Two Reasons Why Author Roland Smith Is One of My Heroes

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Two Reasons Why Author Roland Smith Is One of My Heroes

And why, if you’re a writer, he should be one of yours!

A “Remembering Roland” Reminder

I show-up at the hotel where I’m staying in Decatur, Illinois for my paid speaking gig scheduled for the next day.

Sitting on the porch, sipping a beer is a bald guy who looks vaguely familiar and as I walk past.

He says “Hi Terry”

I nod, smile and say, “Hey man, how you doin?”

This is usually adequate to get me through that awkward moment when someone recognizes me, but I can’t quite place him.

But not with this guy.

“You don’t remember me do you?”

I stutter around, “I…Um…No…yeah…I…uh…”

He interrupts, “Listen, I’ve published twice as many books as you, over three times as long a career. I bought you a drink a couple years back at an event in Portland, Oregon.”

He pauses a moment to let his words sink in, and then a tiny bit louder and more forceful,

“And YOU are not allowed To EVER again forget that you know me.”

He puts out his hand and says, “Roland Smith.”

I shake his hand and say “I got it,” in response to his clear directive.

And for the last decade Roland has been an invaluable friend and mentor to me.

His real life history reads like one of his character-driven adventure stories except the shit Roland’s done and lived through, you’d never believe if it was presented as fiction, even by a writer as talented, imaginative, and bold as him.

Two Reasons Why Author Roland Smith Is One of My Heroes

There is a character named Terry Trueman in this brilliant novel, I have no further comment (Image used courtesy of author and publisher)

And this next is NOT a post-script; I’ve never come anywhere close to EVER forgetting my pal Roland Smith since that day in Decatur.

But you probably know that already.

Two Reasons Why Author Roland Smith Is One of My Heroes

Author and author feigning sadness over inability to hunt down and annoy Dave Lubar at some big Book thing. (Image used courtesy of author from private collection)

Guests & Roland Smith

My friend Roland has spent 30 plus years on the road as a famous author. If he were a poker player, he’d be called a Rounder, a VERY successful one! 30 years on the road is an amazing career, one that every writer/author should admire.

And he has discovered most of the finer details one needs to survive such a life.

A few top tips from RS:

He almost always orders egg-salad sandwiches when asked by his hosts what he’d like for his lunches.

He drinks moderately but always top shelf shit and is generous to all.

He never stays at the homes of his hosts, or almost never, and defers invitations with a standard line: “I don’t stay with people; I have too many weird habits.”

This seems to me to be the perfect blend of faux self-deprecation and honesty and it always works, and is the secret formula for handling the complex social dynamics of avoiding imposing on people, or being imposed upon.

As mentioned above, his career has gone, and still goes, wonderfully.

And he has taught me all of the above and MANY more things.

Two Reasons Why Author Roland Smith Is One of My Heroes

“Terry Trueman” is also in this book, still no comment. (Image used courtesy of author and publisher)

In Conclusion:

These are only a couple examples of why and how Roland is one of my heroes. It doesn’t take much to be a hero, but it’s always surprising how few people in our line of work have the minimum qualifications. And how many multiples of differences there are between them and guys like Roland.

Two Reasons Why Author Roland Smith Is One of My Heroes

Marie, Roland’s amazing bride, and Me and Roland, circa 2013 or so (Image used courtesy of author from private collection All images used with permission of Roland Smith, including his covers, with permission of the publishers.

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