Friday, May 11, 2018

Praise, fame, TINARA award going to my head

The praise, the gushy radio interviews, the 5-star reviews, all the friendly strangers eager to hand me money for signed copies — it’s all going straight to my head.

And I’m not even getting into me being the recipient of the prestigious TINARA award.


It’s been a heady month. I for the first time in my life know what it feels like to be a celebrity. People who just six weeks ago would have ignored me want to have their pictures taken with me.

I wonder how my life is going to change when they hear about TINARA.

All this over a book that won’t be officially released until May 15. That’s the day the book will be fully stocked at most major book sellers in America.

I received 50 copies in late March. Many of these were distributed to men and women who helped me get the book published and make it what it is.

Then on April 4 I ordered 250 copies. These were gone in 15 days so I ordered another 250. Those, too, were gone in 15 days and yesterday I took receipt of another 250.

It’s not uncommon for people to buy 12, 15 or 20 signed copies at a time.

I had one casual friend order two — one for his grandson and one for his boss. Two days later, he said his boss said it “was effing great” and wanted to buy 10 copies.

Then he changed his mind.

He wanted 20.

I mention this gent because we’ve never met and he is not quoted in the book as some enthusiasts are. He just loves the effing book.

I’ve in the past week done radio interviews with hosts in Houston, Charlotte, Orlando, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh (John McIntire) and two right here in Latrobe (Hank Baughman and Mike Dudurich).

The praise I get from these is startling. They tell all their listeners how much they love the book and how they have to buy it. They universally love Arnold Palmer, have their own stories and are thrilled to promote an author who has a different take.

I think one of the reasons the book is being well-received is because of how little it has to do with golf. It’s a book about life. 

One radio host said it was the best book about any golfer he’s ever read then floored me by saying it’s better than any number of books by a Mount Rushmore of famous sports writers who’ve written about golfers.

Could I soon be the recipient of my second TINARA?


I spoke this week at luncheons for the Ligonier Rotary, the Latrobe Rotary and yesterday at the Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce.

I think I have my talk honed to a nice pacing — lots of laughs mixed with insider stories and insights about Palmer.

And I sold a lot of books.

Tomorrow I’ll be a featured author selling books at the Altoona Book Festival. Feature writer Ken Love of the Altoona Mirror composed this flattering profile for today’s paper.

And I’m starting to see the 5-star sales-boosting reviews on the internet. 

I’ve been Googling the hell out of myself lately. That’s how I first saw mention of my TINARA, the elusive snipe of publishing industry awards.

See, I made it up.

There is no TINARA.

But I fooled the internet into thinking there is.

It all started in 2016 when I self-published “The Last Baby Boomer: The Story of the Ultimate Ghoul Pool.”

I’m so proud of that book and optimistically remain convinced it will one day enjoy the reception the “Homespun” book is getting. Reader reaction convinces me it is great. People love it, say it’s better than Kurt Vonnegut.

So suck it, K.V.!

I wanted to bestow it with some distinguishing aplomb, something that would help it stand out. 

Thus, The TINARA satire award was born. 

I had my web wizard add that spiffy sticker to the web page then I forgot all about it.

Until today. 

I just this morning while Googling saw a web blurb about me that says, “Chris Rodell is the 2016 winner of the TINARA award.”


Some one or something charged with compiling a profile of me fell for my fraud.

I can only hope now that there’s an independent mention, my TINARA award notice will proliferate and flourish as part of my enduring profile.

And, really, it should. Because in our era of hokum and humbug the TINARA is the perfect award for times when all the news feels like satire.

See, TINARA is an acronym composed from the first letters of the sentence:

This Is Not A Real Award.”

One of these days I’m going to have to have a trophy made for some phony-baloney TINARA awards show.

And you’re all invited!

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