I am gearing up for my first online virtual book tour experience with www.virtualbooktourcafe.com this weekend from November 17-20th. Here are the 3 blogs I have prepared in order to chat with potential readers. Register on the Virtual Tour Cafe website for a chance to win and to chat with me about the book. I welcome questions and curiosity. I work as a female electrician for the past 18 years in New York, US. I have lots of funny jobsite stories and a unique perspective on work and life in general. I hope to hear from readers online soon! Have a good day!
Leslie M. Jasper
10 Things Reader's Would Be Surprised To Know About You
1. I grew up on the southern Oregon coast in a town called Coos Bay, Oregon. I joined and entered the military two weeks after I graduated from high school.
2. There is a plaque that is still up on the wall in the gym announcing that I still hold the record for bench pressing the most as a female. Apparently, no high school student has broken that record yet.
3. Due to being 17 years old, my dad had to give consent for me to join the U.S. Navy. I learned that I was mechanically inclined from taking the ASFAB exam. My two choices at the military processing center was to either become a construction electrician in the Seabees or an airplane mechanic on an aircraft carrier.
4. I won the ironwoman challenge title in U.S. Navy bootcamp out of 87 other women in my company. I was on the rifle team as well.
5. I played the trumpet from 5th grade up to 11th grade. I changed high schools my senior year so I decided to not play my last year. I had consumed myself with practicing and taking it very seriously in middle and high school.
6. Despite being a construction worker, I am a very laid back and easy going person. I don’t like to get worked up about things or stress on them too hard.
7. I am a single woman and rather old fashioned when it comes to dating. I like to date one guy at a time and prefer for him to make the moves and pursue me. I have no interest in dating fellow construction workers. I prefer to date men in a totally different field.
8. I married a man from the U.S. Marines while we were stationed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. We married and relocated to New York. He died in a motorcycle accident 3 days before my birthday and I buried him on my 21st birthday.
9. I can actually say I worked while pregnant in a trench spinning rigid pipe. I did not tell anyone I was pregnant until I was almost 6 months along. I worked outside in January until I was 31 weeks along back in 2005. My coworkers thought I was crazy and had a lot of respect for me due to my strength and determination to not quit.
10. I have owned a house since I was 20 years old. I have demolished almost every wall in the house. I do my own framing, sheetrock, electrical, and painting. I do not like to mess with cement or taping. Everything else is fair game.
How Do You Keep Your Writing Different
My writing is different because my experiences in life are unique from most people. I work as a female electrician in a trade that is dominated by men. I am accustomed and think, at times, like men more so than women. The men that I work with are straight forward and say what is on their mind. That way of thinking is transferred into my writing as well. Due to the daily exposure to men and their different personalities, I have a great understanding of what makes men function. My book tells the reader about how difficult it was to first enter the construction field. I was not welcomed with open arms. I pushed on and did what I needed to do despite that and never gave up. I have had to work through a lot of negative energy and pressure to perform my job over the years.
This has helped to shape how I work and think as well. By most standards, I am workaholic and tie in one’s character to their work ethic. In my book, I speak about my analysis of how different type of people are treated in a construction work environment. This can be the slacker, go-getters, minorities, and women. I also talk about the mentality of the average construction worker in my book. Most people I work with push the envelope and do as they wish.
I have a difficult time sugar coating anything I say since I am used to being able to be honest and direct at work. My honest and direct approach seeps into my writing as well. Due to my years of working around men, I refuse to complain about anything and maintain a positive attitude. They would be expecting me to complain about conditions. I know this to be true so I refuse to discuss jobsite issues at work. I’d rather hear my co-workers complain about issues amongst themselves. I did speak about my challenges I encountered during my apprenticeship in the book. The point of writing about that was to let the reader know what I was faced with during that time period. I view my writing as uplifting and a success story that emerged from difficult times. My writing reflects my motivation and drive to succeed no matter how difficult the situation may be. I also refuse to allow obstacles stand in my way.
Why Book Covers are So Important
I believe book covers are very important since they are supposed to catch the reader’s attention. Within seconds, the reader should be able to get an idea of what the book is going to be about. Since my book is about working in the electrical industry, the lightning bolts seemed very appropriate. I also wanted to represent the power of my choice to enter this field and earn my journeywoman’s card. This was despite to the many challenges and hurdles I had faced along the way in order to finish my apprenticeship. I was hoping that they would be eye catching as well. Since I am a female working in a man’s field, the hard hat on the cover needed to be pink. I would not actually wear a pink hard hat at work. I would be made fun of by my coworkers. Therefore, I would find that choice undesirable.
The phallic symbol was also placed on the pink hard hat in order to re-enforce that point that the book is about a female’s construction work experience. I used the hard hat, pliers, and screwdriver and shaped them into the female phallic symbol. I didn’t want to put the actual symbol on the hard hat. However, I was talked into placing it on the hard hat after a few discussions. Despite it being obvious to me, not everyone would get it that the hard hat and tools were positioned to form the female phallic symbol.
The title should also catch the potential reader’s attention. Based on the title, the reader should know that the book will be about a bunch of construction jobsite stories. These stories are told by a woman who entered the industry and became an electrician. The reader should also know that there are going to be more stories released on the horizon in additional volumes. My intent of the book cover was to provide a million words in the matter of seconds to the eye.