Print Matters: Let Me Tell You About The Time...

"Every contributor was effected by BMX in some way throughout their lives."

16 Jan 2017

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An Interview with Matt Coplon

If you're a regular DIG reader you'll already know that Profile's Matt Coplon is a very busy guy. Well, as if things weren't already hectic enough for him, Matt has just released his second book, 'Let Me Tell You About The Time...': a wonderful collection of tales inspired by, as he nicely puts it, "Bicycle Motocross". Produced with the support of Folklore LMTYATT has lots of long time DIG contributors in the mix to keep you entertained and is available now on the DIG webstore. We asked Matt to tell us a little more...

How did this book come about, what gave you the reason to start it?

Back in October of 2014, I published a collection of personal, creative non-fiction short stories title "Collapsing Into The Whatever." Although the writing process took three years, the formatting/publishing process was a lot more simpler that I thought. I discovered that we have a dialed option for both of these services in Tampa (Eli at Crunch Time (formatting) and A and A (printing).

With the positive feedback from "Collapsing...", I thought it would be rad to see/read stories from folks within the BMX scene. What night over coffee, or at the bar, or on a road trip have not availed some of the best stories you've heard...it's just a bonus to see them in print.

Whats your opinion on attention spans these days? Do you think people need to learn to read again?

Ha! Reading isn't for everyone. We've become such a visual society based on action... I get it. But for those who do, here's a nice little companion piece that you can fit into your pocket, take to work to read during lunch, while stuck in gridlock, or on an airplane. I'm pretty confident this should put a smile on your face.

So, to answer your question: Our attention spans have always been short. That's why these are "short stories." Ha!

Was it easy chasing everyone up to contribute? (and choosing who would contribute)

My initial wish list for contributors was much longer, so choosing those involved was the easy part as there are so many talented story tellers amongst our scene. But, in the end, It was whoever, from that list, could meet the deadline. Committing time, and conjuring motivation (for everyone) was the hardest part. Writing is difficult as shit. We all know this, and we all felt it.

Leigh Ramsdell was the best example. He literally submitted his piece at the very last minute. It took two years to find the right time, the right place, and under the right circumstances to belt it out (and his piece is dialed and well worth the wait). I knew it was going to be a process, and I knew it would take roughly two years. Thanks to everyone involved for their patience.

What are the stories about, all BMX, or BMX culture in general?

The connecting thread is BMX. Every contributor was effected by BMX in some way throughout their lives. Some stories are about the actual, philosophical act of trail riding (Yeagle), some are simply about the wild antics that occur while being with friends who ride BMX (Degroot, Crandall, Rich, Ball, Hinkens), while some are inadvertently historic (Towne and Ramsdell). So, both BMX and BMX culture. 

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Will the stories ever go online or is the a print only project?

Some stories have been featured on www.leastmost.com and I'm sure the remainder will end up online at some point. I just wanted to encapsulate them into something tangible, and celebratory.

What can we expect to get out of this from a readers perspective? 
Empathy, some BMX history, some dialed times, some really not so dialed times, a lot of smiles and laughter, some motivation to get out and travel, and a lot of love and appreciation for what BMX has given to all of us.

What’s the last book you read?
Just finished it two days ago: "Oh, Florida. How America's weirdest state influences the rest of the country." By Craig Pitman. I was born and raised in Florida. And although I will defend it to the end, I have finally given into the fact that living here really is as fucked up as it's perceived. Mix the wild west with a bunch of prehistoric reptiles, uber corrupt politicians, brutal, uncompromising weather, human swallowing sink holes, and deadly, disease riddled mosquitos. That's just the tip of the iceberg. Pitman is an incredible story teller, and each paragraph (and chapter) ends up flowing into and introducing the next. I couldn't put it down. One of the best books I've read (and I read a lot). If you've visited Florida, this is a must have for your bookshelf.

Do you read much online? 
DIG and Ride (US). I read the news online too. Most of that news comes vicariously through my wife via Jezebel. I would more than likely be reading Nat Geo, Smithsonian, and The New Yorker online, but I'm too stubborn and would rather read them in print. When my closet starts to over flow with back issues (I have a hard time getting rid of anything in print), then I might make the switch to purely online.

Where can people get ahold of ‘Let me tell you about the time…”
You can either hit up any of the individual contributors (as they will have copies), the DIG store has some, or just direct through myself. You can contact me at xmattcoplonx@gmail.com

Thanks again to all the contributors and thanks to you, DIG, for the support and all you do for BMX! We appreciate this!

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You can pick up copies of 'Let Me Tell You About The Time...' and 'Collapsing into the Whatever' here on the DIG store.