Thomas A. Brigger is a businessman, entrepreneur, traveler and author of Beyond the Higher Ground, a novel about intrigue and suspense amid the opioid crisis in Appalachia. With a background including construction worker, small business owner, instructional writer, real estate developer, builder, consultant and corporate executive, the author draws from his experience to recognize the nuances of human behavior. Proclaimed by a former instructor to be “potentially one of the great writers of the century”, Brigger set aside his business interests to concentrate on writing fiction, a craft that he mastered by writing short stories for most of his adult life. He writes from his home in Southwest Ohio, where he focuses on the variants of American life and matters of importance to American people.
Beyond the Higher Ground
Book Description: Tasked with an assignment to manage the construction of a prison on a remote Appalachian mountaintop, Tucker Mason sees an opportunity to restart his life past the death of his wife and the recurring demons of his childhood. But strange occurrences at the house that he rented on Bright’s Mountain and the suspicion of drugs being smuggled through the prison construction site create distractions that lead to violence, intrigue, and his own imperilment. Struggling under the weight of loss and guilt, he encounters a world that he never knew existed in the shadow of the emerging prison. With a unique perspective on the human condition, Beyond the Higher Ground takes its reader through a historical glimpse of Southwestern Virginia to a powerful exposition of the drug crisis that has devastated the region and the abject brutality of those who deliver it.
[00:00:47] Stephen: Welcome to another episode of discovered wordsmiths. Today. I talk with Thomas Berger who used his express. While working in the Appalachian mountain area to write a book, a fiction mystery book that [00:01:00] involves the opioid crisis, which he says he witnessed in that area quite extensively. The book is a mystery, uh, based in the area.
And again, on his experience, he’s from Ohio, which I like, cause I’m from Ohio. It’s a great interview. I hope if you find it interesting that you will check out his book, let him know, uh, where you heard him and some likes. And are enjoying the podcast. Please go to your favorite podcast app, give us a couple lights, whatever a review.
It would be great and help us a lot and help all the authors that we talk to. So here’s Thomas. Well, Thomas, thank you for being on the podcast today. It’s good to talk to you. I’m glad you took some time. Uh, talk to me today. Um, If you could, let’s find out a little bit about you. Tell us about, uh, where you’re from.
What a bit about your background, what you like to do outside of writing. I’ve
[00:01:54] thomas: uh, I originally in from Cincinnati, um, I’ve done a lot of traveling. Uh, I spend a lot of time [00:02:00] on the east coast and recently I’ve just returned back to Ohio. Uh, I actually, uh, my background is, uh, is pretty much of a variable because.
I was in college, majoring in English, uh, when I ran out of money and I work as a construction worker, but I’ve also worked as a, as a business writer is an entrepreneur is a business owner. Uh, I’ve actually, uh, was, was, uh, in a management team of a large corporation. So I’ve, I’ve kind of seen life through a lot of different windows.
And, um, to me, I think mixed life, it kind of interesting. Uh, I agree. No, I did a lot of traveling and that’s kind of where the writing comes into. Uh, I was traveling all around the country for several years and, uh, I got, I just got interested in, in how people are the same in different, in different areas.
And I always was in my head. So, uh, uh, I just thought, well, you know, it’s something I can write about and I have, I’ve been [00:03:00] writing, I actually almost all my life as a hobby of mine. Uh, I would write short stories and actually send them to my sister. And so there’s quite a collection and someday I’ll publish that.
She begged me for years to publish something. And, uh, I, when I finally wrote the beyond the higher ground, unfortunately she passed away and never got to see it, but. Well, well, you know, it happens, but, uh, uh, I always have been writing in, I’ve always been writing about people in different parts of the country, uh, in, beyond the higher ground.
Uh, the book that I have out currently is, uh, it takes place in Appalachia.
[00:03:38] Stephen: Yeah. So tell us a bit about the book. All right.
[00:03:40] thomas: I, uh, I actually got the inspiration to write the book, sitting in a hotel room in Cleveland, Ohio. One night I finished a really bad novel. I was like, you know, even I could be better than that.
So I, at the time I was doing a lot of construction work down in the Appalachian areas in the, uh, in the blue Ridge area. And [00:04:00] I was struck not only by the people in the beauty of the place, but also the heartbreak of, uh, of the opioid crisis in that area. And I kind of wanted to maybe expose that in some fashion and make people aware of it.
