Tag Archives: Indie Author


Right now, a lot of you are in-tune with the O.P.U.S. interviews I am doing on Tumblr. If you aren’t familiar with this series of interviews, I suggest you check them out. They are just good fun. I ask acquaintances I’ve met through social media random and funny questions.

When you read the O.P.U.S. interviews you may think these weird questions are the result of a person who simply doesn’t know what they are doing in interviewing people. Actually, that’s wrong. I know exactly what I’m doing with those interviews. I think they are not only fun, they are incredibly insightful into the true person.

In terms of my credentials, I’ll estimate I’ve done over 500 professional interviews for publication in my life. I’ve interviewed over 150 CEOs for my Small Brand America series of books which feature small companies competing against much larger, better-funded competitors. In my full-time job I write all of our sales-related newsletters, all of which incorporate interviews with sales reps out in the field to share best practices.

I would say that while I have my own style, which varies greatly by the type of interviews I do, I do draw from three professionals… Bob Costas, Howard Stern and Marc Maron. These three are each perfection in very different ways.

First, Bob Costas. He’s the ultimate in preparation. I realize he’s probably got a staff that does all of the research, but to Bob’s credit he devours what they find. His preparation in taking all of that research in and then not even needing cue cards to retain what someone did in the third grade is amazing. I have to say, out of the three here, my style is least like Bob’s in that I’ve always kind of shied away from research. I like the idea of going in fresh and not taking a look at what others have done before me. This isn’t because I don’t think there is merit to doing this, it’s just that I know I can’t do it as well as Bob so I like the discovery what’s unique about a person in by asking probing questions. I do try to connect with a person like Bob does which really does help them open up.

Second is Howard Stern. Man, this guy is divisive. Many people automatically hate him and perhaps rightfully so. I’ve always had a sophomoric sense of humor so I have to say I’ve always like Howard. The good news is I have matured as I’ve gotten older and so has Howard. His show isn’t what it once was, but that’s not to say all elements of offensive material have been removed.

Even if you can’t get over the goofy stuff, you should hear his interviews. Howard isn’t confined by time constraints so when he talks to someone it’s a free form discussions that really helps you get to know the person. I hate talk show interviews with their 4 minute format designed more to pitch a movie than learn anything about the person. A 90 minute interview with Howard and you walk away really knowing the true person beyond the public persona.


The last person I like to hear conducting interviews is Marc Maron. If you aren’t into podcasts, you might not know Marc but he has a podcast entitled WTF. Now, by the name alone you may think he’s another Howard Stern… he’s not. I will say he’s a bit of a cantankerous old guy who probably likes the shock value of calling his program WTF, but if you get beyond the first minute where he’s kicking off the show, his interviews are unbelievable. I would say what makes Marc great is the fact this guy, you presume is a grumpy old man based on the show intro, is just so smooth in the interviews. It truly is conversation. What I also like is he comes at it from a fan’s perspective. If I was interviewing the stars he gets (Marc gets everyone by the way, Barack Obama recently was on), I would handle it in the exact same way.

One of the aspects I didn’t like at first, was the fact he just riffs for like the first 10 minutes before he starts talking to a guest. I used to wonder why he did it… now I love it. His approach to the show is exactly what I would want to do someday. The guy is just the best.

Those are the three main influencers for me when it comes to interviewing. I’m no where near any of these three gentleman in terms of success, or style, but I’m going to keep practicing.

Check out those O.P.U.S. interviews and see if you can see the influence of these three!


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 Next Week: I have no idea what I’m writing about next week, but it will be something.

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

Sign Up for Steve’s Newsletters: Email Registration

Twitter: @steveakley

Instagram: @steveakley

What’s App: Steve Akley

Home Phone: I’m not giving you that!



When I see the tears of an Olympic athlete in the medal ceremony, I get it.

I don’t think the broadcasters do.

First of all, I love the Olympics. This is an Olympic year and best of all it’s a Summer Olympics year! (I love those even more than the Winter Olympics.) I can’t say I’m a fan of how the TV coverage goes with the Olympics, though. They turn the event into a drama where each person’s grandmother having just died as they were boarding the plane to head out to the Olympic hosting city.

I just like the competition.

The idea that if you can beat your competitors at this event you are the best in the world, at that moment in time, in your chosen activity. It’s powerful to think about it in that way, but it’s true… somewhat true… at least as truthful as we could ever get (Trust me, I know there are other factors here which doesn’t make the statement “best in the world 100% absolute truth” but while you may be able to talk in theory how you could make the Olympics better, in reality this is as good as it gets right now to benchmark competition and that’s what I’m talking about today.)

The idea of being the best in the world, standing on a pedestal with your country’s national anthem playing… you representing your entire nation… “We are the best in the world at the 200m,” that’s powerful stuff.

That’s certainly a component number one to those tears you see. The media gets that.

Yes, grandma’s death as our athlete boarded the plane is the second component (or whatever tragedy has bestowed them). The media devours this aspect. As the music starts playing, the tears flowing, Jim Nance reminding us, “Her grandmother died just as Delta Flight 322 pulled back from the gate. Her final words were, ‘Win the gold Lonnie.'”

I think the biggest reason for the tears is what they don’t talk about. It’s a lifetime of preparation. It’s getting up at 3:30 every morning to start training at 4:00 a.m. It’s skipping holiday treats to stay on the program. It’s prioritizing training over normal socialization for a young person. Not being able to go out with friends and have fun… a sole purpose and focus on being the best in the world at something. That moment has arrived as the anthem is cued.

The dream is here.

The dream is now.

In my own way, I believe I am taking a large step towards realizing my dreams this coming week. On Friday, February 12, my reformatted newsletter comes out. It’s been a large focus of what I’ve been doing over the last four months.

Over these past four months I’ve been working hard behind the scenes to forge a path of “Where do I go from here?” I’ve got a fairly large catalog of work. I’ve got a decent-sized fanbase. I even have a hit on my hands with my book Bourbon Mixology which continues to sell well.

My plan to better engage my readers and social media followers starts with this edition of SAP News, my newsletter. I’m introducing what I’m calling a “magazine style” format… not in look, but content. Each issue will have original content: interviews, product tastings/demos, showcasing the talents of fellow artists, contests, free book giveaways. My old content was simply to provide an update with what was going on with my writing.

