{Guest Post + Giveaway) Tyler Taylor: All Stories Are True

Have I got a treat for everyone! I'm bringing news of a free book that will be debuting this coming June 24. But this is a different kind of book, very experimental on so many levels: you're getting more than just a story—which happen to be true, by the way— you're getting the book in installments, and you're going to get some music too.

Today, I am welcoming musician and author, Tyler Taylor, to share his latest project called The Ruins of Tropicalia. To drum up some buzz, his band The Amends is giving away copies of their CDs and a sweeeet t-shirt! Take it away, Tyler! 

All Stories Are True by Tyler Taylor

It’s hard to tell people about your book when you don’t want to tell them what it’s about. It’s hard to explain your book when it’s not exactly a book at all. It’s hard to objectively discuss your motivations and inspirations as a writer when an alternate version of yourself is also a character crawling across the pages (or at least lurks within the code of an e-reader). And it’s hard to sell a book when it’s free.

These are the hazards you might face when you conduct a public, arguably literary, experiment like the one I (along with my fellow authors) am about to run with The Ruins of Tropicalia. Even if we successfully face those challenges—and navigate abrupt shifts in narrative point of view—like any experiment, it has at least as good a chance of failing as succeeding.

Aloi has graciously given me this space for a guest post, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to talk about the first of those challenges, in case anyone out there has similar issues to overcome. And if this post itself helps me clear that hurdle, so be it.

“What’s it about?”

This is the first question most people ask a writer foolish enough to announce they’ve written something. It’s a valid query, because the answer will be the first gateway along the questioner’s path to decide if it will be worth their time to read. But this writer has questions, too. What if I don’t want to tell? What if I feel like the story should be given a chance to unfold on its own? What if a plot summary necessitated a white lie?

I can’t usually say those things, because I’d be told to piss off. So I say this instead: The Ruins of Tropicalia is a serialized, novel-length adventure story accompanied by the music of indie rock n roll band The Amends...”

I give a straightforward description of parts of the plot: “In early 2014, a group of Americans gathered on a remote Central American peninsula to experience the last days of an unsullied tropical paradise before its development into a corporate retreat for the world’s biggest tech company (you can read the rest in video form here)...” I tell people I was among the group who traveled to Central America, that I witnessed the events described, and that’s why the music of my band is featured. When those of us who came back returned to the US, we each wrote our own version of the events, and I compiled them.

This gives the impression that TROT is a travelogue of sorts. The truth is... well, the truth isn’t particularly relevant in this case. The truth is in the story. And the story is everything taken together—the promotion, the music, the words, and even the delivery mechanism—the medium we’ve chosen—itself.

That’s the reason we chose to release it in this form. Digitally serializing it allows us a freedom to use more than the pages of the book to tell the story. The words can escape the margins if they so choose—and if you allow them.

Suffice it to say that it is not a simple travelogue. It may start that way, but if you give The Ruins of Tropicalia a chance, it will change and grow into something far bigger and stranger. At least that’s our hope.

The “Ruins” in the title is not accidental. The story is indeed about ruins, both metaphorical and literal. It’s about learning from the past, and building upon foundations both known and unknown. In our most sanguine moments, that’s what we the authors believe we’re doing as well. We’re building upon something older and bigger and grander than us, adding our own perspective and construction methods, and hoping that it looks and feels brand new. You’ll be our judges. So what’s true? What’s the story? At the risk of frustrating you beyond hope of return, I’ll quote what many have said before. I’ll send you back to the title of this post. All stories are true.

Book Details & Summary

Check out The Ruins of Tropicalia website for the debut installment on JUNE 24!

Details: The Ruins of Tropicalia is a serialized adventure story, accompanied by new music by indie rock n roll band The Amends. Two new chapters/episodes of TROT debut each week from 6/24/14 until its completion at the end of August, available for free in multiple formats (mobi/Kindle, EPUB, PDF, etc.) both ONLINE and on a mobile app.

A new single from The Amends will premiere each Wednesday throughout TROT’s run at the above locations as well as http://theamendsband.com.

TROT is written by Tyler Taylor, Elizabeth Troy, Regina Porter, and Anonymous. The Amends are: Drew Weikart (lead vocals/guitar), Tyler Taylor (guitar/keys/ vocals), Chris Childress (bass), and Shay Byington (drums).

Expanded Plot Summary: In early 2014, a group of Americans gathered on a remote Central American peninsula to experience the last days of an unsullied tropical paradise before its development into a corporate retreat for the world’s biggest tech company. Many of them believed they were there accidentally, but none of them were. This is the story of how a group of restless, indecisive idiot discovered who brought them there, and what they could be. This is the story of a country and a civilization few remember ever existed. This is the story behind the most mysterious mass Disappearance of the 21st things get bad, you rescue what you can...

The Amends: (L-R) Drew Weikart,
Tyler Taylor (TROT editor and co-author),
Shay Byington, Chris Childress

About Tyler Taylor

After taking a temporary leave from his Colorado-based rock n roll band The Amends, Tyler Taylor was among the group who went to Central America, and witnessed the events described in The Ruins of Tropicalia. He edited and compiled the accounts of his fellow travelers into the main text of TROT. He and Amends lead singer/guitarist Drew Weikart worked to put some of the events to music, and the entire band (including bassist Chris Childress and drummer Shay Byington) recorded the eight new songs in April and May.

Connect with Tyler on Tumbler.

Connect with The Amends on Twitter and Facebook.

More links:

Giveaway Time!


  1. what inspired them to write this book

    1. The initial inspiration was the trip to Central America but it became more than that. And we wanted to create something that bridges real life, prose and music. This is Tyler, btw.

  2. Well, I'm intrigued, great trailer! And the music is really goof. Thank you for the international giveaway :)

    1. Good to hear you're liking our music and I hope you like the book, too. Premieres tomorrow!

  3. Less of a question more of a comment... I freaking love that band logo. :)

    1. This is Tyler... Glad you like it. It actually ties in with the story a bit, too

  4. Interesting info about the title

  5. It's Tyler again... Thanks for all of your interest in TROT. I just wanted to let you know the first chapter is now live (along with the mobile apps). Go here: http://theruinsoftropicalia.com


© guiltless readingMaira Gall