Hello everybody… I hope you are having a great Memorial Day weekend. Maybe you are enjoying some down time, perhaps spending some time with family, maybe doing something fun and hopefully taking a few moments to reflect on the brave men and women who have give us the gift of freedom.
I’ve been doing a little reflecting myself recently. A lot of great things have happened for me as a result of a decision I made to start writing a little over three years ago. In the spirit of this self-reflection, I’m starting a little mini project in the form of a 10 week run where I look back on some of the cool, incredible and amazing things that have happened to me since I became an author.
First up is my O.P.U.S. interview blog (check it out at: steveakley.tumblr.com). Earlier this year, I embarked on a social media journey designed to meet new people by interviewing them for the aforementioned blog.
I honestly didn’t know what it was going to be when I got started. Was it a journey inside of my own mind by asking questions about other? Would I actually meet new people and make new friends? Was it an opportunity to simply promote my work? Would anyone even really do this… or better yet, would anyone READ this?
These were the things that were going through my brain as I got started. Luckily, the first person I asked, Samm Lim, agreed to do it. While I was working on Samm’s interview, I also asked several others… no one would bite. Once I got Samm’s interview posted, though, it became a different story. People got what I was trying to do and it did become easier to get people to participate.
These interviews aren’t necessarily easy. It takes time to compose the questions…even though they are completely idiotic, I’m telling you it takes time. I’m guessing maybe even more time than a legitimate interview because I want to be irreverent and funny without being offensive. Then you have to format them and find the images to go with what they are saying.
One of the strangest, yet most delightful aspects of these interviews is my co-host… Kate Upton. No, Kate’s not actually involved in the project, but she’s a big part of it for sure. For some reason, I just love adding Kate Upton questions into these interviews. People are confused by them… they want to act like they don’t like her because she’s like a caricature of youth and beauty… I don’t know, it’s just fun. Trust me, when I don’t have a Kate Upton question in one of these interviews, I hear about it.
Yes, it’s another fascinating aspect of O.P.U.S. is the fact people reach out to me. They send me messages about the interviews. They like a certain one, or they were inspired by the story of a person… or hey, where was the Kate Upton question? It’s just cool. People I don’t know blindly reaching out to me about my work. It’s something every author wants… you have touched them in some way. It’s great by me even if it’s not my books. The way I look at it, hey, we’ve broken the ice and hopefully they are made aware of my writing from that point forward.
With the interview I just posted this morning, I am officially halfway done with my O.P.U.S. journey. I interviewed Kris Kettner, a blogger from Oklahoma I met on Instagram through our shared interest in bourbon. Kris was interview #50 of 100. Even though I can’t imagine not doing this anymore, and worry I’ll be potentially missing out on some of the great friendships I’ve made through this project, everything has a shelf life.
As I continue on with my writing, and my interviews, I’ll leave you with 10 keen observations I have made so far with my O.P.U.S. project:
- There are standard questions I ask to everyone and the most confusing is clearly, “Do you have anything to plug.” I would say 15% of people ask what that means.
- I have found most men will say Kate Upton is “not their type” when you ask them a question about her. I always can’t help but wonder if that would hold up if they actually met her?
- I have about a dozen people helping me out with my Bourbon Zeppelin newsletter project. Every single one of them I met via an O.P.U.S. interview.
- I’m always amazed at how well people do to the question “what celebrity would play you in a movie?” It inspired me to start adding pictures to the interviews which is now a very popular component of them.
- The first interview I numbered, was Jenna Brownson. She was number 9 of 100.
- The idea of adding the internet photos to the interviews started with Dawn Husted (#11 of 100). She said the actress to play her was Piper Perabo. I had no idea who that was so I thought it would be good to include a picture. Then I thought it would be good to do that in everyone so people could compare the celebrity to the person since I always had a photo of the interviewee.
- I really started adding a bunch of photos with my interview of Sarah-Mitchell Jackson (#13 of 100). I started just tying in photos to what they were saying starting with her.
- What’s my favorite? Whomever the most recent one is. I really like all of them.
- Am I friends with all of these people still? Not really. Some you kind of lose track of and I won’t like speak to again. Others are off the radar but I feel like I could give them a shout out and pick up conversation at any time. One, I have since blocked from social media. Who? I’m not saying.
- Which one was most popular? Depends on how you look at it I guess. The most likes I ever got on the Instagram announcements I have ever received was Brooke, the Beer Yoga lady. I love that gal. She’s really awesome. I think the one that hit home with the most people based on comments was pretty recent. Christa Gayle, a women who I later found out lives like 2 miles from me, shared a really touching story about her life. The victim of an abusive relationship she struggled with feelings of no self-worth only to get a divorce, move on and find love. It was cool. Way more than I ever thought an idiot with a computer asking people silly questions would ever uncover.
Sure, we’re halfway done, but it also means we’ve still got half of our interviews in front of us. I look forward to making more friends and finding out about Ordinary People/Unusual Stories…O.P.U.S.
Write Steve Write! is a weekly blog by author Steve Akley. Typically it is posted on (most) Sundays and features insight about his writing… though there is an occasional movie review or random thought post. It should be noted it’s posted as a live feed… no editing, no planning beforehand, it’s typed out on Sunday morning and the “publish” button is immediately hit. Apologies for any errors but you get this just as Steve thinks it!
Coming Sunday: We’ll be continuing on with my “It’s Because I Write” series next week!
In the meantime, follow check in on Steve in a variety of ways:
Steve’s Catalog on Amazon: http://goo.gl/kJpKcP
The OPUS Blog: steveakley.tumblr.com
Evan Haskill’s Blog: I am a contributor here: thebourbonguyandrye.com
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