Book Feature and Author Interview with @RonGizmo, reposted from @mehousdon

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The Yellow Bus Boys
By: Ron Shaw
Genre: Humor/Coming of Age

Within ten short days in 1964, a young boy's life changed forever on his first vacation. Ronnie Shaw, a 6th-grader from the inner-city projects of Atlanta, climbed aboard the big yellow bus with thirty-three other boys for the vacation of a lifetime filled with laughter, tears, and tragedy.

In 1964, Ronnie Shaw is a recent graduate from the sixth grade with perfect attendance for the school year. Due to their perfect attendance, he and thirty-three other boys have won an all-expenses-paid vacation through The Warren Memorial Boys' Club of Atlanta, sponsored by McDonald's Hamburgers and The Lion's Club. They will act as McDonald's Hamburgers' "Official Taste Testers" during their journey around Florida. 

For a few on the bus, this is their first vacation. Two adults and four teenage chaperons guide these young men on the greatest, wildest vacation ever. Most of the boys aren't from the projects like Ronnie and his older brother, Mike, who is a chaperon. Travel with these young boys and men back to 1964; laugh and cry with them as they experience life at its best and, at times, rawest. Climb aboard the big, yellow bus; experience why and how lives can change in a mere ten days. For at least one of The Yellow Bus Boys there will be plenty of dramatic turns within the Sunshine State.

Q&A with author Ron Shaw

Since this Blog is called Inspired Writers, tell me, what inspires you?
Foremost, people inspire me to write. An old blues legend was once asked, "What are the blues?" His response was perfect. The aged, skinny, black man took a huge draw from his cigarette and answered, "The blues is that human condition which exists between a man and a woman." So, yes, people and the human condition inspire me.

What Genre do you write? What made you decide that you wanted to write in this genre?
I'd describe my genre or genres as being an eclectic mix to a degree; a bag full of genres all rolled into one. It is a southern mix with a huge, regional twang. Mostly, I write faction with more fact than fiction, actually. I'd tag my writing as humor, anecdotal, spiritual, philosophical, fiction, nonfiction, faction, mystery, biographical, law enforcement, coming of age, and mostly kind of wacky or a bit manic... mildly crazy even.

I write what I know and generally whatever pops into my head. The books do that for me. They are almost literally circling just above my head, and I have grown comfortable with reaching up and pulling one or more down to put my name on. I have lived a very colorful life and it has been filled with great stories and beautiful people. I am truly blessed.

Tell me about your current project?
There are several. I have found that working on multiple projects at the same time is possible. It gets from a little to a whole lot tricky at times, but the books are stacked up, lined-up for landing like the jets circling the Atlanta Airport, and they are all low on fuel. So, the projects are somewhat urgent in their own rights. I have very recently finished my fifth book, The Yellow Bus Boys Go Blue: Canada Bound that is a follow-up of my second book The Yellow Bus Boys. TYBB was set in 1964 and TYBBGBCB takes the reader back to 1967I am also involved in a new project called Cramped Quarters: Mary's Journal Book 1 in the Mary's Tales series. 

I am also presently collaborating with ten or so other Indie authors on a compilation or anthology of ghost/horror/paranormal short stories. This will be a fantastic book entitled Annie Acorn's Spirited Tales. The book will be published by Annie Acorn Publishing and she will also be a story contributor. This book will be out sometime next year. I am also writing Book 2 of the Mary's Tales series and actively frolicking in my sixth major novel that is a nonfiction piece entitled My Frozen Heart: The Becky Davis Story. Hear Becky's story on my radio show. It is archived there at my Website at

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Yes, editing! I loathe editing, and I intend to strongly imply that I really, really dislike it... that and commas. I am highly suspicious of them. The world would be a much better place without so many commas. Just think of all the trees we could save if we simply cut the use of them in half. Not to mention, all the clutter within the digital realm; bulging at the computer seams with commas. It is my goal to "go green" without the use of so many commas.

I also find it challenging to actually sell my books. It is infinitely more fun to just give them away. My wife had that brilliant idea, and do not let another soul know I admitted this, but she is right. Selling books is very challenging, and at times the whole marketing process can be a bit dodgy.

Is there a certain type of scene that's harder for you to write than others?
For me, it has been a difficult journey to begin to understand how to "show" everything possible rather than "tell" it. I really believe my writing has come a long way in achieving this lofty goal.

But, to answer your question specifically, no, there is not. I have come to rely on what I can do in writing versus what initially, I thought I could not accomplish. "I can" is a much better concept.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 
Tell your story. Let the story take you where it wants to go. Be your story; taste the wine, feel the slap against a cheek; cry and laugh when the words dictate it. Become part of the whole rather a mere hole in the parts about which you write. Live it; love it, and you will learn to like it as well as yourself as a writer.

Be a storyteller on paper or in words on a computer, and the writer will come out in you. In my not so humble opinion, it is precisely at the point when an author sees themself as a writer rather than a storyteller that the magic has left the quill. Writing should always be magical at least to the author, and if you can adequately convey this magic to others through your words then so much the better. But, in short, write for one, yourself, and do not worry about the consequences involving or surrounding others.

