This is the blog for author Al W Moe. I’ve been writing fiction and non-fiction for plenty of years now. I’ve got a long series of posts on About.com/Casino Gambling, and I write a historical blog at Nevada Casino History. Is that enough? No, not for me.
I’m also the author of seven books under my own name and about a dozen books that I ghostwrote or helped finish. The truth is, I just really like to write. If you saw me in high school you’d be freaked out by now.
I struggled through English Comp classes during my senior year. I didn’t like my teachers very much and once in a while I was late to class. Probably because I forgot to get out of bed, or stopped on the way to school for breakfast at McDonald’s. Whatever, right? I didn’t like being forced to write, and I didn’t like reading my paper to the whole class. You know, in a national poll, people rated “Speaking in Public” as their biggest fear. Dying came in second.
Anyway, for some ungodly reason the writing stuck with me, as bad as I was at it, and by the following year, I was doing a mail order newsletter, two-pages, every month. I wrote articles, sold ad space, got the thing printed. It was terrible. I misspelled headlines, had no sense of sentence structure or tense, and left big gaps of blank space on the pages. You could throw darts at my front page and miss the text fifty percent of the time. Disaster, and yet I managed to break even.
By the following year I’d morphed to four pages each month and shortly after that while attending Cal State Stanislaus I managed to start making a profit. Dumb luck, but I was happy. Then I found casinos.
After giving school, writing and my future a long hard look I quit school and moved to Lake Tahoe to play blackjack full time. Excellent choice! Ah, the things you do when you haven’t yet turned 21. Casinos were outrageously important to me at that age. I loved them. I lived in them, the way others my age lived in college dormitories or their little rooms at home with their parents.
I lived in South Lake Tahoe, Reno, Las Vegas, and played in Atlantic City and the Bahamas. I made more money at blackjack than I did writing articles for Gambling Times and Poker Player, bought a house in Reno, and started selling old casino memorabilia through my own 8-12 page quarterly magazine I called Casino Chips and Gaming Tokens.
When I felt that the casino chip business was dropping off, I wrote a book called Nevada’s Golden Age of Gambling. No editor would touch the book, so I figured I could print and sell it myself. How hard could it be?
If you thought that was a lead-in to a joke, it wasn’t. My final draft was rough, dozens of grammatical errors and typos, but I had a niche audience, and I worked hard. The book went through two 2500-copy printings of 8×11 paperback before I hooked up with Amazon Kindle and Createspace. Now all I have to do is a little marketing for the book and royalties get direct-deposited to my bank. I’m a genius, right?
Well, not exactly. I worked while I was writing that book, and after I wrote the book, and while I wrote other books. Fortunately, most of the time I was employed in casinos, which I loved, so it wasn’t too bad. Right now, I’m living in Hawaii and writing full time. It took a long time, but here I am with my wife and daughters. It wouldn’t have happened without my wife’s support, but that’s another story.
Thanks for reading. I’ll have more soon.