I feel like this shift in approach is going to be real big for me. It’s going to generate excitement and enthusiasm for the publication of SAP News, and in-turn, my writing.

Of course, you never know. The 200 meter race for instance, starts out with 50+ racers at the start of the Olympics. Through qualifying rounds they narrow the field to eight before the start of the final heat.

Don’t all eight, or 50+ for that matter, think it’s going to be them?

Don’t all of them presume this Olympic is going to be their moment?

Their culmination of a lifetime in training.

Their time as the best in the world?

Their final tribute to their dead NoNa?

No matter what happens on Friday, I’m good. I’ve got a whole business plan lined out for 2016 that I will adhere to whether Friday’s SAP News draws unprecedented interest in my work or it’s met with a collective yawn.

If it does generate a buzz, who knows, I might even shed a tear.

I miss you NoNa!


Next week I’ll reveal the people who have an influence on my interview style.

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

Sign Up for Steve’s Newsletters: Email Registration

Twitter: @steveakley

Instagram: @steveakley

What’s App: Steve Akley

Home Phone: I’m not giving you that!


I’ve got a good one for you here today…

First off, I have to say I’m having a helluva good time with my O.P.U.S. blog. Thus far, I’ve managed to stay in contact with everyone featured. I really am getting new friends via this social experiment.

Yes, you do always have to redefine “friend” when you are talking about the relationships developed online. This is challenging for some people, but, I’ve always segmented friendships in my mind. Your true “friends” are people in your everyday lives with whom you interact with because you enjoy them as a person and their company.

Another already existing segment of friendships, at least for me, is work friends. Over time, you develop relationships at work… people you just like to be around. Some of the relationships may carry over into your life outside of work where they become “real friends,” but most stay in the 8:00 – 5:00 realm of when you are working.

The newest friend-type is online frienships. These friendships don’t carry the baggage you may encounter with face-to-face relationships. It’s almost like the joy you hear grandparents discussing. They get the best times with their grandchildren, then when they are fussy, or they just want to do something without children, the kids go back to the parents. Same thing with online. Enter into that world when it suits you, exit when you’ve had enough.

I think one of the key drivers in establishing relationships with the people featured in my new blog is the questions. They are meant to be fun without being offensive and never intended to make fun of the person. I always say it’s like the two of us are having dinner and just talking.

Wait a second, you may be thinking dinner conversation never involves me answering “who the worst celebrity is in the history of celebrity” or asking me to rank my favorite cookies from a list.

Well, clearly you’ve never had dinner with me. For me, that’s exactly what dinner conversation is like. The premise for O.P.U.S. is a genuine one. I am truly fascinated with regular people… especially those who say they aren’t interesting. Clearly, those people are so fascinating they don’t want to share it, right?

I’m a believer that the way you get to the interesting stuff is to simply get people talking. If you say, “what are your hobbies” or “what do you like to do outside of work,” these questions are so commonplace you almost get canned answers from people. In our minds, it’s kind of like we have a rolodex of commonly asked questions and we draw upon that anytime these questions come up.

If you throw people a curve… something they haven’t asked before, then you might just find something out about the person way more interesting than the fact they enjoy reading, knitting and singing show tunes in their spare time.

Everyone seems to be enjoying the interviews at this point…me, the person being interviewed and those who are accessing them from Twitter and Instagram. I think I’m even up to 9 people now following me on Tumblr. These are people who likely found the interviews on their own and like them. While it’s a small number, I do like the fact there are people without a connection to me finding the interviews and liking them enough to follow me so they are sure to see all of them.

I do have some go-to questions I like to ask everyone… what they do for a living, where they are from, who would play them in a movie about their life. I think it’s great to have some consistency, plus it might be fun to look back and see how everybody answered the questions that carry over from interview-to-interview.

The real signature O.P.U.S. questions, though, are the crazy ones. I do have to say, it took a bit for me to hit my stride. Not because I didn’t think of the types of questions I really like, I was terrified of peoples responses to being asked them. It’s really tough, when you have no track record, to ask people funny questions. They just might think you are an internet-nut and move on. I feel like now, with a nice group of regular people answering these questions, and me retaining those relationships, my non “internet-nut” status is confirmed so I can ask away.

I’d like to present you now with my favorite 10 questions so far (presented in random order). For the answers, you need to proceed to steveakley.tumblr.com. Note that not all of these are posted just yet. I’ve got 11 posted so far an another 10, or so, waiting to be posted on my way to 100 when the project ends.

#1 – Tall Samm Lim – Tall Samm started it all for me. I had no idea how she was going to react with a request for an interview, especially because I couldn’t reference her to anything else, it was just an idea. Looking back, this one was pretty vanilla, but my favorite question for Samm was:

What’s your favorite nightmare dating story? – What a great way to just get a person talking about a story you know is going to be funny.


#2 Ray Taylor – Ray Taylor is a person I play the game Dice with Buddies with. He was just a random computer generated opponent that I’ve managed to continue to play against for quite a while. My favorite question for Ray was this one, which was the start of a reoccurring theme:

If you had your choice of being banned for life from one of these, which would you choose (remember, your selection means you never get to have this item or person again): A. Pizza  B. Sunglasses  C. Kate Upton – I love this question for a few reasons. First, it makes no sense. I mean how are you getting banned from these things anyway? Secondly, it was the introduction of Kate Upton into the questions. I think Kate Upton is, well she’s all right, let’s just say that. People don’t like her, though. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why. We can’t like someone who is attractive? We are jealous? I don’t know. What fascinates me about Kate is the fact one society is fascinated, yet negative about you, it then people often become anti-you just because that’s what everyone else does so I like asking about Kate to get a feel for how the person really is. My personal stand, I don’t care what society tells me I should think about Kate Upton, I just like her myself, so, for me, I guess I’d be banned from wearing sunglasses the rest of my life if this question was posed to me.


#3 Jenna Brownson – For Jenna, her question was more of a situation. Jenna is smart so I wanted to give her something really unique. Not even ask her a question, but pose her a situation and see how she reacted. If it isn’t a traditional Q&A would she quickly follow-up with a “where’s the question?” Check it out:

Waiter: “And for a side?”

Jenna: “Well, what are my choices?”

Waiter: “Homemade chips, curly fries, regular fries, seasoned fries, green beans or a side salad.” 

Jenna’s response was pure gold! She definitely came out on top of this battle of the wits.


