It was a Thursday evening. I was sitting in my newly completed office, the glow of the cube Ikea lamp casting a warm light onto the yellow walls. A cup of rooibos tea steamed at my right elbow, while the smell of a “Pirates Water”-scented candle filled the room.
The sound of blips and bloops startled me as a small tune began playing. While I had been anticipating the Skype call, I always found it startled me nonetheless. I answered the video call to find my friends, Courtney Guth and Emily McDermott, smiling back at me. After starting a friendship on Twitter, I had gotten to know these ladies a little bit. After they had begun their “Book of the Mouse” podcast recently, Emily had mentioned that they would love to have me on the show to discuss my A Historical Tour of Walt Disney World book series as one of their guest authors. I was over the moon.
We spent the next hour talking about my books. I had a difficulty speaking, as I had been fighting a cold over the past week. But the girls were gracious and seemed to enjoy listening to my story, marveling at the process through which I was offered a book deal, and squealing like kids at Christmas (or Disney World) when I started to describe my research process for my newest book series, Walt Disney and the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair.
I was very excited to learn that Courtney would be posting the episode on iTunes later that evening. I had a wonderful time talking shop with good friends, and it was fun to contribute to the Disney community with others who are passionate about the company and the parks (you can find the episode, number 17, here).
A few days later, I received an email from Wayne over at Sorcerer Radio. I had been listening to Sorcerer Radio for the past eight years, starting when it was still on Live365. It was during my first year as a teacher that I would listen to the SorCom Review, the SRN Top 10, and other morning shows while preparing for my students, catching my daily dose of park music or Disney news in the process. I recently downloaded the Sorcerer Radio app after learning the addition of a new station, Atmospheres, which broadcasts ambient and background music from the parks and resorts. A few weeks ago, while streaming at work during my planning period, I some advertisements for 3 Cheeky Chicks, which produces candles and wax melts that smell like the parks, and Expedition Roasters, who sells Disney-themed coffees and teas (I have since ordered myself some of their Cartland-Themed Route66 Tire Fix coffee, which is delicious). This got me to thinking. Why didn’t I advertise on Sorcerer Radio? My books were very Disney-niche oriented, and since fans of Disney listened to the radio station, it would be a great opportunity to reach some people not familiar with my work. Wayne at Sorcerer Radio was very easy to work with, allowing me to write my own advertisement script for quite the low monthly rate. My ad now plays on Sorcerer Radio once every two hours; it is surreal to hear my name and books advertised on the radio by Miss Sandy!
My family has also been incredibly supportive. My wife was super encouraging when it came to advertising and being on the podcast. My boys still smile every time they hear “Daddy’s book” on Sorcerer Radio. My parents and brother were extremely complimentary after listening to me on Book of the Mouse. My in-laws have been great as well. In fact, my mother-in-law, who works at a Hallmark store up in Michigan, got me a deal to sell volumes 1-3 in her store, further getting my name and work out there. I plan on visiting this summer to do some meet-ups and book signings while I’m up there.
So there you have it. I have loved this journey, not of fame, but of fulfillment. I’m not famous, nor anything special. I’m just a dude who is passionate about Disney and about writing and am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to feel like I’ve accomplished something.
So thank you, dear reader, for joining me on this journey.
To infinity and beyond!!!