Hilarious blogger Rodney Lacroix is no stranger to life’s lemons. In his new book, Things Go Wrong For Me: When Life Hands You Lemons, Add Vodka, RL dishes out the original stories that made his pioneer blog readers laugh until they cried. From childhood memories to contraception, parenting and divorce, RL bears it all in a way that’s sure to make you laugh and, hopefully, identify with him–at least a little. Here’s a conversation Rodney and I recently had about his book, his blog, and how he’s arrived at this point in his career.
SF: Okay, so, first thing: what made you decide to write your book, Things Go Wrong For Me (when life hands you lemons, add vodka)? How did it come about?
RL: I’ve been writing my blog, midgetmanofsteel.com, for almost 6 years now. And, a friend of mine, Tim, wrote a book that I ended up reviewing. And he was like, “Why don’t you write a book?” So bam, it was done, that’s how the deal came about.
SF: Okay, and how did you decide on what to write about in the book?
RL: It kind of evolved from my blog. I really like to tell long stories, but that doesn’t fit well with the blog format…people want to get in, read something, and get out. So a lot of this book contains my older material, which lends itself better to storytelling. Basically, I just wanted to put the funny stuff out there and say, “Here’s a bunch of stories, it’s all true. Feel my pain?”
SF: You write about real life stuff. Does that ever get you in trouble?
RL: Umm…yeah! To put it in perspective, I’m divorced. And honestly, I think the blog is probably one of the reasons for that.
SF: Is there a specific kind of impact you’re trying to achieve with your writing—both your book and your blog?
RL: I just want to make people laugh. When I’m out with people, I’m kind
of a standoffish person until you get to know me. After that, I’m an improv guy, and that’s how I write. I don’t know exactly what I’m going to write until I start typing. And if it doesn’t make me laugh, I don’t write it.
SF: Are there any writers or comedians that inspire you?
RL: The one guy who I really “got” was Sam Kinison. I loved his in-your-face style. I’m just going to say it, I don’t give a shit! That’s kind of the style I go for.
SF: When did you first start writing?
RL: Well I’ve been writing all my life. But in 2007, this guy I worked with was like, “Hey I’m gonna start a blog!” And I was like, “A what?” I’d never heard of it. He explained it to me and I’m like, “Sign me up!” So I started my blog and began posting stories that had all my friends dying laughing.
SF: Is there anything you’d like to say specifically to your readers?
RL: I wouldn’t have been able to do this without their support. I’ve had people come out, I’ve done MC events, done some stand-up events and that’s been pretty awesome. So my fans are people who read me, they’ve been sticking with me through all this stuff, and they’re spreading the word and helping me out, and I appreciate it so much.
SF: What kind of advice would you give to people that want to be writers, want to have a career in writing, want to publish a book? What would you say to them?
RL: Don’t do it! No, I’m just kidding. I think the biggest thing is don’t be afraid to ask. If you have an idea and you need help, just ask someone you think can get it done. The worst they can say is no, right?
SF: Absolutely! Do you have plans for another book?
RL: Yes! It’s going to involve some newer stories, and I’ve already started writing some of them. Once I get going, things just sort of flow—I’ve never experienced writer’s block. So it’s going to be interesting to see where it goes.
If it ever seems like the stars don’t always align perfectly in every facet of your life, you’ll definitely want to read Rodney’s new book! You can also read his blog, Mental Poo, at www.midgetmanofsteel.com. And if your life is somehow perfect 24/7, Rodney’s work will still make you laugh until you can barely see straight—and you’ll learn a few things about life and writing while you’re at it!