I’ve had the pleasure of reading Jeff Hodge’s Road Trippin’ over the last few months. I’ve been plucking through, taking my time with this delightful memoir, trying to get to know this comic and his world one day at a time. I’m so excited about this former Houstonian, I was able to talk him into doing an interview with me!
1. Describe your book and its inception. What was your muse so to speak?
My book, “Road Trippin…The Life And Times Of A Comic On The Run,” is pretty much a compilation of short stories of incidents that happened to me back when I was out on the road performing as a young comedian in the early 1990’s. Over the years, I would share these stories with friends and fans and people would suggest that I write a book. I never took it seriously until one day in 2011, a buddy of mine, who is a big Chelsea Handler fan suggested I read her book, “My Horizontal Life”. After reading the book, I said to him, every comic have stories like that. He suggested I write a book and so I did and that is how “Road Trippin…The Life And Times Of A Comic On The Run” came about.
2. Many authors are heavily influenced by their environment when they write. Where is your safe space? Do you have mood music?
I am a night person so most of my writing takes place late at night when everyone is asleep and I am up watching the ID Channel. Usually turn on soft music (I prefer love songs because they help me think better) and just get to pecking away on my laptop.
3. How does writing for the stage differ from writing for a book?
Writing for the stage is different from a book in that when I write for the stage, I get feedback immediately as I perform it. With a book, I have to wait until the book comes out. Some one reads it and then I get their feedback. The long wait time can be tedious and frustrating.
4. What do you find to be the easiest of the writing and editing process? What is the hardest for you? (Both in comedy and for publication.)
To me, the writing process is easiest because I just write the words as they come to me in my head. I hate the editing process because by the time the book is actually published, I have read my book 100 million times from reading and re-reading it making all the edits I need to make! (Hahaha)
Road Trippin’ is an accurate representation of just part of my life when I was on the road touring as a comedian back in the early 1990’s. I will be following up Road Trippin’ with more books on other aspects of my life.
6. Did you learn anything about yourself or the world you live in by writing this book (that isn’t included in the book itself)?
Yes. The thing I learned about myself while writing this book is that I have come a long way since I started doing comedy. Sometimes as comedians, we get so focused on defining success as being on a tv show and selling out auditoriums but we lose focus on the journey that we’re on and miss out on a lot of the little things along the way. Writing this book really took me back to venues and places I had performed in earlier in my career that I forgot about after all these years.
7. How have your friends and family reacted to your story content?
My close buddies took the book in stride because they had heard some of the stories in the book over the years. My other friends and family were shocked. They didn’t know one could do all those things on the road as a comedian if you weren’t a star. My mom is still waiting for her copy! (Hahaha)
8. You’re a very different sort of writer than I usually feature on my blog – most are novelists who are passionate for the written word in general. I know you are passionate about comedy and the stage, but are you a reader? What are your favorite books? Your favorite authors?
Yes, I am a reader, but I don’t get to read as much as I would like to. Too busy performing, producing shows, auditioning, writing, etc. I am what you may call a binge reader, I don’t sit down and read all the time, but when I do, I might read 2 or 3 books in one sitting. My favorite kind of books to read are autobiographies, biographies or military or spy thrillers by authors like Tom Clancy.
9. What have you been up to professionally and personally since the publication of this book? What are your future plans?
Since Road Trippin… has been released, I have been actively promoting my book by making appearances at book club meetings, doing interviews and doing shows in the LA area. My future plans include writing a couple follow up books to Road Trippin… that go more in details about my life living in Texas & California.
10. If there is ONE thing you’d want fans to know about you, what would it be?
One thing I want my fans to know about me is that I’m a hard-worker, funny and love to create and entertain.