1. When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

I published my first scientific paper in 1980. Enjoyed the process of writing my whole life. I published over 150 scientific papers, book chapters, in my University and Federal Scientist positions but now that I am retired, I wanted to expand out of the very technical writing into a general audience. Fry, Thrive or Die: the pocket mushroom guide is fun and informative with the emphasis on fun. I really enjoyed reaching out to the larger audience of mushroom seekers. There are so many fascinating aspects to mushrooms as food, medicine, poison, hallucinogens, plant production, animal food webs, and environmental solutions. I wanted to share my forty-five years of experience in these areas in an entertaining and visual format.

2. How long have you been writing? Since the dinosaurs roamed the earth.

How many books have you written?

Thirty book chapters for technical books. Two whole books as a sole author: Mike O’Rhiza: Earth’s Best Friend (children’s book) and Fry, Thrive or Die: A Fun Pocket Guide to 50 Common, Delicious, Hallucinogenic, Medicinal, and Poisonous Mushrooms of the Western United States

3. What made you want to self-publish?

I enjoyed the autonomous, self motivated, and creative side of self publishing. It offers more freedom to express yourself compared to working with editors and reviewers in the technical writing of journal articles.

4. Would you recommend new authors self-publish, and would you recommend Gatekeeper Press?

Yes highly. They have lots of quality staff and great service. Well organized. Personal support. Good pricing.

5. What do you do marketing-wise to help announce and sell your books?

I’ve done quite a few book signings and presentations. I do zoom presentations to the staff where the book is being sold. Getting to know sales staff and interfacing directly with my customer base has been key to the success of the book.

6. What advice do you have for a new or fledgling author?

Be passionate about your book and the subject. People feed off your enthusiasm and personality. Don’t be afraid to cold-call or reach out to your readership.

7. What social media platforms are you on?

The frythriveordie.com website.  I also distribute a newsletter.

8. What is the one piece of advice you wish you had known when you first started out?

I wish I would have started writing for general audiences earlier. It’s such a satisfying and enjoyable process. There are so many people capable of helping you with the publishing process.

9. What do you feel is the biggest challenge authors are facing going into 2023 (and beyond)?

Some people want all their information in tiny nuggets, or strictly online. Some subjects, like mushrooms, require a deeper dive and some experience. I was happy to have a subject that lends itself to a soft cover pocket guide format.

10. Have you won any awards or contests that you would like to mention?

No blue ribbons yet. I have talked to many groups that had over a hundred people in attendance.  All Fry, Thrive or Die book reviews have been 5 stars on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I’m still learning how to best interface with the public. Learning is part of the fun.

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