By Colleen Flaherty

Killeen Daily Herald

Tori Amos' music, donations to ChildFund International and constant self-deprecation aren't things one would automatically associate with a professional wrestler. Former WWE star Mick Foley hits all three hard, however, in his new book, "Countdown to Lockdown: A Hardcore Journal."

"I think subconsciously that it was a way of making people feel a little less intimidated, especially as I got taller and bigger and hairier," Foley said of his surprising wit, on display in this, his fourth memoir, during a telephone interview from Boston.

The Total Nonstop Action franchise wrestler is currently on a national book tour and will appear from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Clear Creek Main Exchange at Fort Hood for a book signing.

He lives in New York with his wife and four children.

Foley writes all his books himself, without the help of a co-writer, he said. In "Countdown to Lockdown," he takes his readers through his decision to come out of retirement and to fight wrestling legend Sting at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.

The six-week preparation process isn't easy.

Foley experiences back problems, relieved somewhat by a blind masseuse, and heavy doses of self-doubt. He makes several references to Mickey Rourke's tragic character, Randy "The Ram" Robinson in the 2008 film "The Wrestler."

Foley believes Robinson's path could have been his own, if not for key decisions at different forks in the road, he said.

"I loved that character," he said. "I would consider writing a prequel."

Foley touches on temptations such as steroids in several chapters of his book.

"Wrestling doesn't cause weaknesses," he said, "but it certainly can exploit weaknesses."

Through an at-once linear narrative and the constant, humorous digressions that have become his literary trademark, Foley eventually arrives at the fight with Sting. He narrates it in real-time, giving unique insight into the world of professional wrestling.

Even wrestling fans acquainted with the fight may enjoy reliving its outcome from Foley's perspective.

Many of those fans are active-duty military, he said, adding that he was happy to be visiting Fort Hood.

"Service members really seem to like and appreciate what we do on a level that many people don't understand," he said.

Contact Colleen Flaherty at or (254) 501-7559. Follow her on Twitter at KDHfeatures.

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