• April 2, 2020

A SHARP LIFE: Much awaited book week is here - Odessa American: Local Columns

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A SHARP LIFE: Much awaited book week is here

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Posted: Sunday, February 2, 2020 5:00 am

This is an exciting week around the Sharp house, and not just because the 2-year-old Slugger has learned how to open doors on his own. This week is one that we have been looking forward to for quite a while now — book release week!

This Tuesday, my latest book, “You Got This, Dad,” will be released into the wild. In honor of this momentous occasion I thought I would make today’s column a list of frequently asked questions posed to authors so that as I am asked these questions, I can tell people, “Read the column.” This drives up clicks on the Odessa American website and enables me to continue to function as an introvert. It’s the very definition of a win-win.

How long did it take to write this book?

This is a good question, and the answer really depends on when you want to start counting. I signed the contract with the publisher in July of 2018 and finished the manuscript in March of 2019. This might lead you to believe that it took nine months. However, this would not be an accurate assumption. First, there are a number of edits and revisions that happened after the manuscript that was turned in. Second, my proposal (which included writing the first three chapters and the table of contents) was written in the fall of 2017 so that my agent could then begin pitching it to publishers. I’ve easily been working on this book for two-and-a-half years.

Will you be handing out free copies?

No. Authors get this question all the time, and the truth is that I don’t have nearly enough copies of my own to hand them out like politicians hand out lies. Also, and not to be antagonistic here, but books are hard work, and they cost a lot less than a visit to the dentist, so perhaps consider supporting authors you like with a purchase. If you don’t like this answer, ask your dentist to fill a cavity for free and see how he responds.

Are you worried that your no-free-book stance will bother your fans?

No, I’m an only child so very few things bother me.

You seem a little annoyed that people want free stuff, don’t you like free stuff?

No, I’m not annoyed, and yes, I do like free stuff.

If you like free stuff, shouldn’t you give away free stuff yourself?

No, and by continuing to ask you reveal that you don’t understand how stubborn I am. However, I am willing to use my books as currency. If you are an electrician out there who desperately wants a free copy of my book let me know, I’ve got a couple of projects around the house that I need some help on.

What does it take to get you to do a book signing?

I require to be driven to the event in a Rolls Royce while sipping on sparkling water imported from Italy and eating only the light-brown M&Ms that were discontinued in 1995. I kid, I kid. Just watch my kids for a few hours and I’ll sign as many books as you want. Unless you ask me for free copies, then the Rolls Royce, sparkling water, and M&M thing kicks in for real.

Odessa, TX

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