Monday, June 24, 2013

Interview with Ash Hoden, author of The Idiot of Funkyville


The Idiot of FunkyvilleABOUT THE IDIOT OF FUNKYVILLE

What is travel? Asking this question is like asking, "What is life?" or, "Who are you?" (or, as I've frequently been asked, "Who are you?"). The answers to such questions are as numerous as the people asking. The Idiot of Funkyville: Becoming an Everywhere Citizen takes a chronological snapshot of actual personal experiences as a young and less-than-young man living and playing abroad; exploring each of the above questions in the context of a displaced American piecing himself together on foreign turf. Contained therein: perhaps an excess of sex, more than a healthy dose of drugs, and all the rock 'n' roll one can ask for. Balance is achieved as the vignettes build one on top of the next. Pondering the course of my life from the confines of a Qatari jail cell, reminiscence begins with teenage confusion at a Mexican bar and concludes with grown confusion as an expat in the Middle East. In progression, the narrowing spiral of personal growth leaves finer grained finger prints as the tales evolve through destinations and age. In theory, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. But that's for the experts to decide. Having dismounted a train, plane, boat, or rickshaw in nearly forty countries (including Canada), The Idiot of Funkyville documents a life of travel as a point-blank portrayal of my life through travel. And who doesn't love life and travel both? Whether you've already gone or have no intention of ever, ever going near the place, wonder is universal. We all have questions. A good majority of my questions just happened to be pondered abroad.
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 Thank you for your time in answering our questions  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to write a book?
Actually, this didn’t begin with a decision to sit down and write a book. This book basically happened to me. Over the course of a 13-month backpacking experience I wrote a series of travel stories as a way to take greater meaning from the experiences I was having. At some point in time I realized that these stories were the foundation of something bigger. Then it was a process of giving it cohesion through additions, subtractions, or revisions.

Is this your first book?
Yes, this is a first. Hopefully not a last though.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?
With publishing, my biggest debate revolved around whether to create an ebook or to try the traditional route, which is to attract an agent who will ideally sell your book to a publisher. ‘Henry Chalfant’s Big Subway Archive’, an ebook collection of the author’s photos of New York’s graffiti art in the 1970’s and 80’s, was the catalyst for my choice to go the ebook route. I realized that with an ebook I could add sound and video to help enhance the written stories. Since this is a travel-based collection, I thought that was a valuable addition. Through the videos, the reader is given a glimpse of each destination. They get a greater feel for the overall message and it makes the written portion of the book more tangible.
What lessons do you feel you learned about the publishing industry?
The biggest lesson I have learned is that this is merely the beginning of digital publishing. Ebook revenue is already greater than the revenue of traditional paper books and yet Amazon, the leading ebook distributor, still hasn’t embraced the use of multimedia. They still do not support audio or video formats and their pricing model, by reducing an author’s income by charging delivery fees based on ebook file size, discourages authors from adding the types of features that make ebooks distinct. Essentially, the publishing industry -- both on the digital and traditional side -- have still not come to terms with how to approach the digital revolution.
If you had the chance to change something regarding how you got published, what would you change?
It’s not necessarily something I would want to change, but my greatest hurdle will come from being a self-published author. In order to attract attention to my book, The Idiot of Funkyville, I will need to spread the word on an independent level. But that can also be true with a traditional publishing house. For an unknown author with a small existing audience, even when your work is accepted and printed through a well-known publisher, much of the promotional effort will fall on your shoulders.
Did you credit any person or organization with helping you get published?
I mostly credit the friends and family members who supported me while I put this work together. I had a lot of encouragement from the people around me
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Beyond creating the best work they can create and being diligent about writing on a daily basis, aspiring authors should learn about marketing and promotions as well. With the rise of digital, getting published has become the easiest part of the equation. The hard part is creating distinction among a rapidly growing field of talented voices.


ABOUT ASH HODEN

Ash Hoden is a writer, foreign correspondent for a California-based design studio, and architect currently living, working, and writing about living and working in Qatar. His pursuits have always involved creation. He firmly believes social contribution is a fundamental requirement for a happy existence. He attended Colorado State University where he received the American Society of Landscape Architect's Honor Award for exceptional academic design work. In addition to ongoing contributions in the business world, he previously founded an independent design firm and organized CambodiaFund, a method of providing basic school supplies to Cambodian children in need. The Idiot of Funkyville is his first published book. You can visit Ash Hoden's website at www.ashhoden.com.
   
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The Idiot of Funkyville Virtual Book Publicity Tour Schedule

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Monday, May 6 - 1st chapter reveal at Freda's Voice
Wednesday, May 8 - Guest blogging at Between the Covers
Friday, May 10 - Interviewed at Review From Here
Tuesday, May 14 - 1st chapter reveal at Parenting 2.0
Wednesday, May 15 - Guest blogging at Allvoices
Thursday, May 16 - Interviewed at Examiner
Monday, May 20 - Guest blogging at Books, Books, the Magical Fruit
Wednesday, May 22 - Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book
Thursday, May 23 - Interviewed at Book Marketing Buzz
Monday, May 27 - Interviewed at Literal Exposure
Tuesday, May 28 - Guest blogging at The Writer's Life
Thursday, May 30 - Book featured at Authors and Reader's Book Corner
Wednesday, June 5 - Interviewed at Digital Journal
Thursday, June 6 - Guest blogging at Redroom
Friday, June 7 - Interviewed at Blogher
Monday, June 10 - Interviewed at Books, Books, the Magical Fruit
Tuesday, June 11 - Guest blogging at Allvoices
Wednesday, June 12 - Book featured at Literarily Speaking
Thursday, June 13 - Book featured at Plug Your Book
Friday, June 14 - Guest blogging at My Cozie Corner
Monday, June 17 - Guest blogging at The Story Behind the Book
Tuesday, June 18 - 1st chapter reveal at As the Pages Turn
Wednesday, June 19 - Interviewed at Between the Covers
Thursday, June 20 - Book featured at My Cozie Corner
Friday, June 21 - Guest blogging at Reading Through Life One Page at a Time
Monday, June 24 - Book featured at Beyond the Books
Tuesday, June 25 - Interviewed at Broowaha
Wednesday, June 26 - Interviewed at The Writer's Life
Thursday, June 27 - Guest blogging at I'm Shelf-ish
Friday, June 28 - Book reviewed at The Self-Taught Cook
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Pump Up Your Book

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