I have to address a couple matters, one is fun, and the other is a clarification. First off, the picture shown here is the twin tunnels on I-40 in North Carolina just 4 miles south of the Tennessee border. For those in the media who are reading the advance copies of my new novel and have read the very exciting scene involving the roadblock at the twin tunnels, that scene takes place on the other side of that mountain at the mouth of those two tunnels. It is easy to see why the gunfire and explosions caused so much trouble when you observe how rugged the landscape is in that region.
I put that picture up because currently road crews are closing that tunnel at night diverting traffic through a service road so that the tunnel can undergo much-needed maintenance. For those who have read the novel, the kind of thing that happens in the story is a serious threat in that area, and requires constant maintenance. For those who have not read that scene, you will soon find out. Loud noises and violent behavior are not good for such areas. But it’s a fun fact of the novel to know that such an extreme occurrence is quite possible, and care must be constantly taken to avoid such catastrophes.
The other thing is attached to my new book as well. Some of my readers here–people I respect a great deal–are concerned that I may lose my credibility with the school levy issues by appearing self-serving because of all my promotional efforts over my new book. This deserves a bit of explanation that is needed at this point for my readers who visit Overmanwarrior’s Wisdom every day. To begin, a reminder of what my life was like before I got personally involved in the Lakota Levy in 2010 needs to be seen. The video below is a sample of the kind of life I lived before joining forces with the people who would eventually make up No Lakota Levy to defeat those tax increases. The efforts of my previous book, and several film festivals along with my other exertion in a professional sense had me constantly on the road, going to award shows, trade shows, and many other adventures that come as part of that life, which I put on hold to help solve community issues.
In 2010 I put aside some of these fun occupational endeavors and took a few years to contribute something to the battle that is raging in our nation. I started helping local liberty groups where I could, as I still do. I started this blog site as a way to offset the information that the newspapers wouldn’t cover, and I took on the Lakota School Levy because it was a lie being told on the backs of children, and looked to be devastating to a community I grew up in, and is currently in my hands to protect. I was between books anyway completing The Symposium of Justice in 2004, and was writing Tail of the Dragon and doing my research to make that manuscript into a saleable story that American Book Publishing would eventually pick up.
Working around progressive entertainment types I knew what kinds of things pro tax advocates would attack in my character, so when the Enquirer did the article about me featuring my whip work, I knew how the politics would play out. Believe me; it was very much by design. The pro tax people ridiculed my use of whips which helped me figure out who was who. I used that information to my advantage. I didn’t fight those levies to be mean, or destructive. I did it because it was the right thing to do. My ultimate message was the importance of traditional values versus progressive values being taught in school, and I didn’t then nor in the future wish to pay higher taxes for a “progressive” education. I could have went around the country doing dozens of whip shows trying to promote traditional values, or I could do the unthinkable and apply those skills to explaining Keynesian economics which is how public schools function much to their own detriment. Of course I chose the latter.
Before the start of the last levy campaign I told my friends in No Lakota Levy that I had a book coming out in 2012, and they needed to find another spokesman for the levy fighting effort. I told them I’d still fight the levy, but I didn’t think it would be right to do media stuff for my book, and do media stuff against the levy, because the mixture would appear self-serving. For that very reason I avoided any elected offices, even though many wanted me to volunteer, because when Tail of the Dragon was ready to come out, I would have to put my effort behind that promotional endeavor, and being formerly involved in Tea Parties and other official positions while promoting a book is tacky. I don’t like it when others do it, so I sure wasn’t about to do it myself. I hoped that after two solid years of fighting levies that other people had learned how to do it, and could become the face of those efforts in the future.
In February of 2012 it was time to make a change which had been talked about ahead of time, so I picked the fight that would bring all the rats to the surface so everyone could see who was hiding where. The pro tax supporters conducted a negative survey against me outside a local Kroger store, so the time to act was then. I let my anger go, because it was well justified and it created the opportunity I needed to take this next step. This allowed new people at No Lakota Levy to pick up the baton and carry on. I of course would continue to cover things as I had, but I needed the freedom to move on to book promotion mode.