#4 Mike Swain – The notable question from Mike’s interview was:

If you see someone fall down…nothing heinous like a serious injury, but there may be some significant bruising or ankle twisting, is your first inclination to be concerned with their well being or to laugh? – The ironic twist here being Mike is an x-ray technician. What are the chances I ask a person who helps injured people for a living a question like that?


#5 Stephanie Adlington – I feel kind of bad for Stephanie. She caught me on this crazy day and the questions I asked her were way out there. My favorite is:

Worst scenario for you:

  1. You walk into a restaurant called the “Condiment Cafe” and you realize they are out of all condiments except for ketchup… and the real killer is they don’t even have Heinz. They have Brooks…and that’s not even ketchup by the way…it’s catsup.
  2. You are dating a guy and he tells you he has made dinner and you look in the trash can and his “homemade” soup is Campbell’s red-and-white label chicken noodle (he did add parmesan and a bit of cracked black pepper to punch it up slightly).
  3. You get a job at the zoo and on day one they are all like, “Until Lester gets back the use of his left arm from that forearm strike you are going to have to take care of the King Cobra.”

This started a whole new line of questioning where I use the “worst scenario”. Look for this in several of the interviews.


#6 Lauren Elizabeth – Lauren is a photographer from Australia. My favorite question of her is a great one:

What does the stereotypical American look like? – I know that’s a loaded question and it was one Lauren really struggled with. She asked friends and family to have some input and she was worried the responses were way to harsh. When you ask for a “stereotype” you get kind of this worst case scenario where no one actually believes it, but it always just hangs out there. It is fun to hear what Aussies think of Americans…at least us at our worst via stereotypes.


#7 – Sarah Mitchell-Jackson – Sarah is the nicest person in the world. Despite her title, she’s still cool. You don’t normally see nice and cool staying together. Sarah’s got that going on so when I asked her this, I had no idea what she’d say:

If you joined the circus, what would your job be? – Sarah, as you can imagine, put together a well thought out answer!


#8 – Tina Williams – Tina Williams’ upcoming interview was unique in that it was a “friend of a friend.” Tina is the blogging buddy of Jenna Brownson, but we also follow each other on Twitter so I reached out to here. I like this question from that interview:

If the Antiques Roadshow came to town, what would you bring in for them to take a look at? – It’s just a cool question because it helps you find out a little about the person, and what potential undiscovered gem they may have.


#9 – Six Feet of Dynamite – Dynamite is an awesome person. She’s a character too. If you read through her entire feed you see a person who is passionate, fun and a good family person. That’s perfection  in my book. My personal favorite:

Six feet of dynamite. That’s name has a significant amount of punch to it. Are you the real deal or are perhaps really something like 5’-10 ½” and realized that didn’t have the right ring when you said it? – I mean she’s either going to like this question and see the humor in it, or she’s going to think I’m a real tool. Luckily, she like it and Dynamite and I are good friends who continue to check-in on each other from time-to-time.


#10 – The Dawn Husted – My longest online friendship. A true bud.  I like this long drawn out gem:

You are an outdoor enthusiast. Say your backpack for an overnighter only had room for three of the following, which of the three do you take (no need to overthink it, so if you select the ribeye, for instance, there is some sort of way to prepare it on this trip, an essentials like water and other provisions are already packed…these are your luxury items): 1). A Bottle of Bourbon 2). Your Hairbrush  3). A Ribeye  4). A Eyeliner  5). A Package of Fruit Stripe Gum 6). An Oversized Bottle of a Limited Edition Beer 7). A Book from Your Favorite Author 8). A Journal to Write In/Pen 9). A Bottle of Wine 10). A Bottle of Rum – I loved Dawn’s answer too. She’s no diva. 100% cool cat that one is! (Yes, I know that last sentence isn’t really correct, but it sounds cool, right?)

With 80 more interviews still to go, there are plenty of unique questions still to be asked. I hope you check out O.P.U.S. if you haven’t already!


Next week we’ll take a look at where I’m at in my writing career. It’s self-assessment time!

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

Sign Up for Steve’s Newsletters: Email Registration

Twitter: @steveakley

Instagram: @steveakley

What’s App: Steve Akley

Home Phone: I’m not giving you that!


Last week I told you I had a big day coming up. One I had been avoiding for over a month now. It was time to visit Architect of Passion, the biography I had been working on which ended up getting lost in the “flash-drive-ageddon” incident I blogged about here a few weeks back.

I’m going to take you deep into my own mind today, detailing what it was like to face something I had personally been struggling with. You may find my own this look into my brain so disturbing you may begin to question why you even follow me here and on social media. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. As a service to you, my reader, I’ve included a quick guide at the end with steps to unfollow and block me on most social media platforms.

So we begin…

I always feel like if I’m lucky enough to have you here reading my posts I don’t want to assume you know anything about what I’ve written in the past. Even if you have been a loyal reader, I’m not going to be so presumptuous that I’m just figuring you know everything that’s happened in my life to get me to this post. So even if you have read the background of what I’m about to get into, you’ve slept since then, so you might want a little bit of a refresher.

So here goes…

Architect of Passion is a biography. My first foray into this type of writing, though, I did a whole book on my own father, called Life with Akester, which included some biographical writing in it. (This was actually a hybrid, part biography, part funny stories and part about me dealing with his sudden death.)

Greg Schredder, the person I write about in Architect, is an incredible person with an unbelievable life. He’s ran in circles with some of the best known celebrities, he’s made millions, he’s lost millions, he’s on a mission to save the world (not a cliche here, I mean he really is), he’s got these great stories which easily translate into a book. I could go on-and-on. It’s even a funny story how Greg and I connected, but I will save for the book.

Getting his life story down involves me interviewing Greg for hours at-a-time on the phone (he lives in Hawaii). These are marathon with several clocking in over eight hours. In August I had taken a backup of Architect, but in September Greg and I had one of our last phone calls to go over the draft on a page-by-page basis to ensure it was presented exactly how he wanted it.

With the book now being so close to being complete, I started putting some other finishing touches on it as well. Greg had gathered all of these great photos from throughout his life. This involved a lot of digging and even going to a storage unit where he keeps his professional papers. I incorporated the photos in and then I wrote two additional sections. One was a post-script conclusion from me. There was simply the need of the “voice of the author” telling what was going on with Greg and the need to make a few points which will be better clarified in the book then here.

