Edition #17 – Brian Harris answers 7 questions

by | Jun 1, 2022

1. Why are you an author?

I am actually a 1st-time author. My wife and kids encouraged me to write a book based on home improvement tasks I did around our old home for years that didn’t always go as planned. I was very fortunate to have my book published by the publishing giant Simon and Schuster in New York and as well by Simon and Schuster in Canada. I have finished writing my second book and am working on my third book presently.

2. Who are your literary inspirations?

To be honest, I really don’t have any literary inspirations that inspired me to write these books, just a crazy imagination I guess! Embarrassed as I am to admit it, this book is all based on true events!

3. What is your writing routine?

I write usually from 8am to 11am each morning. I started this routine when I retired to help me stay on track with my writing goals. It started with scribbles on note pads and evolved into a more thorough process for documenting different stories from my life. I find the structure goes a long way for a retired person, and I’m grateful that it led to really publishing a book. I started off as a songwriter and never thought I would publish a book so late in life, and I definitely didn’t expect to make the Canadian bestseller list!

4. Why did you write this book?

The Cheap Handyman
By B.S. Harris

My wife, kids and I were sitting around the dining room table in our new home reminiscing about our home in which we lived in for 30 years. Someone, out of the blue, brought up a project I did that was a disaster and then the flood gates open and countess mishaps were mentioned which led to the idea of writing a book, hence here we are.

5. What were the biggest obstacles in writing this book?

The biggest obstacle for me was sometimes not being able to finish each story in the fashion I wanted to. I would write a chapter then go back to it a few days later to make sure it was exactly as I wanted it to be. If not, I’d edit it and go back again later, make the necessary changes and so on until it was perfect in my mind. I always worked on three chapters at once in case I struggled with one particular chapter.

6. Who are the key points of this book?

This Old House meets #HomeImprovementFails in this collection of laugh-out-loud stories, perfect for fans of Nick Offerman, CarTalk, or The Red Green Show.

“This book is all the fix-it you need for your hurt home improvement ego.” —Harrison Scott Key, Thurber-prize winning author of The World’s Largest

Man Meet Brian Harris, a (mostly) retired, self-proclaimed jack of all trades with a penchant for DIY and inventive money-saving schemes. Armed with a soldering gun, his trusty nine-foot ladder, and of course the handyman’s secret weapon—duct tape—Brian’s projects start out as simple chores: trim a tree branch, stain the cedar siding on his home…but all too often they end in costly disaster.

Sometimes he’s trying to do the right thing, like the time he wrecked his pool while saving some baby ducks. Often, he channels his inner MacGyver: he once taped his hockey skate back together so he could finish his rec-league game, only to get suspended for falling on the referee when it broke (again). But usually he’s just being, well, cheap! Like the time he inadvertently destroyed a $295 car key fob because he wouldn’t pay the (outrageous) $10 fee to have the battery professionally replaced.

In The Cheap Handyman, Brian anthologizes his hard-won wisdom, teaching us how (not) to cut down a tree, what to do if a stray cat has kittens in your HVAC system, three very incorrect uses for duct tape, the manifold hazards of pool maintenance, and more.

Filled with unforgettable true stories from the everyday life of an average guy just trying to save a few bucks, The Cheap Handyman is a delightful tribute to anyone who has ever thought, “Sure! I can do that!”

7. Where may we find you online?