Name: Joseph Davida
Book Title: “Traveling High and Tripping Hard”
Genre: Travel Memoir
Publisher: Dark Planet Press
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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?
Joseph: I had no choice. I was captured in an opium field in the Golden Triangle, and sent to a Burmese prison camp. The head prison guard found my work habits (digging holes) lacking, and beat me with a bamboo cane until three quarters of my body was covered in blood and bruises. I begged him to just leave my right hand alone, so I could still use it to comb my hair and write. Then we somehow wound up getting into a long conversation about Dostoyevsky, and he agreed to leave my hand alone—so long as I promised to write a book for him, and give him all of the profits. He is still holding my pet rat, “Ping”, hostage, so I really need to start selling a few copies ASAP.
Is this your first book?
Joseph: Yes. I attempted to write a cook book on French cuisine first, but my meager diet of crickets and half cooked rice left me so hungry, I wound up devouring all of the pages I had written one day during a fit of dehydration and delirium.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Joseph: I chose to self-publish this book. A friend of mine told me it could be months, if not years before a big publishing house will even release a new title—and every few weeks I’ve been getting a small package sent to me, with what appears to be little tiny rat toes inside. I just can’t stand the thought of what will happen to my beloved Ping if he is left inside that prison camp a digit-less cripple.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey? The pros and cons?
Joseph: Well, after I had finished the book, I was granted parole on the condition that I would get the book published immediately. I borrowed a rickshaw and pedaled it as quickly as I could to the first internet café I could find. Once I made it there, I got online, and set up an account with Amazon, and paid for the ISBN number with a golden Buddha amulet I stole off of a blind beggar. I felt really bad about taking it from him, but luckily, I still had enough credit to type up the entire manuscript, and find your blog.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Joseph: I learned you should never get caught milking poppies in a Burmese warlords’ opium field. As far as the publishing industry goes, it generally seems like a racket to get terrible writers to spend money on editors, book shepherds, and publicists.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Joseph: Self-publishing? Definitely not.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Joseph: Stop spending so much time discussing the particulars of publishing, and start writing about some shit that people will actually want to read.
About the book:
Traveling High and Tripping Hard is the story of a young man’s quest to find the meaning of life through a series of altered states and high adventures...
After accidentally ingesting a large dose of PCP at eight years old, Joseph Davida had an apocalyptic vision that would change the course of his life forever. Charged with the monumental task of saving the world, he set out on a mission that led him through the jungles of Central America, the pyramids of Egypt, the temples of Kathmandu—and into the deepest recesses of his mind.
For anyone who has ever wanted a glimpse into those strange places that lie somewhere between the darkness and light, hope and despair, and spirituality and madness, Traveling High and Tripping Hard is guaranteed to deliver.