I’d like to welcome author Tegon Maus to my blog. He’s here to talk about his latest release – ‘Bob’, and about other aspects of writing. See the end of the post for a Giveaway and the purchase links. Take it away, Tegon…
I was raised pretty much the same as everyone else… devoted mother, strict father and all the imaginary friends I could conjure. Not that I wasn’t friendly, I just wasn’t “people orientated”. Maybe I lived in my head way more than I should have, maybe not. I liked machines more than people, at least I did until I met my wife.
The first thing I can remember writing was for her. For the life of me I can’t remember what it was about… something about dust bunnies under the bed and monsters in my closet. It must have been pretty good because she married me shortly after that. I spent a good number of years after inventing games and prototypes for a variety of ideas before I got back to writing.
It wasn’t a deliberate conscious thought, it was more of a stepping stone. My wife and I had joined a dream interpret group and we were encouraged to write down our dreams as they occurred. “Be as detailed as you can,” we were told.
I was thrilled. If there is one thing I enjoy it’s making people believe me and I like to exaggerate. Not a big exaggeration or an outright lie mine you, just a little step out of sync, just enough so you couldn’t be sure if it were true or not. When I write, I always write with the effort of “it could happen” very much in mind and nothing, I guarantee you, nothing, makes me happier.
What are the main ideas or themes in your book?
I would have to say… fun ! I want my books to be viewed as fun, a coaster ride on one rail, swimming with sharks, falling off a cliff all to be saved at the last instant and you are filled with that nervous laughter of joy to be alive. That’s what a book should be… if it doesn’t move you – it’s just a text book.
What is the setting or context of the narrative? Why is it important?
It’s different in each book but I like to take something very familiar and turn it just a little so the reader ‘thinks’ things are okay and then prove to them the world is not what they thought.
Tell us more about the main characters and their dilemmas.
Bob !! My latest book. It’s about the lights in the night sky over Arizona. It’s very funny… very action packed…. A little excerpt The first time I heard it, I thought nothing of it at all… nothing. I’ve been in the newspaper game for more than twenty-seven years and that kind of experience gave a guy an edge but even that didn’t prepare me.I’d been beaten, shot at, even stabbed a couple of times over the years but I always got the story… always. But this one… this one was big… too big perhaps… Maybe we were ready, maybe not. Either way, it wasn’t my call. None of which filled me with the fear, the trepidation… the anguish of five little words that still haunted me today… “Is okay. I have cousin.”
Why did you write this novel? Any other issues or ‘big ideas’ behind it.
No… I don’t think so, no big ideas… not really. I’m a ‘what if kind of guy’ I like to make readers feel off balanced… to make them think “what the hell is going on?” as much as possible. I have a time travel book called Department 29 and the entire story revolves around a spoon and the trouble it causes… so No no big ideas here !
How do you go about writing a novel? Is it a simple or complex process?
As a rule I know the beginning and the end before I start… It’s all the stuff in the middle that I have to work at. It’s pretty simple… just repetitive.
What advice do you have for less experienced writers?
It doesn’t make any difference what you write as long as you write what interest you. You will be terribly bored if you don’t and that will show in your work. Read what you enjoy… read it all and then write and when you’re tired write some more. Write what’s in your head, what’s a part of you… you’ll be happy and your work will flourish beyond your wildest dreams
What are you working on currently?
At present I’m working on two books. The first is the third book in my Series The Eve Project… The Cordovian Effect… Time has passed and Ben Harris has as well. He awakes to learn he is now one of Roger’s Dikika people… a machine and has been given a new identity… Jon Ironwood. Roger has made arrangements for his finical future and he is now ready to start a new life. The problem is someone knows they are machines and is murdering the Dikika one at a time.
The other is the second in my Littlefield Series… Black Moon and Tucker Littlefield is in big trouble. Every 28 years there is a solar eclipse in the same exact spot… the spot the Kindred hold sacred. With the sun’s passing and renewal a new leader… the Sholic… is chosen and rules over the Kindred until the next eclipse. With this passing the old Sholic is murdered and the next in line is accused… threatening to throw the Kindred into civil war. Tucker Littlefield and his Mrs. are in way over their head when he accidently becomes the Sholic.
What would your perfect day be?
Sunday ! All perfect days are Sunday. I get to sleep in late, I make breakfast for Dearheart, catch up on my reading, catch up on my writing… watch a little tv… let the tv watch me a little… no phones, no visitors… Oh yeah defiantly Sunday !
