Sunday, July 27, 2014


This is the cover for Stories from the Spirit Guide Bar, an audio collection of seven stories. The stories are from The-Eight Fingered Criminal's Son and The Spirit Guide Bar. Produced by Gary Gidak of Gidak Digital, the collection includes music, sound effects, and a talented team of voice over actors. 

For the eleven people who are familiar with my books, here is the line up:

1. The South Bay Daily Breeze
2. First Kiss
3. Surfer Girl
4. Dave Cruz
5. Vasectomy
6. General Grant
7. Monsignor Patrick J Redehan

The CD will be available in about four weeks. I'll be announcing the date and location of the release event soon.

In the mean time, you can listen to "Dave Cruz" by clinking on the link below.

My third book, TEECHUR, Adventures of a Reluctant Educator, is almost finished.  I'm polishing up the last chapter and the book should release by the end of the year. In case I didn't mention it, writing books is really hard.

Finally, I'd like to announce that I am going to stop eating asparagus.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

How To Make Your Book Signing A Success

This photo was taken at my first book signing at Chandler Auto and Tire. Every book purchased came with a discounted oil change. That's right, I do book signings at tire shops. What of it? I heard David Thoreau did book signings at wagon wheel shops.

What's the opposite of Thoreau?

Check out my website for some new author tips on books signing events.

Sunday, July 6, 2014


I'm excited to share this sneak peek-listen of Stories from the Spirit Guide Bar, a Gidak Digital audio production of stories from The Spirit Guide Bar and The Eight-Fingered Criminal's Son. 


Here is the link...Stories from the Spirit Guide Bar, "DAVE CRUZ"

Dave Cruz is a mostly true, coming of age story that takes place in 1979 Hawthorne California. Over the last couple of years, this has been my go to story for high school and college readings. Gary's music, sound efffects, and voice over actors really bring the thing to life.

Gary Gidak (left) produced the collection. He also composed the soundtrack and did several voice-overs. Gary is a ridiculously talented, engineer, musician, actor, writer, and zoologist. Okay, he's no zoologist. I was checking if you were paying attention.Voice-over artist Steve Pointer (right) did some outstanding work. His portrayal of General Grant is absolutely riveting.

Stories from the Spirit Guide Bar will be available next month.

Gary and I are planning a release event in the Phoenix area. We're considering having the event at a lawn mower repair shop or a feed store. Got to keep thinks quirky.

For more information, take a look at my website: Stories from The Spirit Guide Bar.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Best Thing About Writing Books

I recently spent an afternoon with Mrs. Halberg's junior English class. These guys were explosively inspirational. The class had been reading stories from The Eight Fingered Criminal's Son and they were  kind enough to give me a round of applause when I walked through the door. Doesn't get much better than that. I started with a tried and true reading of "Dave Cruz," after which I was served up with a request for "Daphne Morales and the Silver Corvette." We talked about writing memoirs, the writing process, sensory details, motivation and inspiration. Something clicked as I stood before this collection of bright young minds. I somehow connected with their curiosity, energy, creativity, and maybe even their ability to dream.

I'd been stuck on the last chapter of my new book for a few months, but things have improved since I hung out with this crew. Thanks to a heaping helping of Halberg mojo, that last chapter is back on track and I can actually visualize a finished book.

Saturday, May 31, 2014


Richard Rios is teacher, artist, and the author of Songs form the Barrio, a collection of stories and poems about coming of age in the barrios of Modesto, California. Songs from the Barrio is on the reading list for a boatload of California colleges and high schools. Not only is the book a great read, it's a compelling documentation of American history. The Rios family came to California from Mexico during the the revolution. The youngest of the family, Richard grew up in the 40s and 50s.  adventures of growing up with poor Mexican-Americans and Okies in North California farm country bring to mind the writings of John Steinbeck and Gary Soto.

Richard and I became acquainted as bloggers, encouraging each other in the publication of our first books. My wife and I finally got the opportunity to meet my cyber buddy when Richard and his wife came through Arizona. Below is a shot of the writer wives.

One of my favorite stories in the book is the account of how Richard and Chela first met. Half a century ago, Richard's mother prayed for her son's safe return from military service, vowing to make a pilgrimage to a shrine in Mexico to give thanks. Richard did return in one piece, but he wasn't exactly thrilled about beginning his civilian life with an extensive religious trip to Mexico. Being a good son, he complied with his mother's wishes. Coincidentally, an army buddy was visiting his family in the same town. Richard and his mother were invited to dinner, and low and behold, the buddy had a beautiful sister. Just like in the movies, it was love at first sight. Within a few days, Richard asked the old man for his daughter's hand. The father told Richard to come back in one year to ask again. A year later, they were married. Richard's mother prayed for her son's safe return and got a daughter-in-law with the deal. My wife were mezermized as the Rios's told there story. Richard often brings his wife to college readings; the students invariably ask Chela to sign the book too.

