Name: Frankie Hogan
Book Title: Livin’: From the Amsterdam Red Light to the African Bush
Genre: Travel memoir
Publisher: Wharton Reed Publishing
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published. Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Frankie: I taught myself screenplay formatting as a hobby. One day, almost eight years ago, I quit my job in New York and moved to Hollywood to make screenwriting a focus. I haven’t reached the Oscar stage yet, but I’ve had successes in Hollywood that have made many of the dreams I had before coming here a reality. Livin’ is my first venture into nonfiction. Whether you dig on exploring a 4000-year-old pyramid of a pharaoh or hiking in the Amazon rain forest, these places start as childhood dreams. Most people who grow up on a Philly street corner, like I did, or even on a farm in the heartland, don’t get to experience these nirvanas. Why? With Livin’, I wanted to bring you to these places and show you how accessible they are.
Is this your first book?
Frankie: Yes, first book. I’ve written a dozen screenplays, but it was a-barrel-of-monkeys fun writing in the different format. I wanted Livin’ to feel like a friend telling you a crazy story about a trip to a far-off land. That tone. That smile when someone tells you a story over a beer. It was important for me to keep that.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Frankie: This is an indie publishing method. I am a principal partner at a film production company, so I understand the landscape. I weighed the options and always felt Indie was the way to go. I dig the freedom and control you maintain over the project. Once some investment backing was in place, it was settled.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey? The pros and cons?
Frankie: Let’s say you’ve written your book, have decided you want to publish independently, and are now thinking, “What’s next?” Money is what makes the world go ‘round. Pitch wherever you can. You never know. A friend of a friend loved the travel stories I told at a party. He heard I was writing a book about them and became my main investor. Once the money was in place, I made a budget and put together a solid team, from editing and design to publicity, printing, and marketing. It can be more work than a writer is looking for, but there are varying degrees. Something like a POD service takes most of the printing work off your shoulders without causing you to lose control of the project. Be honest with what you want to take on, and take it from there.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Frankie: I feel like it’s there to be done, man. I mean, I love writing and building a world or piquing an emotion in a reader. There’s nothing like it. But I also dig on the ability to see it through. Making sure the work gets into the hands of the target audience. That’s what indie publishing allows us to do.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Frankie: If you’re willing to sacrifice time in return for project control, this is the best way. You just need to be honest with yourself about how much time you can put in and what you’re capable of in the business world. If you need to write on a daily basis, indie publishing makes that next to impossible.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Frankie: Set your goals. If your goal is to be featured in a brick-and-mortar bookstore window, indie publishing might not be for you. If your goal is to set your exact book price and control holiday sales at certain times of year, a Manhattan publishing house is not where you want to go. Once you understand what your target is for the project, you’ll be able to choose the publishing method that works best for you. Indie does for me.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
In spite of a lifelong passion for travel, author Frankie Hogan admits that he often fell victim to “life getting in the way” until he decided, once and for all, to stop giving in to easy excuses, stop yielding to the reasons not to—and stop the cycle of procrastinating, putting off and waiting for the right time, the right circumstances, and the right companions. It was time, Frankie decided, to get out there and see the world, to take in the history, nature and nightlife of places far away from home. It was time to get out of his own way and travel—really travel—to off-the-beaten-path, exotic, far-flung destinations. And Hogan, a South Philly native and streetwise everyman, did just that. Livin’ is the story of the ride, the road, and the reward.
A travel guide like no other, Livin’ presents a first person look at the joys, the wonders, and the occasional woes of busting out of the comfort zone and seeing the world. A tale told by a tour guide like no other—the affable, outspoken, and hilariously observant Frankie Hogan, Livin’ is part memoir, part adventure story, part unconventional travel guide, part laugh-out-loud narrative and totally irresistible. Consider what would happen if you traveled the world with a Charles Bukowski-Jack Kerouac hybrid leading the way, and you will get a sense of what this tantalizing tome has to offer…
Unfiltered, uncensored, and unapologetic, Livin’ takes readers beyond the glossy brochures and postcards and lays bare the good, the bad, and the ugly. A memoir that celebrates wanderlust (with its fair share of both wandering and lust) Livin’ is vibrant and vivid, irreverent and inspiring, uproariously ribald but abundantly real.
Come along for the ride as Hogan leads a tour from Egypt to South Africa, Amsterdam to Vietnam, Peru to Cambodia, India, China and more. Livin’ is a larger-than-life tale about taking chances, conquering fears, taking the road less traveled and rolling with the punches. A book that could inspire even the most steadfast homebody to hit the road, Livin’ is a journey in itself.
A hell of a storyteller with one hell of a story to tell, Frankie Hogan pulls no punches in this refreshingly candid narrative. Eminently readable and wholly unforgettable, Livin’ charms with its friendly, conversational tone and mesmerizes with its fascinating accounts of some of the most enviable travel destinations in the world. Moreover, Livin’ comes alive with Hogan’s colorful observations, joie de vivre, unmistakable wit and keen eye for the comical, the sublime, and the absurd. Quite simply, Livin’ is a real trip.