Cause I don’t think people really are aware of the opioid crisis in America, in rural America. We know about it in the big cities and so forth, you know, but it’s, it’s pretty bad in, in the parts of in fact parts of Ohio too. So, uh, I thought it’d be a good to maybe. Bring some awareness to it, but I didn’t want to have a, a rough expos, a of, you know, how terrible things are in Epilepsia.
So, uh, I, I wrote about a man’s personal struggle to overcome his tragedies, uh, and, and regain his life, uh, in the context of the opioid crisis.
[00:04:45] Stephen: And so based on what you saw around you, that’s what triggered you to want to write something like this? Because you said you were writing short stories for your sister.
This seems like a pretty big difference between what you were doing there.
[00:04:59] thomas: Yeah, [00:05:00] I, it just was, uh, you know, I thought it’d be good to write a novel. So that was in my head at the time. Uh, like I said, I was, I was witnessing a lot of it down there and, uh, since I was a, it was kind of fresh, fresh information.
Uh, it was good to put in the book.
[00:05:15] Stephen: Okay. And is this, you said you saw it thought of it as you were doing work. How long did this like sit in the back of your head before you actually sat down and decided to start writing? And just to clarify it is fiction, right? Yes, it
[00:05:29] thomas: is fiction. Okay. Uh, it’s fiction it’s based on my own experience, but it is purely fiction, but I was, uh, uh, what really got into my, uh, uh, my, my thinking was, uh, in my other experience with employees that were, you know, under my direction, so forth and seeing the, I just the tragedy.
So it was something that was, uh, it was thinking about pretty hard. So I probably after about a year or so of being in that area, I started having in my back of my mind of at least having some way of exposing this. [00:06:00]
[00:06:01] Stephen: And so did you base characters off of people you worked with and things like that?
[00:06:06] thomas: Yeah.
Yeah. You know, people ask me that question a lot. Uh, and I love to answer it because every character that I have in, in, in my short stories, in this book and in the book that I’m currently writing, uh, every character is some characteristic of someone that I’ve met and. And a lot of cases, a little bit of me in there too, which maybe good or bad, I don’t know.
[00:06:30] Stephen: Uh, so have you, uh, gone traditional route, found an agent and publisher, or did you self publish this?
[00:06:37] thomas: Oh, this is my first book. I didn’t even know where to start for publishing. So I used the hybrid. And, and, uh, you know, it’s kind of like a, it’s like using a publisher and self-publishing through it, you know?
[00:06:49] Stephen: okay. Well, who’s the publisher page publishing page publishing and I don’t, I actually don’t get as many [00:07:00] authors on here that have used publishers. So what’s your experience been like with working with a publisher?
[00:07:05] thomas: Well, working with a hybrid, uh, the experience, uh, was difficult. Um, and the reason being is I was not really aware of how much marketing I had to do on my own and how the timing of the, so the book was going to be.
And I also relied entirely too much on their editing capabilities because when I, when the book was released, uh, I had so many editing problems that I spent a. Two months or so trying to get the editing straightened out. Uh, so the oath part of it is, is just as the book was finally ready to be released again, released, uh, the COVID crisis came up and made marketing very difficult.
You don’t get very many books signings right with that. So, uh, so I hired a publicist. I hired Anthony Morra and that’s been going very well for me now. But, uh, it was, I would say though, that. If you’re going to publish you go to self-publish, that’s fine. You there’s an awful lot of help. You can get with that.
But there’s also a lot of work to [00:08:00] it, much more work than I thought it was involved with it particularly once he had the, he had the book finished.
[00:08:05] Stephen: So based on your experience, would you go through an agent publisher again, or you just want to go independent?
[00:08:14] thomas: Uh, I’m not going to use a hybrid again. I’m going to go probably the traditional route in, and I, I just finished another book I met, uh, right now in, in sending out queries to agents.
Uh, I just think that, uh, in, in this, in my case, Uh, I think as long as somebody will pick it up and, and my first book was doing well, so I think I’ve got a good shot, uh, at my case. I just think it’s, uh, you get, you get an expert, a pro who’s going out to traditional publishers, uh, and knows how to present it is going to sell for you and has skin in the game.
You know, he’s going to, he’s going to be looking to do a good job for you. So I think we’ll try to go that route. This.
[00:08:52] Stephen: Okay. And is this second book a sequel or is it a separate story?
