Author Chris Rodell Inspires the High Post Writers

On Wednesday October 23, author Chris Rodell visited the Greater Latrobe Journalism Class and gave the students a bit of inspiration.  He gave us insight on how to become better writers.

As a teenager Rodell decide he wanted to be an author. “I used to deliver newspapers and loved the idea there were men and women paid to tell stories. Then I began reading Mike Royko’s columns and said, yep, that’s what I want to do,” said Rodell.

Mike Royko was an American columnist who wrote for the  Chicago Daily News, the Chicago-Sun Times, and the Chicago Tribune.  He wrote for over 30 years and wrote over 7,500 daily columns. Royko was an inspiration for Rodell.

Rodell has had many ups and downs in his career, but it has changed his life. Rodell said, “I believe writing stories is easy. Selling stories is difficult. But key! Having people say they loved something I wrote makes me feel wonderful. It made me allergic to doing any real work.”

Rodell  has written 8 books in his life time, but says the Last Baby Boomer was the most rewarding.  “The Last Baby Boomer because I created it out of nothing and it earns the kind of praise writers dream of.  You just feel an inner compulsion that must be obeyed,” said Rodell.

Rodell has worked for several publishers and written many articles in his life.  He has done so many articles, but he said his favorite was,  “Ate like Elvis. It was just so much fun.” Ate like Elvis was when he ate food for a week just like Elvis Presley did. The most rewarding article for Rodell was all of them.  He said, “Too many to mention. All fun.” Yet he said he has, “Not experienced enough to give meaningful answer. I’ll work with any of them, really.”

Rodell has a blog Called Eight Days to Amish.  “The name hints at how I’m always broke. I started the blog because I wanted something unfiltered.” This blog is free to read because Rodell want everyone to see his writing and enjoy it. 

Every writer has to go through a process. “Interview. Write. Rewrite. Repeat,” says Rodell.  As he was writing the book Arnold Palmer Homespun Stories of the King he used this exact process to create the wonderful book filled with amazing tales of Arnold Palmer.

Rodell and Arnold Palmer were good friends.  “I was assigned to cover Arnold Palmer and nature took its course,” said Rodell.  Rodell wrote a book called Arnold Palmer Homespun Stories of the King , “I felt like I had a story to tell.”  Rodell chose to write about Arnold Palmer as a normal person and not as a golfer.  “It’s about what it’s like to have him as a neighbor and why he never left Latrobe area.  It’s much more interesting,” said Rodell.

Arnold Palmer has affected many people’s lives.  “He made me more considerate of unexpected intrusions,” Rodell said. “Once he gave me surprise noogies at the hotel opening. It was just such a playful gesture in an otherwise serious ceremony. That he felt comfortable enough to do such a thing to me in front of so many stiffs made me feel special,”said Rodell.

“You’re likely to not make a whole lot of money so be sure to, by God, have a whole lot of fun. And, trust me, that’s a whole lot better in the end,” Rodell adamantly proclaimed.