Tell the readers a little bit about your Radio Show on ArtistFirst?
I like to think my radio show is exactly like me, sort of crazy or lightly-loony different. I make it a point to get to know my guests before each show, and I do think this jumps out at the listeners. It is definitely a Worldwide show. The responses I get weekly from listeners, hopefully fans of the show, around the world are staggering or at least humbling to me. 

If you are on my show, you are special, and that is a fact. I am very selective in who I pick for my show. If you cannot entertain me in my interview process then I will wish you luck in all your endeavors but my show will not be one of them. i know this sounds cruel but it isn't actually. I am very selective. The show has my name on it and well, I have my standards... low ones, some who know me best might suggest.

I will also give you this one tidbit, after we go through the process of the entire possible guest and host contacts and you are picked we become friends and that is a fact... ask my past guest. I adore them all and they do get return invites every time; all of them.

Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?
No! I am uniquely boring, unimaginative, non-funny, dull, dimly unlit, and a downright pain in the ass-phalt. Once again, just ask anyone who really knows me. I have no talents unless eating is one, and if so, I could win the gold medal every meal.

I do have a hobby of sorts. I am a dweeb who collects toy marbles... yes, I am guilty of this obsession, but not much of late since my books and their characters will not leave me alone.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Wow, that's a very difficult question to answer... and I am stalling as I type. Yep, I am clueless as to what if anything I have ever accomplished much less a best one. Can I pass? Nah, I'll fess up sooner or later. Here goes, one from the depths of my heart and the tip of my bruised soul,; my greatest accomplishment has been to try my level best to be a good man; good husband, good and stable father; good citizen and basically a caring human being worthy of God's blessings. I highly suspect and gravely fear I am a huge WIP.

What books have most influenced your life most? 
The Holy Bible, early on tons of comics, science fiction anything, books that show human compassion, understanding and love no matter what vehicle used to do so; great books like Watership Down, In Cold Blood, To Kill a Mockingbird, Gone With The Wind; authors like William Shakespeare, Jules Verne, Bram Stoker, Truman Capote, James Dickens, Charles Dickens, Dan Brown, Hunter S. Thompson and many wonderful others who inspired me through their words, their eyes, hearts and yes, even their souls at times.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I absolutely love Dan Brown. He writes with such ease and in a fashion that makes you want to turn the page. He makes his readers think, and he presents you with many things you never knew existed. That man has caused me to read more books, not his own, than any other writer I have ever read. He sends you on huge missions in each book. I can say after reading The Da Vinci Code I had to read about ten additional books due to Dan Brown... and I loved them all.

Are there any books that you ashamed to admit you have read and loved?
No, not really. For some personal reasons or something weird, I have simply never understood the mania over A Clockwork Orange. Beyond the clever title there was nothing else redeeming about it in my opinion. I also experienced the same reactions to Fahrenheit 451 and a select few others, but that would never rise to the level of feeling ashamed to admit I have read and loved them. I have tried to read some of the shades of gray book and yes, that one if read would fit that question somewhat but with "and hated it" at the end.

Who is your favorite Villain/Monster in Literature?
Without doubt or any hesitation that would be Count Dracula or Nosferatu for all the old school gang out there.

What advice would you give to your younger self?
Bang more drums... loudly.

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Either God or Jesus... six of one, half a dozen of the other... and yes, I do consider them both to be "persons."

Since it is New Year’s Eve, do you have any new year’s resolutions?
To write better books, kiss more babies, dance even if no music is playing, love more openly, eat less like the pig I am, pray more, give more, expect less, and be happier in my own skin.

Any exciting plans for the upcoming year?
None, at my age because waking up daily outside the cemetery is an exciting enough plan.

Archived List of Ron's show on the ArtistFirst Radio Network Jake Needham - Internationally Acclaimed Author… Sharna 'Chloe Pink' Fulton - Author / Cartoonist… Rhonda Paglia - Author Children's Books… Larry Prine / Woody Cundiff - Inspirational CD series Laura Sullivan - 56th Grammy Winner / Composer / Musician D.A. Grady - Texas Author / Cowboy Walker A. White - Author from England Larry 'Big' Prine - Mercer University / Neural Linguistics Annie Acorn - Author/Publisher Valerie Twombly - Romance Author Dorothy May Mercer - Author/Publisher Christina Paul - Romance Author Greg 'Ratman' Rice - DJ / Entrepreneur Becky Davis, Lisa Doster - Animal Rescue Volunteers Charlie'Cat Daddy' Azar / Larry 'Big' Prine guest host show D.A. Grady - Texas Author Mary Hubbard - Retired Teacher / Near Death Experience… Ron Shaw - Author Larry 'Big' Prine - Philosophy / Inspirational Speaker Charlie 'Cat Daddy' Azar - Storyteller Woodrow Trip - Atlanta Police Retiree / State of GA Polygrapher Becky Davis - 'the antifreeze lady' author of Georgia's Chief's Law Larry 'Big' Prine - Storyteller / Inspirartional Speaker Ron Shaw - Author on ArtistFirst's Doug Dahlgren Show Ron Shaw - Author / on Author's First Show Ron Shaw - Author's Inaugural Show on The Ron Shaw Show… Ron Shaw - Author's First Show