Q: Where did the idea about writing a book generate from?
A: I had been on five continents, 54 countries and met some major people from across the world. I knew all the leaders in some of these countries and lived with them and learned all about the tales they told. Everyone told me to write a book and I figured I should start to write this stuff down so I did. I got about 800 pages written and writers started to contact me about working with me on it.
Q: How did you decide on Peter Conti as your cowriter?
A: He was an Ivy Leaguer at Columbia and a Hollywood screenwriter. He worked with many famous people and Peter came and visited me when I was in a halfway house in Wyoming and we hit it off. I could not have picked a better guy. He had the right connections and spent about a year going over everything with me. We cut it from 800 pages down to 500 pages and then we go to the publisher and they told us to cut it to 300.
Q: What was your initial reaction to the first published book?
A: It was exciting. I had some good things in there, but it felt like part of my life was missing in the book. We went back and forth on what to cut and what not to cut because I had so much material. Soon after it came out though, I was on radio shows and doing interviews and it has been great success so far.
Q: “Gringo,” has gotten great reviews on Amazon and Barnes & Noble did you expect people to be this excited?
A: I did not think it would be this big. It just took off. I released the eBook and everything went nuts. The whole thing just came together. Some of the reviews provide great write-ups and the Key West Weekly just did a great summary and review of the book.
Q: Is there anything you learned during your days as an undergraduate and member of Sig Tau that helped you throughout life?
A: Absolutely! Discipline and hard work, being honest, and just having a good work ethic. When I was running around the planet doing what I was doing, being honest, keeping good documentation, and being disciplined helped me. One thing I did was I enrolled in different universities around the world under aliases to learn more about the country. I learned the gross domestic product about the country, I started networking like I did at Black Hills and started meeting everyone I could and learning everything I could.
Q: What is the next step for you?
A: I want to do a Gringo world tour. I’m about to sign with a PR firm and see what we can do. I want to continue to ride this wave. Peter [Conti] said it would be a good TV series, so we will see.