Author pokes fun at popular failures

By Joshua Torres
Posted 8/29/18

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – When we go to school we hear every day about the successes of people in history and how it led us to where we are.

But what about their failures? All of those people had to …

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Author pokes fun at popular failures

Posted

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – When we go to school we hear every day about the successes of people in history and how it led us to where we are.

But what about their failures? All of those people had to have failed at some point to finally get to their success.

That’s what Green Cove Springs resident Erik Slader details in his new book series “Epic Fails.”

Slader graduated from Florida State College of Jacksonville with a bachelor’s degree in digital media. It was during this time that he began a blog, “Epik Fails of History,” that would go on to become his new books. Slader and his co-author Ben Thompson currently have two books out, “The Wright Brothers: Nose-Diving into History” and “The Race to Space: Countdown to Liftoff” on Macmillan’s Roaring Brook division.

“It was after I took a humanities class I really started to get really interested in a lot of the history that we’re not really taught in school,” said Slader.

Slader says that writing for him is more of a compulsion.

“I can’t not write, it’s just something that I do, that I need to do and I’m super thankful that I’ve stumbled into a way to, potentially, make some money at it,” said Slader.

Slader eventually reached out to Seattle author Ben Thompson, creator of “Badass of the Week” blog and author of the “Guts and Glory” book series. Slader wanted advice on writing his own book and the two soon formed a friendship and fans of both writers felt that they should collaborate. Thompson is now the co-author of “Epic Fail.”

“Seeing things take off has been amazing,” said Thompson via email, “it’s so satisfying seeing kids and adults across the country posting pictures with the books or sending in kind words telling us how much they’ve enjoyed our work.”

Slader wanted to focus on the failures of history because he feels this is just as important as the success.

“I always thought we learn from our failures,” said Slader. “As for what inspired me to write the Epik Fails of History blog, it’s because history is often told by the winners, so I thought it’d be fun to write about the losers, plus there’s usually more to learn from them.”

Slader had his own share of failures as he received nearly 20 rejection letters before he finally found a publisher, Roaring Brook Press.

“It was one of the greatest moments of my life,” said Slader.

This week, the writing duo were invited to appear at a signing at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C. this January.

Slader said he wants anyone aspiring to write to keep at it and see how his own failures eventually led to success.

“Just keep writing, don’t give up,” said Slader.

Slader and Thompson have two more books in the Epic Fails series that are coming out next year. “Not-So-Great Presidents: Commanders in Chief” will be released January 15, 2019 and “The Age of Exploration: Totally Getting Lost” will come out April 16, 2019.

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