[00:08:56] thomas: Yeah. You know, if people ask me, are you going to write a [00:09:00] sequel? But my first book was about a, you know, a man who is running a construction job.
He’s not a very exciting guy. It’s like writing a book about a plumber, you know? So, uh, uh, no, it’s not that, but is it in the same general background theme of the drug crisis in rural America? And actually it takes place in.
[00:09:18] Stephen: Oh great. Uh, that I always love things from Ohio. At least we seem to have a lot of artists and creative types from Ohio, a lot of actors, a lot of directors and authors, and lots of people on the moon from Ohio and lots of precedents.
Right. Um, If you went back and started over now, knowing what, you know, what things would you do different with your first
[00:09:44] thomas: book? I probably, uh, when I finished the book, uh, I was right away start editing seriously. I did a very cursory job of editing cause I was going to trust the, uh, the, the publisher. And you really have to, to know what you have in your content.
You have to make [00:10:00] sure it makes sense. It’s very easy to write. Kind of quirky, you know, that might, right. I mean, you might find me writing at two o’clock in the morning, you know, so, uh, it’s, it’s very easy to, to. Punctuation or spelling. So even, even with the work processes that we have, so one thing I would do is really scrutinized that book and read it two or three times again, to make sure that I have it exactly the way I want it, because you can really lose a lot of time once the editors get ahold of it and they have to do a lot of work.
So that was definitely do that. And I also though, uh, Really concentrate and have a plan in mind of how I’m going to market this book. So you don’t lose time when you get it out. The other thing I didn’t do is, is you should really should start marketing before the book is published. No,
[00:10:45] Stephen: that’s good advice.
In what way? What have you done that you now learn that you’d like to do different.
[00:10:52] thomas: Uh, what I’ve had done is, uh, actually what I did, the right thing that I did, it was a hire a publicist. Uh, what I would not [00:11:00] do is rely so much on the online, uh, book club services and so forth. Uh, Primarily, because it depends on who your audience is.
And, uh, my style of writing is somewhat more sophisticated and what I find, uh, when I get, uh, reviews from professional reviewers, I get excellent reviews and like go through the online services. A lot of them find the book a little bit, uh, esoteric, I guess. And, uh, you know, I don’t quite get the feedback that I was looking for.
So, uh, I also find that that’s a very restrictive audience. You know, you want to have a larger audience going into. Um,
[00:11:39] Stephen: And what has some of that feedback been from? People who’ve read the book. Uh,
[00:11:44] thomas: I had wanted to set this book should be a, we’d be best read by a, uh, an English major from Harvard and other ones that I use too many big words.
Uh, you know, that’s but the Midwest book review, uh, you gave me an [00:12:00] excellent rating, which is, you know, a professional book reviewing service. Uh, and, and, uh, like I say, the professional reviewers are receiving it very well, but you do find people who are just, you know, just people like you and me who are reading and they want to do a reboot.
Now, my reviews in, uh, on amazon.com are fives all across the board. So just depends on who your audience is.
[00:12:22] Stephen: Yeah. Okay. So when you’re writing your book, um, Services. And what software do you use to write? I do it in
[00:12:32] thomas: word. Uh, I submit it on a PDF or an EPUB, but, uh, I, otherwise I do everything in word because it’s so much work, so easy to work with.
And so universal. Uh, that’s that’s really all. I really have. Uh, to get things done now with the internet, your research is, you know, you don’t have to go out and meet people and
[00:12:52] Stephen: so forth. You don’t have to try all the drugs and stuff to see what they’re like.
[00:12:58] thomas: So you get so much [00:13:00] information from the internet and, uh, and you know, you have other, you have people that, you know, I.
People would be laughing because I’ll ask questions and what are you asking that question? Well, I’m going to put it in the book. Well, then people are anxious to answer that. Uh, my, my, one of my sons is a doctor, you know, and I asked him questions. Is, are you writing a book again, dad, this guy am so, uh, but that’s really what I do is, uh, I just pretty much stick with word and, uh, but I never sent anything out in inward because of the, uh, the corruption problem.
So I, uh, I either use EPUB or, uh, or a PDF.
[00:13:34] Stephen: Got it. So, D you said your one son is a doctor. Did you, uh, consult with him on some of the boy opioid information or anything
[00:13:44] thomas: like that? I did, but I had so much information on my own. He was, uh, he was asking me questions. Um, but as far as the undercurrent book that I have, uh, I needed a lot of help because I had some, uh, people with physical problems.