I also added a quick story called the Legend of La Paz which had nothing to do with the book. The book is a linear look at Greg’s career from childhood at the way to present day. As we followed Greg’s life, there would be times when we would deviate from the topic and it wouldn’t become an interview anymore, it would be simply two guys talking. It was during these times Greg would share these incredible funny stories about his fascinating life. If he was Steve Jobs and I was working on an 800-page biography I’d probably want all of these.

That’s not what this project is, and even if it was, I’d probably not be the writer to tackle this project. Greg and I had these discussions many times. He’s not that type of person, though. He’s an old-school, “my handshake is my bond” type of guy. Even though I was telling him the complete story of his is worthy of the “Steve Jobs treatment” I was his guy, the person he trusted to tell his life story, even if I was doing the condensed version.

The Legend of La Paz was just one of those fun stories which didn’t tie back to the book but gave the reader a sense for what it’s like knowing Greg Schredder. It was simply one of the many fun stories he shared.

After adding the photos, the conclusion and The Legend of La Paz, I had one of my editors go through the whole thing. She did a great job, going through it for me on a printed copy which I through away after making the edits.

The plan was then to get one last thing from Greg, a piece he wrote called “Special Acknowledgements” where he went through his whole career and simply wrote about, and thanked the people who had helped make him a success on the way. Once that was done, I would incorporate it into the story and then Greg and I would review it one last time via a proof copy of the book. I wanted to get a copy of the book into Greg’s hands since we had already been working on it for almost a year at that point.

By October, I hadn’t heard from Greg for about a month. I reached out. He was busy working on this project, like I stated earlier, which may help save the world. He would get me the info soon. In November, I heard from Greg, he said, we need to revisit the book and write a few additional chapter. He had such great things going on. If it all comes together, “I’m buying you a Cadillac” he told me.

The funny thing about Greg Schredder, that statement from him is like a signed contract approved by the Supreme Court. I have no doubt, if Greg hits it big with his latest project, one day there will be a Caddy sitting in my driveway. I don’t know what I’m going to do with it, but it will be there.

With all of this excitement happening, it happened.


Yes, the “it” being that flash drive which blew up in early December. I lost 98% of my files on there. There were a few odd files which weren’t affected at all. Small files like lists of ideas for future projects. Any large file, like a book, or photographs was lost, though.

Architect of Passion was the tough one. I had really wrapped up most of what I working on so I was able to recover files through Amazon of my other work. I lost everything from Architect, though, that I had done after my August update.

My response: avoid it.

For the next 5 weeks, that’s exactly what I did. I didn’t tell Greg, I didn’t open my preserved file from August. I can’t tell you why. There was just something about it that was too painful. Work which I considered complete was lost. Wiped away in a moment of my own stupidity. That file represented everything bad that happened in the loss of my flash drive.

At Christmas Greg called, emailed and sent me a card with a calendar. I sat in my shell like a frightened turtle. This past Monday my company was closed in honor of Martin Luther King Day. I circled that date as the day I was going to address it. I would reach out to Greg, I would open that dreaded file. Here’s a timeline of the day for me.

4:30 a.m. – Wake up at the usual time, even though I’m off of work.

4:30 – 5:30 – Not ready to get started on the book so it becomes time to check-in on social media

5:30 – 7:00 – Let’s not look at that file yet, after all, it’s time for a walk.

7:00 – 7:30 – Quick check back-in on social media.

7:30 – 8:00 – Hey, I was just walking, I better take a shower before I get started.

8:00 – 9:30 – Rather than getting started on Architect, let me get this quick OPUS interview with Courtney posted on tumblr and then I need to promote it a bit on social media.

9:30 – 10:00 – A quick game of hide-n-seek with Leo and a check of what’s on TV.

10:00 – I sit down to get started, but a wave of fear grips me, maybe I can “nap off” these feelings.

11:00 – Time to do this. Let’s take a look at the file. You know what? You really need to have a proper lunch to write. It’s early, but I’m off today, I’ll take a quick lunch break. “Then it begins,” I tell myself.

11:41 – I sit down at the computer and open the file. I scan through it and see everything missing. This is real. All of that work is gone.

11:42 – I walk away. (insert your own expletive here…I know I did. Use a bad one. I mean a really bad one. I know I did)

11:42 – 12:39 – Self-loathing.

12:39 – 12:53 Composed an email to Greg about what happened and sent it.

12:53 – 2:33 – Rewrote The Legend of La Paz. I may have even improved what I initially wrote, at least as I remember it.

Okay, this was going to be all right. I was in a better mood. The rest of the afternoon, I put Architect away, knowing I could take on the demon and 2016 would mark year two I would be working on this project but it’s going to be great.

I was so euphoric about getting started on rebuilding Architect, I reached out to fellow author Jenna Brownson about a potential joint project we might be working on and I wrote a post for Evan Haskill thebourbonguyandrye blog (it’s worth a read). It was a fairly productive afternoon.

Later that day, I got a message from Greg. He understood, we would have this book rise from the ashes. I had also requested the photos he had already sent but he told me he didn’t have them and we’d have to wait until he could get all of them back together.


I did suggest checking the sent file since he had emailed them. I’m pleased to say on Friday I got 26 emails from Greg with the photos.

Architect of Passion is on the way back, baby! Look for it later this year. I sure hope so. It’s been quite the journey!


This guide is designed to assist you in taking two steps to remove Steve from your virtual life via social media: unfollowing and blocking.

Step 1

Wait a second, you are actually reading this? You were really going to examine unfollowing and blocking? I had a traumatic experience. It isn’t the worst thing that can happen to a person, I agree, but it was tough nonetheless.

Guess what, you aren’t unfollowing nor or you blocking. In fact, for reading this I demand you RT something on Twitter or Like AND Comment on a photo on Instagram, you know, as a way to make up for almost senselessly removing me from your social media world.

Unfollow and block.


I don’t think so!


I will have to say, this blog has evolved over the last several weeks. It’s gone from a weekly 200 word post to a much more detailed account of behind the scenes of my writing. I don’t know where it will end up. I prefer the 200 word quick updates… the audience clearly prefers the detailed read. For now, I’m giving ’em what they want with these long accounts of what’s going on with my writing.

Next week we’ll take another look at OPUS. This time I’m going to share some of the funny questions I’ve been asking people and why I ask them.

