I'm writing a book

Steaks on a grill

If you follow me closely on Twitter you’ve seen me tweet about the Steak Fry Book. It’s been a work in progress since September of last year when I first got the idea.

Turns out 2021 was my 9th. I missed 2012 for some reason.

I’ve been working on it over lunch breaks and in the short spurts between the kiddo going to bed and the point in the evening when I just can’t look at a screen anymore. It’s finally, finally to the point where I’m comfortable talking about what it is, what it still needs to become, and give you an opportunity to get updates like when it’s ready for pre-order.

Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Julian Castro hold steaks up on spatulas as they stand over a large grill

The book is going to be a chronicle of my time in Iowa politics beginning when I took the Digital Director job with the Iowa Democratic Party in 2009. It was a very different time. Democrats had the trifecta of House, Senate, and executive at both the state and federal level, The right to marry was expanded to same-sex couples through the Varnum v. Brien decision, and the Affordable Care Act began its journey to transforming our health care system for the first time in decades.


I’m not smart enough to write a “here’s where we went wrong and here’s how we get back” book. That’s for people like Dan Pfeiffer. What I can do is share my story. What I saw and heard and how it made me feel. I’ll include what I see now as the book’s last chapter will be this year’s Polk County Steak Fry.

What I definitely see right now is a country dealing with inflation and an ever-increasing cost of living. With that in mind, I want to keep the cost of this thing down so it’s available to a wide audience. If you’re thinking of a fine art coffee table book with a linen cover and pages thick enough to be used as roof shingles you’re going to be disappointed. My original plan was to print this using Blurb, but I’d really like to keep it as local as possible and use a union print shop. Solidarity and all.

Shut up and take my money, Hauenstein!

I can’t do that yet. I’m building out a photo archive for this site and then I’ll get to work on the e-commerce side. Until then, put your name and email in the form on my book page and I’ll add you to a list where you can get updates on this thing.