Writer, Shay Serano, Houston discussed on The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz
Hey everyone welcome back to south beach sessions. I'm Mike Ryan the executive producer. The content train here at South Beach sessions keeps running this week. We have a really fascinating interview with Shay Serano. Now a lot of you may already know. Shaves her on a lot of you may follow him on twitter. He has been a bit of a newsmaker recently as New York Times just profiled him on one of the several giveaways that he's done on his twitter account here during the corona crisis. He's a New York Times Bestseller Shea. Serrano is a very popular writer. Bill Simmons sort of brought him into the mainstream. We'll talk to him about that in just a little bit. But he's a name that certainly been on your radar. Even if you're outside of Sports Shea. Serano has sort of infiltrated pop culture. Barack Obama gave him the endorsement. And since then he's been a rocket ship so dan Le Batard catches up with Shay Serano on this week's episode of South Sessions. We really hope that you enjoy it. We're trying to keep the content going out there even though it's pretty surreal time without further ado here is Dan Le Batard interviewing Shea Serrano on South beach sessions. I have never heard of a story like yours where someone goes and becomes a three time consecutive New York Times bestseller. But you don't have any training in writing. Can you explain like it's crazy? How is it that you arrive in a place where your deciding to write as a living when this is not something you'd ever considered before you're suddenly writing for living? The short version of the story is Larry Main. That's my wife. We were young and getting married and working at middle school teachers and that was the job we thought we were going to do for the rest of our lives. It was like a job that was very important to me and we were excited about and when you're a teacher you don't make the money. Maybe you know between the two of us. We were making a eighty five grand a year or something. Which if it's just two people and you know I live in a little apartment and Houston. That's not a problem. You're doing pretty great But we're getting married. She got pregnant with twins and there was a medical complications and suddenly she couldn't work anymore. About four months into the pregnancy. She had to be on bed rest so we went from two people making eighty five grand a year to one person now probably making about forty two and responsible all of a sudden for what was going to be four mouth twelve mills every single day and I do. I just needed extra money. We needed to figure out how to bridge that gap. Because you're making at the time. Twenty two hundred bucks a month or something like that and my my My rent rent was sixteen hundred alone in our car. Payment was four hundred. There's two thousand bucks like we're screwed is what we're looking at so I just started trying to find it. You know Part time job and those applying at target Papuan places like this work at a grocery store waiter and Each time went on interview. They would tell me. Oh we can't hire you. 'cause you're you're working when we needed to work because you already have full time jobs so the thing. I don't work so I was straight up at home. Just googling work jobs writer was one of the ones on the list. The requirements for the writing part of it it said as you just basically an internet and the computer and I had both of those things so I was like. Oh let's give this a try here. We go that's crazy and so you decide to start writing. And what is the back story on? How much writing you had done before that at any point in your life. Did you have any inkling that you were good writer? Now is a miserable writer. I got really bad grades at school and like straight up. I get to college and then I go your your test. Scores are really bad. You'RE GONNA have to take remedial classes like this level of. Academic Rigor is what we receiving in South San Antonio. So I don't know I I didn't think of any good at it. I certainly definitely was not good at it but I unfortunately Laremy had worked at the College newspaper so she had at least a little bit of a background in there she was able to walk me through how to build up a story or how to you know. Write a thing or a how to use a comma but like that's where we were but No there was. No there was no No history there. You GotTa do the thing to make the money so I'm going to go the other thing that make money so the early stages it's like the movie the wife with Glenn Close where she's the actual writer. Yeah that's that's the best way to put it the first time ever. Somebody hasn't mentioned the wife to me who is not named Sean fantasy or Amanda Oven. And so how how long? How long did it take before you got past fear and doubt or? Was there no time for fear and doubt with writing as a way to make extra money? Because you're too busy hustling because you've got mouths to feed. I think there's always time her mirror doubt even after all these years. I'm still afraid every time I've publisher thing I had to go up. Yesterday I was nervous about people reading. That's just the way that it works. But it's like everybody has that sort of your you. You just can't let us stop you from doing the thing that needs to get done so sure we were. We were scared. We were nervous but like