In the meantime, follow check in on Steve in a variety of ways:

His Catalog on Amazon: http://goo.gl/kJpKcP

The OPUS Blog: steveakley.tumblr.com

Sign Up for Steve’s Newsletters: Email Registration

Twitter: @steveakley

Instagram: @steveakley

What’s App: Steve Akley

Home Phone: I’m not giving you that!




Recently, I started a new endeavor over on Tumblr which is part blog, part social experiment and part self-therapy. I’ll touch on all of this in what I’ve titled the EPIC TREATMENT OF OPUS because I’m really covering everything there is to know about this fun new adventure.

One of the biggest challenges I face and an independent author is the fact the only way someone is going to ever hear about my work is if they hear it from me. This can directly through interaction with me, or perhaps via another person I have been in contact with. There is no publishing house behind me. No literary agent getting my name out there. I don’t have a P.R. person releasing statements about me. It’s all me.

This is one of those unique situations which become exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. It’s exhausting because it’s hard. Even if you “touch a person” (get your message directly to them), often they still won’t read anything you’ve written simply because they haven’t ever read anything you’ve written.

That’s a conundrum, right?

So where does the exhilarating quotient come in? Well, I have to tell you, every time your author’s page on the vendors you sell your books through adds another tic mark in the sold column, it’s exciting. It truly never gets old. I went to bed last night around midnight, got up at 4:18, the first thing I checked online was those author pages. Two books sold… while I was sleeping. Somehow I sold those two books. Maybe it was a post on social media which got someone interested. Maybe it was a great title capturing the imagination of a couple of buyers. Perhaps it was an awesome write up in the description. Who know? Let’s not forget I was sleeping when this happened. Imagine how many I’ll sell today while I’m awake and productive!

This all leads to how I got started with OPUS. I was looking for a new way to reach people. I wanted to try yet another platform to accomplish this. In the last three years when I started writing, I’ve gone from never having been involved in social media at all to systematically getting involved in Twitter, Facebook, Word Press, Mail Chimp, Instagram and now Tumblr.

My “new” idea was actually an old one for me. I’m a believer in a couple of things:

1). I like meeting new people. All kinds of people. People who share my interests and people who don’t. I want to talk to everyone. Can’t you learn more from people who don’t share your common interests anyway than those who do?

This leads directly to my second point…

2). All people are interesting. It’s true. A lot of people love celebrity gossip. Not me. I want to know the personal story of the person who just put three heartbreak symbols on Twitter. I want to talk to the person who runs the Instagram account which only has wedding photos, yet likes every photo I post, even though I have nothing about weddings. If I could talk to these people, then I want to know everything. What do they do for a living? What TV shows do they watch? When they decorate for Christmas, do they just do a tree and a few items here and there, or do they go all out? If they don’t celebrate Christmas, can they tell me about the traditions of their beliefs?

It just doesn’t stop. It’s just how I think.

The idea for OPUS sprouted from this natural curiosity I have. I knew I was going to do something like this and I was toying with “ordinary people and their stories.” Then it came to me, “Ordinary People, Unusual Stories” or OPUS. According to Google’s online dictionary, one of the definitions of the word opus is, “Any artistic work, especially on a large scale.”


It should be noted, I truly love the idea of meeting new people and it’s not the first time I’ve tried to do something like this. Two times in the last 10 years (before I even started writing books) I wrote to this local rag of a newspaper we have asking if they wanted a guy to write for them who saw interesting things around town and approached the individuals for an interview. For instance, there used to be a person who lived near me who had a giant Statue of Liberty replica in their front yard. Huge. Like 20 feet tall.

Where they transplanted New Yorkers?

French nationals?

Simply patriotic?

I don’t know. Sadly, I’ll never know. The newspaper never bothered responding. I even took one last shot at this when I started writing. Right here. Yes, I mean literally. On this screen on which you are reading right now was to be a blog called St. Louis Neighbors. I was going to take my newspaper idea and just produce it myself. There was a little bit of a weird vibe going with approaching people, without the credential of being with a local newspaper though. Knocking on someone’s door and saying, “Hi, I’m Steve, your house is cool and I want to write a blog.” I’m thinking I’m getting like 2% saying yes, 50% never opening the door, 45% slamming the door in my face and the final 3% calling 9-11.

My idea to overcome this was a beautiful letter. Explaining how I was just starting writing and wanted to organically grow readers, how I was interested in talking to them. etc. blah blah, Sincerely, Steve Akley. Kissy face. Second kissy face and then closed with a heart symbol.

Okay, no kissy faces or heart symbols, but I did compose a letter lining out what I wanted to do and why I had contacted them. Man, I went all out. I took the 20 most interesting houses I could find in the greater Oakville area. I had that one house that looks like the Brady Bunch house. I had the Portland House, where it looked like the place was just dropped from Oregon including the bees in the backyard. I locked-in on the one place where the guy is trying to build a gothic castle. Clearly, the woman who is trying to recreate a Victorian-era mansion, complete with gardens would want to be featured, right?

Anyway, I found 20 great places. I sent out 20 letters.

My responses: 0.

Maybe I shoulda done the kissy faces and hearts.

With that dream officially shattered, I changed the name of this blog to Write Steve Write! and started blogging weekly about my writing.

1,070 words and I’m not even to the details of OPUS yet. I told you this one was EPIC.

So I came back to my idea of getting to know strangers with the launch of OPUS on Tumblr. My goal with this new vehicle is to get to know people on a very informal basis. I ask them questions, most would probably only ask if they had known people for a very long time. Nothing too intrusive, or inappropriate mind you, just fun little scenarios.

I think it really gives greater insight into the person than some more conventional line of questions. I feel like I really know the person when they participate in these brief Q&A sessions.

You may wonder how I find the people I feature. It’s all through social media. I can’t say I’ve written down rules for finding people, but I do have some unwritten guiding principles I use.

1). They must be connected to me on social media. I don’t attempt to reach outside of my personal groups to find anyone.

2). The person has to be over 21. Again, none of the question ever have, nor ever will be inappropriate in nature. It’s just something doesn’t feel right about inquiring anyone below 21. I’ve got an 18 year old daughter. If I came home one day and she was typing on the couch and I asked her what she was doing and she responded by saying, “I’m doing an interview for some guy on Twitter,” I’m not thinking I’m like that as a father. Well, I treat individuals with the same respect and courtesy I would want afforded to my own daughter, so no one under 21 (since I don’t know these individuals if I can’t tell, I simply don’t ask).