My wife and I are are big time Richard Rios fans and we encourage you to read Songs from the Barrio!

Here is the link to buy Songs from the barrio:

And here is the link to Richard's blog:

As a side note, I've decided to stop working with compost.
It's degrading.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

More Adventures of a Bug Man Writer

Last year I left the teaching game to focus on my writing. Believe it or not, writers make even less money than teachers. Business acumen has never been one of my strong suits. So I've been supplementing my income as a bug man, a bug man writer if you will.

Most of my clients are affluent, and many of them live along man-made lakes and golf courses. The mornings on the lakes and golf courses are incredibly peaceful. There's nothing like being out there with my sprayer watching the sun rise as a few rabbits scamper by - then collapse to the ground from the chemicals.

That was a joke. No rabbit casualties that I'm aware of.

The job is quite mindless, a nice change of pace after 25 years in the classroom. I have to be careful not to let my mind wander. I have sprayed the the wrong address, twice on the same day. I've also squirted myself in the face with my handheld sprayer hose - twice, slipped on slick driveways and fallen on my keester, walked into tree branches, and my truck has broke down at least once a month.

There can be tips involved. I've raked in eight tips, ranging from two to 10 bucks, over my ten months on the job.

One of my most interesting customers was a 100 year-old man. He was remarkably on top of things. The old man walked with me as I sprayed, peppering me with a steady stream of math proplems, none of which I could answer. He also told me he was an old geezer, but a woman pleaser.

Last week I was spraying a house at six a.m, and I noticed a photograph of one of my former students on the wall. There is a reason I left teaching. Class sizes had exploded. My largest class had 45 students. Somehow, somewhere along the line I lost my connection with the majority my students. I was one of the oldest teachers on campus, and one of very few who among other things, banned cell phones, marked them tardy when they came late, and sent them to the office when they broke the dress code. I think my old school discipline was a major factor in the disconnect.

I started class each day with a bad joke, something like this:

Hey, did you know the guy who played Chewbaca in the Star Wars movies was a professional baseball player. As a matter of fact, he voted Wookie of the Year.

Some of my students looked at me like they wanted to throw darts at my head, most just stared blankly space, but a few chuckled politely or actually laughed. Taylor, the girl in the picture, always laughed. She cared about poetry and Literature, and she was particularly drawn to transcendentalism, buying her own copies of the works of Thoreau and Emerson. She once told me, "I think it's so cool that all of your students hate you, and you're still nice to them." I think she meant it as a complement.

So there I was spraying the hallway with my hand held can when Taylor stumbled out of her room, still very much half-asleep.

"Good morning, Taylor," I said.

I don't know that I've ever stood face to face with a more confused human being.

"What?" she mumbled, squinting, trying to comprehend the meaning of her former English teacher standing before her wearing goggles, a large sun hat, a bandanna around the neck,  holding a fairly large can of bug juice in one hand and a spray wand in the other. "Mr. Snyder? Is that you?"

"Yes it is," I said.

"What are you doing here?"

"I'm your bug man," I said. "Are you you still reading your Thoreau and Emerson?"

"I guess so," she mumbled

I finished up the house as Taylor sat the kitchen eating her Raisin Bran. I don't think she was too crazy about her old English teacher spraying her house for pests this early hour. Not the kind of thing that happens every day. Taylor is graduating this year. She told me she was heading to the local community college. Her mother asked if I was still teaching. I told her no, but  I would be if I had more students like Taylor.

Monday, April 7, 2014

The First Batch of Book Publishing Tips for New Authors

Are you a new author looking for advice about how to self-publish your book? Or have you published a book and are looking for ways to improve the process? I’ve self-published two books, sold a good number of both and am now working on my third. I’ve experienced a lot along the way and want to share the lessons I’ve learned, including the good, the bad and the downright ugly. I also plan to share experiences and suggestions from other writers, and even a book store owner or two, whom I’ve met along the way.
Here is the first batch of tips:

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Richard Rios "Songs of The Barrio" - Reading his story 'A Rite of Passage.'

Richard is a friend of mine, my favorite Californa writer. And this is my favorite story from "Songs of the Barrio."

Saturday, February 22, 2014


This is Clifton Batchelor. I call hm Clif the Lawyer. This is because he is a certified plumber. Okay, he's not a plumber. He's a lawyer - and web designer, and a writer, and a audio/video engineer, and a photographer, and an editor, and a graphic designer, and a publisher, and a musicial and an all around idea man. I'm telling you, this guy does everything but sell popcorn. 

To the subject at hand, take a look at the website Clif created for me.

Clif was instrumental in publishing my first book, The Eight-Fingered Criminal's Son. He edited the book, created the cover design, took the author photograph, and created Cactus Surf Press. Most importantly, he convinced me to publish the collection of stories. In case you haven't figured it out, I'm a big Clif the Lawyer fan. Here's his website. 

