Why You Should Help Fund This Book: Discovery’s New TV Program, Backyard Oil

This is part of the So Far Appalachia book project. If you enjoy what you read, please vist my Kickstarter page (and pass this along to any friends who you think might find this interesting).

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I’ve been a passionate advocate for Appalachia for most of my professional life, even though my writing has taken me far away from my home.

Yet at times I’ve wondered if I was just a lone voice screaming in the wind. I’d like to think people have been entertained (and educated) about the place I call home, but I know that my little stories won’t make much of an impact.

I hoped that my book would be part of a larger discussion about Appalachia and America.

Since I launched the project, I’ve been sick with worry that it won’t get funded. (I think that is natural.) My wife and I spend parts of every day reaching out to people we think might be interested in hopes of raising the $250-$300 per day we need to make this a reality.

The process is difficult, and it’s easy to get despondent.

And then this happens.

A friend of mine sent me a note today, and I knew what exactly what to expect when I saw the first line of the press release:

BACKYARD OIL follows the fortunes of the most boot-strappin’ oil men in all of Appalachia – mogul Jimmy Reliford and his sidekick Mad Dog; Coomer, who’s raking in $300-thousand a month thanks to an oil strike in his own backyard; a bearded hillbilly named Rascal; and the Page Boys, a father-son team who can’t help but bicker about everything…except finding that sweet, sweet crude.

If ever I needed a kick in the ass, this was it. This is exactly the reason why I decided to pursue Kickstarter and eschew the traditional publishing world.

The hillbilly minstrel show sells, but it doesn’t make us better. I think we all deserve something more than that.