My latest book was officially released today after several months of tedious revision. Covenant Publishing Company representative, Renee Barnhill, says it’s the most unique, personal narrative she’s had the pleasure of publishing. If that’s the only accolade received, I’ll be happy. I’m sure my manuscript didn’t follow etiquette on how personal narratives are supposed to be arranged. It’s definitely unorthodox in composition, totally intentional of course.
I didn’t compose this memoir solely for profit and attaboys. The project was designed for the enjoyment of friends, family, and especially those precious grandchildren. Ultimately, folks I’ve never met will read it more than anyone.
I tried to touch base on significant events happening in my world from 1954 thru 1974. Some of the occurrence’s will never be repeated because of ever changing lifestyles. Telephone party lines come to mind. Hopefully the contents evoke a laugh or two. There’s a serious tone as well.
When a friend asked if I thought complete strangers would want to read a biography about my life, I replied, “No, they’d be more interested in hearing what a trailer park refugee has to say about theirs!”
For some odd reason, many people having never lived in trailer parks are inquisitive about such. I believe the dogmatic stigma, trailer trash, provokes such curiosity.
A fellow I worked with years ago evidently thought there was something seedy and sinister about trailer park living. I say that because he used the words trailer park people in a demeaning fashion. This misinformed soul would’ve undoubtedly purchased my book for dirt alone. Oh, there’s dirt inside, but not of the sordidness he’d desire.
A micro definition for refugee is: to flee. Generally, it’s fleeing another country to avoid persecution. Some literary critics would claim I misused the word. My family lived in a total of seven trailer courts. One of them, Dad and Mom fled for increased trailer space rent. The other was vacated for sanitation reasons; sewage leaking into yards. Poetic license gives me authority to use refugee in each case.
My original title, ORDINARY, AVERAGE GUY – Memoirs of a Trailer Park Refugee, didn’t cut it. The wording needed salsa to make things pop.
ORDINARY, AVERAGE GUY – Uncensored Memoirs of a Trailer Park Refugee, did the job. When Joseph Magnolia, Covenant Publishing Company agent first saw the title, he asked if my manuscript was full of obscenities. I had to chuckle, reassuring him that there wasn’t one cuss word inside.
Amazon, plus Barnes & Noble, have agreed to carry the paperback and digital (Kindle) versions. The company employs people that review new releases for racist, anti-Semitic, or other offensive criteria before accepting. Mine passed with flying colors. Other venues will offer it as well in the coming days.
Over time, search engines will eventually key upon ‘trailer park refugee’. That’ll take a couple of years or longer. Being that I don’t have the services of radio talk-show host Dennis Miller, or late-night television star, Jimmy Fallon to plug things, I had to be creative in finding a title that’d make folks voluntarily pick up a copy. Magazines do such all the time by using catchy photos on front covers.
I’ve read several highly-touted biographies, praised by television personalities and celebrities alike for interesting content. A good many were duds in my opinion. They were mentioned as being enlightening yet turned out to be stuffy and full of repeated bragging. Those books, written by highly recognizable names were hawked strictly for financial gain and bravado. Hollywood stars are faithful in patting each other on the back. Some folks will buy anything if Oprah Winfrey claims it’s good.
On the flip side, I’ve encountered numerous, from the heart, good reads, by unknown authors. They just didn’t have the push or publicity needed to put them on a best seller list. Most of these manuscripts I found on a mark down table in a secondhand store.
My goal is to sell 101 books. That same friend asking who’d want to read my book jokingly informed me I’d be lucky to peddle 100. I want to prove him wrong. Uncensored in conjunction with trailer park refugee should nudge it past the century mark.