With great satisfaction and considerable relief, I'd like to announce the publication of my first book, HARDBARNED! One Man's Quest for Meaningful Work in the American South.
HARDBARNED! is finally available in paperback or for Kindle, but I still like reading books made out of paper, and I'm hoping a few of you do too. The book features 24 badass illustrations by my badass wife, the fabulous artist Tarri Driver, as well as a few old photographs.
I'd love it if you could do me a real solid and buy it, read it, and leave a review on Amazon, and if you're interested in spreading the word to anyone who might be interested, in person and via your social networks of choice (if you do that sort of thing) I'd be incredibly grateful.
Thanks so much for tuning in and spreading the word about HARDBARNED!, and for your continued interest and support! I'm posting the official press release followed by the book's back-cover copy below.
Cheers and many thanks again,
Unique New Memoir is Totally Relatable, Irresistibly Funny
Eastern Tennessee (August 23, 2016)—Anyone feeling abandoned on the career-go-round; anyone disillusioned with a job, knowing they have much more to offer; and anyone struggling to make use of a liberal arts education in the post-recession era will undoubtedly relate to debut author Christopher J. Driver in:
HARDBARNED! One Man’s Quest for Meaningful Work in the American South.
This humorous memoir provides an honest account of the job-related challenges Driver encountered while trying to embark on a writing career and make use of his investment in higher learning. Readers familiar with the puzzle of building a career on a humanities-based education will undoubtedly laugh with a knowing nod.
Christopher J. Driver wants to earn his living as a writer but finds that even with two undergraduate degrees and a master’s degree in English, he cannot get his foot in anyone’s door. During this period of perpetual job-application rejection, Driver unwittingly accepts a job as a truck driver, delivering and repossessing portable storage barns throughout the Deep South, which brings him down a road of unimaginable adventures, full of unforgettable characters and encounters that range from dangerous to outright hilarious. Satirical illustrations by artist Tarri Driver enhance the experience.
HARDBARNED! offers a fresh and darkly funny glimpse into what one man will do to make a living in the wake of constant failure to capitalize on his education, and how he finally finds a way to do what he loves—by writing about the job he often felt he hated. Though they’ll find no tidy resolution, readers will discover humor in Driver’s struggle, while empathizing and sharing his steadfast motivation to become the determiners of their own destinies, amid their own quests for meaningful, satisfying work.
About the Author
Someone once told Christopher J. Driver that he had "gentle eyes." Chris loves sci-fi movies, wrote his master's thesis on Blade Runner and finds Soderbergh's version of Solaris underrated. The Star Wars prequels are dead to him, but he really liked THX-1138. Chris loves the work of Terry Gilliam, thinks Michael Keaton was the best Batman and that Grosse Pointe Blank and Planes, Trains and Automobiles are masterpieces.
Spoiler alert: Chris finally found a writing job. Today, he writes a variety of content for a digital advertising agency. He has written marketing materials for software developers and worked as a technical writer in the healthcare field. He has published freelance, academic and popular culture works, edited a variety of books and essays and continues to author a wide range of content. Above all, he considers his writing skills versatile and hopes to one day actually earn a living writing for (or on) books, film, music, games and comics. HARDBARNED! is his first book. Chris blogs at www.hardbarned.com.
Overeducated and underemployed? In love with learning but stumped on how to translate it into a paycheck? Desperately striving to make your seemingly useless liberal arts education work for you in any sort of satisfying or meaningful way? Trying to simultaneously engage your interests, skillset and values and still pay the bills while pleading for another student loan deferment? I feel your pain and have stories to share, but if you’re looking for inspirational uplift, self-help or a life coach, please look elsewhere.
HARDBARNED! One Man’s Quest for Meaningful Work in the American South is a darkly comic, brutally honest and introspective memoir about working for a living—without being able to shake the feeling that there has got to be more to it than that.
Christopher J. Driver, unable to land a writing job after completing two undergraduate degrees, for three years worked a series of crappy jobs in construction, landscaping, retail, warehouses, hotels and restaurants between tours in a van with his DIY punk band. He then decided to go back to school, but a master’s degree in English didn’t open any doors either. Again failing completely in his attempts to find full-time employment as a professional writer, after a brief stint in computer sales, he drove a truck for the next three years—delivering and repossessing portable storage barns throughout several states in the rural, southern USA.
Constantly pleading with employers across a plethora of industries for a mere entry-level opportunity to prove himself as a writer, he plunged into the daily unknown—a multi-state, rural trucking adventure built on unpredictable encounters with a revolving cast of indelible characters, including drunken rednecks, scumbag salesmen, menacing highway patrol officers and at least seven lovely individuals—amid a perpetual tsunami of malfunctioning equipment, fire, mud, blood, shit, dogs, danger and existential ennui—the likes of which he had never imagined.
Inspired and anchored by his three-year, post-graduate tour-de-barns, and featuring powerful illustrations by his lovely wife, the multi-talented artist Tarri Driver, HARDBARNED! reflects on a quarter-century of one man's desperate search for meaningful work in the American South. With an irresistibly self-deprecating narrative, HARDBARNED! offers a revealing look into the insane (and often entertaining) lengths that one person will go to earn an honest living while making use of his education.