The current book that I’m writing features an awful [00:14:00] lot of people with PTSD. And, uh, he gave me a lot of information on
[00:14:03] Stephen: that. Oh, interesting. So I’m bouncing around a little bit here. Um, you mentioned the PTSD. Does your book at all delve into the mental health issues? People who get addicted or stuck on taking these drugs?
[00:14:21] thomas: Yeah, actually, uh, the, uh, no, the answer would be no. Uh, the, uh, uh, in my first book it does, does to some degree, uh, but, uh, in the book that I’m writing right now that people with PTSD have it for other reasons, I have two characters. One is an older gentleman who, uh, is having flashbacks from the Vietnam war.
And the other one is, uh, has PTSD from a tragic, uh, uh, beating that she took and the two of them are working together to, to help resolve
[00:14:53] Stephen: their problem. Wow. It’s interesting to me personally, because, um, based on some [00:15:00] things in my life, I’ve studied a little bit mental health and PTSD and things like that for personal reasons.
So it’s always interesting to hear, uh, other people. Take on it or feedback and how they employ that into their stories.
[00:15:15] thomas: It’s interesting. Uh, and I have some first line experience, cause I always thought PTSD only came from people who fought in wars, but, uh, my own wife went through some, uh, you know, some difficult times, uh, having some very serious surgeries and, and, and, uh, in sentences.
And she’d been diagnosed as having a certain amount of PTSD.
[00:15:35] Stephen: Yeah, I think it’s something you’re right though. Originally attributed to the war. That’s where it first showed up big time, I guess you could say, but they’ve since reevaluated and realize there’s other reasons that people experience it and people experience it for different reasons in different ways.
I think it’s one of those things that, you know, back in the seventies, When [00:16:00] it was kind of first coming about, people started knowing about it. It’s grown a lot in knowledge of what they realize now. So it’s way different. I think
[00:16:09] thomas: people, they cover it up and my dad was on the units, uh, uh, Lexington in the world war two and the Lexington itself and in the battle of the coral sea.
And, uh, he could never get himself to talk about it,
[00:16:21] Stephen: you know? Yeah. I bet that that’s something I can’t even imagine. Let me ask you a little bit of a personal question, uh, in the Appalachians. Um, my son is big into cryptids and supernatural paranormal type stuff. And, uh, I know the Appalachian area. Around here, Pennsylvania that has had some strange occurrences.
You had anything weird happened to you.
[00:16:49] thomas: Uh, and I’ll tell you what some of those people that I was working with down there, if you bring a six pack over to the front porch, you’ve got to get some great stories. They [00:17:00] really have a lot of stories about ghosts. Uh, particularly in the most forested areas and so forth, uh, they’re very superstitious.
And, uh, uh, there I can, where we were actually building a prison, uh, there was a mountain and Jason mountain. He said, nobody goes there because it’s haunted. And I was like, you know, this is kind of funny.
[00:17:20] Stephen: That’s interesting. I’ll have to remember that when I’m doing research for a set of stories, I want to work on, uh, just get some beer and head down into the Appalachians.
You read my book,
[00:17:30] thomas: you’ll meet Cecil. And, uh, and if you hear the, uh, the audio version of a Jack to Golia just nail seasonal to a T, but, uh, uh, CSULA is, is just that guy. And he’s, he’s actually a combination of some people have. But, you know, the, uh, the, my, uh, my main character goes and visits Cecil, where they, with the beer all the time and they tell them stories.
[00:17:52] Stephen: Nice. So you mentioned idea, so you did, the book is available as an audio book also. How’s that going? [00:18:00]
[00:18:00] thomas: We just got a very good review and audio file magazine, uh, with the. That we, we, we posted with, so, uh, that’s taken off pretty good right now to the, uh, the print version is doing well. Uh, it seems like these days, most people are ordering from, uh, from the online services.
And so the, uh, the digital copies are going well to.
[00:18:19] Stephen: Nice. Okay. Well, that’s good. I haven’t heard a lot of other authors, new authors that do audio book. So it’s, I’m glad to hear there’s still some people wanting to do it. Yeah, it says
[00:18:30] thomas: it’s the only way I, I, I don’t read books hardly anymore. I always listen to them because you know, I’ll do it at the gym or something like that.
