Bob by Tegon Maus Guest Post
How old were you when you wrote your first book?
I was somewhere in my late twenties / early thirties. I had written a good number of short stories and tried desperately to get a gig as a newspaper contributor… one story a week, or a serial story but all to no avail so I thought I would write a book and came up with one called The Children of Grishma… an action adventure story. I sent it everywhere, to everyone I could find to send it to… 17 or so. I only got back 3 rejections. Each was like getting hate mail from the worse people on earth, each more harsh than the first. I was crushed. It would take almost 20 years before I would try again.
Do you credit an English teacher in high school or college for helping you become a better writer?
Neither, I wasn’t a wall flower in school… I was the wall. I lived happily in my own little world tinkering with robots and the like… I remember details of every job I’ve been to… I can speed read 20 pages in under 60 seconds and tell you what it says… I can tell you what time is on a clock in the background of a fleeting commercial but for the life of me I couldn’t spell my way out of a wet paper bag… not then, not now. My wife is to blame for my writing. I read everything I write to her… one sentence at a time… 6 or 8 times in a row until I get the wording right.
500 words about how and why this book was written.
How? That’s a good question… a little bit at a time I guess. I had a dream… okay lots of weird and wacky dreams. They come and go. Sometimes horrible gut wrenching night terrors sometimes just odd and funny. I had one of the funny / odd ones the night before and forgot the majority of it by the time I got to tell my wife about it. What I did remember was that it was a bright sunny day. I was driving a 1954 yellow convertible dressed in a crisp, white shirt, tan slacks with shiny black shoes. I was pulling up in front of a store front like a barber shop… an all glass front, top to bottom with words painted on the glass… I have no idea what the words said but I did remember they formed an arch and that they were blue. Inside were three people… two male and one female. The men stood one to each side as if standing guard over the building or the woman… I couldn’t tell which. The woman, old, wrinkled and dressed in a flimsy red cloth that hid little from the imagination stood at the back of the store stirring a large pot… gumbo or potatoes… something with big chunks and smelled good. “You’re late,” she said without looking up. “I’m always late” I returned. She smiled at me and then offered me a taste from the pot, dipping into the swirling fog covering it, filling the spoon with tiny, live frogs. “Yikes,” I said, burning my lip as I gulped down a spoon full of frogs, coughing wildly. “It’s all right, I have a cousin,” She chuckled lifting her chin to have one of the men slap me on the back. As he struck me I woke up. What had stuck with me was that all the cars, all the buildings not to mention the clothes had a 50’s look and feel. That more than anything struck me as odd… not that you find an old woman cooking gumbo or potato soup in the back of a barber shop everyday or that I EVER eat frogs. It felt as if I had been there before… maybe a number of times. I hadn’t thought much about it until a week later someone at work was talking about the lights over Arizona and how angry he ( and I ) were when the Governor of that state brought out a man dressed like a grey. The ensuing conversation divided all those present into two groups… those that felt the Governor was an ass and those that don’t believe in UFOs at all. The conversation quickly accelerated from that point. It’s interesting to see grown men willing to roll around in the dirt to prove a point. At that point the story jumped into my head… not the word for word but the over all story itself… And as far as WHY I wrote this book… how else would I get the taste of those tiny frogs out of my mouth ??
Make sure you look into “Bob” by Tegon Maus and enjoy a great book.