Home of Michael Perry – New York Times Bestselling Author, Humorist, Singer/Songwriter, Intermittent Pig Farmer

Posts Tagged ‘how to be a writer’

Stitching Up the Jesus Cow


Plodding through final pass of first pass of “The Jesus Cow.” It’ll be out in May of this year (early listen here). There are five pages like these and 100+ (maybe 200+; I didn’t count) markups/changes in the manuscript. Found things like the word “capacious” used twice within the space of 9 pages. Typed “shown” where I meant “shone.” That sort of thing. And this doesn’t even reflect all the hard work by editors and copyeditors. And yet there will likely still be a few errors and head-smackers when the book comes out in May. And if someone politely points them out, I will thank them and see what I can do. But if someone says something along the lines of, “I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU LEFT OUT A COMMA!” I will smile warmly and reply, “Well, why don’t you go right ahead and insert one wherever you choose…”

*Grins Maniacally*

These are the days I can’t even come close to expressing sufficient gratitude for being allowed to do what I do. Thank you to all the six directions.

Off Main Street

Off Main Street

While signing books during recent Long Beds events, I had several people ask me about the book Off Main Street. It was published between Population 485 and Truck: A Love Story, and like the quiet kid in a big family, sometimes gets lost over there in the corner–and yet if it wasn’t for Off Main Street, those other books wouldn’t have happened, because it’s a collection of the essays and nonfiction magazine pieces I was writing in the years when I was just surviving on freelance magazine work (and used car and frozen pizza ads). It’s also the source of the most popular “live” piece I perform: the dreaded kidney stone story.

Subjects addressed include: Rural moonshots, Rolling Thunder, how my nursing degree shapes my writing, baldness, letters from the KKK, Elvis, country music bus drivers, manure spreaders, small-town funerals, small-town water towers, Big Boy,  Steve Earle, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, and existentialist cowboys. And more.

Finally, the introduction to Off Main Street includes my description of how my first paperback book tour went. Not a lot has changed, although it’s been a while since I’ve had to write an article in a laundromat in the company of a man wearing no pants.