Meet Your Next Reality TV Star…


Or at least I could be, based on the email I received this morning.

Hey Mark!

Bray Entertainment, the Co-Creators of Pawn Stars, is casting and developing a new documentary TV series about the real life Clark Griswold from National Lampoon’s Vacation Movies. We are looking for an entertaining and charismatic dad, like you, who is always trying to go over the top on cool projects for his kids. If you or anyone you know would be interested in this opportunity, please give me a call at blah, blah, blah…

How cool is that?! Obviously they found me through my blog. I’m forever going on about how I’m like a real-life version of Clark Griswold. I titled my series of road-trip posts Gettin’ My Griswold On (and stopped at offbeat places along the way, like the Spam Museum in Minnesota). Hell, I even nicknamed my kids Rusty and Audrey here. So, it’s not entirely surprising that I have been plucked from obscurity and given the opportunity to become a bona-fide reality television star.

This is a really exciting development that is sure to change my life! I’m going to have so many new experiences. Things like:

  1. Talking to the camera to summarize everything that has just happened or is about to happen while wearing the same damn outfit in every single episode, all season long. 
  2. Speaking in cliches. “I’m not here to make friends,” “I’m going to bring my A game,” and “I have worked so hard to get here” will all become part of my vocabulary.
  3. A teary phone call home on a brand new state-of-the-art HTC/Samsung/LG video-equipped cell phone.
  4. Lingering product placement shots. I’ll probably drink a lot more Coca-Cola® and eat a ton of Doritos® now.
  5. Black-and-white slow-motion recaps of things that have happened to me on previous episodes.
  6. A surprise visit from a family member or loved one.
  7. A. HUGE. TWIST!!
  8. An “I overcame adversity!” video montage of my past, set to a sappy pop song.
  9. Shenanigans in a hot tub.
  10. An opportunity to win a brand new 2014 Toyota Avalon that I will then have to drive all over the damn place (a minimum of two trips will be required each episode).

There’s only one downside to all this: I have no desire to live my life in front of a camera. I value my privacy too much! Besides, I’m not seeking fame. Fortune, on the other hand, would be nice. I figure if I’m ever going to get rich (or famous), I’ll do so the old-fashioned way.

By robbing a bank.

Reality TV
Time to prep my “You haven’t seen the last of me!” speech. (Courtesy of

I kid, I kid. By working hard, is what I meant to say. Selling a bunch of books. Something along those lines. Granted, this Clark Griswold-themed reality show seems a tad better than most of the crap out there. A little less backstabby than the others. Centered more around kids than angry black women or gay men with chips on their shoulders. It doesn’t even sound like a contest, but more of a let’s-follow-this-guy-around ala The Osbournes type of deal, which means no “You’re fired!” or “The tribe has spoken” or “Please pack your knives and go.” In other words, a kinder, gentler reality show. But still, not for me.

Speaking of my book, No Time For Kings has been out a year and a half now, and I’m still playing around with promotional ideas and trying to get sales when and where I can. Every once in awhile I’ll get a check for $11 from Amazon, which is nice. A few months ago I dropped the price to $2.99 for the Kindle version, and I just recently added a whole slew of Book Extras to the Kindle version. This is a great feature that gives you the opportunity to add bonus content to your e-book. Honestly, I don’t know why more self-published authors aren’t doing this, or why more readers aren’t clamoring for it. If you’re reading my book, for instance, and want more information on the IWC (International Whaling Commission) mentioned briefly in passing in Chapter 1, you just have to click on a link and you’ll learn all about the organization – what it does, when it was founded, etc. Same holds true if you’re wondering what, exactly, “molybdenum” is or if you’d like the background on characters like Trey or Rachel or Drake. There’s even a section that talks about the themes and symbolism in the book. I’m working on an idea that would give readers a link to what happens to some of the characters after the book ends, as a way to bridge the gap between NTFK and the next book in the series, which will be released…someday. It’s tough when you write all day long for your job, and then you do freelance writing in your spare time. But eventually, I’ll get to it. In the meantime, if you’ve got the Kindle version of No Time For Kings and would like to access the Book Extras, click here for a great primer from Amazon on how to do so. It’s really cool, trust me.

And if you haven’t bought my book yet – what are you waiting for? Seriously. Go. Right now. Right here. Please? (It’s good, I promise).

But enough groveling. I’ve got a reality show to plan for! First order of business? A trip to Walley World! Just gotta gas up the Family Truckster…


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

14 thoughts on “Meet Your Next Reality TV Star…

  1. I miss you Mark! We don’t see a lot of you over here anymore now you’re such a man in love. I downloaded a program which was supposed to allow me to get Kindle editions on my laptop, so I could get your book, but it didn’t work well. Since I have a Sony Reader I can’t just download it to my reader. I’ll get it figured out yet, I am looking forward to reading No Time for Kings.


    1. There’s a guy somewhere (not me) who did buy the original Family Truckster. I don’t know if it’s still in running condition – or ever really was – but how cool would that be?


  2. “How cool is that?! Obviously they found me through my blog.”

    *clapping wildly*

    How cool is that is right, Mark!

    “There’s only one downside to all this: I have no desire to live my life in front of a camera. I value my privacy too much! Besides, I’m not seeking fame.”

    Well, if that’s how you feel, that’s how you feel. I respect your choice. But hey…what a GREAT thing to have happen!!!!

    Have fun at Wally World!


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