Name a book or a film that means a lot to you.
Lots of both… from Robert Young’s The Canterville Ghost to ID4 ! Depends on the day or my mood.
If you could leave a message to the world, what would it be?
Knock it off ! Get along before I get my belt ! Who knows?? It worked with my kids.
Excerpt #1 ******************
I blinked in disbelief, too stunned to speak.
Standing in front of me, dressed in black jeans, a dark blue tee shirt with a picture of Bob Marley and a backward baseball cap was a small, no more than 5′ 2″, twenty something, black man.
“Hi. I’m Pete,” I said, offering my hand.
“Ahh, is sad story. Bob’s cousin not speak English,” Bob said pushing my hand away.
“Awhhh,” the little man breathed hoarsely, turning away, his arms swung loosely in response.
“Bob, he just said dude to me when he came in,” I said, pointing an insistent finger at the little man.
“He tries, broken English not so good. Is Fred,” he answered, spinning his hand playfully in the air, pointing, draping a large, affectionate arm over the man’s shoulder.
“Fred… your Russian cousin?”
“Da,” he answered simply without blinking.
“Bob… he just spoke to me and it wasn’t Russian,” I protested.
“Ahh, Bob’s friend generous, not make Bob’s cousin self-conscious. You good man, but Fred speaks no English,” he argued, folding his arms.
“Ahhh, damn it, Bob. You promised me… you said I could talk this time. Shit man,” Fred cursed in a raspy whisper, stomping his foot, turning away.
“Nyet, nyet,” Bob scolded, grabbing Fred. He began to speak Russian, shaking his finger in the other man’s face.
Fred’s shoulders slumped. His head swung loosely from side to side, avoiding Bob’s gaze.
“Da,” he said dully, turning in my direction once more.
“His English not so good,” Bob added, wiggling his hands dismissively.
“Sounded damn good to me,” I said honestly.
“Bob understands. Bob’s friend speak Spanish?” he asked with a little annoyance in his voice, threading his fingers through his hair in frustration.
“Nope. Can’t say as I do,” I answered, folding my arms.
“How you say… no speak Spanish?” he asked, folding his arms as well.
“No habla Hispano.”
“AAAHHH, to Bob, Bob’s friend sound like native. Bob thought he smelled burritos, heard waves on beach. Very impressed. Bob’s friend has gift for language. Sure not speak Spanish?”
“Fred,” I said flatly, stepping directly in front of the little man. “Do you speak English?”
“Da. Fred speak no English,” he responded dully, tilting his head from side to side, his arms hung slack, swinging loosely as he spoke.
“Very sad, like Bob say. Fred’s parents live too close to nuclear plant. Sure, sure, rent very cheap but Fred… no brain for English,” Bob said, closing his eyes, shaking his head in a pretentious, melancholy way.
“Bob,” I started.
“Very late. No time for Fred’s story. Bob’s friend want to see house tonight or no?” he asked, pushing himself to stand between me and Fred.
“Alright, have it your way. Let’s go,” I demanded now irritated, angrily grabbing my coat off the back of the chair.
“Nyet, nyet. Bob’s friend almost forget,” he said, turning his back quickly, wriggling his fingers.
“Dear God. Money? Now?” I said, throwing my coat across the back of the chair again.
“Business before pleasure… makes good fences.”
“The saying is, ‘good fences make good neighbors’ not…”
“Bob’s friend knows what Bob say. Not want money to be sticky bug between us.”
“Yeah, yeah, I get it. How much this time?” I asked aggravated, removing my wallet.
“Bob not know about such things. Must speak with cousin,” he said, wrapping a huge arm around the tiny man, pulling him to the other side of the room.
“Bob, you gave me your word,” Fred whispered forcefully, sending a pointed finger into Bob’s chest.
“Fred say, must think about it. Fred likes Bob’s friend Peter, wants give good price,” he said, smiling in my direction and then began to speak rapidly in Russian.
“Damn it, Bob. You promised me,” Fred whispered disappointedly.
“Fred say, four hundred dollars,” Bob said, holding up four fingers of his right hand, all the while maintaining his grip on Fred’s shoulder.
“Three hundred,” I countered, folding my arms, returning my wallet to my hip pocket.
“Oooh, Bob’s friend breaks Bob’s feelings. Bob’s friend would steal bread from Fred very mouth?”
“It’s not in Fred’s mouth just yet… three hundred,” I insisted.