It is a well-known fact that fraternity men live by different standards than other independent students on campus. Until recently, the unique brand of humor that fraternity life provides came to the public from the classic movie Animal House. TFM is its successor.
A comic favorite among college students, the website TotalFratMove.com reveals by way of anonymous blurbs and stories the ridiculous choices made by many fraternity men across the country. Ross Bolen, staff writer and content editor for TotalFratMove.com, has taken it a step further with his new book Total Frat Move, which describes fraternity life through the eyes of a fictional student on his way up the fraternity ladder. Though the book is fictional, the events described take place in various real-life fraternities every semester. Overall, the book is hilarious. Those who did not know about the absurdities of the supposed day-to-day life of fraternity men certainly will now. Readers will get a good laugh from the loutish, descriptive and captivating style.
The Technique had a chance to interview Bolen to get his side of the story and get an idea of what drives TFM.
Why was the TFM website started? Is it meant to make fun of fraternities or just provide entertainment?
The website was founded with the purpose of exposing the incredibly unique and hilarious brand of humor that was previously hidden within the nationwide Greek community. Obviously at times that humor is self-deprecating, but that’s what makes it so great and enjoyable for everyone. As fraternity and sorority members, we know how ridiculous we can be, and we are shameless. It’s hilarious, it’s awesome and at Total Frat Move we share that comedy with the world.
What prompted you to write the TFM book? And who is your targeted audience of readers?
A few weeks after I started working on the site, Byrd Leavell reached out to us. Byrd is a literary agent who has represented bestselling humor authors such as Tucker Max (“I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell”) and Justin Halpern (“[Stuff] My Dad Says”), so obviously this was a big deal. He was actually in a fraternity himself, so he totally understood our brand of comedy and saw an opportunity for an incredible book to be crafted around it. With Byrd’s guidance, I quickly began working on the book proposal, which we eventually sold to Ben Greenberg, Executive Editor at Grand Central Publishing. After that I spent about a year writing the book.
Our target audience is anyone with a sense of humor that likes to party.
Who does the posting on TFM? Is there any sort of content selection process? Also, it seems like eventually people will run out of ideas, or posts would all eventually overlap and be repetitive, right?
The process for submissions being published has actually changed several times since the website began. We have interns that screen a lot of the content, because we definitely can’t post everything that is submitted. In terms of people running out of ideas, you would be surprised. I’ve watched the brand and its humor evolve more and more so that there are constantly new angles surfacing to keep things fresh.
Will there be more TFM books in the future?
I’m definitely down to do another book. I’d be shocked if you don’t see more from us in the humor section of your local bookstore.
What is your plan for the future in regards to the TFM website? Many people have created YouTube channels, videos, etc. that play off of TFM ideas. Will you incorporate these sources?
We’re constantly working to make things bigger and better on TFM. Recently, we’ve begun searching for more freelance writers to contribute to both our columns and TFM News sections. We’re always on the lookout for creative video talent, and currently have some really interesting things in the works in Hollywood as well. 2013 is going to be insane. We’re not going anywhere, so get used to it.