What did I stumble onto...
A little primer on what this newsletter is all about
Welcome to Salted Wetzel with a Side of Mustard, my corner of the author world to engage with readers. Along the way, we’re sharing Original Fiction, Fridge Philosophy, The CHOW (The Clueless Hack On Writing), and Extra Mustard.
OK… But who are you?
Writing and storytelling has been a part of my identity for most of my life.
In the Fall of 1990, my first byline appeared in the Foothill High School (Bakersfield, CA) student newspaper The Epic. The article was short, maybe 200 words about some students receiving state recognition for academics. But I was proud. I taped the article on my parents refrigerator. I looked at “By Vince Wetzel” for at least a month. I was hooked. I wanted to write.
I went to college, earned a journalism degree, and was a sportswriter for the Antelope Valley Press and the Oakland Tribune. I loved it, except when I viewed my bank account and I didn’t see my spouse at night. So in 2000, I left newspapers for public relations and California politics and still work in that world today.
During that hiatus, I like to say I wrote three half novels, but my focus was on my family, which meant being a partner to my wife, a youth soccer coach, a driver, Lego master, dance recital fan, school functions attendee, and liver of life while my writing lie dormant.
Forward to 2018. I was getting on a plane to attend a college football game with a buddy. The WiFi and in-flight entertainment were unavailable. I had a laptop and an idea. I wrote the first chapter on the flight. I knew the ending and I had a plan to get through the middle.
That first chapter became Friends In Low Places, my debut novel released in 2021. It tells the story of five friends who go on a trip to the same lake every year for 20 years and you see the evolution of their friendship and how they mature from teens into men.
I’m releasing my second novel on April 2. Lose Yourself takes readers on a journey through the lives of six individuals, each grappling with expectations and choices against the backdrop of the final game of the baseball season.
So here I am…
Part of me was hesitant to create a newsletter. One side of my brain screamed, “You self-serving narcissist. How dare you think that anyone wants to read what you want to say? (and we’ll see if that plays out).” Another part of me was intrigued by the idea of having a space to post original content, stories, thoughts, insta-reactions, etc. outside of the big 4 Social Media Platforms.
What to expect
So, you’ve subscribed. Or you’re thinking of it. And you’re wondering…
Is this dude going to spam me with another newsletter with content I don’t care about?
I feel your pain. How many times do you need to know about another birthday meal deal for Buca di Beppo or the last 12 hours to get up to 65% off of Dodger gear?
Your time and your email space is valuable, so my goal is to respect your time and space with worthy content, including:
Original Fiction: All of my novels and short stories take place in the same universe. The novels are the tent poles that come out every couple of years and these stories will fill out the tapestry. I’ll be updating you on characters you know, while introducing characters from future work. I’m excited about this content. I’m looking at it like end-credit scenes from the Marvel movies - little teasers and new perspectives that link the projects together.
Fridge Philosophies: What started as a passive-aggressive way to provide some helpful advice to my teens by placing inspirational quotes on the refrigerator has become a weekly mantra for me to work better, live intentionally and be present. I’ll be sharing these Fridge Philosophies along with what they mean in my life.
The CHOW: Either it will be my own Clueless Hack on Writing, where I will provide updates on projects and my struggles and triumphs… Or it will be Creative Heroes on Writing with writing friends sharing their perspectives on the creative process.
Extra Mustard: A digest of sports takes, great podcasts I’ve heard, books I’ve read, weird observations, etc.
A work in progress…
My mom says I was the kid who would run and jump off a cliff expecting a vine to grab. So, I’m going to jump off this cliff, learn, grow, and improve. So if you’re an early subscriber, show grace and patience.
Currently, all of this is free and I don’t expect to have paid subscriptions for a while. But eventually, I may have paid subscriptions for archived content. We shall see. Right now, my focus is finding a consistent cadence and sharing it out to the world.
If you’re still here and reading this, it means you are interested in what I write. I appreciate you and can’t wait to share more in the coming years.