3). They have to be interesting. The people who share the dumb lists on Twitter don’t interest me. You know the “click bait” with dumb titles, like 20 Greatest Celebrity Asses, Number 4 is a Real Shocker. This doesn’t interest me. In fact, I just mute as many of those as I can.

4). Finally, they have to be nice. The underlying message to the OPUS blog is there are great people out there. Everyone is jaded about people on the internet. I don’t want everyone to totally let their guard down as there clearly are bad people out there, but don’t lock out everyone. There are great people out there. I’m just getting started with OPUS and I have to tell you, it’s mind blowing. People are genuinely nice and willing to help out.

Of course, this leads to the discussion of, “What’s it like reaching out to strangers?”

Kind of like marketing your work as an author, it’s exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. I don’t ever want to anger anyone. I’m just trying to meet some new people and introduce a new audience to my work. Besides the potential to anger people, I realize there are also two other potential scenarios I’m not fond of either. The first being is what is this guy’s true motive? Is he trying to swindle me in some way? The other being worse even than that, is he a creep?

I had this great exchange with Lauren Elizabeth on Instagram this week (she said I could use her name on here by the way). She’s actually going to be in upcoming OPUS interview. As I approached her to be in my OPUS blog, she talked about the number of guys who contact her innocently enough at first, then it quickly transitions to send me some nude shots or “let’s meet.”


Lauren Elizabeth in front of my personal favorite of her photos, “The Camel Selfie”

It turns out Lauren is a hobbyist photographer who travels all over the globe, both for work as well as personal travel. Another passion of mine is art. I’m a big fan of painters, sculptors and photographers. In addition to the final product of the art they create, it never ceases to amaze me how these individuals see things just a little differently. Photographers like Lauren have this unique ability to look through their eyes in a different manner than the rest of us to capture what’s interesting in the moment.

Sample of Lauren's Work

Sample of Lauren’s work. Does this stuff not look like it belongs in National Geographic?

What I love, love, love about Lauren’s work is the fact she writes the story of her pictures. Not in some sort of stiff clinical manner you might see in a text book, but instead, from a human perspective, telling you what she was doing that day. What was going well, what wasn’t. What was funny about the day.

It’s literally a look at what I find so fascinating. How does Lauren see things differently than I do? How can she grab these great shots when I never would, even if we were in the same place at the same time?

That’s a person I want to get to know. Hello… OPUS!

Do you not want to know Lauren, and people like her, too? OPUS.

I do think it provides the new blog of mine has the potential to provide a service. I mean Lauren who spoke so openly about how many people she just ignores because of the issues she’s had. Luckily, we had been connected early on for both of us in Instagram (I looked it up, she was my 10th follower), she felt comfortable responding to my request. I’m thinking she might be more apt to engage with someone if they read about her on OPUS because their interest in her would likely come from what was interesting about her from the interview. She could connect to some nice people and not just those seeking something a little more illicit.

A connection like that delivers everything I could have ever wanted from this project and much more. I feel like I’m a better rounded person from expanding my connections and relationships beyond the circle of people I have simply just always known.

Not everyone says yes to my requests. I get a few nos and I’m okay with that. I don’t want anyone to get interviewed if they are uncomfortable in doing so. Those that have said no have been very polite and we’ve left it on good terms.

The ones I don’t like have been no response at all. I just feel bad. Have I intruded on their personal time? Do they think I’m a weirdo?

While I’m having an incredible amount of fun doing this so far, I realize their is a shelf-life for everything. In fact, for some reason it hit me yesterday. 100. I’m retiring the OPUS concept with 100 interviews.

Don’t worry, I’m only five into this social experiment. Even though it won’t go on forever, there’s still plenty of time to meet new people, make new friends and maybe one day you’ll be getting an incredibly polite request from me to appear in an upcoming interview.

It’s legit.

I’m not a weirdo.

No kissy faces or heart symbols will be included.


OPUS can be found at: steveakley.tumblr.com


Thanks to all for reaching out to me about the loss of all of my files with the corrupted flash drive last week. There wasn’t one negative Tweet or direct message. In fact, nothing but kindness.

I am humbled and honored to have such support come my way.

Next week in Write Steve Write! I face the demons of this traumatic experience by finally opening up my Architect of Passion book, the only file I completely lost. I have a saved version, but it was done before 8+ hours of changes with the subject of the book, a deep revision by an editor and the creation of several new chapters. I’ve been dreading opening up the file and trying to get it back where it was before the tech crash. I’m off work on Monday, it’s all I’m doing.

I’ll write about that experience here next week!





2015 THE WORST YEAR EVER (Part 2 of 2)


The following is the second part of a special two week blog post. If you haven’t read part 1 of 2, “2015 THE BEST YEAR EVER,” don’t worry. I’ll be doing one of those recaps just like they do on the TV shows to ensure you are caught up.

Well, this is without a doubt the most anticipated blog post I have ever written. So much so, I’d like to scrap the idea of a two-part blog post and let us all just move on with our lives. Seriously, I’m not sure I can live up to the hype. In particular, I have been getting inquiries from my mother (“What’s the bad thing that happened, that almost made you quit writing. Was it me? What did I do? You know your father and I did the best we could with you.”) and fellow author Jenna Brownson (“When’s part 2? Tell us already! Is today the day you post your new blog?”)

Well, despite the tremendous pressure, that I know I’ll never live up to, probably forcing me to start a Part 3 dealing with addressing the negative email and comments I get, I’m going to try. Here’s a look at why 2015 was the worst year ever.

To take a small step backwards, I’d like to reiterate how good 2015 was going. While it had started out reflecting what had been going on with my writing career for most of the year, when I published the book Bourbon Mixology things started to change. When I say “things” I really want to say “everythings” even though I know that’s not a word because I want to emphasize how much everything in regard to my writing had change.

The first change came with the selling of Bourbon Mixology. The book took off like a comet. It was selling like nothing of mine has sold to date and would continue to do so all the way through the holiday season. There hasn’t been anything quite as satisfying in writing as going to bed and waking up and you’ve had 17 sales overnight… or you go to lunch and come back and 8 books are sold. It’s just a continuous flow of momentum and excitement that kept going, with a crescendo that landed it #4 on Amazon’s bourbon books, a spot it continues to hold on to even today.

