Local author Jon L. Sattler publishes eBook
Jon L. Sattler is a ski instructor at the National Ability Center, and owner of Auspit, a company that makes outdoor rotisseries.
On Wednesday, April 17, he will officially become an author, when his eBook, "Vacation Boy," launches during a free event at the National Ability Center’s Multipurpose Room, 1000 Ability Way at Quinn’s Junction, from 4:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m.
The book is a compilation Sattler’s experiences from the time he graduated college 20 years ago until his 40th birthday.
The stories take place in Japan, Thailand, the Dominican Republic, France, Morocco, Senegal, Malaysia, Greece, Indonesia, Guatemala, Ecuador, China, Southeast Asia and the United States.
Sattler writes about his escape from a Japanese love hotel, eluding leaches and losing his pants in Thailand and how not to make a first impression in Ecuador.
The idea to publish a book actually came to Sattler when he was a high school exchange student in France
"I’ve participated in a lot of fun and cool things and I wanted to share those with other people," Sattler said during an interview with The Park Record. "I would write letters to people about what I had done, and these were 14-page letters."
Sattler’s list of contacts grew from family to friends to other people he met at these events.
"So, I would write the letters and then translate them into French and Japanese so the people I met could read them," he said. "These letters got a little burdensome, so I started photo copying them."
After reassessing the situation, Sattler felt that most of his acquaintances’ understanding of English was good enough that he would only have to write in English.
"Plus it would be good English practice for those who weren’t fluent," he said.
The first trick was to track down all the letters he had sent to his family and friends, which was more difficult that expected..
"I had all these stories written, so I just thought I needed to put bookends on them, but it took about two years to compile and even find the original stories that I had written," Sattler said. "I mean when I sent off my letters, I didn’t make any back-up copies. Some letters I thought I had written about were nowhere to be found by anyone I knew, and there were some that people remembered, but couldn’t find."
However, many people came through.
"Some people had random letters, and my mother was just a treasure trove," Sattler sad. "She had printed out most of my letters and kept a lot of everything."
After he finished gathering what he could, Sattler compiled the stories in chronological order.
"I had to figure out what I was going to include, because there was a ton of stuff," he said with a laugh. "I narrowed that scope down and then hired an editor last summer to get my writing into shape and do some spit-polishing."
Sattler focused on the experiences that had the best narrative about them.
"There were some letters that were literally catch-up letters and were full of things like, ‘I went here.’ ‘I went there and I ate this,’" he said. "Those didn’t have any depth to them, because they were more like a laundry list."
Of course, there were some narratives that needed to be rewritten with more detail to flesh them out.
"I also came upon some gaps that needed to be filled in, and there needed to be an end to the book," he said. "So I did write some new material for those areas."
The idea to publish "Vacation Boy" as an eBook — which will be available on http://www.amazon.com for Kindle readers or iPod or iPhone — grew out of "practicalities and lack of patience," Sattler said.
"I mean, I could spend two years finding a literary agent and publisher and go that route, but I did send out a few things to some agents and received my share legitimate rejection letters," he chuckled. "With the eBook format, the book is out there, and that’s what I wanted. I just wanted it out there."
"I planned to do a print version — something that a wiser and more patient person would have done, but I’m neither of those," he said. "I’m excited just to get it out the door to say, ‘Here it is.’ I’m so tired of talking about it. I just want it out there."
During the book launch at the NAC, Sattler will present a slide show of photos from the book and read a couple of chapters.
"I will offer explanations of some of the extended trips discussed therein to perhaps help inspire trip ideas to others for the summer," he said.
Regardless of how "Vacation Boy" sells, Sattler is already thinking of his next book.
"It will be set in the world of adaptive sports, like what we see at the NAC," he said. "I mean, there are so many amazing and inspirational stories that are tossed around at the NAC that run the whole gamut of emotions."
For more information about Jon Sattler and his book "Vacation Boy," visit http://vacationboystories.com/.
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