So I kinda got into, you know, lacking the audio books. Uh it’s it’s not that hard if you go to. I did a self publish on the audio book. Uh, but I went through ACX, which is part of Amazon. Um, uh, and you know, you can, you can, uh, you can audition your, uh, your narrators and really kind of prepare well for it.
So, um, I think it’s, it’s, it’s [00:19:00] easier than, than you might expect. Well,
[00:19:02] Stephen: I also know up in Cleveland, there’s a find a way voices that that’s their headquarters and they do audio books and that’s where I’m probably going to be going through. Um, just cause I don’t like the seven year contract thing.
[00:19:17] thomas: Well, the, with, uh, it depends on which one are you going to go with?
And for me, I didn’t know one from the other, you know, I know a lot more now than I did before, so I probably would have a broader reach. You know, if I go through somebody like that, the next time.
[00:19:30] Stephen: And it’s a learning process. And that’s why I asked some of the questions with new authors, because I get a lot of authors who haven’t published and they’re like, well, should I do this?
Should I do that? Should I do this? And it’s like, well, first of all, get your book written. That’s the first thing you should do. But then I’m like, well, here’s what a lot of authors say after their first book or two, what they would do. And it’s good to hear a variety, because then you say, well, you know what, like eight out of 10 people say this, right?
And that’s, you know, I guess you could say much [00:20:00] more truthful than just getting advice from one or two people who haven’t published yet. Well, the
[00:20:05] thomas: interesting thing is, and I used to always say this when in business too, I tell you say, you know, I’ve been running businesses all my life, uh, and it’s amazing how much, how much, uh, advice I get from people who don’t run business.
Yeah, right. The same thing happens with writing. I think the only way to really learn how something works is to go do it. And in my case, I just went ahead and did it, you know, I just went out and started writing and I was late. I did, uh, it is writing to me now I’m much more serious about it. Uh, much more focused with it, you know, just because I’ve got some experience
[00:20:35] Stephen: behind me.
Yeah. And I I’ve found that myself. I was talking to someone the other day. I feel like. From when I first began, I’ve moved up to a different level and I can feel that I’m kind of ready to hit that next level from here. And it’s, it’s just based on my experience and what I’ve learned and seen and what my thoughts on the whole publishing industry.
Uh, we’ll [00:21:00] see, I could be wrong, but I can kind of feel that. I don’t know any other way to
[00:21:04] thomas: describe it. Well, no, I agree with you a hundred percent really. It’s a, in the publishing industry right now, it’s kind of getting rocked because of this all publishing and so forth, you know, it, plus they’re getting inundated.
A lot of people have been sitting at home. They had nothing else to do, but right. You know, the publisher I’m working with right now just told me that they were like, just, just swamped with, uh, with, with the query. So,
[00:21:26] Stephen: wow. No. That’s interesting. Cause I do know, uh, the uptick in reading, uh, with the COVID was nice to see.
So it’s interesting that some of those people said, well, now’s the time to write a book to.
[00:21:42] thomas: Well, and that’s, that’s good, but, uh, it’s, it’s not as writing the book is not as easy as a lot of people think. Uh, I’m not, I’m not one who does a big structure with they with the outline and so forth. I kind of like to create my characters and they start telling you the story.
Uh, but you, you can really, you can get a lot of [00:22:00] trouble with that. If you, if you’re not really focused on what you’re doing.
[00:22:03] Stephen: Right. Agreed. So let me ask you this, Thomas, um, Is a couple of your favorite books or authors that you’ve had throughout your
[00:22:12] thomas: life, you know, and in a lot of people just kind of shake your head.
When I say this, my favorite author of all time is William. And, uh, uh, I know he’s a little bit difficult for some people, but I just think his work is so creative. And so well-structured, uh, I’m a big fan of Hemingway. Uh, but I also read a lot of Grisham and I think John Grisham, as far as his storytelling capability, uh, he’s.
He’s the top of the heap. Uh, David Baldacci has his own style. I’m actually listening to one of his books right now. Uh, I really like what he does, but, uh, my favorite book of all time was Moby Dick probably read it five times in my life since I was 12 years old, you know? [00:23:00] Uh, there’s good
[00:23:01] Stephen: descriptions. Oh, so, okay.
So a couple of things my mother retired about five years ago. And so she now she’s catching up on all the books. She’s always wanting to read. And Grisham and bell DACI are like two of her favorites.
[00:23:13] thomas: Yeah. You know, but they’re, they’re good storytellers. They’re different. They’re different from each other.