The Eight-Fingered Criminal's Son and The Spirit Guide Bar are available at

Papa Joe's Barbershop - Chandler, Arizona 
Chandler Auto and Tire - Chandler, Arizona
Zia Records - eight locations in Arizona and Nevada
The Book Frog - Rolling Hills, California 
Barns and Nobel. com 

TEECHUR: Confessions of a Reluctant Educator, my third book, is on track for release this summer.

People who get sick when they go through tunnels while riding in carpools have carpool tunnel syndrom.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Contrary to popular belief, the job can of a get pretty rough. The gruesome photo to the left clearly demonstrates my point. I had no idea things would get so ugly when I loaded up my truck and headed off to the bug wars that day. I had no intention of walking into an orange tree, but as you can clearly see, it happened, baby. Sure walking into orange trees is dangerous, but  danger is part of the job.

The job gets physical too. I've pulled muscles on various parts on my being. It's not something I tell my colleagues since most of them are in their 70s and 80s. Danger, pain and, humiliation, it's all part of the job, baby.

I am a bug man. It's what I do.

Actually, I'm a bug man/writer. Cheri Holdcroft was kind enough to invite me to read and speak to her English 102 class at Mesa Community College this week. What a rush. We talked about writing for almost two hours. Great bunch of students. They made up for my knock on the mellon.


You can buy my book at the following venues:

PAPA JOE'S BARBER SHOP in Chandler, Arizona

CHANDLER AUTO AND TIRE in Chandler, Arizona

ZIA RECORDS throughout California, Arizona and Nevada

THE BOOK FROG in Rolling Hills, California

I'll be signing books at THE BOOK FROG in Rolling Hills, California Saturday, November 30th between 2:00 and 4:00.

My books are available at the site below. Imagine, you can download both books for the price of a measly six pack of beer.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


"The Scout" is a masterfully written science fiction thriller. The characters are complete and believable. Descriptions of rural Indiana are vivid, almost poetic. Author, Eric Tozzi, weaves a balanced story about a young writer's struggle to deal with the loss of his father, his mother's Alzheimer's disease, and an alien invasion. Tozzi does a fantastic job explaining the science of this alien invasion story. Michael Crichton is my favorite contemporary sic fi writer because of his ability to include compelling science with in his great stories. "The Scout" has a Crichton feel to it. I under stand that Eric Tozzi is a bit of modern day renaissance man. He's an accomplished musician, editor, director and screenwriter. His most recent film is "Kaleidoscope," an award winning short movie based on a story in Ray Bradbury's "Illustrated Man." Bradbury worked with Eric on the project. I think some of Bradbury's sci fi mojo rubbed off on Tozzi.Can't wait to see the film version.To the point, Eric Tozzi's "The Scout" kicks ass.

As Tozzi tells his twitter followers, you can download the ebook for the cost of a latte.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


Papa Joe, Joe Junior, and the boys at  Papa Joe's Barbershop in Chandler, Arizona were kind enough to host a book and a haircut event. The first 20 customers received  one of my books with their haircuts.

Five of my former students absolutely made my day by swinging by to partake in the festivities. So did my one of my all time favorite former colleagues Terri Glenn.

Two  the guys are studying to become teachers. Got to tell you, fellas like the one's pictured above and a colleague like Terri remind me why I lasted a quarter century in the education biz.

Yours truly with the most famous barber in Chandler, Arizona.

Here's a shot of Papa Joe telling one of his world famous penguin jokes. I'll bet you didn't know that nationally famous comedian Frank Calliendo gets his hair cut at Papa Joe's. The haircuts are top notch but I think it's the penguin jokes that keep him coming back.

I did a reading of "Dave Cruz" in the barbershop. The most exciting part was when an older guy wandered in half way through the story. He looked around, completely baffled, he shouted, "Hold on! What's goin' on? Can I get a haircut around here or what?

I think I really dig barbershop readings. A guy just never knows. You got to expect the unexpected.

You  can order THE SPIRIT GUIDE BAR and THE EIGHT-FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON at THE BOOK FROG (My all time favorite book store)

My books are also available at PAPA JOE'S BARBERSHOP in Chandler, Arizona, where you can get a great haircut, Papa Joe will tell you a penguin joke and you might even see famous funny guy Frank Calliendo.

I'm busting my tail editing and revising my new book TEECHUR: CONFESSIONS OF A RELUCTANT EDUCATOR, due for in 2014.

So Cal folks, come on out to THE BOOK FROG IN ROLLING HILLS on Saturday, November 30th at 2:00. I'll be signing books and participating on a panel with Tim Hallinan, Steven Jay Schwartz, and Denise Hamilton.

For my Arizona friends, I'm working on a couple of East Valley readings in December.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Book Talk with William Snyder #4

I'll make you a deal. Buy one of my books if the viking bit makes you laugh.

Taking the glass is half full road, I'll point out that you can order The Eight-Fingered Criminal's Son or The Spirit Guide Bar by clicking on this link: