way smaller than they should be given the size of his head and arms.

Which means this must be the cover for your novel about the man with the incredibly small penis. Congratulations on getting published, Travis!

Monnik said...

I love your comeback to the harassing coworker. too funny.

The Texas book looks great! Congrats to your colleagues! You're not far behind them, Travis. I'm sure your time is coming soon too!

alex keto said...

Too bad JDbenedictis pointed out that flaw in the cover. Now it's pretty tough to move beyond that.

But... congrats to all the Amarillo writers.

Charles Gramlich said...

LOL. Good attack. The genitals are always the weak point. Congrats to your friends for their stories in the anthology.

Marla said...

Are you sure that is not you in the picture??! I don't belive you! A keg does beat a six pack any day.

Josephine Damian said...

Great comeback, but why do people feel the need to raz somebody on what they're reading? I see somebody reading a book, I always crane my neck for a look-see at the title and author - more as a means of assessing publishing and reading trends than to make any judgement.

Nobody seems to be teasing Donald Maass over the fact that he writes romance novels - at least not to his face.

70% of book buyers are women - no harm in writing for maximum appeal.

I am looking forward to your reportage from the upcoming conf.

Rocketstar said...

I think it is impressive that you can successfully write from a female perspective or a perspective that is captivating to females.

I didn't authorize my picture being on that cover!

Ello - Ellen Oh said...

I absolutely loved your story! And what a great post! Congrats to your friends on their book! Can't wait to read your some day soon.

Lana Gramlich said...

*LOL @ the last couple of paragraphs.* Atta boy! ;)

texlahoma said...

I'm more of a keg guy than a six pack guy myself. Great way to shut the coworkers up!

Barrie said...

What wonderful, generous people you've connected with. :)

And great story about the co-worker!

Chris Eldin said...

I would imagine a Texan dude shying away from such an accusation!!!

I love that cover! Oh, and LOL at six pack vs keg!! That was a good one.

I wish that bloggers who write would keep a sidebar with book recommendations specific to their friends. I would definitely buy these books, but can't right now and will probably forget by the time we're back in June.
(I'm saying that I should also have a sidebar. Probably will, now that I'm thinking about it!)

Thanks for the great post!

Sam said...

small penis names!!!!!
I will have to remember that one!
My uncle (a gun toting, NRA member and staunch republican) is a total fan of romance novels. His wife got him started, and now we swap Evanovich & Crusie novels by mail. LOL!

Design Goddess said...

I can't wait until you become a published author and then I can say, I know this famous author. And, of course, all will be envious of me! :D

HelenMWalters said...

Great post! And what a photo! Deary, deary me!

WordVixen said...

Bwahahaha! Excellent comeback! :)

Katrina said...

Hi Travis,

You beat me to it! I was going to write a plug for these four great authors. They did a wonderful job with this book and if you missed the book signing yesterday at The Big Texas--(the place to get a FREE 72oz. steak) you missed a good time!

All of these women are a joy to know and I'm honored to call them a friend. I too would not be attempting to write if it wasn't for Jodi Thomas. She is one of the most wonderful authors you will ever know. A great, great encourager for any aspiring writer.

As a matter of fact, yesterday she told me it's all about those late nights of plugging away one day after another. And she's right!

Thanks Travis for stopping by my site and I approve your message also!

Sherry said...

I think we all need a "Jodi" in our lives, even if it isn't to help us promote our work...good friends are always to be valued!

Anonymous said...

Hi Travis Bet you didn't think I'd be droppin' in to say hello! Thanks for the kind words. You've always been a great supporter and so much fun to work with. Since Travis was the lone man in a critique group of women, we referred to him as our token man! LOL When we needed a man's POV or an expert opinion on guns he was always there ready with an answer. Yep,we've been through a lot--in and out of characters and plots, some good, some bad, but none we'll forget LOL. Killed off a few, hated a few, and loved a many...One of the joys in writing is to work with talented folks such as Travis. Also, waving madly to Katrina. Appreciate you tons, lady. Also, thanks for the nice post. Just to clear up any misunderstanding, since Travis wasn't available to do the shoot, we had to settle for famous cover model, Nathan Kamp. Nowdays they do a lot of stock covers, but in our case they did a shoot with him. He's fabulous and a real man to boot. Hilary has met him, and from what I hear and have seen, he's absolutely perfectly proportioned. LOL He's very versitile, and if you're interested in any of his other covers, I have a link to him on my web-site, I know there are a lot of our friends and fellow writers and readers who drop by here, Travis, so I'd like to say thank you to all who helped celebrate our new release. We've got the next anthology "Give Me a Texan" off, so look for it this time next year. Hugs, Phyliss

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm tired after signing all day yesterday ... our next release is "Give Me a Cowboy" ... Phyliss

Bernita said...

Fixed him!

Jess said...

LOL! That is the kind of comeback that I think of, days (or weeks) later...

So kudos to you for actually saying it IN THE MOMENT!

I shall add the book to my Amazon wish list, Mr. T.

Keep on writin'!

Stacy said...

If I ever write a romance novel, I'm waiting until you and your abs are available for a photo shoot. Pencil me in for 2010, 'kay?

Melissa Amateis said...

Oh! I actually met Jodi and her husband at a library conference here in Nebraska. She is such a gracious lady.