But the good stuff though,
[00:23:17] Stephen: to see that. And so you read Moby Dick at age 12. I love that because I write middle grade fiction and I struggle with it sometimes because I wasn’t typical. Uh, I went, I was reading Hardy boy books in kindergarten, so I skipped a lot of the phases you might say. So I found. Find it hard to think of the right age group, I guess.
So what made you want to read Moby Dick it at that age? Cause you know, everyone else was, you know, reading other things, Narnia or something.
[00:23:53] thomas: I call it’s a long time ago, but it was at the library and my private did it, took it off the shelf and said, you [00:24:00] ought to read this. I said, okay. So that was it. My, my dad was not well-educated.
And. Uh, is all just an old Navy chief, you know, but he, uh, uh, he loved to read and he took us to the library, uh, almost every week. Uh, if there’s an I and we, we just kind of would hang out there. So that’s where I really got into reading. And I’ve been, I’ve been an avid reader ever
[00:24:22] Stephen: since then. I find that pretty awesome.
I love that. I remember taking my kids to the library quite often, uh, and doing that a lot and
[00:24:32] thomas: so on now, I think the people, you know, you got the computers and all that, and the. The iPad and everything. So I haven’t been in a library in years.
[00:24:41] Stephen: Uh, I’ve been just because, uh, still lots of my kids and I say kids, but the youngest one is 13 and the rest are above 18, so they’re still kids, but, uh, we got some readers and they liked to check out the books and have the books in the hand.
I know [00:25:00] my, I have a friend where they live. There’s not a good access to a library. So they had a bookmobile from one of the local libraries com. Yeah, they loved it there. He has four kids. So they’d all go and check things out. Well, they started checking out graphic novels and comic books in that. And he said it went from having like five choices that their family went every week and skewed the numbers.
So they ended up getting like a hundred. Paperback comics, uh, in the bookmobile, just because the numbers showed that everybody was checking them out.
Yeah, exactly. Um, so down in Dayton, do you have a, you might not, but do you have a favorite bookstore that you’d like to go. You
[00:25:45] thomas: know, I just moved here, uh, from the east coast, uh, almost about a year ago, about two years ago. Uh, and, uh, I’ve been buying, most of my books have been getting online. So, uh, there was a Barnes and noble up the road here.
Uh, I do have [00:26:00] a list of, uh, of independent books bookstores here. I’ve not been to any of them, uh, except for Joseph Beth down in Cincinnati. And it’s been years since I’ve been there, but I sent them each a copy of the book, you know, to see if I get it in the independent. But I really don’t go into the bookstore that much anymore.
[00:26:16] Stephen: Yeah. Well, I know there’s one down in Dayton. I’ve been to that. I like it’s called a dark star books and yellow Springs
[00:26:23] thomas: and will help. I actually
[00:26:24] Stephen: sent them one of my books. Okay. It’s a nice bookstore. I like,
[00:26:28] thomas: yeah, I’ve not been in it. I saw it on, on the, you know, they have a website, uh, just for the cause because the Ohio bookstores, you know, might pick up somebody from Ohio that’s.
[00:26:39] Stephen: Exactly.
[00:26:40] thomas: It’s hard to get into the bookstores. There there’s toast. There’s not much space there, you know, and I’m working on Hudson books right now because that’s in all the airports and everything. Oh yeah. Right.
[00:26:50] Stephen: Hopefully we’ll see that. Well that I that’d be great. I, I, I want to follow up with authors at like six months to a year and find out how they’re [00:27:00] doing if they’ve gotten another book and things.
So maybe, uh, you’ll be able to update us, uh, in a few months or a year about, uh, getting into airports and things. That’d be great to hear
[00:27:08] thomas: about. I’ll be glad to, yeah, I’ll tell you the, you know, the ups and downs. It’s a pretty tough bunch.
[00:27:16] Stephen: Again, limited space, you know, they want the biggest sellers. Well, do you know when I was
[00:27:20] thomas: traveling, I would walk into a train station or an airport and buy a book all the time, once a week, you know?
So, uh, I think it’s a good place to have your, uh, at least your, your, uh, your print
[00:27:31] Stephen: books. No, I know there’s a thing I saw and I need to follow up with it. Cause I don’t remember what it was, but it’s a, an organization that gets books. And puts them in various kiosks, uh, in the New York subway. So subway writers can grab a book to read and, uh, yeah, I don’t remember the name of it or anything, but I remember reading about that and it’s been in the back of my mind that, Hey, I need to get a carton of books and send it to them more.
