Celebrating Texas Writers Month with us today is Joe Nick Patoski (Wimberley).
Comment by May 26 to win a copy of Patoski’s 2011 release, Generations on the Land: A Conservation Legacy, courtesy of Texas A&M Press. Increase your chances of winning by subscribing to this blog through Feedburner. Giveaway for U.S. residents only.
Joe Nick’s most recent biography is Willie Nelson: An Epic Life, released after his earlier biographies of Selena and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
In 2003-4, Joe Nick recorded the oral histories of B.B. King, Clarence Fountain of the Blind Boys of Alabama, Memphis musician and producer Jim Dickinson, Tejano superstar Little Joe Hernandez, and 15 other subjects for the Voice of Civil Rights oral history project, some of which appeared in the book My Soul Looks Back in Wonder by Juan Williams, and rode on the The Voices of Civil Rights bus tour, a 70 day journey across the nation where personal oral histories on civil rights were collected for the Library of Congress.
UT Press has published his coffee table books–Texas Mountains, Texas Coast, and Big Bend National Park. He spent 18 years as a staff writer for Texas Monthly and more recently has written for the Texas Observer, National Geographic, No Depression, People magazine, Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine, Field & Stream, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Big Bend Sentinel, Southwest Spirit, American Way, the Austin Chronicle, Harp, and TimeOut New York, among others. He also contributed an essay to the photo book Conjunto by John Dyer.
Joe Nick serves as a Grammy Crafts Committee Judge for the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences.
An avid swimmer and kayaker, the author is currently collaborating with Eddie Wilson, founder of the Armadillo World Headquarters, on his memoirs.
Q. Are you a native Texan or did you get here as soon as you could?
A. I was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania. My family moved to Fort Worth when I was two. I’ve been trying to figure out Texas and Texans ever since.
Q. How did you end up writing nonfiction?
A. I always did well in English composition in junior high and high school. With encouragement of my teachers and the appearance of publications such as Rolling Stone, Creem, and Crawdaddy, I got it in my head to pursue music journalism as a career path, such as it was, two years out of high school, while knocking around several colleges and also pursuing a career path as a radio disc jockey. So it started with music and has expanded over the years to a larger canvas. Music is one of the paths to getting into a culture. So are food and sports.
Q. What book marketing activities made you a bestselling author?
A. I’m not sure if my website, blog, and Facebook activity have much to do with whatever reading audience I’ve cultivated. I attribute it more to working as a staff writer at Texas Monthly for 18 years, Rolling Stone for six years in the 1970s, and writing for other publications, most with Texas somewhere in the title.
Q. Tell us about your latest release. Is it set in Texas?
A.Two of the nine families profiled in my most recent book, Generations on the Land: A Conservation Legacy (Texas A&M Press) are in Texas. My next book, an unauthorized cultural history of the Dallas Cowboys, is all about Texas. My writing is pretty much informed by Texas.
Q. Where can we pay you a virtual visit?