South Dakota 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. Gringo, is destined for the movies! Filled with grit and raw energy it will grab you and keep you on the run… . Filled with grit and raw energy that will grab you and keep you on the run…
You took your bestselling book “Gringo: My Life on the Edge as an International Fugitive” on a seven-continent tour. You started in Hong Kong and ended in Antarctica. What was that like?
It was fun. It was a dream. I visited all seven continents. When I started promoting my book I was not sure if I would get off the island of Key West in Florida. That’s where I started. It is closer to Havana than Miami. I was literally at the bottom of the United States it’s the southernmost point of the USA, which in this case was a very good place to be!! The people there and the Key West writer’s guild were extremely supportive and helpful. It was surreal, I couldn’t believe it.
My book “Gringo: My Life on the Edge as an International Fugitive” pretty much went ballistic and opened all kinds of doors for me. When those doors were opened, I walked through them and it led from one room to another, one city to another, one state to another, one country to another, and then from one continent to another. I was fortunate enough to visit all seven continents. I could never have done it without my support group and I would like to thank them for making my tour possible.
How did you keep yourself in tip-top shape while you were traveling?
I spent a lot of time in prison, a lot of time in confining environments, so as far as traveling is concerned having your own room is a luxury compared to where I had been. Federal institutions are massively overcrowded. Each square meter it’s occupied. Most of the time, if it’s not where your bunk is at, someone has put a claim on a particular square meter of space for an hour, most of the time they come in cars as they say, or groups. A group of buddies is a car in the joint.
A car’s going to show up and they’re going to be in charge of that particular zone for, say, from 2:00 in the afternoon to 3:00 in the afternoon. After that, another car’s going to take over that zone, and then they’re in charge of that area. They’re going to do exercise, play cards, or whatever they’re doing. It was no problem for me to stay in shape in small areas.
I’m in the fourth quarter, so I know I have to stay healthy to enjoy life. I lost more than a generation. I’ve been under some type of federal supervision for 33 years. I’ve either been on parole, in prison, or a fugitive looking over my shoulder, literally. It was never a problem for me to stay in shape. When I got up in the morning I would do some type of exercise. I was pretty much institutionalized and had the discipline down as far as working out is concerned. And I still do.
Your life has taken you from international fugitive to being a famous South Dakota writer. It’s one thing to read about that journey and another to live it, what do you hope people take away from your story?
Well, first of all, when they pick up the book and they read it, I want them to be entertained. Nobody can force a reader to turn the pages, they have to be intrigued, and then they have to be intrigued enough to recommend it to somebody else.
I want people to enjoy it and to enjoy the adventure and get out of their normal routine, just like going to a movie to escape. The people who are down and out, that are having hard times – I want to give them hope.
All in all, I want them to be entertained, to have hope, and to enjoy. I want them to escape from their normal routine. In general, I believe most people have done just that while reading my book or listening to the audiobook.
Is there another book in your future?
Yes, sir, I’m going to write another book. Books, wow, they’re a lot of work. They take time. It’s not easy, especially under the conditions that I wrote my first book which was in the big house, in the joint, in federal prison. There aren’t any word processors or printers in jail. That’s where all these old dinosaur typewriters are, in some basement of a federal institution. If there are 1,600 people in prison, there are 20 typewriters.
Of the 20, maybe 10 work. Of the 10, maybe there’s ink and a ribbon in maybe five of them. Then you have a multitude of people trying to fight their way out of the federal system by that I mean they’re filing lawsuits. Needless to say, they have priority and they should have priority. With all of that, it’s very difficult to even get a typewriter, let alone a typewriter that works because most of the time there’s some type of problem.
Once you get the pages typed, you need to edit them and that’s not easy when you don’t have modern technology. On top of that, you can’t have more than 20 pages, in your cell, so you have to get a friend to hold some of the pages. This way when they shake you down, they don’t get confiscated, and then you need to get the pages mailed out.
Of course, once you mail them out, they’re a little bit difficult to edit. I managed to do all of that over the years, but it was a bit of a controlled mess once I got it all together. The second book should be a whole lot easier to write. LOL