That was just one great “thing.” The next was I began thinking much larger about marketing. This has always been one area where I’ve been lacking. I think it’s worked out for the best in that it allowed me to solely focus on the writing leaving me to create a wonderfully diverse catalog of content.

When I began to think about marketing to my readers, and social media followers, it became very clear to me. Ideas for reworking my newsletter making it more of a mass appeal publication rather than a very targeted “read about Steve” would mean I could increase interest and readership in my newsletter, which, in-turn would increase interest in my writing.

I totally revamped my newsletter and even landed sponsors for the reworked look. The first publication in the new every-other-month format gets published February 12.

Another great thing that happened to me in the fourth quarter of 2015 was the fact I simply got organized. I have a flash drive with all of my books on it I keep at the house. It was a mess of book files, photos from inside the books, copies of covers, invoices from direct sales of book, business plans, etc. I went through, got everything it into files, including future projects.

As I was doing all of this, I got an idea for a project called Bourbon Zeppelin. I’m still not actually talking about this one yet as it won’t launch until June 1, but it was born during the time of creativity for me.

Even the mini promotions I was doing in the fourth quarter worked. I don’t like to do a whole lot of “selling” types of tweets on Twitter, but every time I tweeted out about Bourbon Mixology I would see a spike in activity afterwards. I even did a promotion I called the 12 Days of Christmas on Black Friday where I offered 12 of my books for free (mostly my mini book and short stories). I’m not big into giving away my work for free but I have to say this worked. Other titles in my catalog began selling right after I did this. While I have no way of knowing for sure, the connection between this promotion and the selling of those other titles is too strong for me. It just worked!

The final great thing I accomplished at the end of the year in 2015 was I got my to do list cleaned up. I organized all of my jazz Christmas songs and completed the final book in my Coffeehouse Jazz series with a special Christmas edition.  I had an amazing 8+ hour editing session with businessman Greg Schredder with whom I am collaborating on a biography on called Architect of Passion.  After this marathon phone session (Greg lives in Hawai’i) I went on to write a few more chapters, including an epic tale about how he found himself in over his head in a cockfighting ring in El Paz, Mexico. The book is basically about his business career, but he tells so many great stories which aren’t necessarily tied to the topic at hand I came up with the idea of a bonus chapter where I told one of these tales. It came out great. I even had one of my editors go through the whole book getting it ready to publish.

The last thing I was doing with my writing in 2015 was to finish out four mini books from my book Small Brand America V: Special Bourbon Edition. There were four chapters from my Small Brand America that I want to expand upon.

Basically, I take the chapter from the book, add some additional information I didn’t have room for in the standard 10-page layout Small Brand America gives you and then add some extra photos as well.

I did three of the four of these and it couldn’t have gone any better.


I mean these 99 cent mini books started selling right away. The best part, though, came from Dave Huffman, owner of Ozark Distillery. Dave loved the mini book so much he asked me write a book just on his company he could give to important customers and sell in his gift shop. Creating this book would involve actually going to Ozark Distillery (about 2 1/2 hours from my house) and working there for a few days during a bourbon run to see what he does.

Are you kidding? For me, a bourbon fan, this is like fantasy camp. I’m going to go work in a distillery, then write about the experience where I have guaranteed sales of my book because Dave’s buying them for his gift store?

It literally couldn’t have been going better. Then it happened.



The thing that ruined my whole year and made me want to walk away from writing.

My mother gave me a bad review.

Just kidding. It wasn’t Mom at all. It was Jenna Brownson.  Her smarmy attitude made me want to walk away.

Again, just kidding.

I was working on that final mini one chapter bourbon book when my computer locked up. I got that spinning vortex of hell. Nothing could undo it. Finally, I pulled out my trusty flash drive and shut down the computer.

Big mistake.

See warning at the top of this post.

I lost it all.


Every word I had ever typed. All 50+ books in my catalog… wiped out.

My initial reaction upon trying to open up that flash drive…


I can’t recreate everything I have ever written. I had a save on a different disk when I had like 8 books, but I didn’t even know how accurate that was. I continue to tinker with the books. In my mind, that was useless. Everything I had written, or would ever write was on that corrupted flash drive.

My hope was my brother-in-law. An IT guru, if it could be fixed, he was the guy.

A few days after the incident, I got it to him.


He felt like someone could recover it. This would take expertise beyond his capabilities, though. He had no incite on where to turn. It was basically go onto the internet, pay someone you don’t know to evaluate it and then, they may, or may not, be able to fix it.

Then I got the speech about using the cloud for saving. Not to put it on a flash drive.

Like I need this.

I had one last hope. A friend I know who has a decent sized company had an IT guy he used to manage his business. Unlike my brother-in-law, who did this as a hobby, it was this guy’s job.

I got the contact information for this IT expert and reached out to him. The guy calls me back. He can barely speak English. This comment isn’t what you are thinking. I am not saying he had an accent. I mean he is so smart, and IT-focused, he speaks in tech.

I’m thinking this is good.

I explain what’s going on (this is over the phone mind you), how it happened (kind of leaving out the part about me grabbing the flash drive out of the computer, only focusing on how it locked up) and what the files look like now.

The guy says, well, I’m stumped. It’s almost like someone took that flash drive out without ejecting it properly corrupting your files. They are a complete loss.

Well, that I understood.

He went on with a 15 minute attempt at selling me some $600 device he then talked himself down to $300 when I couldn’t speak because I was too shocked by the fact my files were gone for good. Something about how this thing stores your tech in the cloud. I don’t know.

Anyway, as bad as that was, I decided I wasn’t quitting. I contacted Amazon and Kindle. Amazon got my copies of my books so all fourteen paperbacks were restored as I published them. I still lost a lot, mind you. All of the extra photos, drafts, etc. was gone. I had these books, though.

Kindle provide instructions to get the HTML files which I could convert back to Word documents. Some things do change in the conversion, though, I have found.

Actually, that’s okay. It’s going to be tedious, and time consuming, but I am going to update and fix my entire catalog… book-by-book.

What is gone forever, though, is the one project I didn’t complete. (By the way, the piece I was working on when the flash drive crash wasn’t corrupted so I did manage to publish that last mini bourbon book. Go figure!)

Architect of Passion.

The  8+ hours of phone calls. The El Paz story. The editing done after the fact.

All gone.

Even though I haven’t quit writing like I initially thought I would, I haven’t been able to face that book yet. I have the version prior to all of the fourth quarter work being done, but it’s just too painful. I haven’t even told Greg this yet. It’s tough. It really is.

