Author Interview: Kelly Crigger

curmudgeonDiscovering who you are is not just for teenagers. Midlife men must also rediscover the world around them while struggling with their own impending mortality and legacy, especially those who change careers and lifestyles. 

 Middle-aged men like me are under siege, beset on all sides by personal ambition, internal expectations, familial pressure, disillusionment, uncertainty, and legacy. It’s a constant battle to balance the needs of the self and the needs of others and a struggle to discover which ones really take priority. Some win this battle and some tragically lose. 

 Curmudgeonism is a state of mind, unwavering, unapologetic, and uninterested in what people think. We are the proverbial old dog that can’t be taught new tricks because we know the old tricks are tried and true. We have firm beliefs that can’t be shaken. Free trade is good. True leaders are rare. Happiness is a luxury. Golf is a waste of time and we don’t have enough years left to be unproductive. We don’t apologize for our views because we’ve spent half a lifetime developing them. Theory and idealism sounds good in school but only until it becomes cost prohibitive and the real world determines ground truth. Curmudgeons are uncaring about what people think and have low expectations on the world because it’s done little more than disappoint us. We’re middle aged and tired of looking, acting, feeling the way people want us to, so we’re breaking out and being who we were meant to be; irascible curs who make the world a better place through brutal honesty. We see this as our duty and take it seriously. 

 Buy the ticket. Take the ride. 

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  Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
My intended audience is middle aged men who are tired of apologizing for who they are…or just need a laugh. I went through some dark times in my early forties and know others are as well. I want to tell them how I got through it with a lot of humor along the way.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
The main character in this book is pretty much me. I went through a dark period in 2013 where I lost my father and my business and was kinda pissed at the world and people in general. When you own a business you see the worst in people. They all want to take advantage of you or lie to your face and it really jaded me. At the time I’d been writing down life lessons for my kids and was planning to put them into a book for them. So I just got drunk one night and took all those lessons and rewrote them with a “fuck you world” attitude and 8 weeks later the book was done. Once I got started I couldn’t stop myself.
What are you working on at the minute? What’s it about?
My next book is called I Am Haunted and it’s pretty much a biography of Zak Bagans from Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel. He and I have been friends a few years now and wrote a book together called Dark World. I Am Haunted is the sequel. I’m also editing my first novel for the 7th time in 11 years. It’s called The Comfort Station and I started it a long time ago when I lived in Korea. It was good enough to land me representation by Folio Literary Agency, but we haven’t been able to get a deal yet, so I’m going back to edit it one more time.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I would love to write full time, but I make 10 times more in my day job than I ever have writing. So despite six books, a bestseller and hundreds of articles to my credit, it’s still just a hobby.
What is the scariest thing you have ever written?
This interview.
What is the hardest scene you have ever written?
My biography.
When did you decide to become a writer?
When my wife and I were living in Korea and she mentioned that the English bookstore had no selection. She was frustrated with the lack of titles so I decided to write her a book before her birthday. It was horrible. Worst thing I’ve ever written.
Why do you write?
Because I’m too old to play rugby and have too much dignity to play golf. Also all my Army friends are getting promoted while I was ridden out of the service so I have to do something to be better than them.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
I got mad at the world and made a commitment to voice my displeasure no matter who it offended. It was a catharsis.
What is your biggest failure?
Starting my own business.
Do you drink? Smoke?
Fuck yes. Bourbon. There is nothing else.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Depends. This one took 2 months, but I have a novel that has taken 11 years and still isn’t published.
Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about. Who designed it?
Thomas Hunt from Ranger Up Apparel designed it and the interior images. He’s the bomb.
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
Absolutely. That’s why I chose the cover I did. It’s easily recognizable and easy to transition into a brand image for all my works.
How does your book relate to your spiritual practice or other life path?
It’s all about not being afraid to voice your opinion even if it’s contempt for people. Everyone says you have to be open and accepting of others but that’s bullshit. You only have to acknowledge them and if you feel like it, tell them they’re idiots. Everyone wants you to be politically correct, but when you hit middle age that goes out the window. I am who I am and I’m not changing. I’m going to say what I want because I don’t have enough years left on this earth to sugar coat my opinions. What’s anyone going to do to me anyway. Now, that doesn’t mean I’m mean at everyone and in fact I’m a polite person. Curmudgeons believe in ‘live and let live’ because we don’t have the time to waste on morons so we avoid them. In those cases when we can’t avoid them we hold up a mirror (in the form of a curmudgeonly insult) so they can see they’re idiots and hopefully benefit from it.
What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
No idea. Just wanted to get some stuff off my chest and hope others felt the same way. I’m like Woodstock. I’m having a little get together and if like minded people want to join in and make it epic then so be it.
Are there misconceptions that people have about your book? If so, explain.
Curmudgeons aren’t as mean spirited as people think. We don’t hate everyone. We just know they’ll let us down if we give them a chance to. We’re realists who don’t want to be muzzled anymore so we tell idiots that they’re idiots.

kellyKelly Crigger is an angry troll who lives under a bridge, eats goats that wander past, and throws their bones into the canyon of despair. 

 Connect with Kelly: [Twitter]  [Facebook]  [Goodreads

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