Monday, 3 December 2007

From Thunder to Breakfast: Gene K Garrison

From Thunder to Breakfast by Gene K Garrison
Published Xlibris Corporation
ISBN 978-14010-03777
Price: £14

Genre: western, biography

WHAT IS YOUR BOOK ABOUT? It's about the life of a Southwestern U.S. man who came from the State of Oklahoma to the State of Arizona with his large family in 1914. Hube Yates was eleven at the time. He was a horseman, firefighter, hunting guide, dude wrangler, but best of all, he was a great storyteller who could see the humour in everything. He had a special way of speaking. If he spoke about snow when it was coming down in tiny flakes he would say, "It's spittin' snow."

The title of the book comes from the expression "from hell to breakfast," which means something is scattered all over the place. Thus the title, "From Thunder To Breakfast." His father was a minister, so he didn't say "hell." He substituted the word "thunder" as in "We were in a thunder of a fix." It's a clean book, about a man you'd love to know. People hung on to his every word, usually with smiles on their faces. Hugh Downs, a former TV commentator, wrote the foreword for us. He said, in part, "When you first meet him you know that he is rugged. You would judge him to be dependable in a pinch, because he looks like he must know the land; and a look in his eye steers you to the notion that he is probably pleasant to be around. You might conclude that he is the strong silent type." He says you would be fifty percent right. "To our considerable good fortune he has no reticence to loquate." In other words, Hube Yates was a charmer.

WHY DID YOU WRITE THE BOOK? Hube Yates was there, and he was in his seventies, and I'm a writer. I was right. He died when he was 77. He was amused about almost anything but that. He talked about the summer long covered wagon trip to Arizona across deserts, renegades, Indians that they weren't sure about, flooding rivers, and horse thieves. He ran away from home for a short time when he was a teenager, and when he married he called it the "best day's work he ever did in his life." He was a hero and received the Carnegie Hero Medal. He was an athlete, and the list goes on. He even went through a practical joke period when he was a grown man. The pranks were creative, to say the least. How could I NOT write about Hube Yates?


HOW DOES YOUR BOOK DIFFER FROM OTHERS THAT ARE SIMILAR? Other Western books are more concerned with shoot-'em-ups, chasing the bad guys, and restoring justice to the frontier. Mine is more gentle, full of humour and humanity. It's a pleasant read. One recent book review began "I met the most interesting man last night." That warmed my heart.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE POD? Actually POD was my third choice. I sent out the manuscript query (not even the actual manuscript) to about six publishers. They turned me down. I wasn't astute enough at the time to realise that six publishers are not many, so I published it myself. It sold out in seven months. Fortunately a very good publishing company in Arizona, Northland Press, published the second edition. After it was out of print for quite a while I heard about POD and decided that the book deserved to live on. I liked the fact that it supposedly will go on forever, and that I wouldn't waste time trying to find the right publisher. I knew that I didn't want to be a publisher again.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF THIS METHOD? I just mentioned the advantages. The disadvantages are doing all the publicity oneself, and forever plugging the book, even though it's worth plugging.

HOW DO YOU MARKET YOUR BOOK? I market mostly online. I belong to,, various groups on, and others. I also belong to a writers group and at times have spoken to clubs, and have been on radio talk shows. Amazon is a big help. It's whatever I think off that might work.

WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU HAD TO OVERCOME? Simply getting the book published. It was my first one. Now I have four on the market, all PODs.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO OTHERS CONSIDERING POD? If you don't have the time or inclination to go the route of pursuing publishers, and the book is good (get professional opinions), then do it.

WHERE CAN I GET A COPY OF YOUR BOOK In the U.K. I would suggest It can also be ordered through