Divine Perspective welcomes LeRon L. Barton who is on tour with At the Water Cooler Virtual Book Tours promoting his first title, Straight Dope: A 360 Degree Look Into American Drug Culture. Please enjoy this guest post by LeRon in which he shares his thoughts on the publishing industry.
Me vs. The Publishing World...by LeRon L. Barton
If I had the ability to change the publishing world, oh boy I would do a lot of things. First off, I would cut the middle men (and women) out, mainly the gatekeepers. What I mean is that there are so many great writers that may have good material, but it does not get to the right people because someone who read it didn't like it. Maybe it was not their cup of tea, maybe they had a bad day, maybe they didn't get it, but there are wayyy too many great stories, concepts, and books slipping through the cracks.
Secondly, I would make the publishing companies start taking more chances. Just because the book does not sound like what is popular now, doesn't have a love story, or isn't a self-help book, does not mean that it cannot be successful. The publishing companies are too busy looking for cookie cutter crap that can make money, and not cultivating the next Maya Angelou or releasing the next Of Mice and Men.
And finally, I would change how much creative control we have. There are too many projects being changed to be more "commercially viable," and losing their edge. Just a couple of things I would change.
About the Author:
My name is LeRon L. Barton and I was born in Kansas City, MO in 1978 (totally dating myself - LOL). Like any Midwestern person, I wanted to come to California. Why? Because of the weather and the beaches, duh! After going to school for IT and moving from San Diego to The Bay Area, which I absolutely love, there was a void in my life. I broke down and admitted to myself, I am an artist! All my life I knew that I wanted to be a writer, well a stuntman, then a race car driver (I still want to!), but finally settled on using the power of the written word. I have written poetry, short stories, essays, and two screen plays, but I have always wanted to write a book.
The idea for Straight Dope came because I wanted to create something real and impact--something about which I had knowledge. Where I come from, in my neighborhood, circle of friends, and way of life, drugs have always been around. Instead of taking a judgmental view of the topic, I wanted to have people tell their own story as I listened. I just didn't want to talk to law enforcement and get this uniform answer on drugs in America, I wanted a well rounded look into drug culture, hence the title, Straight Dope: A 360 Degree Look into American Drug Culture.
This is my first book, but definitely not the last. I hope to continue to release projects that will make people take a step back and listen, learn, and as they say around my way, "Recognize, realize, and analyze."
About the Book
Straight Dope is a book that asks the simple question–why are drugs so entrenched in America's society. Instead of doing the same ol' rigamarole song and dance and interviewing talking heads and experts, Straight Dope gets to the heart of the matter and talks to the people at ground zero–the drug addicts whose lives revolve around getting high; the criminals who profit off the misery of the addicts; the teachers who deal with children in drug abused homes; the drug counselors who try to balance breaking the addicts’ cycle of addiction while dealing with the bureaucracy of government politics; the legal marijuana growers’ battle against tobacco companies and how to thrive in the growing industry; and the parents’ issue of how they will prepare their children to just say no.
Inspired by the late great Studs Terkel's many works, Straight Dope is comprised of raw, uncut hard hitting interviews about the participants experiences, thoughts, opinions, and outlook on drug abuse—why or why not drugs should be legal, and how the government is handling the war on drugs.
Removing nearly all of the questions, the interviews are more like monologues, allowing the reader to feel as if the subject is just, “talking,” instead of your standard interview.
In addition to the real life accounts, Straight Dope also contains spoken word pieces compiled of biting social commentary, as well as my own personal reflections comprised of my experiences with drugs.
Connect with LeRon via:
Vimeo Channel: https://vimeo.com/channels/mainline
YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/MainlinePub