At some point I’ll man-up and just start writing, editing an interviewing Greg to get it back, make that better than it was before.

By the way, I don’t need any speeches about how dumb I was. Trust me, I know. I’ve paid a steep price for not saving my work properly so I think I’m more versed as to why what I did was dumb. I don’t need your take on it… nor do I need to hear anything about the cloud.

I’ve got new processes in place to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

I am looking forward to 2016, and what this year will bring for my writing career, like you can’t believe. I’ve got so many exciting things going on and I know I am going to make great strides in realizing my dream of becoming a writer.

That, my friends, closes out 2015… the best, and the worst, year ever!




2015 THE BEST YEAR EVER (Part 1 of 2)

Throughout much of the year, 2015 was looking pretty uneventful. I had published a Small Brand America book early in the year focusing on distilleries producing bourbon. At the same time I also published the first book in a new series called Bourbon Mixology. This first edition focused on bourbon cocktails from the distilleries featured in the Small Brand America book.

I then spent the next 7 months working on three projects: Pa’u Hana, my first novel, Architect of Passion, a biography of businessman Greg Schredder and a second edition of Bourbon Mixology. This second edition focused on signature bourbon cocktails from 50 iconic bars.

Bourbon Mixology II Cover

On September 17, the second edition of Bourbon Mixology was published and immediately it was a game changer for me. It started selling right away on Amazon. Sales continued to build through the holidays and ultimately it moved all the way up the #4 ranked bourbon book on Amazon.

Whoa! I true breakout star!

This was a dream come true. I couldn’t believe an indie author was outselling all of these others with traditional publishing houses, p.r. support and a whole system designed for them to succeed.

The success of Bourbon Mixology went beyond finally finding a larger audience. It has opened doors for sequels and other projects in the world of bourbon. While it was difficult getting 50 bars to commit to this book, I have already found that once you have success you can show them, people are more willing to work with you.

At the same time, three years into my writing career, I was becoming more focused on what I needed to do in order to be successful. I started a business plan. I retooled my newsletter with a plan to relaunch it in February. Additionally, I have a project called Bourbon Zeppelin which is going to be awesome (sorry, I’m not officially releasing the full details of it yet).

Despite all of this success, and good news in 2015, it wasn’t all unicorns and rainbows. There was something that happened late in the year which made me question if I even wanted to continue writing. We’ll talk about that, though, next week in the second part of this review of 2015.


A couple of popular hashtags I see many authors using are #amwriting or #Iamwriting. I too would like to be hashtagging the fact I am writing, but, unfortunately, that would be #lying.

I’m in the middle of two big newsletter projects and planning on four books to follow up my big hit in Bourbon Mixology this holiday season (still ranked #4 for bourbon in books as of today by the way). That means I am researching, or perhaps better stated #Iamresearching to keep with the theme of this post.

My four upcoming books involve getting bars to share their a signature cocktail, so it becomes a matter of not only finding the right bars for the books, but getting them to commit. Getting them to commit actually comes later. I’m still in scouring the internet looking for the perfect places to extend an invitation to.

My two newsletters (one is a reworking of my current newsletter about my writing and a second, still unannounced project) also are very research labor intensive right now. I’m looking for potential sponsors and content contributors. It’s an arduous process which I have no idea how successsful it will be.

I’m on vacation from work so that’s what I’ve been doing full-time the last week and this balance of this one.

All of this hard work should payoff with a great month of #amwriting coming in January!


Side Note: This is my last post of 2015. I hope everyone has a fun, and safe, New Year’s. I’m kicking off 2016 with a two-part post detailing the ups-and-downs of 2015 with my writing. 2015 was an incredible year for me. In fact, when I look back 20 years from now, it will be the year in which I transitioned from this crazy pell-mell freestyle to very focused with a clear roadmap to success with my writing. There was one incident, though… one I haven’t even shared here which made me really question whether or not I would continue writing at all. It’s just been too painful to talk about.  

You will have to wait for that one, though. Look for it, right here in Write Steve Write next year!




Bourbon Mixology Ranked #5

Bourbon Mixology – A top five ranked book when searching for bourbon under books on Amazon (top 10 on the overall site with a bourbon search)

This holiday season has been great for me. In fact, I’ve picked up a new title… “Best Selling Author.”

That’s right, after almost three years of writing and publishing, I’ve got a real winner on my hands with my book: Bourbon Mixology: 50 Bourbon Cocktails from 50 Iconic Bars.

As an author, your books are like your children: you love all of them equally. I don’t write something thinking this one will be just okay, but the next one is going to be the big hit. Ultimately, it’s not the author who decides what’s a hit, it’s you, the reader.

This book must have been the perfect storm:

  • It covers a hot topic with bourbon.
  • It incorporates cool locations with the 50 bars.
  • It has the signature bourbon cocktail from these iconic bars.
  • It’s a great price point at under $10.

I think all of these things came together to make it the perfect holiday gift giving item for the whiskey fan.

Being an author is awesome. You get to create books which start as ideas in your head.

I have to say, though, being a bestselling author who creates books which came from ideas in your head is even better!


I recently published one of the chapters from my book Small Brand America V: Special Bourbon Edition as a stand-alone 99 cent eBook. Not only is my Ozark Distillery  chapter republished, the new eBook also contains bonus material and photos not included in the book.

When I notified Dave Huffman, the owner of Ozark Distillery this mini book was now available, he wanted me to put together a small book on his company he could sell in his gift shop and give to some friends and family. In order to accomplish this, I would need to spend a few days at his facility (located less than 3 hours from my home base in St. Louis) watching and helping him make bourbon.

Dave wanted to know if I’d be willing to do this?

Willing to do this… are you kidding? This is like a dream come true!

I assume sampling has to be involved in this right? I am dedicated to quality control for Ozark Distillery!

Next March I’m going to spend two days at Ozark Distillery during a bourbon run. I can’t wait.

Christmas came early for me this year!


Bourbon Mixology II Cover

Speaking of Christmas, be sure to pick up a copy of Bourbon Mixology for all of the whiskey lovers on your holiday list. This book is my bestselling piece of all time and has been a hot holiday seller! It features 50 iconic bars from around the United States sharing their signature bourbon cocktail recipes.

Pick up Bourbon Mixology by clicking here!