Chicago Tribune – Interview with South Dakota International Bestselling Author
By: Community Contributor Stanley Brown
Famous South Dakota writer and International Bestselling author of “Gringo: My Life on the Edge as an International Fugitive Dan “Tito” Davis wraps up his seven continent book signing tour in Antarctica. Davis has been promoting his book and his message of growth through adversity for the last 18 months after being released from prison. Before then Tito spent 13 years on the run from the US government as an international fugitive. Davis is one of the first, if not the only author, to do a book signing tour across all seven continents.
You began your rather epic book tour in Hong Kong and it just ended it in Antarctica. What was it like to meet fans in so many different continents?
When you are an American writer on tour outside of the United States it seems that all of the other Americans come out to support you. Also, you are an anomaly in a foreign country, which brings you opportunities and opens doors in their media. The foreign community in Hong Kong was exceptionally helpful in regard to helping me promote my book. I was a guest at the Foreign Correspondence Club, the Hong Kong Turf Club and the Hong Kong Country Club.
In Antarctica, the penguins were extremely friendly. They had no fear of humans let alone a Gringo book pimp. They did like to use their right of the way on the penguin highways. That is what they call the small trail that the penguins use to go from the water up to their nest. When we were walking on the trail if we met a penguin or a group of penguins we were expected to step to the side to let them pass. I guess the penguins were the most unique fans that I had on my book signing tour.
Did you have any unexpected adventures during your travels?
I thought that Moscow would have the same type of a skyline as Havana, Cuba. But Moscow was a very pleasant surprise. The skyline was like a large city in the United States with a multitude of skyscrapers, not like the communist era gray concrete buildings that you see on the news.
One day I was speaking English in a very modern mall when a Russian guy comes up to me. This gentleman wants to practice his English. I had only known him for about two minutes and he invited me to stay at his house which was about 30 km outside of Moscow. I couldn’t believe how friendly the Russian people were!!
I met others. Often I was the first and only American they had ever met. They didn’t speak a word of English, so we used Google translate to chat at our hotel. They were still there at three in the morning drinking Vodka when I went to my room. The Russian’s were some of the friendliest people I have ever met, if not the most friendly.
We recently Googled you and you’re listed with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas alumni, under arts and entertainment and notable Alumni from Black Hills State University. How does it make you feel to be listed along with other well-known and famous alumni from those universities?
I feel extremely humbled and grateful that these universities have included me in their alumni list. I’ve had a very roller-coaster life. Being recognized by these universities is definitely one of the high points.