A most unusual way to write a book. Ron Cox's story...
What does buying a Harley, moving into a 1965 GMC truck, and living on the street to pay for the Harley have to do with writing a book?
Well, nothing, other than the fact that I was able to structure the story of my first novel around it. I'm a part time hourly instructor for a community college district. I wanted to purchase a Harley, but couldn't afford a motorcycle and an apartment on my wages. So I did what any self-respecting rider would do, I gave up the apartment, bought an old 1965 GMC truck with an open road camper on the back, and moved into it. I rented a garage to park the bike in and began to ride all over Southern California. I also walked three miles a day for exercise and as I walked I would think about writing a book. I had fragmented scenes of it in my mind, and I thought about all the places I'd seen while riding the Harley along with various bits and pieces of my life. Then one day, it came to me like I'd see a movie and knew I'd have to get it down on paper or lose it. I wasn't sure if I could write a readable, interesting novel, having never written more than a page of text in my life. I teach writing for the GED essay test and decided to take my own advice and try to write. I didn't know how to operate a computer, or a word processor, nor did I know how to type, but I bought one and set up an office in the garage and proceeded to go to work. I wrote the scenes down long hand, three pages at a time, then put them in the word processor. I finally finished the novel and, after hearing the horror stories about getting a book published, I decided to do it myself. I hired professional editors to polish the manuscript and then went out to get the cover shot for the book. I spent nine grueling days in the California, Nevada, and Arizona desert in 110 degree heat on my Harley and the very last photo taken on the ninth day was the only one good enough to use. The camera was a 20 year old, $20 dollar Fujica that I bought from a guy who was riding a bicycle in the alley past my garage and, unknown to me, the shutter stuck most of the time. I had no money, but plenty of credit cards and figured, what the hell, I'm 48 years old, what have I got to lose. So, I put the printing bill on credit cards and came up with a novel that won a merit award from Midwest Independent Publishers Association for Best First Book by a Publisher. It also won a merit award for Best Cover. I got an idea for a second novel and did it pretty much the same as the first. I took the cover shot in the garage and put the printing bill on credit cards also. The first novel, "Roadside Ron", is a Romance-Adventure novel and the second one, "Web Craze", is a sci-fi Internet thriller. I'm trying to write the third novel somewhere in between so that I don't fall into a stereotyped rut, and It's going to be a challenge.
John Hart, one of the two original TV series "Lone Rangers", and associate producer of the TV show "Quincy", was kind enough to read "Roadside Ron", and write a few good words about it; for which I am eternally grateful.