6 FEET UNDER TEXAS
I’m still researching and writing this book, but since I have a rough draft of the cover, I thought I’d include it. Basically, Six Feet Under Texastells the stories behind the most famous, infamous, and historic graves to be found in the Lone Star State.
If you’d like to know when this one comes out, drop by my website and sign up for my newsletter: TuiSnider.com
Tui Snider is an author, speaker, photographer, and musician who specializes in hometown travel. As she puts it, “I used to write fiction – but then, I moved to Texas!”
Tui has worn a lot of hats in her life - literally - and is especially fond of berets. Her writing and photography have been featured by a variety of outlets, including Coast to Coast AM, LifeHack, Authentic Texas, and Lone Star Literary Life. Tui loves giving presentations and occasionally teaches classes based on her books at TCU.
Snider’s bestselling books include Unexpected Texas, Paranormal Texas, Understanding Cemetery Symbols, 100 Things to Do in Dallas - Fort Worth Before You Die, and more. Tui enjoys connecting with readers all over the globe on social media as @TuiSnider and through her website: TuiSnider.com.
UNDERSTANDING CEMETERY SYMBOLS
This is my most popular book of all (as well as my most frequently requested presentation topic!) Understanding Cemetery Symbols even hit bestseller lists in Australia and the UK, so I can call it an international bestseller! So what’s it about? Understanding Cemetery Symbolsdescribes the meaning behind the symbols and architecture found in the historic graveyards of America. Find it on Amazon: Understanding Cemetery Symbols.
About: TUI SNIDER
GHOST HUNTERS JOURNAL
I created the Ghost Hunters Journal as a simple tool to help ghost hunters better analyze their data, identify trends, and become aware of recurring events that would otherwise be overlooked or forgotten.
COME TO MY SENSES
I don’t just write books; I play several instruments and write songs, too! Listeners describe my music as “mystical” and “dreamy” and it seems to appeal most to people who like to meditate. I published a companion book that contains the lyrics to my 10-song CD along with photographs and some behind-the-scenes info. To hear samples of my music, click here: Tui Snider’s Music
Twitter: @TuiSnider https://twitter.com/TuiSnider
Travel Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tuisnider/
Historic Cemetery Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gravehour
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? What/who inspired you to publish your first book?
In 3rd grade I wrote a story about the life and times of an angst-ridden hardboiled egg. It was a big hit with my teacher and classmates. They even requested a sequel! From that point on, I wanted to be a writer. Even so, decades passed before I published any books. I did, however, spend my free time reading books about the craft of writing and working on a variety of writing projects.
As for what inspired me to take the self-publishing plunge? I’d have to say that the DFW Writers Conference pushed me over the edge! I attended that conference several years in a row and learned so much. (I made some wonderful friends there, too, and we’re still in touch.)
In 2014 I finally realized my childhood dream of becoming a published author! My first book is called Unexpected Texas andit’s a travel guide to offbeat and overlooked places in North Texas. It may have taken me a while to get that first book out, but I am definitely making up for lost time. As of September 15, 2018, I will have released 8 books, and I have several more on the way!
How much of your books are realistic? Are the experiences based on someone you know, or are they events in your real life?
Since all my published books are non-fiction, I hope they are very realistic! My topics include: travel, true crime, historic cemetery symbols, and haunted lore. Fact checking is a big part of my research, even with the ghost stories I write because I make a big distinction between Urban Legends and Haunted Lore. (In a nutshell: Urban Legends are fun stories, but not very factual, while Haunted Lore refers to ghost stories based on real people and events.)
I am also in the process of writing a memoir based on the journals I’ve kept as a dementia caregiver for my father-in-law. The journals started off as a private way for me to deal with things, but so many people are going through similar situations now that perhaps my book can help buoy someone else’s spirits.
That said, I am also a songwriter. Writing music is an emotional release for me, and while I base the emotional events and certain character traits on people I know, I tend to pick and choose, like a collage. Characters and emotional events in my lyrics are more of an amalgam of my experiences than a straight-forward slice of my life.
What is your current project? Will you share a little of it with us – kind of a sneak peek?
My current project is 100 Things to Do in Dallas - Fort Worth Before You Die. It’s my first time working with a publisher rather than self-publishing. I was perfectly content to continue down the indie route, but in January of 2018 I was contacted by Reedy Press. They found me through my blog! So if you’re a writer, make sure you have a website. You never know who’s looking and you never know how it may pay off!
100 Things to Do in Dallas - Fort Worth Before You Die is a fun bucket list that’s meant to inspire readers to explore North Texas. The travel entries are divided into several different sections. Here’s a sneak peek from the Food & Drink section:
Save Room for Strudel at Little Germany Restaurant
Little Germany Restaurant is a cozy hole-in-the-wall where you can enjoy German dishes including sauerbraten, spaetzle, goulash, potato pancakes, bratwurst, red cabbage, sauerkraut, schnitzel, imported German beer, and much more.
Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with German fare, the friendly wait staff here will guide you through menu and help you find something tasty to enjoy. Save room for the apple strudel a la mode if you can. Whatever you do, bring your appetite, because portions are hearty.
