This is a day I’ve anticipated for a long time: the day my book, The Dot on the Left, officially comes out. As I relish this exciting day—and look forward to a lot of work promoting the book to my readers—I also want to mark the date by answering some important questions.
What made me want to write a book?
Over the years, I told my “dot on the left” story to a lot of audiences at speaking engagements, and each time I would get asked, “Why isn’t that a book?” I would always respond by asking, “Why would anyone want to read it?” I did that for twelve years and I regret not believing in the power of the story. I should have shared the story behind the story and my message—believe in yourself—sooner. I would say the same to you: believe in what you have to say. You never know who you might help just by speaking out.
How did I come up with the title?
I really struggled with it, that’s how. I had a lot of ideas, most of them lame in retrospect: A Soldier’s Dream, The Making of Warrior White One and many others. Nothing seemed to stick. Then, late last year, I was telling the story to someone and they asked me, “So, you were the dot on the left both times?” The light bulb when on over my head (which is bald and sort of looks like a light bulb, so it worked). I said, “Yes, I’m the Dot on the Left.” It has stuck ever since.
How did I decide to publish the way I did?
I had many options, but going with Mascot Books allowed me to achieve my dream of publishing a book in the time frame that I wanted to. I could have submitted the story to many other publishers and probably heard a thousand “No thank you”s before I heard one yes. But then, it might have been two or three more years before my book would be in readers’ hands.
What’s been the coolest thing about having a book?
It’s when people tell me their favorite inspirational line from The Dot on the Left or when they post that line on social media. I never thought I would get so many people saying that what I wrote inspired them, regardless of the stage in life they are in. Signing books has also been pretty cool, too.
What’s surprised me the most about having a book?
That so many people have the same dream—to write a book—and that I actually accomplished it. What’s also surprising is how deeply the story has touched people. Many readers have told me that they not only enjoyed it but even shared it with their families. I guess each time I turn a dream into reality, I’m surprised. Looking back, I always find myself wondering, “How did I get all that stuff done?” Nothing is better than reaching a giant goal, and a book definitely fits that description.
Finally, a shameless plug: Click here and buy my book. If you enjoy stories about perseverance, overcoming humiliation and failure, the military, leadership, surviving more than 100 firefights, and wrestling goats, please pick up a copy and share it with someone you care about. And thank you for being the reason I wrote this book.