Estimated reading time: 2 minute(s)
On this episode of the Bourbon Friday Show we had the opportunity to talk with Dustin McKissen, a two-time “Top Voice” on LinkedIn and contributor to Inc, CNBC, Venturebeat, CNN, and EQ, about his first novel, The Civil War at Home.
LinkedIn Debut to Authorship
Four and a half years ago McKissen was working as a trade association manager until, one day, he decided to branch out and publish a piece about education on LinkedIn. Although it didn’t relate to his field in any particular way, his post went viral.
Five months and several articles later, he had another hit. This second time, the article reached the over 500,000 view threshold. It wasn’t long before he was contacted by heavy-hitters Inc.com and CNBC.
In addition to being able to write for nearly any publication, McKissen also has his own content creation and consulting company where he works with clients both in St. Louis and beyond. One of his most recent accomplishments, though, is the publication of his first book.
McKissen, who’s no stranger to publishing political pieces, recently published his first book The Civil War at Home.
His novel is set in a midwestern suburb, not much different than something people will find in St. Charles, Missouri, says McKissen. Living in the suburb are two families; one liberal and the other conservative.
The two families get into an escalating feud that plays out on social media. On the surface, they seem like normal arguments between people on different sides of the political spectrum, but in reality their fight is fueled by deeply-rooted assumptions the two groups have about race, class, economics, and other hot-button issues. However this time, the feud leads to a tragic outcome due to these common, but dangerous, assumptions.
“Many of us have gotten into a Facebook exchange that’s gone bad and we kind of lose sight of even the point we’re trying to make. We’re just trying to beat the other person down,” says McKissen, “and that plays a tipping point in the events of the novel.”
“It’s not like America’s always been united; And not like there’s never been these deep divisions, but I do think social media plays such a huge part… this sort of pumping it into your pocket 24 hours a day is what’s different.”
To buy a copy of McKissen’s book, “The Civil War at Home,” he recommends asking for it a local bookstore, on Amazon, or through the publisher Working Class Books. The book is also available in the St. Louis and St. Charles Library systems.
As always, the Bourbon Friday team does their best to choose a fitting drink for the occasion.
The bottle this week was Old Crow Bourbon. As one of the oldest brands, dating back to the 1830s, Old Crow has had a considerable amount of time to make a name for itself.
It’s often cited as a favorite of many authors such as: Mark Twain, Hunter S. Thompson, and Jack London. Old Crow is also known to be Ulysses S. Grant’s favorite bourbon during the Civil War, making the bottle a doubly appropriate choice for our guest this week.