West Point writer sees book in dream

n Bobby Cole emphasizes that writing is not about hunting.


Daily Journal

Bobby Cole said his idea for a book came from a dream. The success of that dream has been almost more than he can imagine.

Cole, the chief operating officer for Mossy Oak BioLogic in West Point, wrote “The Dummy Line” (Context Publishing Co., March 2008, $24.95), and he has been excited by the book’s success.

Cole, however, emphasizes the book is not a story about hunting.

Yes, he works for Mossy Oak. Yes, he likes to hunt.

But the only part that relates to hunting is the center of the action, which is a hunting camp.

“We’ve all been to camp, and we don’t think about locking the doors,” Cole said. “It’s the kind of story you can believe.”

For Jake Crosby, a troubled stockbroker who is the book’s main character, the story is a worst-case scenario. He and his 9-year-old daughter, Katy, go to his hunting camp for the weekend near Livingston, Ala..

The first night, a gang of redneck drug dealers tries to break into the camp, which forces Jake and Katy to run for their lives into Alabama’s Noxubee River swamp.

Jake’s choices puts everyone around him in danger, including a young couple who happen to be in the wrong place at the worst time.

“It has several plots and twists,” Cole said. “Everyone says Chapter 6 is the turning point. Once you get past that chapter, you can’t put it down. … I actually dreamed that part.”

In Chapter 6, the violence starts, Cole said. So should it be “rated R” because of the violence?

“Maybe PG-13” he said.

One thing that surprised Cole was the response from strangers.

“There are a lot of people on (Internet bookseller) Amazon that you don’t even know, who put reviews about the book on the site.”

He is a little amazed also that nobody was badmouthing the book.

“We have yet to get any negatives about the book,” he said. “Except some people say that they can’t put it down.

“What the consensus of responses has been is that I started reading about 9 o’clock and only planned to read a few chapters. But once I started it, I couldn’t put it down, and read until 3 o’clock.'”

Putting the dream on paper

Cole said he wrote nights and weekends for a year to complete the book. He kept his story notes in a folder. And he didn’t know what was going to happen until he wrote it.

“Once I started writing it, I didn’t know how it was going to end,” Cole said. “Since I have met other writers, I’ve seen some that use index cards and structure their books. I guess it’s a matter of style.”

Cole said he knew what appealed to him, so he decided to put his story in a book.

“It was more than a whim,” he said. “When I thought about it, I knew it was a good story.

“The biggest hurdle I’ve had to overcome is that most people think it is a hunting book. Actually, most of the readers have been women.”

Cole said he had writing problems that centered on his writing apparatus.

“At lot of times, it was seat-of-the-pants writing,” he said. “I can’t tell how many times I would bring my laptop in and couldn’t find what I had just written. Luckily, I got help and didn’t lose any of it.”

“The Dummy Line” is available locally at Reed’s Book Store in Tupelo and Square Books in Oxford. Or it can be bought online at www.amazon.com, for personalized copies at www.readbobbycole.com, or directly from the publisher at www.contextpublishing.com.

Other summer reading

n The Road Trip Pilgrim’s Guide, by Dan Austin, Skipstone Books, 2007, $14.95.

Called part global guidebook and part journal, “The Road Trip Pilgrim’s Guide” is Dan Austin’s tips and tricks for travels. The trips can be a “Pico-Pilgrimage” (weekend), a “Middle Path” (a week to 10 days) or a “Full-Blown Pilgrimage” (several months long).

Among the tips and tricks are how and where to get a free shower, what to eat on the road, advice on facing bad weather, mud and sprinklers, and tips on finding a great campsite.

Austin lists campsites based on availability from side of the road to cemeteries and all the way to ski resorts. He also ranks religious denominations according to how many times his group of pilgrims stayed in those churches and how welcome they were.

“A road trip pilgrimage,” Austin said, “is about surmounting all trials. We’ve already discussed the outer, physical ones (like vicious hounds, beguiling varmints, desert heart and mountain passes), but what about the inner rigors? These can be even more challenging than the physical rigors.

“Inner trials are essential for the spiritual progress of the pilgrim; they are, fundamentally, miracles in disguise. Without them, the pilgrim is never truly tested.”

The book is available at booksellers nationwide and online, including at www.theroadtrippilgrim.com.

n Experience Pipeline (Quinn Haber, Casagrande Press, April 2008, $14.95).

The book targets young adults, which is a risky venture considering the number of digital distractions that are available today. But Quinn Haber borrows from the 1980s’ Choose Your Adventure theme in creating the storyline.

It all depends on the toss of a coin, which in this book is the mode for moving from page to page. More than 300 storylines are possible, beginning with the Pipe Masters contest – the last stop on the professional surfing tour.

Haber, who lives on Oahu, said, “I wanted to create a reading adventure that was heart-pounding and full of action and different each time – an experience not unlike surfing in big waves.”

He said he was inspired by sci-fi movies like “Minority Report” and “Vanilla Sky,” films where the future can be changed.

“I didn’t want to bind my reader to one fixed storyline,” Haber said. “I wanted to give them the actual random, haphazard scenarios that professional surfers often encounter.”

Experience Pipeline is available at bookstores nationwide and online.

For more information visit http://www.experiencepipeline.com.

Contact outdoors writer Buster Wolfe (buster.wolfe@djournal.com) at 678-1576.

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