[00:27:58] thomas: Yeah. I keep books [00:28:00] here and I do give books away. My, uh, kind of funny, my wife has some health issues. He spends a lot of time in the hospital. I, I must have it 50 different nurses at different hospitals, reading my books. Yeah, they’re good. They talk to a lot of people,
[00:28:12] Stephen: so, yeah, that’s, that’s a great idea.
And my wife, uh, I mentioned my wife. I’m like, you know, I should probably carry a box of books in my trunk. Uh, because we went camping last weekend and in the rec room, they had a small library, you know, take a book, leave a book. I’m like, well, heck I can leave five of my books. She’s like, why didn’t you?
I’m like a, I. Just don’t always think about it. I’ll play
[00:28:34] thomas: what I do, carry the books in my car. And I also carry little business cards with a, with a, uh, with a book, uh, information on it. Uh, I was in a Kroger store, uh, last week and a lady was looking at the, the book section and, uh, came by and I said, I forget what it was, Nora Roberts.
I said, do you like Nora Roberts? And she said, well, yeah. And I said, you know who this guy is, actually I gave her the card. She said, no, I’ve never read anything by him. And she looked at me, is that [00:29:00] you? And I said, She says, well, I’m going to buy the book. You never know.
[00:29:03] Stephen: Great. Yeah. Yeah. That’s probably good advice for everybody, you know, be prepared at a moment’s notice.
It’s that guerrilla marketing thing, you know, if every day you got one person to take your card and get your book, that’s way more sales and way more people interested than most people get. So just pass it up.
[00:29:24] thomas: Uh, Redondo a nurse at a hospital who said she belongs to a book club. I said, boy, I got something for you.
So, so those are great. If you can find a book club, that’s good because you, uh, my, my sister-in-law is in a book club with 26 other people and I really got good coverage
[00:29:42] Stephen: with them. No. Well, that’s a great, great bit of advice. So before we get going, any other advice for some new authors,
[00:29:52] thomas: I would say for new authors, uh, to the mistakes that I made, you know, uh, you don’t, don’t rush into it, think your way [00:30:00] through it, uh, you know, know what you’re writing and pay attention to it because there is nothing harder that at least for me, is to get to the end of a book.
I realized I had to go back and edit this whole thing. Uh, so I, the other thing I would say. Right. What, you know, it comes so easily that way. You know, I wrote about what I knew that was down there, right there. It was right in the middle of all this, you know? So, uh, you know, if, if, even if you’re, if you’re writing fiction deep of a science fiction, you know, concentrate on things that you really know that you really know in your heart, uh, then it flows so much easier.
[00:30:32] Stephen: And if you want to write what, you know, uh, you seem to have a lot of stories on the supernatural. We should, co-author a book together and rights of a supernatural fiction based in the Appalachians.
[00:30:45] thomas: Yeah. Well, yeah, there’s a, there’s some, some good books about that. Uh, uh, Barbara Kingsolver has written some good books about the, uh, supernatural in the, in Appalachia to,
[00:30:56] Stephen: ah, there you go.
I’ll have to look that up then. All right. [00:31:00] Well, David, tell us again, the name of your book and where all we can find it in your website.
[00:31:04] thomas: Yeah, the book has its own website, actually. Uh, and it’s, uh, beyond the higher ground.com. When, when long word is beyond the higher ground.com, I have a, I have a direct, uh, links to all the, uh, online services.
If you want to buy the book, I have, my reviews are in there. Uh, I have a testimonial from the state of Ohio, actually, the, uh, The, uh, the house, uh, in the state of Ohio who sent me a testimonial, uh, uh, complimented me on the book and, and the, the value of it, uh, which was really helpful. Uh, and, uh, yeah, so, and I have my, a lot of my media interviews and so forth were on there and there’s a, there’s a bio on me and there as well.
So, uh, it’s the easiest thing to do is just go right to the books on a website and find what you want. And I’m getting a lot of traffic right now, too.
[00:31:53] Stephen: Well, that’s great. Good. Well, D Thomas, sorry. I had another interview earlier this morning, David and my mind is [00:32:00] stuck on that, Thomas. Thanks. Uh, I appreciate you taking some time today and I think your book sounds interesting.
I wish you the best of luck on it. Well, thank you.
[00:32:09] thomas: Appreciate your time.