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Author Interview with David Kravetz (my kindred quirky traveler!) about his brand new book

Author Interview: David Kravetz’s “Unique Town Names” 

Today I’m bringing you an interview with first-time author, but longtime writer, photographer and quirky traveler, David Kravetz. Does his name sound familiar? Readers of this blog may recall his wonderful guest post “All About Jackalopes.”

[Disclosure: Some of these links may be affiliate links, which means I earn a few pennies at no additional expense to you if you click on them and make a purchase.]

Author of Less Beaten Paths of America: Unique Town Names (c) David Kravetz
Author of Less Beaten Paths of America: Unique Town Names (c) David Kravetz

 

David Kravetz: Kindred Quirky Traveler

I met David Kravetz several years ago on Twitter, and I immediately realized he is a kindred spirit. We both love exploring offbeat and overlooked places, and are especially fond of the quirky and humorous. We have even met in person!

David is a prolific blogger and photographer who has lived and worked all over the world, including China and Japan. He speaks Japanese fluently and has worked as a translator. There are so many things I could share with you about this talented fellow, but let’s dive in and hear all about his new book!

Author of Less Beaten Paths of America: Unique Town Names (c) David Kravetz
Author of Less Beaten Paths of America: Unique Town Names (c) David Kravetz

Interview: Less Beaten Paths of America – Unique Town Names by David Kravetz

TUI:  I’m so excited about your new book, David! I’ve seen it already and it’s GREAT, but please tell my readers all about it.
DAVID: The new book is entitled Less Beaten Paths of America: Unique Town Names.  It is Volume 1 of a planned 12 volumes detailing my travels across the United States.  This first issue looks at Unique Town Names such as Uncertain, Tightwad, Hell, Intercourse, Success and many more.
It covers towns from Boring, Oregon to Sandwich, NH and tells my firsthand stories of these interesting places.  Unlike many books about unique town names, my stories are all firsthand.
I have been to every one of the places mentioned in the book and include photos and anecdotal stories.  I have included maps in each chapter.  Nearly 50 unique towns are covered in this book.  Future books will include Quirky Places and Things, National Parks, Highways, Metal Sculptures, Wall Art and more.
Author of Less Beaten Paths of America: Unique Town Names (c) David Kravetz
Author of Less Beaten Paths of America: Unique Town Names (c) David Kravetz
TUI: Please explain your travel philosophy. What inspires you? What is your travel mindset?
DAVID: My main philosophy is “Enjoy the Ride.” When traveling alone, or with interested family and friends, the trips are grueling — from sunup to sundown.  I typically stop somewhere after sunset…you can’t see places in the dark!   As for the inspiration — I love the creativity of small town Americans.  The art, the humor, the whimsy.  If you aren’t on a back road you will miss it all.
Author of Less Beaten Paths of America: Unique Town Names (c) David Kravetz
Author of Less Beaten Paths of America: Unique Town Names (c) David Kravetz
TUI: How do you plan your quirky road trips? Are there any tips or tricks you can share with us? Any favorite travel apps, sites, or tools that you use?
DAVID: My “quirky” road trips are rarely “totally” planned.  I usually have a “destination” such as a family members’ house or a business destination.  I then look at a map and figure out a couple of “back roads” ways of getting there.
As long as I am not in a massive hurry, I just take what might be the most interesting route.  I then look at the roads and look for unique town names, state parks, or other things.  I then use the handy-dandy Roadside America app to see if there are any quirky or fun looking places not too far off the path.
Then I look at Google for the towns along the way and click on the Images tab to see if there are any interesting things in said places. I am typically willing to drive up to 30 minutes away for an unusual treat.
Finally, I just use my “quirk sense” as I drive through the small towns.  My eyes are always wide open and on the look out for something odd, or a mural, or a chainsaw carving or an old movie theater or ghost sign.
Author of Less Beaten Paths of America: Unique Town Names (c) David Kravetz
David is also a talented nature photographer! (c) David Kravetz
TUI: Seeing all the fun selfies that you share online has inspire me to take more of them! What are your thoughts on selfies? Do you think they get a bad rap? Should we all be taking more selfies? Why or why not?
DAVID: Indeed, I have nicknamed myself as the “Shamelessly Self-Proclaimed Selfie King.”  I take dozens of selfies a week.  With the technology of mobile devices and the cloud, selfies are great way to document where you’ve been.  “I don’t care where I’m going, I just want to see where I have been.”
I think everyone should take more selfies.  I am a journal writer and love to document my life for my posterity (I have 10 grandchildren).  What better way than to take selfies? Fun, serious or downright goofy, they tell the story about David Kravetz.
If others don’t like them, I’m fine with that.  Do “selfies” get a bad rap?  Sure they do.  But who cares?
I can look back on my selfies from Okay, Oklahoma or Winner, South Dakota and remember the trip.  I can review my selfies from Cadillac Ranch (TX), Carhenge (NE), Jurustic Park (WI) or Yellowstone (WY) and cherish the moments all over again.
Author of Less Beaten Paths of America: Unique Town Names (c) David Kravetz
Author of Less Beaten Paths of America: Unique Town Names (c) David Kravetz
TUI:  Do you have a favorite travel anecdote to share with us, David? Something surprising, funny, or fun?
DAVID: I have many anecdotal stories.  Perhaps my favorite was a “fail.”  On a trip to New England in 2016, we were heading back to Connecticut from Maine.  As always, we were on back roads.  I had the goal of hitting New Hampshire and Vermont as the last of my 50 states.
We left Portland, ME after seeing the wonderful lighthouse, and headed towards NH.  I had set my mind on taking a round about way to get there by going through Sandwich, NH.  I wanted to say “I ate a sandwich in Sandwich, NH.”  We got there and couldn’t find a place that had sandwiches.  I even went to the town hall and was told we would have to go out of town for that.
There was NO PLACE in Sandwich to get a sandwich!! (This story is in my first book.)
Another one comes from Tightwad, Missouri.  I was there and went for breakfast at the Tightwad Cafe.  There was a sign on the door that said “We don’t take credit cards.”
I asked Carrie, the owner, why not.  She said, “Ironically, I am not a tightwad, but I don’t want to pay the credit card service charges.  So, we only take cash.”
Ha!!  You can’t make these up!
Author of Less Beaten Paths of America: Unique Town Names (c) David Kravetz
Less Beaten Paths of America: Unique Town Names (c) David Kravetz
TUI: How can we find you and your book online?
My book, Unique Town Names, is on Amazon: Click here for the paperback and click here for the Kindle ebook. Those who purchase the paperback can receive the ebook, too, at no additional charge!
As for finding me online:
Travel Blog – Less Beaten Paths
Best Photos for Purchase site – Sumoflam Photography
A HUGE repository of my travel photos can be seen (and purchased) at SmugMug.com

