Hits, pagans and hippos: Stories of an Agent, Activist, and Adventure Seeker received a rating of 4 or more stars, making it an IndieReader Approved title.
Below you will find an interview with the author Marty Essen.
What is the title of the book and when was it published?
Hits, pagans and hippos: Stories of an Agent, Activist, and Adventure Seeker; Published in 2021 February
What is the first line of the book?
“As a child, I enjoyed going to church.”
That first verse creates a joke about me thinking that as soon as the minister preached about the apostle Paul, he was actually preaching about my father, who was given the name of Paul.
What is the book about? Give us a “pitch”.
Hits, pagans and hippos is a humorous and inspiring memoir that explores relationships and careers and how seemingly small events can lead to life – changing outcomes. Persuasive stories have filled my life, and I tell those stories in a conversational style that combines my talents as an award-winning author with my talents as a one-man stage show that I’ve performed in hundreds of colleges across the UK. Countries.
This is a must read for anyone facing an unexpected career change, worried about finding and saving a dream partner, forced to bully (personal, political or corporate), eager for ideas to make life more comfortable, or just looking for fun adventures.
Stories include growing up with a top-class reborn Christian father, becoming the youngest disc jockey in Minnesota, running many talent agencies, traveling all seven continents, traveling in a backpack with tribes known for head-hunting, and surviving a vicious attack on a hermit.
What prompted you to write the book? A specific person? An event?
My first two books were a non-beautiful adventure trip; my other three books were science fiction political comedies; it is time to return to non-fiction. Also, I’ve always been “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” So, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was the right time to socially distance ourselves from my writing room and create a book I’ve been thinking about writing for a long time.
What is the main reason why someone should really read this book?
The book is a lot of fun, with a jawbone and inspiring moments.
When did you first decide to become an author?
In 2001, after traveling to the Amazon rainforest and Australia, I wrote stories about my adventures, which were chosen as newspapers by two newspapers. When those stories escaped, every time I went out in public, people recognized me from the author’s photo and told me how much they liked what I wrote. Schools also invited me to come talk about my adventures. At that time, I began to think, “What if my wife and I traveled all seven continents and wrote a book about it? I did some research and learned that at that time, less than a hundred thousand people in world history had entered Antarctica. This meant that far less than a hundred thousand traveled to all seven continents. I continued to look for books written by people who had traveled across all continents. When I found a couple of these, I narrowed down the topic so I could travel to every continent in search of rare and interesting wildlife. There was nothing there. This gave me the theme of the first book, Great creatures, a hot planet: Exploration of Seven Continents.
Is this the first book you have written?
Hits, Gentiles, and Hippos: Stories of an Agent, Activist, and Adventure Seeker is my sixth book.
What do you do about work when you don’t write?
I am a college speaker performing on stage for my first book. I have spoken in colleges for 14 years and performed in hundreds of campuses in 45 states. I am also a talent agent who started a music business and is now ordering books for other well-known college speakers in the country.
How much time do you spend on your writing in general?
Inside is history Hits, pagans and hippos about me writing my first book, sixteen hours a day, and being vigilant, swallowing caffeine pills with coffee. This schedule eventually sent me to the hospital’s emergency department, whose blood pressure was almost at stroke level. I’ve been moderating my work schedule ever since, but when I’m in the “zone,” I will still write up to 12 hours a day.
What is the best and hardest thing to be indie?
The best part is that I can call with my photos and respond quickly when new opportunities arise. The hardest part is not getting the kind of respect that indie filmmakers or indie bands get. I work with professional book designers and editors and release a product that is better than many major publishers. Nevertheless, I still have to deal with publications and reviewers who are opposed to what I do because I haven’t received “company approval”.
What great advice can you share with fellow indie authors?
Don’t throw shit – it hurts us all. Save a copy Chicago style guide when writing, and make sure your book is professionally designed and professionally edited.
Would you choose a tradition if the publisher called? If so, why?
I used to have opportunities to interact with traditional publishers, but every time I had to sell out and cut out photos, policies, or other content. I refuse to sell. If there was a company that would give me more control and a decent advertising budget, I would of course consider them.
Is there something that motivates you (fame? Wealth?)
All six of my books (three fiction and three non-fiction books) have a liberal political theme of environmental and human rights protection. I couldn’t write unless I felt like I was doing my part to make the world a better place – and I urge others to do the same.
Which writer, alive or dead, admires the most?
For fiction, it’s Audrey Niffenegger. Her novel, The wife of a time traveler, was brilliant. I especially liked how she incorporated music into her story by creating a virtual soundtrack. When writing, I try to do the same.
Nonfiction – Bill Bryson. His clever use of self-underestimation humor makes everyday situations funny.
What book would you like to write?
The Bible because I would like it to be shorter, more accurate, and much less misinterpreted by people who use it to support their prejudices and to control or harm others.