Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Author Jay Rankin On Writing And A Giveaway

It’s my pleasure to welcome author Jay Rankin here today as he makesJay Rankin Author Photo a stop on his Nurture Virtual Book Tourz for his memoir, UNDER THE NEON SKY: A LAS VEGAS DOORMAN’S STORY.

Here’s a brief description of the book: UNDER THE NEON SKY is a gripping, true story about a Las Vegas Doorman who worked the graveyard shift at one of the major hotels on the Strip. The sights, smells, and page popping characters are unforgettable as we take a journey that will transform how we used to envision the city that never sleeps. We watch as this doorman begins to emotionally break and wonder if he will become broken seeing his friends, his wife, hotel guests, and himself cross too many boundaries in this riveting, page turning story. 

Thanks to Jay, Jaidis, and the great folks at Nurture, I have 1 eBook copy of UNDER THE NEON SKY to offer to a lucky visitor who comments on this post between now and 8 p.m. (EST) on Thursday, Nov. 24. The giveaway is open internationally.

Jay’s here to talk his writing.

Although I didn't know it in the beginning, I realized later how important it was to not just be an expert on what I actually wrote, but to be an expert on what I didn't write. I had done a great deal of marketinUnder a Neon Sky Coverg and had the opportunity to be a guest on radio and TV throughout the country. Although my book was about my experience as a doorman on the Las Vegas Strip, most of the questions I was asked had to do with subjects that were never in the story. 

I was asked about the best dance clubs, best topless clubs, Vegas history, celebrities, mobsters and a multitude of subjects pertaining to Las Vegas I never wrote about. But I did have a great deal of knowledge about Las Vegas. 

Luckily I lived in Vegas for many years and knew a lot about the city. My father lived in Vegas when I was a kid and he knew a lot of the old time ‘bosses’. I had been good friends with the mayor of Las Vegas so I was very aware of many things Las Vegas used to be and was now.  

Within no time I was asked to be on panels with some mobsters. I was invited to be a guest on a talk show discussing customer service, comparing Las Vegas when the Italians ran the city to today’s corporate run Vegas. My research and homework was what I actually lived and witnessed. 

The point is, anyone who wants to write a non fiction book must do the homework. Try to become an expert in the field you are writing about. Also, see what is already out there that is of similar writing to your book which begs the question, “Why is your book better?”

One of the things I decided to inject in my story was some Vegas history. The city had so much colorful history, it was sometimes difficult to decide. I did a lot of research trying to decide which piece of history was relevant to what I was writing.

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Jay, thanks so much for guest blogging. I can see where you might get asked all types of questions about Las Vegas. It is an intriguing town.

A little background on Jay. He was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Hollywood, CA. He worked his way through college inside the locked unit of a psychiatric hospital. He was a Los Angeles County Probation Officer and worked at several detention camps. He received his Master's Degree in clinical psychology. He was a bouncer at a country and western nightclub in Los Angeles and built custom homes in Connecticut and Las Vegas. He now resides in Los Angeles with his 9-year-old son. 
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Jay’s book has won the National Best Books 2010 Award, the Indie Excellence book award in the memoir category, and was the 2011 International Book Award as finalist in the Autobiography/Memoir category. 

For more on Jay and his writing, visit his website at or his tour page at You can also find Jay on tour at the following sites:
November 17th – @ Kritters Ramblings
November 18th – @ Hubpages
November 22nd – @Sugarpeach
November 23rd – @ Journey Reader
November 25th – @ The Book Faery Reviews
November 29th – @ NURTURE Virtual BOOK Tourz™ Blog
November 30th – @ Everyday Is An Adventure

If you’re a writer, do you also get questions not pertaining to your book at signings and such? If you’re a reader, would you question an author just about their book or various topics? Thanks so much for stopping by. Be sure to include your e-mail address if it’s not in your profile. 


  1. Jay, you're writing about a city that fascinates people. All they see or hear is Las Vegas. I love hearing some of the old timers talk about old Vegas. Let's just say my da had friends and I loved hearing the stories.

    I think a story from a doorman's POV would be a fascinating read.

    Sia McKye's Thoughts...OVER COFFEE

  2. Jay, thanks again for guest blogging. Your story sounds intriguing. Wishing you much success.

  3. Sia, thanks for stopping by. Las Vegas is a fascinating city, isn't it?

  4. Las Vegas is a fascinating city. I think if I were asking an author a question it would probably pertain to their story but sometimes a story makes you come up with other questions.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  5. I'm not entering the giveaway..just wanted to say thank you for sharing the great post :)

    I think I would probably start out asking questions about the book and then may branch off to other various topics if the questions came up.

  6. Jay, you have a great background that must be a deep well of inspiration for stories to be told. It's hard to beat someplace like Vegas for writing material. I can see how when you've written a non-fiction that a lot of people expect you to be an expert on a lot of things. Wishing you great success with your book.

    Wonderful guest spot Mason.

    Best selling author Lani Diane Rich visits
    Tossing It Out
    Wednesday November 16th.

  7. Love the interview!

    I like to ask authors a variety of questions. It is good to learn more about who is behind the novel.

  8. Maureen, you're so right about a story leading to other questions. I think that's the fun part of it.

  9. Jaidis, thanks for dropping by and thanks for the opportunity to participate in Jay's tour.

  10. Glynis, thanks and I'm with you. I like learning who's behind the novel too.

  11. What a fascinating background you have, Jay. I agree that there is such a mystique about Vegas that everyone wants to know the stories. Just going there for a visit is like entering another world.

  12. I imagine he could tell some wild stories!

  13. Jay, your book sounds very interesting. There are so many stories that will never be told because someone didn't think they were worth telling.

    I hope to visit Vegas someday.



I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.