Monetizing outrageous anecdotes of fraternity life in a classy blue book. TFM. The Total Frat Move book, authored by Texas State alumnus Ross Bolen, is the newest product born out of the funny and often offensive content of TotalFratMove.com. The website is one where users can submit their own “total frat moves” about topics such as patriotism, drinking, beautiful women and fraternity life in general.
The book follows protagonist Townes Prescott, a freshman who rushes a fraternity and finds it to be everything he hoped for and more. In the first chapter alone, he winds up at a wild “paint your toga” party, gets incredibly drunk, snorts some cocaine, gets laid and avoids the cops.
Bolen spoke to The Star about the book, which hits stores Tuesday.
HO: Tell me about your book.
RB: The book is a fictional humor book that is supposed to be an all encompassing story that truthfully defines fraternity and sorority life for all its ridiculousness and the things that are so great about it.
HO: How did this project start?
RB: I graduated from Texas State in 2010, and I was a journalism major, and the two guys that founded TotalFratMove.com are also Texas State alumni, and they were older members of my fraternity, KA. So, when I graduated, they hired me, and a few months later we had a literary agent, Byrd Leavell, reach out to us and say there was a possibility for a good book to be made with our brand of humor. The reason it was a big deal that he reached out to us is because he represents Tucker Max and Justin Halpern, the guy who did “Sh*t My Dad Says,” and a lot of guys that have done the biggest humor books of all time. It was really exciting. I always wanted to do a book of some kind, but I didn’t know it would be this. I took a stab at it. We wrote a proposal and sold it, and then I wrote the book.
HO: What’s the timeline for this?
RB: I started in March 2011 and it comes out Jan. 15. So, it was a good year of writing and then the rest of it was the publishing process. It took several months to pick out the book cover, have the editors go through it, the copy editor go through it and the proofreader go through it. It was a really slow, long process.
HO: Where did you come up with the ideas for these situations? Was that what frat life was like for you?
RB: None of it is based on my life, but that being said, it’s just really an accurate representation of fraternity life countrywide rolled up into one ball. It wasn’t exactly my Texas State experience, but it’s a combination of what I lived wrapped up with a lot of people that I know, and my experience at Total Frat Move picking up on what’s going on across the country.
HO: What have some of the reactions been to the people who have gotten to read your book so far?
RB: The only people who have read it so far are people who have got advanced copies. I have a few friends who have read it but not all of them. For the most part people seem to like it. We’ve had a good reaction on twitter to the chapters we posted online. It’s done really well, better than I could have dreamed of it doing. It’s been incredible.
HO: Where do you go from here? Are there any plans for a second book?
RB: The more successful it is, the more likely it is we’ll do a second book. I don’t know what that would entail, but it’s something we’ve talked about. It’s a possibility.