Distilling Rob: Manly Lies and Whisky Truths tells of how I left a high profile career in Los Angeles to move to a small island off the coast of Scotland to work at a whisky distillery. The move was an attempt to comprehend why I didn’t feel connected with the “man” I was supposed to be now that I was in my thirties. Could I find life wisdom in the working class life I avoided when I left my Midwestern roots?
The story uses the whisky-making process as an analogy for how boys mature into men, weaving together past and present personal narratives on a journey of understanding. My life, from insecure working class boy to a “man” who masked that past behind an L.A. insider persona, serves as the vessel to examine how people in their twenties, thirties and beyond, bombarded with fictional role models and the appeal of an endless adolescence, struggle to understand what it means to be an adult.
Distilling Rob includes stories of my personal encounters with some of the actors who played these fictional role models, such as Leonardo DiCaprio (which results in me singing onstage with Maroon 5), Jack Nicholson (who sits with more strut than most people have in their walk) and Clint Eastwood, the latter of whom changed, if not saved, my life. This story is set against the exotic (i.e., very gray and wet) backdrop of life on an island where I encountered more sheep than people. In a purely platonic way, mind you.
Each stage of the whisky-making and maturation process that I work serves as an analogous window into my life experiences, pitfalls and pratfalls from childhood through the present. As I gain a deeper understanding of myself the longer I work at the distillery, the question looms of whether or not I’ll comprehend the meaning of ”adulthood” before I have to leave the island.
My story connects with anyone, male or female, who sometimes feels like a childish impostor inhabiting the body of an “adult,” no matter how successful one’s life appears from the outside. Balanced between the external adventure of a foreign land and the internal voyage of self-comprehension, Distilling Rob uses humor and honesty to challenge readers to take that same journey within their lives, even if it’s just from the comfort of their own armchair or Kindle.
Enhance your Distilling Rob discussion by having Rob speak with your book club either in-person or remotely.
Rob will expand upon the themes of maturation in the book, share stories of life on the island, talk about the writing process and answer any questions your club members may have about Distilling Rob.
To connect Rob with your club, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the form below.