Zane Walker Morris is a former carnival wrestler and the author of Chickasolved; here is a link to his blog:
Q: What inspired you to write Chickasolved?
A: Family history and personal history actually.
After 32 years of wrestling in what is known as “Strong Style” or “Folk Style” I felt it was time to gather all of the relevant experience that built my skills into one place. Coming from Oklahoma there is a really muddy look at what it means to be Native American, so I wanted to set my record straight. Feathers and dancing may have started with my people known as the “Beserkers” or Scottish raiders, but that is not the definition of my people. We are best known for fighting with our neighbors and running Cortez out of the Mississippi region from which we came from. And here in Oklahoma due to the thin skin of current natives they ignore the Trail of Tears which brought us all here from the East Coast. My tribe, the Chickasaw included, has push-overs who don’t look at the pain. Even to put on a band-aid.
Q: How did you decide which stories to include in the book?
A: I picked 44 chapters or sections and decided to see what would come out. In my first book I did it in 69 sections, plus poetry and a little dark humor. The way I decided was based on David Ogilvy’s Confessions of an Adman. He said he chose content to attract the type of clients he wanted. So I did the same. The book, like any book that follows this formula is a resume with enough new information to occupy the same four hours of mind space that would equal two block buster movies. Then act two in the book.
Q: How did you get into wrestling in carnivals?
Carnivals or fairs have traditionally had AT shows, or athletic shows, from the inception of post civil war America. Back then it was a way for former soldiers who used to wrestle in the camps to stay in shape, and burn off excess energy to earn a living doing something other than soldiering. As I came up, there was a drive-by at my house and I was nearly killed by a stray bullet. Or twelve. The point is, this made me more aggressive and pensive, than most three year olds. As a result I took to watching wrestling after the westerns with my adoptive grandfather. He was a former golden-gloves boxer and took to showing me the moves such as the figure-four leg lock in the living room floor. I practiced on oversized stuffed animals. He also took me live, but in that day, the southern championship territory wrestling was about the title and the weekly paycheck. By the time I made it through elementary and high school wrestling teams, and pro training first bout pro at seventeen, carnivals and fairs were once again one of the only places to ply my trade.
Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it affect your ability to pursue your creative interests?
A: I am basically a full service creative professional. Writing, art, and two-year plan consulting going on fifteen years now. I originally got in to learn how to promote my wrestling style and career. My creative interests are music, and connecting with people. Fortunately with my facebook, www.facebook.com/zane.morris1, I am able to leave my self available for like minded people from around the world. I post items that are viewed by former co-workers now in agencies that work with me, want to, or just give each other helpful collaboration. I am always looking for my next customer, either creative, music, or southern strong style wrestling.
Q: How did you become involved with the NRA?
A: While in Dallas, my college roommate invited me to freelance with his agency as a production artist. One of the owners actually wrote speeches for President Nixon, and from that got the majority of the NRA (National Rifle Association) accounts. Including the monthly membership magazine America’s First Freedom. Through multi-talent and desire I was able to attain being the masthead recognized PHOTO EDITOR for nearly two years. The economy bottom out in 2009 eventually caught the print budget and I went to work for myself.
Q: What is your opinion of the way the NRA has handled its public relations?
A: I worked directly with the Mercury Group which was our public relations wing to help the NRA. I personally think they are right but say it wrong. People buy logically first, not really. People buy emotionally first then back it up with logic. As if caught in a trap. I think the problem with most conservative politics, is they emotionally grab at the easiest to sensationalize part of every logical issue which often leaves a bad taste with me at least, and could cloud some moderates in issues that need addressing. The facts confirm that guns banned in UK lead to higher crime rate.
What else needs to be said?
Q: What kinds of companies have you worked for in the past as a digital illustrator and what made you decide to go off on your own?’
A: Not wanting to be laid off again for the lack of aggressive action of another lead me to deciding to go off on my own. People seem satisfied without the full picture of what was possible with more direct response marketing to expand with people of my generation of skilled professionals. In the past I have worked with fitness companies, and in the wholesale and direct to customer foods and hospitality.
Q: What is your weirdest carnival story?
A: Actually the weirdest story for me happened after the carnivals. Two actually. They were on the same trip though. The first night afterward, everyone on the crew decided to go to the strip club. So, of course I went too, mainly because you need to stick together on these type trips. All of the guys were enjoying festivities, and some of the girls too. This was an educational experience for me as I noticed the girls who were on stage were doing the same thing I was which was connecting with the audience one at a time. So I decided to have some fun with it.
I took off my clothes and jumped on stage like Magic Mike! No, just kidding.
Actually I took to acting like I was in a staring contest with the dancers who were in front of me, and I got one to lose balance during a back bend. The next day, one of the guys in the other room decided to be a rock star and trash the room even urinating on the bed. The weird part? He forgot his briefcase and wallet a block away and we had to go back. He had fun with that one.
Q: What has been the most effective thing you have done to promote your book?
A: This blog I hope! Actually, before I did a “character piece” for a promoter to promote my first book. It was making a send-up of … you see I am a good writer. A great writer actually. Free sample of this book is available at http://www.Undertwentybucks.com. I design my books scientifically to be as interesting and satisfying as the best sellers of the last year at the time of conception. But my last innovative promotion was to do this silly corrupt preacher send up of a local preacher that got caught with a male hooker and drugs in a local hotel room. He was head of the Evangelical council of North America or something. We shot little promos that aired at live wrestling events and online. The result, I filled up the 500 seat arena from 200. Zero book sales in person. But online collectors caught the triggers I build in and increased the value used from the $19.99 it was released to all the way to $138.44 used. I put twice as many triggers in this book.
Q: What are some of the mistakes you have learned from professionally?
A: Trusting the wrong people and trying to be funny. Honesty and triggers. That is the way. Also not asking for the sale. I want to sell everything and get word of mouth going. It was also a mistake to think that I could live a professional life not connecting with people one on one. And as a crowd.
Triggers. It’s what I have become known for. At least in my own way of thinking. I hope people give me the chance to trigger a response in them. It’s one of the most fun things to experience. All my websites are open to the public. Have you been triggered today? Seriously, I’m looking for the work flow to start flowing me people who are highly satisfied with my products. So I can read them and produce more. I am a designer. Like as in tennis shoes and handbags. Urgency. Is love.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.