International Writers Inspiring Change feature author: Trent A. Romer

Interview with author, Trent A. Romer

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Trent Romer. I have been working in a 60-year-old family-owned and operated plastic bag manufacturing firm for 30 years. My grandfather began the business and I am now a 3rd generation co-owner. I have a very large family – 32 first cousins. I played basketball through my 4 years in college – basketball has always been a big part of my life.  I love 1980’s music – I can’t seem to get my listening tastes away from my teenage years.   My family means the world to me.  My wife of 20 years and I have three sons (and a beloved dog) who are the center of our lives. We love to travel to the ocean and national parks for vacations.

Tell us who or what inspired you to write your book. 

Throughout the journey, I wrote about the adventures and education I was experiencing at each destination. I had never thought of putting them together to create a book until the lead faculty at my Harvard University experience encouraged me to write. She said, “Regardless of what may or may not be out there, it is important to tell your story.”  She provided the spark and confidence to write. I’ll be forever grateful.   

What message are you hoping to pass to readers through your book? 

Generally speaking, the book is targeted… 1) to help people better understand ocean plastics and more specifically the idea of a circular economy, 2) to provide a path for people and or companies on HOW to become more sustainable (the why seems more obvious). HOW is tied to making the journey authentic as sustainability is not one path but many paths depending on circumstances, and 3) to inspire people to address what seems an insurmountable problem – Educate, Feedback, Action Cycle…over and over.

What have readers said about your book?

One question I get a lot is, “Who is in the boat?” referring to the front cover.  My hope is that the answer is self-evident after reading the book. I hope to inspire people to the extent that they would see themselves as the ones in the boat with their own journey to explore.  

Tell us about your book, Finding Sustainability.

In 2018, I found myself at a crossroads of preservation and survival spurred by the anti-plastic narrative surrounding our industry.  My love of the outdoors and long term health of the planet pushed me in a preservation direction while the need to provide for the families our business employs pulled me to the survival path.  I wanted to both preserve and survive.  The crossroads forced me to begin my journey to 8 states, 3 national parks and 3 countries to find sustainability for our company and for me personally. The book documents the journey.

What advice do you have for writers?  Wow.  I am not sure I feel qualified to offer advice but maybe it will help someone.  I am a big fan of thinking of writing as an exercise of selection.  A tremendous amount of information is gathered and combined with countless stories and ideas in your head.  The best writers are able to throw out the information that distracts the reader, edit out ideas that cloud the larger narrative and reduce word “clutter”.  The writer is the one who selects – it is up to you.  I think of writing as being like a sculptor – start with a chunk of rock and keep chipping away what is not needed.  What is left is what you wanted all along. 

Visit Trent’s website at  www.trentromer.com 

See our editorial review of Trent’s book here

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