703 N Henderson St, Fort Worth, TX
Two more German restaurants to try:
Edelweiss German Restaurant (Often has live German music)
3801 Southwest Blvd, Fort Worth, TX
Ketzler’s Schnitzel Haus & Biergarten (Live music and an outdoor beer garden)
101 E Pearl St, Granbury, TX
Tip:Starting in the 1830's, tens of thousands of Germans entered the United States via the port of Galveston. While the German flag never flew over Texas, its language and food are deeply woven into the cultural fabric. Not only can you find German bakeries, delis, and restaurants throughout the state, but Texas even has its own unique German dialect. Learn more at the Texas German Dialect Project: tgdp.org
What do you do in the ‘real world’ when you’re not writing?
In the past, I’ve had an array of day jobs, everything from running a coffeehouse to composing corporate background music. In 2007 (or was it 2008?) I started getting steady travel writing gigs that actually paid. It took a while, but in 2015, I finally reached a point where I could quit all the side hustles. I’m no millionaire, but I do write full-time and I am very grateful for that!
What are the challenges in writing your books? (Ex: logistical, research, literary, psychological, etc)
Research is a big part of my writing process and it takes several forms: reading books, utilizing online resources, and in-person travel. Come to think of it, every book I’ve written has required me to travel and take photos! Luckily, my husband loves road tripping. Our main challenge lately is that when we travel, we have to get a trusted caregiver to look after my father-in-law since he lives with us and has dementia.
Are there any quotes or verses you find inspiring? What are they and why?
A couple of my favorite writing quotes are “Writing is a muscle” and “The best writing is rewriting.” I’m not sure who first said either of those, but they resonate with me because writing is a skill. The more you write, the easier it gets and the better you will become - just like anything else!
Tell us a little about yourself. Perhaps something that a lot of people do not know?
Here are a couple things folks may not know about me: I spent 5 years on a little island with a year-round population of 7. It was off the grid - no phone, no lights, no motor car. Think “Gilligan’s Island,” but without the coconuts. I homeschooled my step-daughter while living out there, read a million books, and wrote a lot of journals and short stories by hand.
After I moved off the island, I owned and operated a coffeehouse for a couple years. I still love making espresso for friends and family. My husband and I have a professional espresso machine at home.
Are you a planner or a pantser when it comes to writing? (Planner – outline; Pantser – sit down and write)
I’m a hybrid plotting-pantser. I fuss around to create a rough outline, but then I type my way through the first draft as fast as I can. My first drafts are insanely messy. If you read one you’d think they were written drunk or half-asleep because I don’t allow myself to back up or edit…
Seriously! If I suddenly start thinking about what I want for dinner, then I just type, “Y’know, pulled pork tacos sounds really good right now,” and then I keep on going. Strange as it sounds, I’m way more prolific when I barrel through a first draft - typos and all. Typing fast keeps my Inner Critic from catching up and discouraging me.
If there was anything you could change regarding your publishing experience, what would it be and why? Also, do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
If you’re passionate about writing, go ahead and call yourself a writer! You don’t have to wait until you get published to own that title. I’d also say that if you take your writing seriously, find a good writing community (online or off) and start attending writing conferences.
If learning about the craft of writing doesn’t sound fun to you, then pursue something else! Writing isn’t easy and the publishing and marketing process can be very time-consuming. Life’s too short to force yourself to do something you don’t enjoy!
Is there anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?
If you want to keep up with my writing projects or find out where I’m speaking next, drop by my website and sign up for my weekly newsletter. It’s turned into quite a fun group. I get a lot of great tips and inspiration from my newsletter readers! (In fact, my newsletter readers were instrumental in helping me figure out which places to include in 100 Things to Do in Dallas - Fort Worth Before You Die.)
Also, I host a weekly Twitter chat every Thursday for writers of all stripes called #StoryDam. If you’re on Twitter, you’re more than welcome. It’s a very friendly and supportive group of writers. Drop by the hashtag #StoryDam and tweet us for details!
TWITTER FOR WRITERS
As of this writing, this book has not been officially released, but it’s coming soon. If you’re a writer who feels frustrated with or confused by Twitter, this book walks you through the simple-but-effective methods that helped boost my writing career through Twitter.
If you’re interested in this book, email me at: TuiSnider@gmail.com
This is a travel guide to haunted hot spots throughout North Texas. Like my first book, it is also a bestseller on Amazon. Find it on Amazon: Paranormal Texas.
100 THINGS TO DO IN DALLAS FORT WORTH BEFORE YOU DIE
Have you ever drawn a blank when a friend or family member asks, “What do you want to do today?” This book is a fun bucket list meant to inspire readers to explore North Texas. As of this writing, it’s still in the pre-order phase, but it has already been named a #1 New Release on Amazon. Find it on Amazon: 100 Things DFW.
I made two companion journals for Understanding Cemetery Journals. The first one is called Graveyard Journal and it helps taphophiles to keep all their cemetery information in one place.
THE LYNCHING OF SANTA CLAUS BANK ROBBER
This is a strange-but-true tale of a very bad Santa who terrorized West Texas during the Roaring Twenties. My research uncovered a mysterious blonde woman who may have gotten away with murder! Find it on Amazon: Santa Claus Bank Robber
This is a lighthearted travel guide to offbeat and overlooked placed in North Texas. It hit #1 on Amazon’s DFW Travel list two days after its release, and remains a bestseller even today. Find it on Amazon: Unexpected Texas.