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Advice from IR Approved Author Dan Russell: “Be organized before you start and be totally committed once you do.”

Pleasant Good Evening received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author Dan Russell.

What is the name of the book and when was it published? 

Pleasant Good Evening; A Memoir.  Subtitle: My 30 Wild And Turbulent Years Of Sportstalk.  The book was published in May 2022.

What’s the book’s first line? 

You could be excused for thinking that my thirty years as the host of the trend-setting Sportstalk was a fairy tale existence

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.

Pleasant Good Evening documents my trailblazing career as creator and solo host of Canada’s longest running sports talk radio show – virtually the first of its kind in Canada.  Sportstalk was appointment-listening for tens of thousands of BC sports fans during its three decades on the air.  However, in many ways its also a “chasing the dream” story, documenting my relentless attempt to fulfill a childhood dream to become an NHL play-by-play broadcaster.  I’ll let readers of the book judge if my chase was a success or a failure.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?

Initially I just wanted my children to one day be able to understand what I did in my career; how I was able to create a concept and then grow that idea bigger than anyone ever had.  But more than anything I wanted a permanent record of what we accomplished and the excitement it created.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book? 

First off, I’m the only Vancouver based sports broadcaster who has ever written one.  But more to the point, I don’t know anyone in my business who kept the kinds of notes I did.  Not only did we diarize the nearly 8,000 shows, we archived hundreds of hours of recordings, kept daily journals of all my comings and goings, kept thorough notes from all key meetings, etc.  Anyone interested in sports and/or sports radio will enjoy the book because of that credibility, the countless behind-the-scenes stories, numerous passages about Vancouver radio history, and our honesty in sharing with my readers the many speedbumps I had to endure just to keep Sportstalk going.

When did you first decide to become an author? 

I wrote a rough draft of this book in 2013, put it away for a few years, and then (after being retired a few years) decided to fully commit as a Covid project during the 2020 lockdown.

Is this the first book you’ve written? 


What do you do for work when you’re not writing? 

Essentially retired, although it often doesn’t feel like it!

How much time do you generally spend on your writing? 

A definite silver lining to the lockdown was being able to spent many hours a day writing – a process I’d describe as both liberating and daunting.  While I wrote every day for radio, my most difficult media job was being a Vancouver Sun columnist.  I still remember often staring at a blank screen, wondering how would I come up with something?  It was much different than my radio comfort zone.  But I do think that newspaper experience helped me with this book.  Happily, unlike the newspaper, there was no real deadline.

What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie? 

The best part was getting to control every aspect of the book.  The hardest thing was having to control every aspect of the book!

What’s a great piece of advice that you can share with fellow indie authors? 

Be organized before you start and be totally committed once you do. Not to be flippant, but the easiest part might be the actual writing.  I was lucky to have a great person named Gregg Drinnan helping me out — not just to stay on track with the writing, but as importantly, offering tremendous encouragement along the way.  Having one person like that can be a great help.  As much as you can, research all the steps it’ll take from beginning to end.   Otherwise, it’s a steep learning curve.  I mostly went into this blind and had to learn so much by doing it.  I know the second time around would be easier.

Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling?  If so, why?

I don’t know much about how things work, but in terms of this book, is that even an option?  However, I might be interested if a publisher was interested in a couple of the ideas I have for a possible second book.

Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire? 

From a sports standpoint I really enjoy the writing style of (former Montreal Canadiens goaltending great) Ken Dryden.  I was particularly inspired by his book called, “Scotty – A Hockey Life Like No Other”.

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