Interview with Norm Spitzig, author of 'Soul on Nice'

Soul on Nice chronicles the latest and greatest adventures of the Old Bunbury Golf Links & Reading Club's waitress extraordinaire Esther, the highly eccentric but undeniably lovable protagonist of his previous epic works. This time Norm's scintillating tale is truly global in scope, with Esther opening the novel zooming her merry old way to beautiful New Zealand. This titanic clash between good and evil is part playful and evocative travelogue, part staunch conservative manifesto, part clever and poignant mystery, part whimsical exposé of the madcap world of private clubs, and all treasure trove of quirky good cheer. While anyone with a decent sense of humor will surely love Norm's latest story, readers who also understand and appreciate the fascinating world of private golf clubs will be doubly pleased.


Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Norm Spitzig. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
A: Thank you for having me. My wife Cody and I live with our ball-obsessed chocolate Labrador Lucy in the historic antiquing town of Mount Dora, Florida - a beautifully quaint little city a whopping 180 feet about sea level. (No we do not suffer from regular altitude sickness or recurring nosebleeds!) We have three relatively "normal", and all employed, grown children and two beautiful granddaughters. In my "day" job as a Principal and Senior Partner of Master Club Advisors I have the honor and privilege of working with hundreds of fine private golf club owners, boards of directors, and senior managers both here in the United States and all around the world on assorted operational challenges and governance issues. I've been writing regularly, predominantly for professional journals, for the past thirty-five years. My expansion into the world of books began in 2009.
Q: Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?
A: Private golf clubs (the background setting and recurrent underlying theme permeating Soul on Nice as well as my previous three books) are inextricably and positively woven into the very fabric of America’s history, traditions and culture – and for that matter, those histories, traditions and cultures of all free societies around the world. However, despite all the good they do, private golf clubs are often misunderstood, unappreciated, and even denigrated by the public at large. Soul on Nice is my latest attempt to rectify this unfortunate situation in a clever and humorous manner.”
Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?
A: I am one of those fortunate authors who, once the specific idea for a book sufficiently "settles into" my head and the first sentence is actually typed, is able to come up with a decent first draft in relatively short order. Given that context, writing Soul on Nice was "relatively" easy and straightforward. No, it was more than that; it was a true labor of love that weaves into one coherent and engaging tale a number of topics that are all near and dear to me: the world of private golf clubs, global travel, whimsical humor, conservative values and political satire.
Q: Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it? Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link to where we can see it?
A: I do not one per se - unless you call my two author's websites my "press kit." Rather, I consider my many LinkedIn connections, numerous followers of @ClivetheClubGuy on Twitter, and forty years of personal relationships and professional connections built during my career working in private golf clubs synergistic components of my ongoing interaction with the national and international media.
Q: Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV? What are your upcoming plans for doing so?
A: I've had the good fortune to speak to hundreds of groups both here in the United States and around the world, most typically about private golf club operational challenges and governance issues. As such, "appropriately mentioning" and citing relevant stories from my books fit in quite nicely with these presentations. I've also appeared on dozens radio talk shows, with the focus sometimes directly on my books and other times on the fascinating histories, traditions and cultures and wonderfully zany people who inhabit the private golf club world. For example, I'm a regular on Tom Horan's "Speaking of Golf" good radio show. I'm also scheduled to read from Soul on Nice this coming January at the local Mount Dora book store Barrel of Books and Games.
Q: Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?
A: I did a fair amount of research back in 2009 when I was evaluating how to best spring Private Clubs in America and around the World onto an unsuspecting world. After deciding to go the self-publishing route - I had a few literary agents who expressed serious interest, but none, as I recall, were all that impressive - I chose to work with Dog Ear Publishing, a small company that I have utilized for all four of my books. I like their "Midwest friendliness"; I like their professional and comprehensive approach to independent book publishing and marketing; I like that I am more than "just a number"; and I really like their author royalty formula. Once one sells about two hundred books, their net cost of self-publishing is the best, bar none. A reasonably well-received Dog Ear book can and will actually make a tidy profit for its author.
Q: Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it?
A: I worked with a couple of people to prepare press releases for Soul on Nice as well as used the good marketing services that Dog Ear Publishing offers it authors. Realistically, my approach has been closer to a media let-up than a full-on blitz.
Q: Do you plan subsequent books?
A: When Private Clubs in America and around the World came out in 2009, I thought I had "said it all" about private clubs. But there I was, less than a year later, hard at work on its logical follow-up, Murder and Mayhem at Old Bunbury. Nor did I expect to write How Now, Norm's Tao, my autobiographical attempt to capture the essential components of "the life well-lived" and Soul on Nice in the following two years. All of which is a roundabout way of say that, while I currently do not plan any subsequent books, I obviously am not very good at planning.
Q: Thank you for your interview, Norm Spitzig. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?
A: Thank you. It was my pleasure. My books are best purchased directly from my author's websites: http://www.normspitzig.com and http://www.cliveendiveogiveiv.com. They are also available at Amazon books and randomly located eclectic book stores. For those readers who want to contact me about my day job, please visit http://www.masterclubadvisors.com.
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