Sam is a former USAF F4/F15E fighter pilot who currently teaches academics and simulations on F15E fighter aircraft. He has three books on fantasy football. Fantasy Football Guidebook is the award-winning comprehensive guide to playing fantasy football and is “One of the Top 4 fantasy football books of All-Time” (RotoNation.com). Every May he releases “Fantasy Football Almanac” which is the essential fantasy football reference book for that year. Fantasy Football Almanac 2009 will be his third in that series. Sam is currently writing a “best of the best” of his winning strategies.
Fantasy Football Guidebook is an encyclopedia of fantasy football. It includes the history of fantasy football, types of leagues and scoring systems, how to rank players, draft day tips and strategies, roster management skills, injuries, the psychology of fantasy football and much more. This 400-page book represents everything about fantasy football in one single comprehensive reference book. For anyone who loves football Fantasy Football Guidebook is the perfect gift and especially anyone involved in fantasy football.
2. How did you get started as a writer?
I took a year off from work and decided I wanted to contribute something to what I feel is one of the greatest hobbies (fantasy football). Ok, my wife wanted me out of her hair too. On rainy days when I could not play golf, I may have been in her way in the house. At the time, I had played FF for over 17 years but when I looked for a book on the subject, there were few out there.
I wrote Fantasy Football Guidebook because there were no definitive books on fantasy football. The existing books fell into two categories: very basic or self-promoting. None presented all of their fantasy football knowledge just to make players better.
3. What does a typical day look like for you?
Well since I am still working with the USAF as an instructor, it is charmed. I get up early (6 AM), and try to go to the gym before showing at work. I usually have one or two flight simulators scheduled for the day. I will brief the flight crews on the scenario they will face and then I work the console and orchestrate what events they experience in the simulator. I am their ATC controllers, the enemy they fly against in the other aircraft or on the ground and the one who gives them malfunctions in their own jets. Occasionally, I will fly in one of the cockpits to stay current.
The fantasy football year goes something like this:
Jan-Feb: Off to watch the NFL playoffs.
March-April: Work on the annual Fantasy Football Almanac
May: Expert drafts and rankings/projections for national magazines
June: Free time, vacation
July-August: Participate in Fantasy Football drafts for leagues in which I compete.
Sep-Dec: Manage FF leagues, blog, MB.
As far as writing and fantasy football, the weekends are my work.
4. Describe your desk/workspace.
I have an orange tabby cat that always accompanies me to the computer room. She likes to look out the window and then to sleep by the computer, the gentle hum of the key strokes lulls her to sleep. I have a bookshelf behind me with tons of reference books. On occasion, I will take my laptop to the TV room and work while watching some football oriented television. I have a PDA that I use to write in when I get inspiration away from the computer.
5. Favorite books (especially for writers)
1) The Self-Publishing Manual-Dan Poynter
2) Bryson’s Dictionary for Writers and Editors-Bill Bryson
3) Wealthy Barber-David Chilton (because you need to know how to invest your hard earned royalties)
4) The Time Traveler’s Wife-Audrey Niffenegger (what a great book-really loosens the imagination)
5) Love in the Time of Cholera-Gabriel Garcia Marquez (a special love story)
6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you
1) I am married to a beautiful, former open-heart surgery nurse, who is Danish. Her name is Birgitte. We have been fighting over computer time since she has opened her own shop http://www.SewDanish.etsy.com where she sells Scandinavian Textile Art, Unique Hand Made Supplies
2) A ran with the Bulls in Pamplona at the festival of San Fermin in 2000. Without a doubt the scariest and stupidest thing I have ever done, yet I am quite proud of it.
3) I lived and worked in Saudi Arabia for over three years and that is where I met my lovely wife. We went on our honeymoon first (a trip around the world) before we were married and met the in-laws.
7. Favorite quote
“There are three kinds of people in this world: those that can count and those that cannot.” Unknown
“Quantity has a quality all its own” Napoleon
“It has been my experience that folks who have no vices, have very few virtues” Abe Lincoln
8. Best and worst part of being a writer
Both the best and worst is the attention. At times, it is great being asked your opinion on various topics and to feel the importance of those words, but at other times, you just want to scream, “Make up your own mind”
9. Advice for other writers
1) Write something every day. Even if it is just in your blog.
2) Do not start at the first page of a new book; instead write the chapter you feel most comfortable with first. The rest will come.
3) Always let others review and analyze. It will produce a much better product.
10. Tell us a story about your writing experience.
When my first book came out, my author copies had not arrived, so my mother (being the great parent she is) ordered the first purchased book. It arrived several days later and she called me but was not as glowing as I expected. It turns out the cover was from my book but the inside was from another book about “Advanced Mathematics”. We all had a laugh at that start.
Where can people buy your books?
www.FFGuidebook.com includes my blog and information about Fantasy Football Almanac 2009 and my upcoming book.
http://fantasyfootballguidebook.blogspot.com is another popular blog of mine.
Look for my fantasy football rankings in Fantasy Football Index and other magazines in 2009 and my views in a weekly “Ask the Expert” column at www.FantasyIndex.com