Dennis: How long have you been a writer and how did you get started?
Eric: Well I really don't consider myself to be a writer. I view myself as a High School Science teacher that happened to write a book. With that being said, my book came out about two and half years ago, so I will go with two and half years. I got started by writing down the goofy things my students would say so that I would remember what they said when sharing them with friends and family. After a few years of collecting quotes, somebody said "You know you could write a book." and from there the idea was born.
Dennis: What type of writing do you do?
Eric: I would call it non-fiction comedic. I love making people laugh, and when I hear people talk about how funny my book is and how they laughed reading it, it really makes it worth all the work.
Dennis: You have written a book What Did You Say? Please give an overview of your book and what you want readers to gain from reading it.
Eric: The is a humorous collection of some of the most unbelievable and off the wall questions or comments my students have made over the first 15 years of my teaching career. Many of the quotes include a funny comeback I may have had, or at least what I was thinking when they said it. The main thing I want readers to gain is laughter. I want them to be entertained by the things they read in my book.
Dennis: You have a web site www.ericgrippa.com. Please provide an overview of your web site and its connection to your writing.
Eric: My web site describes the book, what can be found in each of the chapters, and how the book came to be. I want the web site to answer the question, "So what is your book about anyway?" It also contains a link to order a copy. My web site also features some work by the women who was my illustrator, as well as some background information on her.
Dennis: Do you belong to any social networking sites?
Eric: I am on Facebook and Twitter. I have my own personal facebook page as well as a page for the book. I will sometimes post new student quotes that aren't in the book on the facebook page. I also post tweets of student quotes on my twitter page. I call them DSQ's or #DailyStudentQuotes. My twitter name is @egrippa44
Dennis: What suggestions do you have for other writers/authors?
Eric: To keep trying. It took me 14 years of collecting quotes before I thought I had enough material to actually start writing. Check out all the options out there for publication. Deciding to go with a tradtional publisher over a print-on-demand publisher was a big decision. Luckily for me, the people at booklocker.com were very helpful and made the process much easier than I ever though it would be.
Dennis: What have you learned about the publishing industry that might help other authors or those who may want to be authors?
Eric: Marketing your own work is a job in itself. I do not get to spend as much time as I need doing so due to my current career as a teacher, as well being a husband and father. If you are able to commit the time needed to market your book, then a print on demand publisher is not a bad way to go.
Dennis: What kind of marketing activities have worked for you that you might suggest to others?
Eric: Any and all you can think off. Having the web site, using facebook & twitter, book signings and even leaving business cards everywhere as all helped. Lets not forget word of mouth, which my be for me the most effective of all.
Dennis: Do you write articles? If yes, please provide some links where others can read what you have written?
Eric: I do not write articles, mostly due to my schedule and my primary career.
Dennis: Is there anything else you would like to add to include in this interview? Basically what would you
Eric: The only other thing I would like to say is thank you for the opportunity to help promote my book and give me another avenue to market it.