My beginning was with surfcasting and I have been a surf writer since I started with SWS. Now I am primarily a surf writer, though I have done other things like shooting and hunting on a smaller scale. My main gigs are here and SW magazines who cover boats and surf. My books sales are not as lucrative any more because I stopped doing seminars and royalties are dismal because the world has largely bought my eight titles. Hot Spots did okay but the real market stormer was Stripe Surf
. Twenty Years
did not sell a million copies but I made out moneywise when I took over publishing it. The northeast is striper country and I was really the first; there had been other shore striper books a million years ago but nothing was available during my writing years so I kind of got in during a literary striper void, lucky. Now there are so many doing it that for me it kind of stinks. I am not going to work all year for a lousy $10,000. Also, I was killed by the press over the dog thing 15 years ago causing the loss of a couple of good gigs -- a Cape publication and Mass Bass. I despised the press long before Donald Trump. Investments took up the slack of when I had been writing seriously. Lets get back on track.
In 1989 the teacher's retirement offered an early out deal because experienced teachers were too expensive. The pension was not quite liveable but I had a fat IRA, a working wife,
and my writing, seminars and book sales matched the tiny pension. I fished, hunted, wrote while enjoying the life of a half-fast rock star. A dream for which I was matching my teaching salary. (Some of the Internet trolls would call my life style greedy.) After health, life is about money. And love. And stripers. And shooting well.
There can be a lot of stones in the road so, like Marines, you have to adapt/improvise.
Guys were killing each other on the Cape. Rangers were busting chops. Market fishing stripers got outlawed and Mister Smarty was thrown to the wolves. I always did what I thought I had to do even putting a round down a dog's throat, I usually did the right thing. Right now I have two editors who treat me like gold.
Outdoor writing is clean because it does not require the writer to screw anybody to create copy. I mean that when you tell a reader how to put a worm on a hook, is the worm going to bitch? Of course if reporters were not so desperate they could check their sources, could stop spinning stories they stooled from some other source who was first to spin it. If you have come to the conclusion that I hate those (p)ricks, I have satisfied my intent.
Connecting with readers? That's easy. I gave my life to striper fishing from shore and learned during that time the charm that I know makes it exciting. All I do is remind him of what he already knows. If he does not yet know, its my job to get him there and that is easy too.