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Tui Snider

Tui Snider is an author, speaker, and photographer who specializes in quirky, haunted, and downright bizarre destinations. As she puts it, “I used to write fiction – but then, I moved to Texas!” Snider's writing and photography have been featured in a variety of publications, including Coast to Coast AM, FOX Travel News, LifeHack, Langdon Review, the City of Plano, Wild Woman Waking, Shades of Angels and more. Snider’s award-winning books include Paranormal Texas, The Lynching of the Santa Claus Bank Robber, and Unexpected Texas. Snider has several more books in progress, including a Field Guide to Cemetery Symbols and a book about the Great Texas Airship Mystery of 1897. Tui has worn a lot of hats in her life – literally – and is especially fond of berets. She enjoys connecting with writers and readers all over the globe through social media, her newsletter and her website: TuiSnider.com.
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4 Comments

  1. Hey! You know someone in Okay, OK!

    I read “Passing Gas: And Other Towns Along the American Highway” by Gary Gladstone several years ago, and loved it. I’ll have to check out David’s books too!

    • Haha! What a great book title. I’ll have to look for that one. You’ll love David’s stuff. He takes great pics, is very punny, and has a great eye for spotting quirky places. Thanks for dropping by, Bob!

  2. Tui:Thanks so much for such a nice post!! It was fun!!

    • Yay! I’m so excited about your book. The whole series is going to really put you on the map – isn’t that what we travel authors want? :)

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