I know people who successfully have their hands in everything, but I’m not like that. I enjoy my time to myself, so I don’t like being too busy. If I’m going to promote a book, I’ll put my effort into it, since it’s something I already believe in. When the time comes to fight for another community issue, I’ll be there. If the group we have in place is not ready, then I’ll assemble another one to meet the challenge. It’s that simple. But life is always in motion, and especially at my age, it is very busy.
A lot of people on the inside believe that Tail of the Dragon will do well. They believe it’s a very good book, and I am inclined to agree. But you just never know. The public may reject it, the timing may not be right, there could be problems. Any number of things can happen, and they often do. I hope the book does well, because if it does I will get the chance to write a book I’ve been thinking about for over ten years, called The Trial of Fletcher Finnegan. That book looks to be well over 1 million words. It will be considerably larger than Atlas Shrugged and will be quite an effort. I will need a good showing out of Tail of the Dragon to free my time up enough to be able to write the new book because it will be an exclusive task of mine for a number of years.
So I am putting out a lot of promotional material. These days, that’s how it’s done. For my daily readers, some of which have already read and loved the book, they are getting tired of seeing all my promotional stuff, because they’ve already been there and done it. It’s a good memory for them, but it isn’t new any longer. But for many people every day who come here for the first time, I put those ads up for them. Today alone I have multiple readers from 13 different countries ranging from Sweden, Romania, and Saudi Arabia to New Zealand and Australia. This is pretty normal, and as it would be thought that these readers are tuning in to see what happened in the Colorado shooting, ironically most of the views come from my articles about school levies. All those countries mentioned each had more than 10 hits each, so the Tail of the Dragon ads are important to gaining international exposure. Even though my daily readers are used to the Tail of the Dragon cover and blurbs, many of these international readers are just seeing them for the first time.
If I were in an elected office, or was an official spokesman paid by someone else to represent a product, I wouldn’t cross promote my personal projects with Lakota stories, or political material concerning the presidential election. But the fact of the matter is that I have deliberately made myself free of those obligations so I can do what I have been planning for quite some time. At this time there isn’t a levy at Lakota to fight, and there are plenty of ground troops in the liberty groups to handle the administrative stuff. I do my part in giving a local voice to many contemporary issues that get missed in the mainstream media outlets, stuff the liberty groups need to advance their positions, being someone who can untangle the complicated web of modern politics so it’s easy for others to see.
I offer the work at Overmanwarrior’s Wisdom for free, because there is a need for it. If I make money it is not from memberships, or any donation. It will be because someone bought a book of mine. I work through many of the problems that will be in future stories by putting my thoughts and notes up for all to see, so I can refine those thoughts into more articulate works in actual books in the future. A good portion of these articles are my personal notes that I share for the development of ideas. I figure that if I need to resolve my thoughts on a matter than others do as well, so by putting the articles on this forum, I hope they help others.
But I don’t formally belong to any groups so I can have the freedom to pursue my own path, so that I cannot be accused of indulging in self-serving messages. Once the novel comes out, I may change that, but for the time being, that’s the way it has to be due to the nature of public relations. I support many groups, and I may attend their meetings. However to avoid the accusations of being self-serving, I keep my involvement limited to a supportive role. For me the most supportive role I can think of is to help frame the argument so others can see it clearly, and act on it. I had an open window between projects to offer myself publicly to controversial subjects, and I will have an open window again. But as of now that window is closed. That does not mean I will not write and contribute articles for analysis as I have, but my official spokesman roles for those endeavors will have to be on hold till my window opens once again.
I hope that clears things up for those who were wondering. It is much easier to answer the question this way as opposed to separate emails. When it comes to these kinds of things, constant reinvention of roles is very important so that stagnation does not set in. When you get a chance to work on a project that has national exposure, you take it, because the results will be useful later.