what are the options here. You're either GonNa do the work or you're not going to do the work either way. You're going to be afraid so let's get started but who the hell does that though. I have no experience writing. Is it because there were so few other options that you couldn't work from home so this was what were the other options work from home that you chose writing when you didn't have an affinity for writing artwork that were? I mean it's all the same stuff they're still out there now. That could be a mystery shopper. And make two hundred dollars to go to a place or you. Don't you want. Maybe you could possibly be a bartender to bartender. School like there are a bunch of little little houses at that. Everybody was mentioning. You could do but again i. I had a very small amount of time that I could do the work in and I couldn't take time off of teaching to do this thing. So writing was just the one that made the most sense and then of course. I didn't know at the time writing was supposed to go to one and make money but the books that I was reading the stories that are reading online. It's like oh how you make six figures as a freelance. I was like Oh sure. People are getting paid while they're doing this. This this is what I need to do If I'm looking at the bills that we had to pay versus the money that we have coming in I think we needed like seven or eight hundred bucks extra a month to get by laws like well shoot. I could probably find this if I'm doing writing like if people are making six figures I should be able to make six hundred bucks a month And that's just how all of that stuff started. I think maybe by the end of the first year I was making a thousand bucks a month. Just straight up putting a bunch of blog posts or little articles. I like that and then you just start to build and build and and get the bigger places and they pay a little more money in there. You go again you know. We're just trying to pay some bills all that it was not like this wasn't a curving that. I thought I was trying to take that grow up. Dreaming of being a writer. This to me was no different than if I was painting. Houses with one of my uncles. Doing you know the allegation was one on my uncle's like it's just the job that needs to get done and this is one that I can do so I'll do that. So what are the details on where you started writing and how much you were being paid for writing and who was reading it. I don't imagine anybody who is reading the very first thing that Roque was for this loan neighborhood newsletter that This husband and wife were printing up like literally in their garage printing it up themselves and then handing it out. It's called the near northwest. Banner and I've I've found that little paper at a pizza place that we used to go to kiosk with a bunch of different like you know little publications that are in there and I grabbed. All of them are just flip and reach one and try to find email addresses and starting every single person that I could and Francis was the woman's name and whenever forget her name. She emailed me back and she was like. Oh yeah this sounds cool. We can somebody write about sports. Do you know about sports and I I. I didn't know a lot but enough to just say yes two incomes. GonNa ask if I could do a thing so it was like. Oh Yeah I know a lot about sports. So of course and then she asked me to write about the Houston Texans. I wrote a season preview about about them and then later she asked me to write about a correct view. I believe he was retiring at the time or something like that. And then I use those two pieces to move on to the to the next place and then started pitching to the Houston press which was a little bit bigger a little bit more prestigious and Houston and then that was really where things sort of started to to turn because that was like a proper publication or as a woman who worked at name name Margaret Downing the editor in chief Super Super Smart newspaper person and she would not let you like right your way around anything. She was just straight up. Here's how you do this. This is how you'd be good at secures interested in all of our people who work for knowing how to do this stuff they needed to get done. Her and this guy named Chris Gray and between the two of them they were taking an active interest and like making their writers better so when I started working under them now the the real parts of the job now. I'm learning how to request information from courthouse or how to interview was subject or how to Structure Story So when I got in there and I knew it was a good spot to be. I just try to stick around as long as I could. I think I worked with them. Three Lansing mind you for about four years or so and after that time then I felt at least confident enough to pitch other places bigger places. I start pitching. Espn MTV Rolling Stone Xl Wa- Anyway. That I could find an email address I going and chasing down that way. So what were some of the first breaks that you got along that path like? What are some of the magazines? How long did it take before you got into some places where you were going to be rid working at a Houston press with his first real break? That I got because Margaret and Chris were there and it was like okay. They're gonNA teach me how to do this Outside of that the first ones where it felt like a cool thing was happening was like that too right..